We coach small business owners to uncover the things they cannot see, and implement systems and processes that help them live their business on purpose
594: Who is your ideal client?
We spend a lot of time here at BoP figuring out who our ideal client is. We think through what their frustrations are and how they spend their day. We look at what motivates them and how that meshes with what we offer. Is it a fit? No? How can we make it a fit? Because here’s what we know…for every person we spend an hour with who is NOT our ideal client, equals an hour that we’re not spending with someone we need to be working with. It’s that simple.
So…who is your ideal client? How do we figure that out? Well, let’s talk about that today, Thomas Joyner with Business on Purpose here.
We really are serious about our ideal client. For a series of reasons, but 3 quick ones.
Because we know we have the tools to solve our ideal clients' problems. An ice skater that needs help with her choreography? Nope, that’s not the scope of work we need to be involved in. We don’t have the tools to truly change their life, so why spend our most valuable resource, our non-renewable time, on that. But a business owner with 2-50 employees? Swimming in chaos? Frustrated over more money leaking out the back door than they realized and unsure how to lead their team towards a clear vision? Bingo! That’s us. We can nail that! And so every sales call we have we can know with 100% certainty that we have what they need. It makes it very simple for us. The quicker we identify if a person is our ideal client, the quicker we can lock in on them and try to build a relationship. It helps us narrow our focus and not have to cast as wide of a net. It also helps us focus in on a niche and not spend time figuring out if someone is a fit or not. If we spend a ton of time on the front end identifying the characteristics of businesses we have success with, then that helps us care for business owners well and not waste their time and also be able to point them another direction to get help with whatever they need. Because it helps us deliver our best value. When we work with our ideal client, we know we can deliver at or above the perceived value for our services. If it’s not a great fit from the beginning, it’s going to be a waste of time and resources for the business owner to try to make it work. It’s that simple. We deliver the greatest value to our ideal client. So, if I asked you who your ideal client is, would you even know where to start? What do they look like? Dress like? How do they spend their time? Where do they congregate for business meetings and how do you get in front of them?
What phrases come out of their mouth and what do you hope to hear come out of their mouth so you know…YES, we can solve that problem!
Many of us go, “Oh we can work with anyone!” While that may be true if you’re selling bottled water, I would push back and say, yes, you CAN work with anyone, but why not put your energy towards an ideal demographic? Your ideal client! Your marketing and sales has to be focused. Because those will become your raving fans and the ones to help grow your business organically. Not the ones you just, “Made it work” for.
So…spend some time today diving in on this. Get incredibly detailed. We have a 2-page document simply outlining our ideal client. That way when we go to a former client or current client and ask for referrals we can tell them exactly who we’re looking for and know that we will be able to deliver on our promises.
It’s worth spending the time to do this now…right before everyone jumps back in this fall. Figure it out, look for them and watch your business do what it is designed to do!
Thanks so much for joining, have a great day!
593: How To Create A New Employee Training Manual
You just completed the relentless and methodical work of recruiting and hiring a new team member, and you are still left with that big, expensive question, “is this new person even going to work out?”
Hiring new roles and new team members always seems to be an obvious and easy solution to everyone except the person whose time, attention, and bottom line is most on the line. It’s day one for that new hire…how does the mission get the most out of that new person, and how does that new person get the most out of the mission of the business?
American style football is a very set-play-specific sport. All eleven players on the offensive side of the ball must be in lock step technique choreographed in unison. Each position targets a specific direction and technique because the other positions are depending on it. The right guard trusts that the center has the other guy. The running back trusts the right guard to block that huge human being coming straight for him. The quarterback trusts that the running back made the right decision to run right instead of left.
We are under the misconception that the game of business is simply a collection of random events that all seem to work out in the creating, buying, and selling of products and services. And in some rare cases, people can get by on that mantra…but for most that is not the case.
For most, haphazard play leads to haphazard results. For most, a lack of preparation, of making ready before hand, has led to a life of chaos, frustration, and regret.
Most American football teams are known to have a written, published, playbook. That playbook is expected to be studied, reviewed, and re-reviewed.
A Bleacher Report article reveals an example playcall from future Hall Of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers, “East Right Flop, V Right all the way outside, Y Left, Fake 396 Bag, V Hinge, Z Puck.”
In order to understand the various formations, routes, and directions, each player must spend a lot of time in the playbook.
The moving parts in your business can be as complex as the moving parts of an 11 person football team, and yet many business owners do not make the time to create a playbook.
For most, the idea is too intimidating, for the rest we hide behind the excuse of a lack of time.
Imagine a football coach interviewed for a job and had no playbook to show and instead boasted, “I make it up as I go!”
Let’s not follow suit.
Instead, let’s make time to build a playbook for all new employees.
Here are a few elements you can use to build a great, thoughtful, intentional employee initial training book.
First, start with a welcome letter. Make time to sit down and ask yourself, “If I were being hired by a business, what would I want to hear from them on day one?”
Whatever comes to mind…write that down no matter how long or how short.
Second, give a broad overview of your business. We encourage all of our clients to build a Master Process Roadmap…this is your entire business on one sheet of paper.
A great roadmap is made up of at least four columns representing the four systems found in every business: Administration/Accounting, Operations, Marketing, and Sales.
Underneath each column are a list of every known process that is required to make that system run effectively and towards the mission of the business.
The third element of a great initial training book for your team, is a technical overview of the elements they will need for their role. Your team member needs to know who to ask and where to go find direction and answers to help them fulfill the role they are committing to.
Who does what within the organization (Org Chart)?
How do I get access to the important elements of that role (Checklists)?
How do I learn the nuances of each process (docs or video training)?
If you don’t know where to begin, just begin. Sit down in a quiet space for a dedicated time (start with 30 mins) and just begin to jot down bull
592: Could you leave your business for 30 days?
Could you leave your business for 30 days and not check-in at all? Why or maybe why not? Let’s talk about that today. Happy Monday friends, Thomas Joyner with Business on Purpose here.
The litmus test for our coaching roadmap is always what we call the 30 day test. Could you leave your business for 30 days and not answer email, voicemails…whatever. What would happen to the business?
Would it be able to survive? Would it limp along with quality control issues and employees aimlessly getting through each day? Would people even know what to do and would they get it done?
If you’re anything like most of our clients when we talk to them…the answer is always, no way. That’s impossible!
But it’s not. I was sitting with one of our former clients last week and he was saying how freeing it was for him to actually try it. He had finished recording all of his systems and processes. He had delegated all of his responsibilities and the day to day operations of his business…and he took off. Loaded up the family for an RV trip out west for 31 days…because why not go a day longer just to prove the system works!
No email, no phone calls…just let the team figure it out. And they crushed it! Years of preparation for that 30 day trip and yet the business seemed to thrive as it leaned into each system that had been built along the way.
So, if you were to answer no way to the question…what holds you back? Are you the main source of revenue generation? Ok, no problem, how can you begin to share that with someone and delegate?
Are you the key person who puts out all of the fires? Great! Start training someone and bringing them into these decisions to get that responsibility off of your shoulders.
But seriously, if you had to hone in on what was holding you back, what’s keeping you from starting to offload that? Think the business can never get there? Well change your thinking, work on an ORG chart and a Vision that would allow you to offload it and then go to work achieving it.
Because here’s the thing. If the answer to this question is no, if you can’t take off 30 days and the business survives…it actually means you have a job not a business. That’s a harsh truth, but you really just have a job that you have to show up to versus an active business that you are running to work without you.
That’s a BIG DIFFERENCE!!!
Now, hear me clearly…if 30 days off isn’t what you want, that is fine. But what is the target? It’s a business that COULD work without you if you needed it to.
I have had incident after incident of clients telling me they don’t need to work towards that in their business and yet we push them to get it there.
And the unthinkable happens. Father comes down with cancer and they need to go home to spend time with him and help through treatment. Daughter gets in a car accident and has to have surgery at a hospital an hour away. Kid does better in a baseball tournament during the summer and gets invited to play in a tournament 4 states away to showcase their talent in front of college coaches and asks you to be there.
These are real situations, where had they just thrown up their hands and said, no we don’t need to build systems and processes, they would have missed all of them or at best been rushed and distracted instead of present where they needed to be.
That’s why we always say it’s not just about being liberated from chaos, but it’s so that you can make time for what matters most. That’s the end goal!
And for any one of our clients who have had something that truly matters staring them in the face and had the freedom to go with no questions asked, knowing their business would be fine without them, gah that is what we want.
That’s why we push and ask the question. So, today, go back to that question and ask what needs to change so I could take 30 days off in my business. Do it today! You’ll be glad you did.
Thanks so much for joining today, hope you have
591: How To Design A New Employee Starter Pack
It is the first day for your new employee.
Yet most new employees for small businesses walk into their first day staring at what feels more like a rusty, duct taped operation instead of a well-oiled machine.
The very first impression that a business makes on a new employee takes place during the hiring process when the business team is simply telling the then-candidate about the wonders of their business.
Day one is usually the day where the new employee walks in and comes face to face with reality, “what I see feels different from what I was told.”
This story has played out too many times in our coaching calls where an owner will tell us they just hired a new employee and when that person walked in on day one, not only did the owner forget they were to start that day, they also began scrambling to find busy-work that would occupy the new employees time.
The owner then justified that haphazard training by saying “it’s just better if we throw you to the wolves”.
It is not better to simply be thrown to the wolves without initial training on how to handle wolves.
Imagine any professional sports coach simply throwing a new star player to the wolves without training and practice…it’s silly.
Yet in business that tends to be the strategy of choice. We hide behind excuses like, “we just hire smart people and they can figure it out”, or “if she can’t handle the heat then we don’t need her”.
There is a better way, a more human way to onboard that massively valuable new team member.
One element of that better way is to have a new employee kit or packet ready to physically hand them on day one.
That packet can consist of five elements to give your new employee a much higher chance of success.
First, each new employee starter pack should include an opening letter from the owner.
This is a letter that is standardized for the new employee starter pack and allows the new employee to hear directly from the visionary of the business.
The letter should start out with a simple welcome followed by the mission of the business letting the new employee know that the primary reason they were hired is to help achieve the already-defined mission.
After the mission, the letter should include a simple outline of the unique core values of the business letting them know, “these are the filters we use to make decisions every day.”
The letter can be rounded out with an overview of the rest of the new employee starter pack.
Second, each new employee starter pack should include the outline of their initial training.
What technical skills will you be teaching them? How? When?
What will the timeline of that training look like?
What professional soft skills will you be having them commit to?
What is the scorecard for a successful startup in this role?
Third, each new employee starter pack should include a printed guide with training notes or slides they will be learning from so they have a note-taking mechanism.
Actively having your new employee physically write down notes, thoughts, and questions will help them to engage and retain the information that must be shared.
In her helpful book The Power Of Writing It Down, Allison Fallon reminds us that “writing gives us space to work through our biggest questions.”
Fallon goes on to remind us that “writing helps us gain confidence in ourselves, our ideas, and how we move through the world” while giving us a chance to know the sound of (our) own voice.”
Giving your new employee space to write gives you the space to answer their biggest questions, thus new content for updating your training as you hire future employees.
Your greatest opportunity for feedback on your business are the fresh, new eyes of a new employee.
Fourth, each new employee starter pack should include startup swag and quick start support tools for the role they are assuming.
If you are hiring a salesperson, what are the selling tools they will ne
590: Taking A Break From Your Small Business
This summer, we have had multiple business owner clients physically leave the location of their business for an extended period of time (anywhere from two to four weeks).
Most of these are physical location businesses, and no, this is not a fantasy…it is real life.
For the most part, these owners are not spending the time away from their business simply sipping bubbly and eating bon bons. Most are staying active through the duration of their time away, and in many cases working on their own business, or learning about the inner workings of another business they are visiting.
One owner traveled north for five hours and worked three days a week at another business that is in the same industry. He simply called the owner up and asked to come work as an employee so he could watch and learn.
The perspectives and takeaways were endless. He would spend a few minutes each evening creating audio notes from his time each day. No conference could equip him in the same way he was able to see it for himself.
How did he create the margin to physically leave his business? You can read and listen to the majority of our content to learn that. The bigger question is, why?
Why did he leave his business and not spend every second of the time away just resting and relaxing?
Most business owners are drivers, and most drivers rarely find replenishment from “doing nothing”... their mind never stops.
Instead, owners are now making a decision to leave their physical location for extended periods of time, and making a plan beforehand with how they will allocate their time in a rhythm of rest, intentionality, learning, and work.
While away, many of these business owners would still check in on elements of their business, but only during pre-determined times.
First, when you are physically taking a break from the all-in, day-to-day grind of your business, then you are forcing yourself to see things from a different perspective.
I have also been physically away from the central location of our business for three weeks. Two of those weeks were committed to working both in (some) and on (some) of the business, and one of those weeks was committed to absolutely zero communication around our business.
While hiking trails in the morning, or biking town streets in the evenings that are unfamiliar to me, it is forcing my mind to bend differently around many of the same issues that I was only able to see from one angle.
The second reason you should make time to take a break from the day-in-day-out grind of your business is what it does for your small team.
You have team members that are silently looking for an opportunity to grow, to lead, and to develop. Contrary to the bitter generational sentiment, there are many young professionals, leaders, and line workers who are waiting to be asked… to be invited into greater responsibility.
They cannot (err will not) step up if they believe they will be stepping on your toes. No matter how non-intimidating you think you are; your team will usually have great internal respect for your role, and you will not see them “step up” until you are willing to step out for a small period of time.
Finally, you should plan to take a break from your business for a defined period of time because it will force you to prepare for that time away. In order for your team to assume responsibility in your distance, they will need to embrace the vision, mission, and values of the business. They will need to be equipped w/ the systems, processes, and methods to bake that cake, stack that crate, pack that bait, or quote that rate.
When others are working IN the business, it allows you to leverage your narrow brilliance, that part of the business you truly enjoy while the team runs the day to day.
You will never fully know if your team is ready to own the day-to-day, if you are unwilling to leave the day-to-day… if only for a few days, a few weeks, or a few months
589: When's the right time to work on your business?
I’ve sat down with a few businesses recently for introductions and after chatting for 30 min or so, they have each said something along the lines of, “man this sounds awesome! I’d love to get through this busy summer and start up with y’all in the fall.” That’s great, so what’s going to be different in the fall? If you can’t make the time right now, what happens in the fall where things magically slow down?
So, this raises the question…”When is the right time to work on your business?”
That conversation has probably happened 25 times. And I’m being more direct than I probably would be with them, but the truth is right there. Nothing changes in the future. Life doesn’t magically slow down and give you this green light to finally work on your business.
At least not with any of the businesses we work with. It’s fought for and scheduled and followed religiously until it becomes ingrained into the fabric of your business. You know, just like I do, that your business doesn’t care if you have a vacation planned or were hoping for a date night with your spouse. Nope…it slings chaos at you just as frequently as the sun rises in the east every morning.
So…how do we find the time to make all this work? Because what we ask Business on Purpose clients to work through is DEFINITELY work! In fact, we ask for 2-3 hours a week of “work on your business time” every single week.
There are ones that limp along for a bit, and then there’s one where it looks like they are in the fast and the furious movies as they just fly through our roadmap and see change in just a few short months. So what’s the difference between the two?
Well, we asked our clients that question. And here were their top 3 answers.
1. Schedule time every week and don’t allow anything to invade that time.
I know it seems overly simple, but putting it on your schedule every week, letting your team know that you’re diving into work that ONLY you, the business owner, can do, is a game changer. Then shutting out email, texts, calls, interruptions of any kind so that you protect that time and can do valuable deep work! That’s what moves the needle.
2. Stop making excuses for why you can’t find the time.
This may come across as harsh and it’s not meant to. I’m guilty of this, too, as we all love excuses! I’m too tired, we were gone all weekend, my kids are too young, my kids are about to leave the nest and we don’t have much time left with them, I have too much work right now, I don’t have enough work right now, we have the wrong employees, we just aren’t ready yet…trust me we’ve heard them all!
What we heard from our clients is that the day we stop making excuses is the first step towards freedom from the chaos. Because you take charge of owning your business and start moving the right direction. There’s no way to get rid of legitimate excuses, but you can stop them from preventing you from moving forward.
3. Follow the plan.
Early on in coaching, most people fight certain things we tell them. Whether it’s team meetings that they’ve tried and failed at before, or opening up multiple bank accounts, or delegating responsibility for things to employees that you don’t know quite how it will turn out. And yet we have taken hundreds of businesses through our Roadmap and everyone that has committed to all of it. Not a la carte pieces of it, but the system as a whole has come out the other side free from the chaos.
But it takes trust and commitment. Each of them, looking back, wished they had stopped fighting it and gone with it, trusting the plan. Now, hindsight is 20/20. We all look back and wish we had done things differently, but once people commit to the plan and gain momentum there’s no looking back.
So…what changes for you this fall, or in 2023? What’s holding you back from working on your business this week, today…shoot right now!?! If you ever expect anything to change you have
Man this podcast is informative! If you our a business owner or key leader this is for you! Scott and his team are super knowledgeable!
Must listen for all small business owners. Scott does a great job of liberating small business owners from the chaos through vision, mission, values and implementation. Thank you Scott
I just connected with Scott and began listening to these podcasts. This is an amazing resource for someone like me who is starting a bookkeeping business.