TUESDAY TIPS for business growth

Today I thought I’d share some tips for selling more and growing the business, based on two of my clients who are quite typical of the businesses I deal with. Or I should say the business owners I work with.

Client 1: manufacturer, quality product, excellent fabrication setup but never been profitable in 4yrs of operation and production team unable to meet targets for each station. He was ready to close up shop and give up. His motivation for the business was 3 out of 10. He was dreading going to work. Which certainly sucks and the last thing you want as a business owner! We turned this around in less than 3 mo and he’s been profitable ever since, production hit targets, no delays, less returns and he enjoys going to work (8 to 9 out of 10).

Client 2: tradie, very motivated to do well and deliver quality service but unclear on how to grow. He was turning over $40-50K/mo when I started with him and he now consistently does $200K/mo and on track to grow to $300-400K/mo and then more as he franchises the operation.

TIPS – what did they do? I’m picking a few of the key actions/changes but there were a number of things.

1. They got super clear on the vision and values for the business and communicated this with the team and used it to attract quality employees and lose the ones that didn’t match. Your business is like a bus and you are the driver. If staff are on a bus and not sure where it is going they start looking out the window and thinking of ways to get off the bus. They also need to trust the bus driver knows where they are going. If this isn’t shared they develop all kinds of ideas which can often be negative and affect productivity.

2. They set clear performance goals and made sure these were visible, understood and routinely checked. They didn’t set a goal and then never talk about it again until the end of the month when it was too late to take corrective action.

They made sure that not only did employees know what was expected but had the support to achieve what was being asked. With the tradie there are incentives for hitting and exceeding targets and one target is a 5star review. His business has over 690 5star reviews. Google came and had a chat because he has the highest rating of any in his field in Australia.

3. Both got really good at letting staff go that weren’t a match and really good at hiring the right people. The trick is to hire slow and fire quick. Too many businesses keep the wrong people on too long and the longer it is the more they have invested in the person and the harder they find it to let them go. This means 6mo, 12mo, 2yrs go by with an average person in the role and the owner has to deal with stress, things not going to plan, deadlines not met, decreased quality, missed sales targets etc etc. There is significant lost opportunity cost. I recommend one day trials, then a week and then a month.

The tradie has let people go within an hour! Lets face it, we can often tell very quickly if there is a match and whether someone has what it takes. Again, use your vision and values to measure someone against. Will they take you to your vision? Will they uphold your values?

4. They both hired a coach/mentor. In this case it was me of course but I encourage them to seek out mentors to help with an aspect I’m not an expert in. My tradie client is thinking of franchising which I know nothing about so he needs to have a chat to a mentor that has done it.

They both had a desire to succeed but didn’t know what to focus on and in what order and how to do it. This is where a coach/mentor is invaluable. Don’t try and figure it all out by yourself. Short cut the process and talk to someone that knows. Time can’t be regained and time is money. And read, listen to audio books, watch YouTubes on business and mindset. Always be growing. To have what you have never had you must do what you have never done – working with a coach/mentor helps identify what it is you need to do.

As always, I’m here for a chat and to help.