Shirlaws : More Money, More Time, Less Stress


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From Shirlaws, the business owners’ guide to creating a profitable, sustainable business that rewards you richly in time and money.

An introduction to a number of the tools, frameworks and concepts that Shirlaws Business Coaches use to help businesses and leaders drive value for themselves and their organisations

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Shirlaws : More Money, More Time, Less Stress

  1. 1. VISIT US AT www.shirlawscoaching.comMore moneyMore timeLess stressThe business owners’ guide to creatinga profitable, sustainable business thatrewards you richly in time and moneyJohn Rosling
  2. 2. 2“Your motivation is never money, money isonly an end result. Your motivation is morelikely freedom.”
  3. 3. 3In this book
  4. 4. 4“There is more to life than increasingits speed.”
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  6. 6. 6STEPPING UP TOA LEADERSHIPROLE“There is no map. No map to be a leader.”
  7. 7. 7CHAPTER 1:UNDERSTANDING CONTEXT“The main thing is keeping the main thingthe main thing.”
  8. 8. 8Learn the trick of the greatest entrepreneurs; manage in contextand leave the content to your team.
  9. 9. 9CHAPTER 2:UNDERSTANDING THE POWER OF “WHY”“Knowing the why can inform your actionsas a brand, your brand voice, its character,and everything else that helps build itinto something people want to have arelationship with.”
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  12. 12. 12CASE STUDY: APS
  13. 13. 13Find the fundamental “why” in your business - and create astrong sense of belief around it.
  14. 14. 14CHAPTER 3:UNDERSTANDING YOUR ROLE AS LEADER“While Management is operationallyfocused, setting priorities, allocatingresources, and directing the execution,Leadership is more forward thinking,more about enabling the organization,empowering individuals, developing theright people, thinking strategically aboutopportunities, and driving alignment.”
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  16. 16. 16CASE STUDY: YRM
  17. 17. 17Set the context; manage the energy; coach don’t play
  18. 18. 18CHAPTER 4:LEADERSHIP IN ACTION – CREATING THE WHY“How do you get people to come togetheraround a goal and objective and be great?It’s establishing a sense of commonpurpose. Greatness doesn’t come froma tactical sense of execution. Greatnesscomes having a vision that goes beyondyourself and even beyond the organisation”“When people believe in what you believein, they work with their blood, sweat andtears. When they don’t believe in what youbelieve in, they work for your money.”
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  22. 22. 22CASE STUDY: UnLtd
  23. 23. 23A strong culture will drive your success by recruiting thebest people and most loyal customers. Culture comes from adiscussed and agreed intent based on shared values.Leadership is about creating the dream – the vision thing isyour job.All successful Leadership Teams get away on a Strategic Retreatevery 6 months.Get outside help.
  25. 25. 25CHAPTER 5:UNDERSTAND YOUR BUSINESS CYCLE“We reach quite inexperienced thedifferent stages of life in spite of thenumber of our years.”
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  28. 28. 28Know where you are in your business lifecycle and plan ahead.Know where your key Directors or Partners are and understand howthis impacts on your relationships and decision making.Build in now the skills and capabilities your business will need togrow in the future.
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  30. 30. 30CHAPTER 6:UNDERSTANDING RISK IN A STRATEGIC CONTEXT“Take calculated risks. That is quite differentfrom being rash.”“There are risks and costs to a programof action. But they are far less thanthe long-range risks and costs ofcomfortable inaction.”
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  32. 32. 32Benchmark the Risk Profile of your key team and openly discuss theimplications of these.As part of your Strategic Retreat agree a Risk Profile for yourbusinessHave the Board mandate the Business Risk Profile and RiskManagement processes to ensure that all future decisions are madeby looking at cost, return and business risk.
  33. 33. 33CHAPTER 7:BECOMING A GREAT COMMUNICATOR“If there is any great secret of success inlife, it lies in the ability to put yourself in theother person’s place and to see things fromhis point of view.”“Give me the gift of a listening heart.”
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  36. 36. 36CASE STUDY: UK entertainment company
  37. 37. 37Listen to the questions being asked, take a moment before yourespondAsk yourself what state/style the person speaking to you is inIf the person asks you a “how” question they are in Think, a “what”question they are in Feel, a ”why” question they are in Know.Get yourself and your team profiled. It costs less than £25 and isboth fascinating and incredibly valuable information (
  39. 39. 39CHAPTER 8:PRODUCT – THE FOUNDATION OF YOUR BUSINESS“Make your product easier to buy thanyour competition, or you will find yourcustomers buying from them, not you.”“The essence of a successful businessis really quite simple. It is your ability tooffer a product or service that people willpay for at a price sufficiently above yourcosts, ideally three or four or five timesyour cost, thereby giving you a profit thatenables you to buy and to offer moreproducts and service.”
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  44. 44. 44CASE STUDY: La Playa Insurance
  45. 45. 45The more products and distribution channels you can build, themore profitable and valuable in equity terms your business will be.It’s a strategic choice whether to focus on building products to sellinto a single distribution channel or to develop multiple distributionchannels for a single product.By getting really clear about what customers are paying you for youmay be able to unbundle your product and charge very profitablyfor the bits you currently give away. Or take an opposite approachand bundle a set of products together to create a competitiveadvantage to capture share and increase the volume of sales.Look carefully at what your competitors are doing – and consideradopting the opposite approach to create competitive differentiation.Innovate your product packaging; it is hard work to createcompletely new products but relatively easy to repackage yourexisting offer.
  46. 46. 46CHAPTER 9:YOUR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY - THE ROCKET-FUEL IN YOURBUSINESS“Our value is basically our IP and itsdeployment.”“The traditional business designs a productand sells it to create a major productstream. But the more advanced businessmodel is built on intellectual property (IP)to generate much higher value than thetraditional “product only” business.”
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  49. 49. 49Know your “IP”; it is the fundamental rocket-juice of your business,what makes your business unique and is the source of profitablegrowth through product innovation.When you’ve articulated your IP, take yourself out of your ownbusiness and ask yourself what a business with this unique set ofattributes might theoretically do (what products would it sell). It’s agood idea to get external help with this as you are probably too closeto your business.Understanding and leveraging your IP will create a fundamentalbuilding block to accelerated equity value of your business.
  50. 50. 50CHAPTER 10:POSITIONING – YOUR KEY FOCUS“In almost any industry, the big winnersare companies that consumers instantlyassociate with a single highly-focusedconcept - like Heinz and ‘ketchup’, Volvoand ‘safety’ and Federal Express and‘overnight’. ”
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  55. 55. 55CASE STUDY: Craster Woodworking
  56. 56. 56For mid-sized business positioning is about getting customers andemployees focused on what the business is all about – what it isfamous for. Being able to answer this succinctly enables you to fasttrack sales opportunities, distribution channels, potential acquisitions,mergers and joint venture opportunities.Understand your primary position - If you cannot get the distinctionbetween Distribution and Product then get some assistance fromoutside.Know whether you are focussed on market, service, product orprice. Come up with words that define your market, your service,your product, your price. Get it down to one word per area and thenone single word that positions the whole of the business.Cherchez le creneau….
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  61. 61. 61Set down the criteria for potentially profitable clients i.e. what type ofbusiness is going to grow your company profitably?Explore which companies might offer mutually beneficialrelationships. Check that both of you have similar ‘energy’ levels.Rigorously explore fears and benefits and ultimately formaliseguidelines on working together and monitoring progress.Review the relationship in terms of profitability. If it isn’t providingbusiness for both parties it’s not worth wasting resources on it.The more distribution channels you can build, the more profitableand valuable in equity terms your business will be.
  62. 62. 62CHAPTER 12:DRIVING ENERGY INTO CUSTOMER, DISTRIBUTION (ANDSTAFF) RELATIONSHIPS“Here is a simple but powerful rule - alwaysgive people more than they expect to get.”“There’s a place in the world for anybusiness that takes care of its customers-after the sale.”
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  66. 66. 66Develop a customer service strategy that is focused on putting clientrelationships in the up positionAim for four satisfactory ‘touches’ with each customer.Ensure that your customer really understands when you are givinghim an “extra”. Beware! Once an extra becomes an expectation, it isperceived as part of your standard service.Have an extra strategy for your staff as part of your culture.
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  69. 69. 69GETTING YOURBUSINESS TOWORK FOR YOUAnd give you back your time...
  70. 70. 70CHAPTER 14:THE FULLY FUNCTIONAL BUSINESS“So much of what we call managementconsists in making it difficult for people towork.”“Being busy does not always mean realwork. The object of all work is productionor accomplishment and to either of theseends there must be forethought, system,planning, intelligence, and honest purpose.Seeming to do is not doing.”
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  74. 74. 74CASE STUDY: Elle Events
  75. 75. 75If you’re serious about growing your business structuring andresourcing must be a strategic function and not one that is dictatedfrom the bottom up.Systematically colour-code your typical week in red, blue, and black.Create an organisational structure and workflow in red, blueand black.If you want real productivity you can’t give people responsibility –they have to take it.
  76. 76. 76CHAPTER 15:CAPACITY PLANNING - THE SECRET TO CONTROLLEDPROFITABLE GROWTH“A very good question to ask as youdevelop your business goal setting you have the capacity and capability torealise the future?”“It is usually easy to gauge whichbusinesses have a capacity issue. Theyare the ones that feel busy, but are notprofitable. Ones where staff seem to beworking flat out and yet there’s no timeto take on more work or plan where thebusiness is going.”
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  79. 79. 79Know the capacity of your business and current running rate – theseenable you to plan and develop a profitable growth strategy for yourbusiness.Understand where the bottlenecks that choke the profitability ofyour business are – and release them.Understand the difference between Platform Strategies and GrowthStrategies and use these to maximise profitability today and planyour growth tomorrow.Develop a Capacity Plan and use this as a daily management tool.
  81. 81. 81“When it comes to unlocking the marketvalue of a privately held company, it isnot limited to the bottom line. Profitabilityis hugely important, but the factors ofcustomer diversity, management depth,proprietary systems or products andtechnology, channels to market andcontractually recurring revenue andbrand and position can result in trulysignificant premiums over traditionalvaluation approaches.”
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  85. 85. 85CASE STUDY: Travel and Conference companyStart planning for your exit from the business 5 years before youwant to make the change. Understand your own priorities; is itincome, equity or control?If you have developed the business strategically, the valuationmultiple you can achieve increases significantly.Build a strategy for increasing the valuation of your business andyour own exit strategy simultaneously.Develop and build a Company Log Book.
  86. 86. 86CHAPTER 17:LEAVING YOUR BUSINESS IN GOOD HANDS“Many business owners say to me “I’mgoing to exit in five years” and yet when weask them a year later, they say the samething. It’s a permanently moving target – anaspiration not a strategy.”“The great leader speaks little. He neverspeaks carelessly. He works without self-interest. And he leaves no trace. Whenall is finished, the people say, ‘We did itourselves’.”
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  89. 89. 89Take some time to understand what you want to get out of thebusiness, and when.There are four elements to a succession plan: Building Value, Timing,Establishing Independence in your business and Understandingyour Priorities.Use a ranking of income, equity and control to understand therelative priorities of a potential succession candidate or acquirer.
  90. 90. 90MANAGINGYOUR OWNENERGY“Awareness is the greatest agent for change.”“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
  91. 91. 91CHAPTER 18:
  92. 92. 92Awareness is the greatest agent for change.Be the change you want to see inside your business.Find someone to support and nurture your development.
  93. 93. 93ABOUTSHIRLAWS“The best business advice I ever received?Get a business coach.”“Where I think a business coach adds value isproviding a space for business owners to stepaway from the business for a period of time,and focus on high-level issues. In addition toproviding the space to do this, a coach alsomakes sure it happens despite whatever crisishappens to have arisen that day.”
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  95. 95. 95“We became a coaching client inNovember. Our revenues are up 31%in January, 24% in February. I wish we’dbecome a client three years ago. What abusiness we’d now have!”“The most transformational part of workingwith Shirlaws is the hands-on skill transfer intoour business that generates additional profit.”
  96. 96. 96ABOUTTHE AUTHORJohn Rosling
  97. 97. 97APPENDIXThe recession and what to do about it
  98. 98. 98THE FIVE MISTAKES OF A RECESSION“The opportunity is now - at the bottom ofthe cycle.”
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  101. 101. 101THE FIVE GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES OF A RECESSION“Recessionary times present hugeopportunities for businesses to thrive.While many businesses are hurtingthrough a downturn, it presents those thatare structured well with massive growthopportunities.”
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  107. 107. VISIT US AT www.shirlawscoaching.comThank youWe’d love to listen to you.How to get in touch:Shirlaws (UK) Ltd,New Broad Street House,35 New Broad Street, London, EC2M 1NHinfouk@shirlawscoaching.comISBN: 978-0-9566930-2-0