One of my awesome team members asked me the other day, “Why are we so successful in business when other places are having a hard time?”
The short answer I gave him was that we are successful in business because of two underlying ideas:
A) our people are AMAZING, and B) we measure, analyze and aim to improve EVERYTHING, especially marketing.
I’m sure if I gave you that short answer you wouldn’t be impressed, but I think laying out some of the fundamental business habits we have could help you have your best year ever! So without further ado, here you go!
Build in flexibility in your leadership attitudes, your strategic plan, marketing plan, and financial plan.
Fiercely protect your corporate culture by only hiring people who live your culture statements, ensuring your team always follows them, and fire anyone who can’t live by them. You’ve probably NEVER heard or read me say “fire them”, so know how serious I am here. Your culture = your success. Ensure that your leadership team lives these culture statements consistently, and most importantly that YOU role model the desired behaviours. You have to lead your leaders.
Put the following items in your calendar, and make SURE you do them every month, as if they were the most important meetings (because they are):
Monthly financial statements: Review, analyze, compare to goals, and figure out how to increase revenue, gross profit and net profit, one line at a time. If anything is over/under budget go and check it out in your bookkeeping software, or ask for a detailed transaction report for that account. You really need to know your numbers, because ALL of the answers are in there. They will tell you what to start doing, systemize, or stop doing (and systemize it to keep it stopped).
Monthly marketing report: Review, analyze and improve every single marketing activity to consistently increase ROI; if it has no ROI, or no other positive affect such as increasing brand awareness, consider stopping it. Too many people keep spending time and money on marketing activities that aren’t moving the needle, when they could reallocate that time and money to be very profitable. Also don’t be a sucker for vanity metrics! I.e. “likes/follows” aren’t always the answer.
Monthly review of KPIs with each team member: With bigger teams, you review 7 or fewer reports of your leadership team, and they can review their departments or reports (7 or less). Make sure you sit in these KPI meetings for a while to ensure you’ve trained your leadership team to run the meetings properly.
Make sure to be a supportive and curious leader in these meetings, remember that questions are your superpower, and that people support what they help to come up with! For example, how they can hit their KPIs next month.
Be a constant learner: Learn every day if you can. Take courses, get a coach, read books or listen to audiobooks and podcasts. Become the BEST at what you do, the best in your industry, and the BEST LEADER. NEVER STOP LEARNING.
Have an INCREDIBLY INSPIRING VISIONARY leading your company. If this is not you, get someone else. You need the vision to be created and painted for every team member, at every opportunity. In my other company, our Visionary does exactly that and he does it with charisma, charm and passion. This keeps everyone excited about the vision, and grateful to be on the team working towards it. The first thing we do with a new person is to get them to talk to our Visionary. He is truly amazing.
In my business coaching company, I am the Visionary. And… I just had a huge “aha” moment! Remember that as a leader you are either the bottleneck or the booster! If I am not passionate and excited (which may come from self-criticism or not-good-enough-itis) my TEAM cannot be passionate and excited. P.S. feel free to use your Visionary for motivation! That’s their job!
The Imperative “Rocket Fuel” combo: the Visionary & Integrator. You absolutely must read the book “Rocket Fuel” by Gino Wickman. If you really want to “make it”, and by that I mean make millions of dollars and really great profit margins, you need both a Visionary and an Integrator.
As you know, the majority of businesses FAIL and I think this concept is a big contributor. One person can try to be both the Visionary and Integrator, but trust me, it is the hardest thing I have ever tried to do. Luckily, I finally found an administrator who cares about the coaching business as much as I do (I know I previously told you this was impossible but I really believe she does). She does an AMAZING job of being the Integrator, while I get to follow my passion, coach business owners, and create and inspire our team and our clients. She keeps me in line and reminds me of the important business habits, and keeps us all on schedule and focused on the right things. She is like a partner to me.
In our other company, I get to be the Integrator, along with a strong administrator, while my partner is the Visionary. In pedorthics, orthotics and footwear, he is definitely the passionate creative we need in that company, and I (along with my incredible admin professional) get to be the Integrator, ensuring all of our profitable habits happen daily, weekly, monthly and yearly, while keeping the team on track (including my business partner sometimes).
So pick one, and find the other. Reading the book should help you identify your preference. *Warning: successful partnerships are very few and far between so don’t go looking for a partner if you don’t need to. You probably don’t need to. If you do, please reach out for advice first!
If you’re half Integrator/half Visionary like me, just promise you won’t try to be both people in your company for too long. It’s hard.
I could go on and on (because I am writing a book) but I will stop with this last recommendation, based on our successful experiences:
- Include your leadership team in your annual strategic planning.
- Have an Integrator capture, follow up on, and communicate the assignments and deadlines.
- Have a quarterly strategic planning review session to ensure everyone is on track to hit their targets, and that you are on track to hit your strategic objectives by the end of the year.
- Review your entire plan in case something has changed, and if necessary redo that part together.
- This should go without saying but have Strategic Objectives — BIG GOALS that you MUST accomplish as a company this year. Goals that will be accomplished if you follow your strategic plan, and make sure KPIs are achieved!
As I said, I could go on, but I know this is a lot for now. I hope you implement these things I’ve learned, because they make all companies I own or work with successful, and I know they’ll work for you too.
If you’re interested in us supporting you in any of these please check out the Business Accelerator Program!
If you’re serious about improving your revenue and profit and want to go BIG this year, inquire about our Platinum program for one-on-one coaching.
With gratitude for being a part of your journey, and excitement for your success in your business,
Kelli-Rae Tamaki, MBA