How to Build a Business that Works Without You


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The key purpose of this E-Book “How to Build a Business that Works Without You” is to give you the rudiments of successful business development and ultimately the confidence and certainty of what it takes to be excellent in business.
I hope you read on and that what you find here will benefit you and your business. Do feel free to contact me, Andrew Pearson, on 01280 844966 or at with your comments.

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How to Build a Business that Works Without You

  1. 1. 2COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966 to Build aBusiness that WorksWithout You!ByAndrew Pearson
  2. 2. 3COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966© Copyright 2012 Andrew M. PearsonALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this report may be reproduced or transmitted in any form whatsoever,electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any informational storage or retrieval systemwithout express written, dated and signed permission from the author.DISCLAIMER AND/OR LEGAL NOTICES:The information presented herein represents the view of the author as of the date of publication. Because of therate with which conditions change, the author reserves the right to alter and update his opinion based on the newconditions. The report is for informational purposes only. Whilst every attempt has been made to verify theinformation provided in this report, neither the author nor his affiliates/partners assume any responsibility forerrors, inaccuracies or omissions.
  3. 3. 4COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966 me a lever long enough and a place to stand and I will move the entire earth1Archimedes(c287 – c212)1Leverage: Archimedes’ principle of Leverage may be applied to all things in business – it is simply concernedwith seeking ways to achieve MORE with less. Leverage together with its sister concept of scale haveinfluenced the sense and direction of this E-Book!
  4. 4. 5COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966 of ContentsForeword 7Introduction 8Preface 9The Reason Why Most Business Owners Struggle 11Putting Business Into Perspective 11But You Can Still Build A Successful Business 12Obstacles to Achieving Your Business Success 13What is the Point of this Book? 13Poor Business Design Results in You Doing All the Work 16Frustration, Hard Work and Marginal Results 17What Does it Take to Be a Strategist? 20Manage the Business 20Manage Managers 21Manage Workers and Work 21Do you have a strategy? 21Do You Know What An Hour Of Your Time Is Worth? 22The Value of Your Time 23The Difference Between Productive and Wasted Time 26Two of the Best Ways to Boost Your Productivity 30Using Scale and Leverage Can Make YourBusiness More Successful 31Think of it Like This 32Working More on the Business and Achieving More 32What is Marketing? 33Let’s Get Back to Business Strategy for a Moment! 35Start With the Right Objectives 36What is a Great Strategy? 36What Superior Value Will You Offer Your Customers? 38How to Do This Efficiently to Achieve Competitive Advantage 38Isolate, Develop and Profit from Your Core Competencies 39What is it that Your Business is Good at Doing? 39Producing ‘Hearts and Minds’ Loyalty 40Producing Commitment 40Solving Problems 41The bumper car business! 41
  5. 5. 6COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966 Improvement (CI) 41Benefits of CI 42The Quick and Easy CI Process Works as Follows: 42Concentrate on Process not Results 42So What is Strategic Outsourcing 45The Real Difference Between Outsourcing and Out-Tasking 46Which Question Are You Asking Yourself When You ConsiderOutsourcing? 46How To Make Your Business And Your Outsourcing Relationships10x More Profitable 47The 3 Ways Work Should Be Carried Out In Your Business 49You Are an Untrained Project Manager, Managing Projects! 48How Work Should Be Done Inside Your Business 50What is a Process? 51How to Develop Processes in Your Business 52How Systems Thinking Can Save You Time and Money 53Systems are so Vitally Important because... 54Metrics: The Language of Business (and Profit) 54Time to Think and Plan to Do the Really Important Things in Business 55A Valedictory Strategy 57A Quick Recap of the Key Business Building Principles 59Coaching for More Results in Your Business 60For further support 61
  6. 6. 7COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966 AndrewIve just finished reading your e-book and found it an interesting insight into the problemsyou have identified that impact entrepreneurial business performance and the way that yousuggest dealing with them.I thought that the insights were right on the ball - the distinction between strategy andopportunity, the importance of true customer insight, sticking to the things that you can dobest, having a cunning plan and differentiating your service and offer sufficiently from thecompetition. Good stuff.And when it comes to outsourcing I think that price is something that must be related to thecost of the resource for defined quality delivery - for goods and services that are physical itseasy, when it is intellect, knowledge and experience you are buying it is more difficult. This isalways the case when justifying the cost of consultancy! Similarly, the old adage that successis 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration, whilst it is a mite simplistic, is also directionallysound and aligned with your insight on fortitude.I was intrigued by the focus on cost of time and amused by the one man businessorganisational chart. For me the issue of the cost of time is not that I should be worriedabout my inefficiency, which may actually be associated with thought and planning, but Iwould be concerned if my inefficiency impacted my ability to meet my business targets.When that happens I would need to understand and consider the reasons for that.But I wouldnt consider that to be necessarily unproductive if it led to a better plan. The needfor project skills is a key requirement as is the delineation of systems, processes and projects-something that I do consider to be important to recognise.I find the book a useful addition to the various "heavy" tomes available that chart waysfor management improvement, providing a manageable and accessible summary to some ofthe techniques that are relevant to assist owner managers in small enterprises and also forthose who have the ambition and tenacity to start their own business with their "good idea".If you want, you can quote me on this point.I do thank you for the opportunity to have a early look at this innovation. I enjoyed the readand I do hope that my feedback is taken in the positive way that it is intended. I wish youluck with your first edition and subsequent ones. I think that you have identified a real gap inthe market for owner managers and the challenge of growing from small beginnings. Is that astrategy or a plan? Only joking!With best wishes, Paul.Paul Hebblethwaite, (Former Technical and Procurement Director of Cadbury Schweppes& Chair of Business Clusters West Midlands)
  7. 7. 8COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966 a look at this list and see where you are with each of elements.• Carve out a unique strategic position for your business.• Create a business design that runs and grows without you.• Leave the world of opportunity-seeker world and enter the world of the strategist.• Concentrate on your core competence and develop a range of capabilities to sustainit.• Realise that your time is all you have and that you need to know its current value, andplan to achieve super-productivity.• Build a business around scale and leverage.• Concentrate on process not results.• Operate with marketing strategies that cause your prospects and customers toCLAMOUR for your products.• Build your team around the key motivators and develop a network of relationshipswith talented people whenever you need them.• Systemise your business with project management methodologies and processes.• Attempt to reduce every activity and relationship down to a core metric that makes iteasy for you to gauge performance.• At the end of the day persistence counts; nothing in the world can take its place.To have a successful business these days you need to be very good at each of these 12 keyelements listed above. Every one of these different business building tactics that you do notexcel at will impede your business’ progress and more than likely cause you to losesignificant amounts of money.The key purpose of this E-Book “How to Build a Business that Works Without You”is to give you the rudiments of successful business development and ultimately theconfidence and certainty of what it takes to be excellent in business.I hope you read on and that what you find here will benefit you and your business. Do feelfree to contact me, Andrew Pearson, on 01280 844966 or at andrew@coaching-business.couk with your comments.
  8. 8. 9COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966 of the foremost questions facing business owners and managers today is how they canspend more time on their business and less time tackling the day to day issues.For those of you that want answers to a very REAL problem this E-Book provides thesolution …In my experience of working with a diverse range of business owners and managers – andcrafting successful businesses of my own - the thing that marks out and distinguishes asuccessful business owner, or manager, is his or her attitude.Quite naturally, most people when they start out in business want to achieve as much successas they can. Similarly many established business owners seek parallel goals when looking totake their businesses to the next level. For both groups; start up and established businesses,the people that get on are those that focus their attention on their businesses,and in particular the specific activities that will help them generate revenuequickly and then continue to sustain more growth.In contrast those that labour longest and struggle the hardest fail to adopt the principles andskills necessary to help them move out of the more technical aspects of their work and oninto effectively directing and managing their businesses to where they w By the way this bookis just a snapshot of my three years of extensive research and development with manybusiness owners and managers. I hope you find it helpful and that if you have any commentsyou’ll contact me direct on 07718 576221.The information in this book has been applied to a number of business owners that werekeen to have me help them toremake, remodel and redesigntheir businesses through oursuccessful coaching programme.I strongly suggest that you printthis E-Book, and read it as soonas you can. There is a specialdiagram on page 16 that youcould also print separately andhang near your desk.Once you grasp the concepts you are about to read in the pages that follow – your businessand business life will improve forever.Most people believe that all you need to excel inbusiness is common sense together with the will tosucceed.MOST PEOPLE ARE WRONGIt takes “UNCOMMON SENSE” because most peopleare never trained in how to make a business work.
  9. 9. 10COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966 vividly remember one business owner, who had moved into retail, speaking to his friendabout adding value and how there seemed even more to do than ever! Interestingly when Imentioned the possibility of offering a wider range of products, including cross sells, up-sellsand back-ends to increase revenue, he stopped in his tracks, saw the point and was ready totalk further.People seem so tied up in “doing the business” that they actually end up doing more forrelatively less. They fail to see that actually working on the business to consolidate it andsystematically making improvements as it grows will make their business run and grow withamazing efficiency – so that they obtain more money and more pleasure.If you see yourself here then please read on – this E-Book is for you.
  10. 10. 11COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966 Reason Why Most Business Owners StruggleI have just returned from a recent business workshop. It was great seeing many familiarfaces, and having the opportunity to make new friends. But every time I go to an event likethis I am struck by how almost everybody in attendance approaches business developmentor business start up the wrong way.Lack of fundamental business building knowledge is really the primary cause for so manypeople struggling and wasting time, it’s quite distressing. It’s the reason why theoverwhelming majority of people new to business will fail to achieve their goals, even if theybuy lots of self-help products, study them religiously and work extremely hard.I’m going to address the issues I see, because I know from past experience that the views Ihold important on how successful businesses are built can really make a tremendousdifference in your business, as it has for many of my coaching clients.This E-Book will communicate these issues, one by one, so that you will gain clarity aboutyour relationship with your business and how to grow it in a way that you’ve never knownbefore.It will show you how some of my clients businesses have achieved revenue increases of up to30%, and I’m going to show you some of the concepts that are responsible for this sort ofgrowth.Putting Business into PerspectiveBut, before we dive into growth strategies, let’s step back and put business development intoperspective. Let’s take a look atwhere your industry is todayand put it in perspective withan archetypal business. It’simportant to see how thetypical firm fits into the largerworld of business. Looking athow a typical business evolveswill give you some idea ofwhere the current state ofbusiness development is, andhow it’s changing.Understanding the currentstate of such business is criticalto your long term success.The Business Building SystemAn effective business building system is one that allowssmart but overwhelmed business owners to consolidateprofitability, eliminate wasted effort, and put the bestpossible version of their business on auto pilot, so theymultiply their income, spend less time in the businessand more on it, while everything runs and grows withhuge efficiency.
  11. 11. 12COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966 of all, many sectors are heating up again. Only last month I was reminded of howimportant the London based Olympics are to businesses in land based, food and drink, retail,tourist sectors.This means that more and more businesses are going to get a lot more serious abouthorticulture, food and drink, leisure and tourism and for each there are opportunities to addvalue.All this reminds me of the day-to-day pressures facing business owners. Business is gettingmore competitive. Markets are becoming more and more concentrated. You’ve just got tolook at the power of the big food manufacturers, retailers, hotel groups and leisure centres.Now let’s imagine a large company coming into your niche. What will it do? It will do all thethings you do and more - and do them better and if you don’t have a business then they willmake things tougher for you – or at worst put you out of business.The reason is that big business always “knocks up” and steals the thunder of the smallindependent operators. And if you know anything about business or have witnessed the birthor growth of any industry you have already seen this model play out time and time again.When I talk about this, I tell people that if they haven’t built an actual business around whatthey are currently doing – and doing well - they ought to strongly consider creating onetoday, ASAP!But You Can Still Build a Successful BusinessThe reason I mention all this is that when you think about it this could just as easily be thecurrent state of marketing and business development in most niches into the rural and landbased business.Find a niche, design a product (or service), do some promotion and if it works continue todevelop it, if not, find another niche. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?More and more successful companies are coming into the market every day.Practically every week, more and more people want to bring their products and services intobeing, whether landscaper, B&B or food and drink producer.There are some very successful producers that have already made the transition to the“specialist” world that are continually looking for new niches at which they can point theirdeep resources of talent. This means there are an awful lot of people out there looking to takeyour business!
  12. 12. 13COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966 before I go any further, I want to share what a security guard in a supermarket once toldme. He said that the sensors on the clothing and the guards roaming around a store were notreally about catching shoplifters, they were to make the shop less appealing than other storesto shoplift in. In other words, the goal is to have more security than the other shops around –to force would-be shoplifters to go where it’s easiest to steal!In a way this is an allegory forbusiness owners. The importantthing is to create the same effect inthe niche that you operate in. Yourintention should be to build abusiness that works so well; onewhere you have enough products itmakes competing with youundesirable.Why? Highly developedcompetitors will come toappreciate that you can take yourfront end products and give themaway free, as your income won’t beaffected because your cross-sells,up-sells and back-ends will giveyou your revenue.And the good news is that you still have time. You can still mark out your niche and build areal business in it… Now let’s look at a few obstacles that currently stand in your way…Obstacles to Achieving Your Business SuccessNow that you know how markets tend to evolve, and that you should be focused on buildinga real business, let’s take a look at the obstacles you might face in actually creating a realbusiness that has staying power and long life.Just by pinpointing and eliminating these problems, you’ll be able to grow your businessfaster (and easier) than you ever thought possible. These are the sameWhat is the Point of this Book?I have for many years now I’ve been personally coaching some enterprising business ownersand managers. In many cases the fundamental problem most business owners andmanagers experience is the same one – a lack of focus on long term business development.A MATTER OF APPROACHOPPORTUNISTICMost business ownerswho struggle, are busywith the day to day oftheir business and takean action based on whatis appealing at a givenmoment in time.In other words as anappealing opportunity todo something comesalong – they grab it!STRATEGICSuccessful businessowners and managershave an end in mind!They have a vision,develop differentoptions to achieve it,and they select the onethat is the best.They ask – continually– when faced withdecision making ‘whatis the best thing Ishould do to bringabout my vision?’
  13. 13. 14COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966 me explain what I mean with a simple overview of the problem starting with somesymptoms...• The Symptoms: A propensity to adopt new ideas to solve short termproblems. Buying anything like; advertising and new technology and services,recruiting a PR agent to raise sales and cutting back on staff when things beginto look a little difficult. These solutions all look like they will make money, butin fact they produce few or no results.• The Cause: Opportunistic thinking and• The Real Business Problem: Lack of StrategyThe very first obstacle we need to look at is you and your thinking! The table opposite showswhat I believe are two different and diametrically opposed approaches to building a business.The one is strategic or entrepreneurial in outlook and the other opportunistic.An opportunity seeker is someone that is continually looking for the chance to make a bigkilling at the opportune moment. Their only criteria is; “Can I make money from this?” Sotoday it might be E-commerce, tomorrow an event and then it’s something else, andyesterday it was some other big concept already forgotten. They could be people for examplethat might be tempted into advertising when their promotional budget is geared to someother form of publicity.In short opportunity seekers buy lots of products and services, but they use only a few ofthem, and the ones they do use are put into touch when the next so-called “easy” or “best”way to grow the business comes along. The question this sort of business owners asks is;“What’s the easiest way for me to grow my business right now?”An effective business owner, or true entrepreneur, on the other hand, is analtogether completely different person. He or she will have a clear vision ofwhat he or she wants the business to become. Often this comes from a‘flash of insight.’ Ultimately it means that they have a platform for realbusiness development.Such people can analyse their own strengths, as well as their competitors’ strengths,marketplace preferences and formulate different strategies for achieving their vision. Andthen after reviewing the pros and cons of each strategic alternative they single out the onestrategy most certain to successfully achieve their vision.A related point is this; following their ideal strategy, and not today’s ‘rocketscience’ that everyone is endorsing, is the way forward. Moreover, theentrepreneur knows that his biggest opportunity lies inside the business; he knows that his
  14. 14. 15COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966 skills and business competencies, when aligned to any opportunity are going to helphim achieve real success.And here’s another point that any seasoned sales person will confirm. It’s about 100 timeseasier to sell to an opportunity seeker than it is an entrepreneur. Why? Because theopportunity seeker has no solid decision making criteria to buy with – if you can convincehim or her that they can get more customers and either save or make money with it, you’vemade your sale.An entrepreneur, on the other hand, has to assess what you are offering with the demands oftheir current plans – will it make it easier for them to achieve their vision? Is this somethingthat fits into their current approach and if it does, is it superior to what they are currentlydoing?What’s the point of all this? Well, it’s this; the overwhelming majority of business owners arenothing more than opportunity seekers! They have no strategy, they hop from one approachto another, and while they may have some arbitrary revenue goal they have no vision of thebusiness they have to create in order to achieve it. And since they don’t have a clear visionthey cannot follow any sort of detailed plan to accomplish it.So they end up buying anything and everything that comes with the promise of easy resultswith the hope that this is ‘going to be it’ – this is their big chance to make it big. Theyespecially love (and fall victim to) promises of huge rewards with little to no effort.Let’s say that you are by now either convinced that you need to be an entrepreneur and builda business, or you already knew it. Now, let’s talk about what will stand in your way….
  15. 15. 16COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966 Business Design Results in You Doing all theWorkThe table below shows the typical business activities and processes used to transformresources into outputs of products and services.Even though different businesses vary in the nature of their specific inputs and output, allbusiness operations conform to this general framework. But this rather simplistic impressionof a business belies the true scope and diversity of activities that make up a business.When you actually consider what has to be done in a business the business model begins totake on a very different set of colours!Now for the pièce de la résistance…If you are ready to see what this business model really looks like, brace yourself and lookover the page.ProductionCustomerProjectResourceMarketingStrategyCapacityStrategicManagementOperationsManagementResourceManagementIs this yourbusiness?PriorityDesign
  16. 16. 17COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966, isn’t that something?Frustration, Hard Work and Marginal ResultsIf you’ve ever felt annoyed with your progress, or frustrated because you’re unable to workon the business since you’re overwhelmed with the volume of work you need to get done, orjust plain tired – is there any wonder why?And here’s the really exasperating thing, even though this model is the one that mostbusiness owners are following, do you know what they spend an overwhelming amount oftime on? Searching for more activities, tactics, and campaigns s to squeeze in to the chartabove…it’s quite incredible, isn’t it?Surely, if you aren’t able to do all the things you’ve got to do, or already want to do - why onearth would anyone spend any more time looking for more to do? But believe it or not most!Since when isMOREthe solution to havingTOO MUCHProductionCustomerProjectResourceMarketingStrategyCapacityStrategicManagementOperationsManagementResourceManagementOr is thismore likeit?Vision, Values, Reputation,Strategic Health, Problems,Opportunities, Operations,Structure, Work Design,ImplementationPerformance PromiseObjectives, Brand,Offer, Pricing,Channels, E-Com,Direct Mail, Research,Forecasts, Sales, Up& Cross Sells, Front &Back End Sales, AfterSales, Service,Loyalty, Building,NPD, Range,Merchandising,Promotion,Warranties, CalendarLeadership,Workforce Plan,Skills, Motivation,Culture,Creativity, Pay,Reward,Recruitment,Development,Retention,OutsourcingProject PlansPerformanceSchedules,Launches,PromotionsPlan,Synchronisation,Lean, JIT, LeadTime, Schedule,OperatingExpense,Kanban System,ContinuousImprovementTQM, Suppliers,Materials, QC, Stock,Delivery, Collection,Process, Design,Cell Layout,MaintenanceFrequent Sales,High CustomerService, HighProductivity (forlow cost)Growth, Turnover, Profit,Gearing, Budget, C/Flow,Funds, Debtors,CreditorsUnique StrategicPosition, Game Plan,Core Competence,Competitive Advantage,ImplementationPlan, Necessity,Sufficiency, AdjustmentMasterProductionSchedulePriorityDesign
  17. 17. 18COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966 owners and managers actively seek the latest idea or next opportunity to do whatthey want to better than they do now.The simple fact is that all that happens is that they simply add more and more to their to-dolist of things that simply aren’t going to get done!The illustration you have just seen is the map of the work of managing a business. Make nomistake, the individual manage or business owner that succeeds in business is aSTRATEGIST and a manager. But there are many that are, for one reason or another,diametrically opposed to this mind-set and approach to business building. Most areOPPORTUNIST by nature and regrettably short on strategy.So here’s a question for you…The solution to having too much is not to go and find more to do! It is to stop what you aredoing for a moment and ask yourself; “ Have I been following a rather haphazardplan of adding more and more tactics and activities to my list of things to dorather than thinking about the results I should be achieving?”And if you’re organisational chart looks anything like the one on the next page, you’ll bedealing with the here-and-now in ever decreasing circles, wondering why you are notachieving the level of success you’ve always wanted.This is the typical organisational chart for most people running a business, particularly asmall one. Can you work out what you do – or should really be doing in your business?The thing is to STOP this model. You will never manage or make a successful business orhave the lifestyle you want if you continue down this path. But you can make the change fastif you do the right things.The question to ask yourself is this: “Did I start a business to create a job for myself or tocreate a business?” If you’re like most business owners – you created a job. Typically mostbusinesses are run by “Do-it-Your-Self-ers!”This type of business owner doesn’t want to be dependent on other people for revenues andincome; they know things will be OK because they adopt an “I’m doing it” type of approach.They like to take control and do it on their own. And their credo is; “I know it’s going to begood because I’m doing it.”
  18. 18. 19COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966 the business owner that lets the business do the work is the direct opposite of this group.These business owners actually surround themselves with bright and enterprising peoplethat they can work with to help them do the work of the business. The upshot is that theymove into a management mode! The credo of this group is; “Recruit and manage someone todo it for you.”The question to ask yourself is: “Do you run a business to create a job for yourself or to createa business?” because if you’re like most – you’ve probably created a job.Only a few business owners let their businesses do the work – most business owners andmanagers are doing the work – and invariably the wrong work. If you are growing a businessand earning more and still doing the work you are not running a business you are doing thetechnical work of the business, and probably moving into overwhelm. So you should bethinking of changing.
  19. 19. 20COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966 here’s the scary bit; you are working for a madman!!!One of the odd things I’ve noticed though when I’ve spoken with business owners andmanagers is that they recognise the situation and yet do nothing to change it…and isn’t thisthe way Lemmings go?One last point on this is: Once you have got your business into revenue generation mode andyou want to go forward, and I’m assuming you do, you have got to go into managementmode. This means allowing others to do more of the technical and administrative work. We’lllook at this later but for now…What Does it Take to Be a Strategist?For one thing being a Strategist doesn’t mean that you direct the work of others or do yourwork by getting others to do it for you.This wouldn’t do justice to management – and that is what being a strategist is all about. Abusiness can only think, act and behave as its managers do; on its own a business has noeffective existence. This together with the fact that the test of a strategist is the businessperformance he produces, the strategist simply has to manage.So what is the management role of the strategist? Three things basically. Let’s look at them:Manage the BusinessManaging is about taking action to achieve desired results. A manager is a creator; creator inthe sense that the manager seeks to find strategies for changing circumstances.The strategist has to live in the present and the future. He has to manage current profitabilityor else there will be no future.Thus the strategist must produce products and services required by customers at prices theyare willing to pay now and in the future. It goes without saying that the more proactive andcreative the strategist, the more the company has of being in tune with its customers and twosteps ahead of its competitors!Manage ManagersThe second function of a strategist is to make people and material resources fully productivein the business.
  20. 20. 21COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966 this in mind it’s no good seeing people as ‘rank-and-file-workers’ doing things as youdirect, without responsibility or share in the decisions concerning their work.The thing to appreciate is that many ‘rank-and-file-jobs’ are in fact managerial ones, andwould be more productive if made so! And so it follows that actually managing managersactually makes a business! Consequently to manage managers is to make resourcesproductive by making a business out of them.Manage Workers and WorkThe final function of management is to manage workers and work. This means managingworkers ranging from the totally unskilled to the accomplished; from the cleaner to themanager.It also means organizing work so as to make it more appropriate for people, and organisingpeople to make them work most productively and effectively.All this entails considering people as having, unlike any other resource, personality,citizenship, control over whether they work, how much and how well, and thus requiringmotivation, participation, satisfaction, incentives and rewards, leadership, status andfunction.It is management and management alone that can satisfy these requirements. Forthey must be satisfied through work and job and within the business andmanagement is the activating function that will make this happen! Trying to do alittle better is not a business strategyLet’s look go on a little further and return to the remarks about strategy that I made earlier. Isuppose the big question I would like to ask you is this:Do You Have a Strategy?You see when you think about it almost everybody’s strategy is invariably to do the same aseveryone else but just try to do it a little better.And if you think about this a little further you’ll realise that this is not a strategy at all. Thistype of thinking falls far short of entrepreneurship; it’s simply opportunistic and utterlyflawed.How many people have fallen victim to this line of thinking, acting like an opportunistmistakenly believing they were being strategic. Even though they might be increasing
  21. 21. 22COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966 and profit they’re really working much harder than ever before and often feelingfrustrated, overwhelmed and exhausted.Take Nick, for example, he told me that the first three years of his business development hadbeen the longest three years of his life. He made cheese but in truth Nick’s business was notabout cheese – it was really all about work.He told me that he got up at 4.00 am to open for business, make cheese, deliver tocustomers, clean up, reconcile the cash register, go to the bank, have something to eat andget everything ready for tomorrow’s production. By the time he did all that it was 9 or 10 atnight. And why? Because someone said that he should go into business because he couldmake good cheese.It started as a labour of love. But it had become oppressive!If you identify with anything you’ve read so far you should feel a sense of relief, because thetruth is you’ve been working harder than you need to for a fraction of the results you deserve.Do You Know What An Hour Of Your Time IsWorth?Have you ever really thought about your time? Time is all you have. It’s a scarce resource.Even before you begin to think about the value of your time have you ever wondered just howmuch time can be lost to distractions? Let’s explore the point a little further before we moveon to value aspects. Taking a typical week how many hours do you think you can lose fromeach of the following distractions?
  22. 22. 23COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966 after double counting, people have said that they can lose as much as 12 hours per weekaround 20% on a 60 hour week! The implications are stunning!Clearly we need to think about how we spend our time and on what we attend to – and this iswhy an appreciation of the value of time is so important.The Value of Your TimeThe reason you are not achieving the kind of revenues in your business or working theamount of hours you want is that you have not made it a point to continuallyincrease the VALUE OF YOUR TIME.For the sake of clarity let me explain this a little further … All time has value; and theway you think about time and think about yourself will affect everything thathappens to you inside and outside your business. In short, you have to valueyour time before anyone else will.I’m always surprised at how many people don’t seem to have any idea what the value of theirtime is, or how to increase the value of their time. So, my question is …Interruptions from other people Fatigue, tiredness, low energy Worry, concern about the business Meetings that overrun IT interruptions Stress trying to do something that we don’t quite understand Trying to find something Indecision about a course of action Side-tracked by emails Diversions Total hours 
  23. 23. 24COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966“…What is Your Time Worth?”Do you know what your time is worth? Do you know what your time needs to be worth toachieve your revenue goals? Here’s the point behind these questions…If you don’t know what your time is worth and what it needs to be worth, then you cannotmake effective decisions on what activities you should be spending your time on and whatactivities you should have others do for you.So, let’s roll up our sleeves and work out together what the value of your time should be toget you where you want to be. But before we do let’s set out some practicalities that will helpyou focus your attention and effort on specific activities to grow your business.First of all take your revenue goal and subtract what you are making from it. Then take 10%of the difference and add that back to what you are currently making as your short term goal.I know it’s pretty simple – yet what you’re doing is concentrating your mind on what to do toachieve your short term goals along the way to reaching your long term goal.Your Revenue TargetWhat is your revenue goal?£Revenue attainment forThe past 3 months?£Forecast revenue forthe next 12 months?£Goal £Forecast £Target £Target £x10%Target + 10%Target + 10% +Revenue forecastREVENUETARGET
  24. 24. 25COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966’ve created a table to take you through this process because it shows the basisof the time calculations we are going to do together.You enter your revenue goal in the first row of the left hand box. Then, in the box below thatone, enter the amount you made during the past three months.Now calculate your forecast revenue for the year and enter it in the lower bottom box.Then simply subtract the amount you are on track to make from the revenue goal you wantto achieve. This gives you the amount you need to increase your revenue by to reach yourgoal.Next multiply this shortfall by 10% and then add this to what you are currently making. Incase you are a little bewildered, read on, I’ve set out an example to help. If you follow alongthen you will see a revenue goal of £1 million per year, and that this business owner made£40k over the past 3 months, which means he’s heading towards an annual turnover of£160k.Your Revenue TargetWhat is your revenue goal?£Revenue attainment forThe past 3 months?£x 4Forecast revenue forthe next 12 months?£1,000,000160,00040,000Goal £Forecast £Target £1,000,000840,00040,000Target £x10%Target + 10%Target + 10% +Revenue forecastREVENUETARGET840,00084,000160,000244,000
  25. 25. 26COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966 we subtract the £160k he’s making from the million he wants to make you will see he’s£840k short. So, if we take 10% of the £840 to get £84K, we can add this to the £160K he’sforecasted to make and we arrive at a short term goal of £244K. The complete picture isshown in the table. Alright, so you now have a new financial target to aim at. But how are yougoing to get there?Well to start with you need to make some changes if you are going to do it, and this meansthat you’ll need to change the amount of money you are able to generate per hour worked.The Difference Between Productive and WastedTimeThe table immediately above shows you more about the value of time than you may haveseen before.Let’s Find Out TogetherWHAT YOUR TIME IS WORTHHow much do you want to earn in the next 12months?How many days per week do you work?How many hours a day do you work?How many weeks per year do you work?Total available hours to you to produce yourdesired income.What you must generate per hour.Divide by 60 to get your minute rate .
  26. 26. 27COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966 the first line enter the amount you arrived at for your short term target from the previoustable. Then fill out the number of days per week you work and the number of hours youwork every day.Now, what is PRODUCTIVE TIME? Before I answer the question, let me tell you aboutsome advice a good friend of mine gave me. I had remarked how impressed I was with hisoutput, and how he always seemed to be so productive.The consequence was that he told me to go out and get an alarm clock and set it for 60minutes and then just work on building profit during those 60 minutes – nothing else.I did and let me tell you, that at first it wasn’t easy – I frequently had the urge to break off, toget some coffee, or get up for a stretch, or deal with numerous inconsequential littleinterruptions. But eventually I was able to go a complete hour, full throttle on nothing butprofit building activities.I learnt the lesson because this is what productive time is all about. Productive time is timedirectly linked to generating income. So what percentage of your time are you productive?Before you answer the question though consider this: one study of managing directorsestimated that of all the time they spent at work 28 minutes of it were productive. Anotherone estimated it at 38 productive minutes a day. Sounds incredible, doesn’t it? Only 28 or 38minutes a day? But think about what a senior manager does and how much time he or she isactually able to concentrate on profit building activities.Since you may not have the same level of responsibilities as a managing director of a largesized business you’ll have a lot more productive time to play with. But productive timedoesn’t just appear! You have to be focused and disciplined to make productive time – andthen be productive!Here are some examples of non-productive time; talking to friends, surfing the internet,checking and reading email, answering your phone, studying and learning time, checkingweb site stats, organising your desk and cleaning your office.Reading management books or attending one day courses, even if they reveal the mostpowerful secrets on growing and developing business that have ever been written, is notproductive time.This is a very important distinction because so many opportunity seekers confuse learningwith earning. New knowledge has no worth to your business unless it’s implemented andacted upon.
  27. 27. 28COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966 course, I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t spend any time on these activities. You needto spend time learning, and you do need to network and talk to your colleagues and friends.The point is that this is not what we would consider productive time. These activities aremaintenance activities. This is what you have to do. You can’t consider such time asproductive time because it doesn’t build a business, it doesn’t increase revenue.Productive time is time spent creating products, marketing products, improving yourmarketing processes, managing revenue generating projects, setting up joint ventures, andputting scale into your business. But there is something even more profitable and strategicthan productive time, this is called SUPER PRODUCTIVE TIME which you can createwhen you build a system around any of your business development activities.Super-productive time is characterised by systems you create around your principle revenuegenerating activities. For example super-productive time would be creating systems thatcreate products and creating systems that market your products.I remember when I was a young salesperson working for a Plc. I didn’t have to produce allthe sales literature I just got on with the sales. Then when I was marketing industrial marineequipment in my first company, I didn’t have to make the products, my job was to create andimplement the marketing plan and when I got into DIY marketing I didn’t do all theHow Many Productive Hours a DayDO YOU WORK?What percentage of time are you productive? Studies show that most MDs are productivefrom between 28 to 38 minutes per day.Super Productive Time Productive Time Non Productive TimeCreating Systems that:- Create products- Market products- Build scale- Achieve more productivity- Creating products- Marketing Products- Managing big projects- Creating scale- Talking to friends- Surfing the net- Reading email- Answering your phone- Studying /learning- Tidying your office
  28. 28. 29COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966, my job was to define the strategy and see to it that our advertising agents andsales people got on with the sales.In other words when you build a business the person in charge does all the strategic things –a person who works on the WHAT– not the HOW.Each business I worked in continued to grow whether I worked a day that month or not –new products and services were developed each and every year – and that is why the timespent on investing in and creating revenue producing systems is SUPER-PRODUCTIVEtime.Let’s get back to you and the number of productive and super productive hours you have aday. Do you have an hour of productive time a day? Or is it more like two hours? What’s yourmost conservative estimate of how much of your time is productive time?Unless you have really focused on maximizing your productive time before, I wouldn’t thinkthat you are spending more than two hours on productive time every day.Remember, we are speaking of specific income generating activities only!Let’s Find Out TogetherWHAT YOUR TIME IS WORTHHow much do you want to earn in the next 12months?How many days per week do you work?How many hours a day do you work?How many weeks per year do you work?Total available hours to you to produce yourdesired income.What you must generate per hour.Divide by 60 to get your minute rate .£244,00061050600£406.67£6.78
  29. 29. 30COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966 with the data we have drawn up earlier, we can complete the process and find outwhat your time is worth based on your revenue targets. The table below spells out the detail.If you recall our task is to reach an annual goal of £244,000.Now if you work 6 days a week and spend approximately 10 hours a day working in thebusiness and you are able to generate 2 hours of productive time a day, this leaves you with12 hours a week completely fixed on revenue building activity.Now multiply the 12 hours by 50 weeks and you have 600 hours a year to achieve your goalof £244,000.This means you have to generate an average £406.67 gross income for eachproductive hour that you have. Or more to the point you need to make £813.22 each day sixdays a week, fifty weeks a year.Two of the Best Ways to Boost Your ProductivityIf you are asking yourself how you can possibly achieve your hourly rate everyday let aloneincrease it you’ll find that you won’t find the answer in a text book or on a home studycourse. You’ll find that there are two answers to your question.The first is that you need to build scale into your business, so that you, the businessowner or manager, can obtain the maximum amount of leverage possible.That’s why knowing your hourly rate is so important. It exposes you, possibly for the firsttime, to the reason why you aren’t building the kind of business you’ve always tried to designand build. And the answer is your business is not currently set up to help you achieve andthen surpass your hourly rate!The second reason for knowing your hourly rate is that it serves as the benchmark for whichactivities you should personally be spending your time on and which activities you should beoutsourcing or delegating. The trick is to consistently concentrate on those activities that canraise your hourly rate. And to begin to delegate and outsource what needs to be done thatcosts you less than the hourly rate you need to generate.The question that you have to continually ask is this; ”What can I do to build the business?When you realise that your current business design and structure won’t support what it isyou want to achieve, and when you realise that you have a real chance to make somechanges, you will restructure your time and find the path to success.But most of us don’t see this and continue to delude ourselves into thinking that if we workeda little harder or introduced a new product we’ll achieve our goals – if we have any.
  30. 30. 31COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966, let’s pause for a moment and summarise a little before going on. You have just set youreyes on two crucial concepts that can help you raise your hourly rate – scale and outsourcing.Now let’s take a look at the first of these; scale.Using Scale and Leverage Can Make Your BusinessMore SuccessfulIt’s not possible to go into great detail here, but I can certainly get you started in thinkingabout this really supportive concept.Take a look at the graphic over the page. The first point to note is that most people never getclose to making their hourly rate because they mistakenly believe that what’s preventingthem from achieving higherrevenue targets is absentknowledge.And while there might be anelement of truth to the missingknowledge theory, it’s really onlyrelevant if you have very limitedmarketing and businessdevelopment know-how. If youdon’t fall into that category thenknowledge is not your primaryproblem. Let me illustrate mypoint about building leverageinto your business, with a story.Quite often I am asked to lecturein marketing and businessstrategy at Magna CollegeBusiness School, Oxford. Now, since there is always some overlap in the two courses I run, Ithought that the best way of preparing for both was to draw the related themes from the twocourses together.This meant that I was then able to spend more time preparing one subject (but less than Iwould have spent on two) but still end up with delighted cohorts happy with their examgrades having spent less work than would have originally been required if preparing andpresenting one subject.BUILD SCALE INTO YOUR BUSINESS!If you are unsure about how to generate profitsover your hourly rate usually you have a leverage(scale) problem – not a deficit in knowledge.You increase scale by:1. Increasing one or more of the variables of anyprofit producing formula.2. Developing and implementing a business planthat creates leverage through a tight focus anda unique strategic position.3. Separating out activities that generate moreincome than they coast to get done.
  31. 31. 32COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966 you see what I’m driving at? The goal in the business school is to obtain as many highgrades as possible, and the goal in business; high profits. Thus anything that makes yourcurrent business activities more profitable without more work is increasing your leverage.You see leverage is a strategy for getting the best or highest return possible from yourinvestments in time, money and effort. Leverage is what successful business people use toachieve greater success – and far, far quicker than their competitors! It is also why theymove ahead further and faster than anyone else.Think of it Like ThisObviously, it costs you the same amount of time and money to send a mail shot; whether ornot it generates new business for you. So, if you send a mail shot and it generates £100,000in new profits, the cost to you of that mailing is no higher than it would have been, had themail shot failed.If you leverage a mail shot by sending a great letter, with a compelling offer, to a targetedaudience, with an endorsement from one of their trusted contacts – you will achieve betterresults. Follow that letter up with a phone call and you will maximise the results evenfurther; often increasing the return by a factor of 4x, 5x or 6x!In short you will have leveraged the investment you made in that mailing, by getting thehighest possible return for the cost of each letter. You will have achieved more success fromone mailing than most people do from a years’ worth of mailings – and at a tiny fraction ofthe cost, time and effort too.The thing to make sure of, though, is to ensure you are only investing your time, money andeffort in activities that are high-return or ‘upside leverage’ activities. After all; there’s nopoint rowing your boat as hard as you possibly can – in the WRONG direction. You have tomake sure you are doing the right things, before you make sure you are doing things right!Working More on the Business and AchievingMoreThere is a further important and related point that you should be aware of and that is this.You should see that the work you do in your business should serve you in as many ways aspossible. You can do this by concentrating on one niche, developing a full funnel of products,and introducing cross-sell, up-sells, and back-ends to your customers.By continually working in that one niche – every successive product you launch becomesmore and more profitable. This means that your leverage continues to get bigger and bigger.
  32. 32. 33COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966’s say that you have 200 customers and 5joint venture partners for your first product,when you launch your second product youalready have a list of customers to make an offerto and you have your original 5 partners to growfrom.In addition, any new customers you get fromyour second product launch might be impressedenough that they want more of what you have tooffer so they search and find your first productand they buy that too. And so forth.This is creating scale and leverage in a nutshell. Obviously there are much more advancedmethodologies and strategies, but if you are not tightly focused then these won’t help you.The bottom line is that if you can’t earn your hourly rate right now – you’ve got to getfocused so you can start gaining more and more leverage. This is so important.What is Marketing?Let’s start with a question. The quintessential one! “What is marketing?” I just wonder howmany people have really asked that question and what’s more I just wonder how manypeople have answered it with something like; “Advertising or promotion or sales!”Well what do you think it is? ......The issue is this… Many people have great products and services. But when they start to sellthem, they are unable to convince their prospects and customers of their products’ benefits.Getting your marketing right is critical to your success, but many people who manage – orrun their own – businesses have never been shown the best way to do it. This costs them tensor even hundreds of thousands of pounds in wasted effort, time and resources, not tomention all the lost business.So “What do you think marketing is?”If you said something like this; “That the aim of marketing is to know and understand yourcustomer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself” give yourself a pat on theback.GREAT MARKETINGSTRATEGIESMake your prospects andcustomers desire yourproduct or service so muchso that they come to you sothat selling is made to besuperfluous!
  33. 33. 34COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966 is not about trying to persuade some faceless aggregation of customers to see ityour way.It is about a dialogue over time with a specific group of customers whose needs youunderstand in depth and for whom you develop a superior of value which puts you in tunewith your customers and two steps ahead of your competitors – so much so in fact that theyCOME TO YOU, you don’t have to go to them. Powerful Marketing Strategies that No OneTeachesIf your attempts to grow your business have met with sluggish results even though you havegot the other result areas that are presented in this Business Growth Series in place – it’salmost certainly your MARKETING TACTICS that are holding you back and restrictingyou to lacklustre results.Let’s look at some of these tactics now.Quite simply we can separate marketing tactics into two camps; “Front-End,” and “Back-End.”You can think of “Front-End“, as the first sale; the pipeline that brings new customers intothe business. The “Back-End” is the product (or hopefully the series of products and services)that you sell to your customers after they have purchased your initial offering.The question to ask now is what tactics you should use in each area. They are:Front-End: The Marketing and Sales Activities designed to acquire new customers.Back-End: The Marketing and Sales Activities designed to maximize the profitability ofeach and every customer relationship.Clearly front-end marketing is vital for your long term business success. This is why it’s soimportant to inject the power of marketing into your business so that you can increase thenumber of customers that come to your business as a continuous flow…People buy for emotional needs and those emotional needs are never fulfilled. Your role as amarketer or as the business owner is to continue to exploit those needs because it’s theemotional void that creates the desire to buy that never gets fulfilled by the purchase of theproduct or service. Therefore, in order to do your job right, you need to have multipleproducts and premium offers on offer throughout the length of your pipeline – or at theback-end.
  34. 34. 35COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966’ll always generate more revenue from back-end offers than from front-end ones. Theyoffer a much higher conversion rate, they usually sell for more money and you can make abigger percentage on theprofits on them too. Andit’s always easier to sell toa customer than aprospect.But remember the longterm; you must havecustomers coming into thebusiness. You can’t justrely on your loyalcustomers. By the way, ifyou have competition thenyou can bet that most arecompeting at the front-endand trying to attack yourfront-end offers with theirown so as to eventuallyweaken and erode the strength of your own USPs and offers.The question though is this; are you doing any type of marketing whatsoever, and if you arewhere is the focus of your efforts?Let’s Get Back to Business Strategy for a Moment!If you recall the original question was: Do you have a strategy? And if you remember I saidthat trying to do a little better is not a business strategy. You see, when you think about italmost everybody’s strategy is invariably to do the same as everyone else but just to try to doit a little better.And if you think about this a little more you’ll realise that this is not a strategy at all.How many business owners have fallen victim to this line of thinking, acting like anopportunist mistakenly believing that they are being strategic?Even though higher sales and profits are on the radar how many end up working harder thanever before - often frustrated overwhelmed and exhausted in the process.If this is you, then you have most likely been working harder than you need to for a fractionof the results you deserve.
  35. 35. 36COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966 With the Right ObjectivesBoil it all down and essentially any business will make the headlines if it can sustain anincreasing FREQUENCY IN SALES.This can be achieved in two ways. The first is to meet and exceed customer demands forquality, produced on time every time at the right price with HIGH QUALITY CUSTOMERSERVICE.No customer wants to pay more for a product than he has to. So price is the third objective toattend to. Maintaining low labour costs are one way of doing this of course but so ismaintaining an INCREASING PRODUCTIVITY IN THE BUSINESS.You’d be surprised when I say that one major mobile network operator discovered that insome stores its customer facing staff was actually spending just 25% of its time withcustomers, against an industry average of 55-60%!Have you ever considered how much of your staff time is actually spent on sales-generatingtasks - and how much isn’t! Combine this with an appreciation of your competitors’ salesperformance and think what you might achieve if you did -there have been cases of triplingthe amount (and quality) of customer contact work and conversion!What is a Great Strategy?A great strategy beats the odds; because in the face of uncertainty, obstacles, and risk youdecide what course of action leads to success. Indeed a great strategy is about knowing whatpath to take, what course to follow, what unique position to hold and what means willachieve the end result.But where is the starting point? It is this; successful strategies are built on ‘creative insight’and ‘doing what you do best’ to provide superior value to the customer.I want to emphasise the supremacy of creative insight. Many public and private institutionsadvocate business planning as a panacea for successful business development. They are rightBUT ONLY TO A DEGREE.But I would say first give me the idea, or the insight that will put the business in tune with itscustomers and set it apart from its competitors - then let’s plan, but not before! If you’ve everread anything on business you see how any book on strategy will give up a page two if you’refortunate on creativity and innovation and get back into the solid and risk free world ofbusiness frameworks and models!!
  36. 36. 37COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966, the chiefmeans to ensuringsurvival and prosperity isto create and exploit aunique strategic positionin your company’scurrent business while, atthe same time, searchingfor new strategicpositions on a systematicand rolling basis.Have you ever heardof a Company called William Cook Ltd? Well here’s a story that will fire up anyone’simaginationWilliam Cook Ltd, a small and ailing, yet well-established family manufacturer of steelcastings, rose up from the recession of the late ‘70s to become the market leader in lowest-value segment in the industry.On taking over the company at that time, Andrew Cook, went completely against the trendand invested in increased efficiency, quality and capacity, at a time, remember, when outputhad been falling and capacity was double the volume of industry sales. Rivals thought he wasmad! Indeed, conventional thinking would have dictated that Cook milk the business andleave the industry or go into a higher-value and differentiated niche.But Cook’s investment completely transformed the business. Within a few years, sales hadrisen by 10% against industry losses and by the 1990s Cook’s had become the market leader.“What did Cook’s do to drive forward a highly effective strategy in difficulttimes” you ask? Three things that every successful business from Marks and Spencer 100years ago to Zara of the present day has carried off really well!To be successful means that a company must decide who will be its targeted customers,what products or services it will offer them, and how it will achieve all this in a productiveand effective way.22For more on how to create and exploit a unique strategic position, see The Strategic Manifesto, publishedby UBS, 2009THE FOUNDATIONS OF A UNIQUESTRATEGIC POSITION1. WHO are your company’s customers,2. WHAT should it offer them and3. HOW should it do this efficiently to achieve competitiveadvantage?
  37. 37. 38COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966 Superior Value Will You Offer YourCustomers?Now let’s examine these three essentials in further detail starting with thequestions of who and what. Both are fundamentally strategic; the answers to thesequestions, together with consideration of the underlying economics define a company’spositioning and offer of superior value.An important issue is to find and create ‘space’. Space is about breaking free - free to change,free to break away from sameness and free to do something new – free to create the future,free to develop what competitors may haveneglected or an area of latent demand.The issue is so important that managersshould view positioning – the relationshipbetween who and what as a major strategictask and, therefore, one that should not bewholly delegated to the marketingdepartment!How You Can Do ThisEfficiently to AchieveCompetitive AdvantageIn many ways this is the bit that people tendto forget about. Yet the real innovator willgive this a lot of timeThe question of how is also strategic. Theanswers bring what matters to customers in a way that offers additional value to them.Have you ever wondered how a successful dentist, or garden centre or farm shop achievesmore success than its competitors? Well, let me tell you it’s by giving attention to what are infact CRITICAL NON ESSENTIALS of business. These are the things that really, reallymatter to customers that will put you two steps of your competitorsIt is this that gives a company’s positioning sustainable competitive advantage. Thus ifbusiness strategy is about being different then the essence of positioning is to select and toCORE COMPETENCEWhat is your business really good atdoing?What skills, knowhow and activities isyour company good at doing to help youdeliver more value to your customers?• E - comms• Production process• Product development• Customer service• Reputation• Innovation
  38. 38. 39COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966 activities differently, or to perform activities that are different to those ofcompetitors.Isolate, Develop and Profit from Your CoreCompetenciesSuccessful business strategies are built on competitive advantage based on core competenceand strategic outsourcing. Peter Drucker, a favourite business writer of mine, once said thatany business owner should; “Do what you do best and outsource the rest!”Drucker is actually saying; make sure that you’re absolutely clear about the thing that you arereally good at doing or put another way; the distinctive competence that makes your businessspecial.Distinctive competence is the driver for product and market penetration and development.People think its market opportunity. But this is wrong.Great strategies are built on a clear appreciation of “what we’re good at doing” andconverting this into competitive advantage.If this sounds little strange please be assured it’s not meant to be!Look at the following examples. Who is it that is really good at data base management inretail (Tesco), producing electric motors for home improvement, kitchen and gardenmaintenance (Black and Dekker), and listening to customers (Apple).At the end of the day it’s your company’s distinctive competence that causes people to buyfrom their chosen suppliers.What is Your Business Good at Doing?The importance of the question: ‘what are we good at doing?’ cannot be overestimated. Forwhat you - and your business - can do that’s of real value for your customers will help youdifferentiate your business from your competitors.With this in mind it follows that if you concentrate on customers, products and a game planthat leverage your company’s principle strength you are more likely to archive success inyour market with a serious advantage over your competitors.
  39. 39. 40COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966 ‘Hearts and Minds’ LoyaltyYou can also build on your business’ strength by turning it into a compelling vision that canoften be more seductive than the product or service you offer. Most people in life haven’treally worked out their real purpose in life. This means that they’ll attach themselves tosomeone that has if given half the chance.This is much bigger than finding a niche because if you want to win over the ‘hearts andminds’ of your prospects you’ve got to go beyond the product to a cause – your businessstrength lends itself to being that cause. And this applies to the people that work for you too.After all they are your ‘internal customers’.The issue then is to be absolutely clear about the one thing that you are really good at doingor put another way; what distinctive competence makes your business special. It might besomething to do with safety, or durability, or size.While you should be awake to these strengths and work with them, there is another reasonfor such awareness. And it is that the knowledge of what you and your business can do wellforms the basis for strategic outsourcing.Producing CommitmentA little while ago I read an article on innovation which said that in western businesses, forevery 100 employees only 11 new ideas were forthcoming from the workforce. In Japanesecompanies the figure was nearer 3500!Thankfully those days are going!The difference comes from the fact that new idea generation is part of a system - or routine.A system that fosters new idea generation based on the empowerment of a workforce – inother words people are motivated to think up, solutions to problems and implement them.They don’t have to be big ideas they can be small ones. In fact a small idea may be part of anon-going flow of improvements. Think of the savings and gains that could be made.But many opportunist managers forget this. They think all new ideas should come fromthemselves. They forget about actively getting people routinely involved with improvementor radical innovation.
  40. 40. 41COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966 ProblemsIt has been said that 98% of an organizations problems can be solved routinely. However,the remaining 2% of a company’s problems – the problems that have the greatest effect on abusiness – require innovation to surmount.Simple solutions to many problems are often just nearby – waiting for you to find them,build cross-functional expertise and you’ll be able to find innovative solutions to oldproblems.The Bumper Car Business!In this imaginary scenario a recurrent problem frequently facing the manager of a travellingbumper car business was that nuts continually fell off one or other of the bumper cars duringdaily use.The issue was that the nuts presented a safety problem. It also meant that staff had to staybehind after the day’s work to look for them and put them back! And because the rink waspainted black it wasn’t easy to find each nut. They would often work long hours – for verylittle overtime pay.While the manager took the problem to the manufacturers to resolve he knew that it wouldtake months to get anything done. How on earth did he to resolve the problem? He decidedto ask the team to help.What do think they suggested?3Continuous Improvement (CI)Every member of your team should be encouraged to come up with ideas – however small –that could improve their particular job activity, job environment or any company process orplan for that matter. Your people should also be encouraged to implement their ideas assmall changes can be carried out by the people themselves and with very little investment oftime.Quick and easy CI helps eliminate or reduce waste, promotes personal growth and companyproductivity, provides guidance for employees, and serves as a barometer of your leadership.Each CI may be small, but the cumulative effect is tremendous.3If you want to check your answer call me on 01280 844966
  41. 41. 42COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966 is what Isobel took upon herself to do to improve things in her work…Isobel, a secretaryin a manufacturing business, devised an improvement that tackled her company’s orderprocessing system and saved considerable amounts of time and money.Order forms used to have blue, pink, yellow and white copies. One would be sent to thesupplier, and the others filed in various parts of the company. It’s was all very timeconsuming and expensive.Isobel’s idea was to print the order on headed paper and retain all the information in the PC.Simple at the time, but it enabled the business to get rid of all bits of paper and the storagenecessary for them. Probably something that wouldn’t have happened but for a CIBenefits of CIQuick and easy CI empowers employees, enriches the work experience and brings out thebest in every person. It improves quality, safety, cost structures and delivery. Above all theyhelp you improve productivity so that you can pass on savings to your customers while at thesame time help increase sales throughput and customer service.The Quick and Easy CI Process Works as Follows:The employee identifies a problem, waste, or an opportunity for improvement and writes itdown.The employee develops an improvement idea and discusses it with his or her supervisor. Thesupervisor reviews the idea within 24 hours and encourages immediate action. Theemployee implements the idea. If a larger improvement idea is approved, the employeeshould take leadership to implement the idea.The idea is written up on a simple form in less than three minutes. Supervisor posts the formto share with and stimulate others and recognizes the accomplishment.Try it for yourself.Bear in mind though it takes take time to adopt CI processes but when it’s doneit’s worth it in terms of the financial gains made.Concentrate on Process not ResultsSome time ago, I heard a story about a furniture business. This company decided thatbecause it was doing so well, it should expand into the piano business and also sell pianos!They went out and purchased a Steinway and took it apart to study all of the pieces. Then
  42. 42. 43COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966 made the same pieces themselves and built a piano. When they played it, nothing butthumps and bumps came out it!Discouraged and not knowing what they possibly did wrong, they decided that they wouldforget about the piano business. They reassembled the Steinway so they could sell it andwhen they had the same thing happened - thuds and bumps.This is how it is with many people and businesses. People tend to look at the results and notthe process that goes into creating a particular result. In order to build a piano, you need tohave studied instrument making and studied it for some time and understand a lot about it.You also need to understand and study musical theory. It could take generations to refinewhat is going on and to become proficient in making a good piano. There is just so muchthat goes into it.This is how it is with everything. You cannot just call yourself a piano company and startmaking pianos. You cannot just decide that you want to do something and expect immediatesuccess just by trying to copy an outcome. You need to understand the complete process thatgoes into what you are trying to do.What I have found is that once people have decided on a certain course the more they thenconcentrate on the process and substance of product or service delivery, the better they areable to do:The more people concentrate on results, the worse they do in the long run. The mostsuccessful companies are the ones who have the ability to excel in terms of the process. Themost successful workers and employees are the ones who have the ability to excel in theprocess.I am not saying that results do not matter, they do. But what ultimately matters and whatultimately makes people successful is when they concentrate on the process and how thingsare done.When you concentrate on process you can monitor and improve performance in customerservice and productivity. It is how you do things throughout everything that matters, andnot just the result that really count.Just think of all those companies that win t a job and simply try and make as much money asthey can as quickly as they can. They cut corners. It’s the people who don’t cut corners thatget good reputations and end up doing well over time.PROCESS IN THE RESTAURAUNT: In this business, there is essentially one thing youare doing: providing a customer with an ambience and experience of culinary and servicequality.
  43. 43. 44COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966 is the result of what happens when you do the work. This is what most restaurateurs inthe business concentrate on and it is why most of them fail to even moderately reach theirfull potential.Most people in the restaurant business, try cutting corners If you are looking at the businessfrom a distance without any form of understanding, it’s easy to think that all many chainsand independent restaurateurs do is create a menu and then find the people to cook andserve them.This simplistic understanding of the work is something that characterizes the way a lot ofrestaurant owners approach their business. Without going into too much detail, however,there is a much more in-depth way of looking at the work. The best restaurateurs are:• Constantly thinking about restaurant related issues and standards in their industry.• Meet with customers’ regularly.• Offer great service and build long-standing customer relationships• Know about the industry and the most important things happening in it.• Have highly developed research skills to improve their service offer.• Never compromise their integrity with employers.• Help people, even when it does not mean a short term reward.• Committed to doing their job throughout their careers.The entire process that you follow matters and the better that you do in each data point, themore likely you are to get the results you want.Think about the manufacturing a world-class piano. A lot of thought probably goes into eachlittle component of the piano. Whether it is the wood used, the thickness of the wood, thepolish of the wood, where the wood comes from, how the wood is sanded, how the wood isfitted into the piano, the glue that is used, the skills of the person working with the wood, themachine that the wood is compressed on (if it is even compressed) and more, the thoughtthat goes into each process matters. Every data point is refined and studied and probablyhas been being refined and studied for a long point in time.You too need to be focused on the process in your business. Pay attention to the smallinvisible things that collectively make a difference. Think of yourself as an instrument, like afine piano. It is the attention to everything that goes into you that will ultimately producethe best notes.So What Is Strategic Outsourcing?Well here’s a simple and straightforward example of what I mean.
  44. 44. 45COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966’s say that you have good email marketing skills but few in personal selling. What wouldbe a better use of time – to get on with product selling and spend less time on emailmarketing or finding someone to help with the personal selling while you get on with whatyou do best?The subject of outsourcing and recruitment concerns choices between core and non-corework. Remember the words of Peter Drucker? “Do what you do best and outsource the rest.”Ultimately the choice boils down to two alternatives:• Getting more customers with value based activity• Giving customers more valueAnd here is another point. Any task you can do that is multi tasking – is a task you shouldn’tbe doing.It’s too simple. You should be paying othersto do it. It should be delegated or not done atall.Multi-tasking is flawed as a practice. It’smuch easier to concentrate your attention onthings that it’s easy to do, so you should getothers to do the simple tasks so that yourfocus is the business, customer value andproductivity (as you have a limited amountof time).Remember the 80/20 rule? It applies heretoo. Concentration is the key to profit.Achieving more profit requires that youconcentrate your effort on the smallest number of activities that will produce the largestamount of revenue. Do you ever ask yourself; “What are the least number of activities I cando to generate the most amount of money?”Therefore, you should out-source or recruit with the goal of finding someone to carry outactivities for you to allow you to free up your time and create scale; people that can help youwith research, find niches, partners, write articles and copy, develop your e-commerce in payper click, personnel selling and general management.OUTSOURCINGFREES up your time so you canconcentrate on producing even morevalue for your customers.• Any simple task that you can doshould be outsourced to someoneelse so that you can get on with thebusiness• Anything you can’t do you shouldoutsource so that you can get on withusing your skills
  45. 45. 46COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966 Real Difference Between Outsourcing andOut-TaskingIn order to be successful inbusiness you simply mustlearn how to outsource anddelegate effectively.Unfortunately most peopleapproach the whole subjectwrongly. Their flawedthinking begins with the firstquestion that they askthemselves when consideringoutsourcing; “Where - or how- can I get this done thecheapest?”The answer to this sort ofquestion leads to a lot ofdisappointment, frustration, missed opportunities and heartache. The reason is that itdisplays a deep level of ignorance about what makes a business successful. Frankly, thequestion verges on the absurd…In the first place, it’s the wrong question because the cheapest outsourcing or recruitmentsolution is almost never the most reliable, nor the quickest, nor the most knowledgeable, northe best choice. When all is said and done, the old saying that ‘you get what you pay for’ isabsolutely true. And since we’ve already established that your time has value – when youcontinually spend time on an activity even though you outsourced it, it will cost you a greatdeal more than you might think.I recall a meeting in Birmingham, with a lady specialising in recruitment about three yearsago. I remember her telling me that she was in business to help people save money bymaking sound and reliable choices when it came to outsourcing and recruitment. I was alsostruck by the fact that her business was doing well. Really well in fact!Which Question Are You Asking Yourself WhenYou Consider Outsourcing?When you ask the question “Where or how can I get this done the cheapest?” you are takingan out-tasking approach. Your focus is on getting the activity done. When you take thisThe Facts on OUTSOURCINGA survey of companies buying andrecruiting revealed:reported that they have outsourcingchallenges because their companies lackproject management skills.reported that they lack a good process forspecifying work.said that they did not have the right metricsfor measuring performance.
  46. 46. 47COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966 you are forced to continually go through the selection process each and every timeyou need the job done. This is called ‘outsourcing turnover.’When you consider the total amount of time you dedicate to finding and selecting a person itreally can become quite expensive. What makes this approach even worse is that there isalways a greater risk in dealing with someone new rather than someone that has a trackrecord of delivering as promised.Outsourcing and recruitment is about developing long term relationships with people whohave expertise you don’t have. With this in mind the better question to ask is; “How can Imaintain access to a talented person who can do – or help me do __________ on a longterm basis, so I can seize on opportunities as they present themselves and be assured aquality job?”When you take this approach you end up building a team of independent and dependentpeople that will either help you directly or free you up to get on with your next businessproject. Over time, you and your team work better and better together and it will be yourcompany that will harvest most of the benefits.Some of my clients have told me that when they spent real time and money finding, retainingand managing the right sort of talent they thought it was money very well spent.How to Make Your Business and Your OutsourcingRelationships 10x More ProfitableNow we’re going to look at a way to make your business and your business relationships tentimes more profitable. But first, I have some bad news…The bad news is that even when you set out to recruit people and engineer outsourcingrelationships things can still go wrong. Take a close look at the problems shown in the tablebelow.My experience has shown these three causes are responsible for a lot more than justoutsourcing challenges. In fact, being deficient in any one of these three skill sets willcertainly stunt your business growth.Since each of these skills are so vital to your success let’s look at each outsourcing issueindividually.
  47. 47. 48COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966 3 Ways Work Should Be Carried Out In YourBusinessThere are three ways that work should be done inside your business; projects, systems andprocesses. So if you are working on an activity that’s ongoing, or something that is donemore than once you should develop a systemized way of running that activity in yourbusiness.If on the other hand it’s temporary, goal directed, has a beginning and an end, and is uniqueit should be managed as a project.One of the keys to making business more successful is to identify your most importantprocesses decide how they work and what they deliver and do everything possible to makeimprovements where necessary.To be quite frank with you it comes as a bit of a surprise to me that I’ve never heard anyoneelse talk about this distinction (between projects, systems and processes) because in a sensethis is really what entrepreneurship is all about!Being an entrepreneur is about developing, installing, and continually improving the systemsand processes inside your business while also being involved in a limited number of projects.You are an Untrained Project Manager, ManagingProjects!Project management is a very important skill for the strategist. Yet, most if not all thebusiness owners and managers I meet are untrained project managers, managing projects.Think about how bizarre that is!It is when you think that project management offers you the means to achieve your goals in acontrolled way. It offers you the system to organise, co-ordinate and communicate with yourteam whether they are outsourced or employed – all essential factors to the success of anycustomised project.
  48. 48. 49COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966 the things that come to mind when I think of the reasons for project managementare tighter budgets, diminishing resources, more and more time constraints, and competitivepressures – all of which point to the need to improve the ways we do business.Thus project management gives us the means to concentrate on priorities, overcomechallenges and problems, take charge of new and important initiatives and become flexibleenough to adapt to change and achieve higher performance and a higher probability ofsuccess in each project.Even though each project is unique in terms of scope and challenge, a systematic approachusing best practice is key to developing a new strategic position, restructuring your businessorganisation, managing new product development, product launches, research, marketingcampaigns, customer expectation and of course managing outsourcing relationships.My suggestion to you is that if you are managing projects, it would be a very good idea todevelop your project management skills. That’s why I recommend and teach projectmanagement to every client I have because it’s that important.After all project management is a discipline anda process that comes with a set of tools andtechniques that define a project’s goal, plans allwork to reach the goal, leads the project andsupport teams, monitors progress and optimisesthe resources used in order to reach and exceedthe outcomes from the project such as a newunique strategic position of a product launch.The penalties for not using - or even of poor -project management include: missed deadlines,cost overruns, poor workmanship, conflictsamong team members, redoing work to correcterrors, unclear directions, continuous changes,forgotten key tasks, poor morale of team, duplication of effort, etc. And all of this leads tomeagre customer service and reduced productivity.Given the nature of these types of consequence, project management should be viewed as atool that can seriously impact business’s success – particularly where new and large scaleactivities are planned. Effective project management will help you: meet or exceed customerexpectations, maximise the use of your resources (time, people, money, space, etc.), bring theproject’s goal to a successful conclusion on time and within budget, together withdocumentation for any needPROJECTSSYSTEMSPROCESSESThe 3 ways you can streamlinework in your business.
  49. 49. 50COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966 Work Should Be Done Inside Your BusinessA major challenge facing a business owner or manager today is the need for a good processfor specifying the work. If you could do this believe me you would achieve more leverage inyour business. The reason why people don’t, and why they struggle is due to an absence ofprocess and system in their businesses.Edward Deming, the father of the quality movement and the man responsible for Japan’srise after the Second World War said: “If you can’t describe what you’re doing as a process,you don’t know what you’re doing.”If I may say I couldn’t agree more. It’simpossible to achieve optimumperformance in your business withflawed processes.Process Management is one of thebest ways to document the way workshould be done inside your business.Most often, process focuses on meetingthe needs of the customer anddelivering a good or service that willfulfil that need. In many cases, thebusiness process is actually a collectionof interrelated processes that functionin a logical sequence to achieve theultimate goal.I know a lot of people have some words about McDonald’s foods but what is impressive is thepresence of process and system. How can they get a customer a burger, fries and a drinkwithin two minutes? Have you noticed now you can get a sweet, hot or cold drinks as well asa variation in burgers at prices that haven’t significantly changed in years?Imagine what would happen if something happened in the chain of activities that brokedown; order taking, grilling, toasting, boxing, dressing, frying, inspection, assembly andservice. Imagine what would happen if the people engaged in these activities were poorlytrained in their roles as well as in stock management, procurement and cleaning.The whole thing would fall down. That’s why having a tool as powerful as processperformance. It’s impossible to achieve optimum performance in your business with flawedprocesses.HOW CAN YOU CANMAKE YOURBUSINESS MORE EFFICIENT?PROCESS MANAGEMENT “If you can’t describe what you aredoing as a process, you don’t know whatyou are doing” Edward Deming Processes are activities, such as newproduct development, advertising, salesand planning. Once you know what you have got toachieve its very easy to improve andoptimise each activity you carry out inyour business.
  50. 50. 51COACHING BUSINESS01280 844966 experts tell us that 94 percent of any breakdown is due to faulty processes, nothuman problems, nor anything else. Problems arise for the reason that a breakdown in aprocess has occurred. That’s why having a tool as powerful as process mapping is crucial tostreamlining your current operation.What is a Process?Processes simply convert inputs into outputs. A key issue is to understand how each oneworks and what it delivers and then to experiment with ways to improve the rate at which itconverts inputs into outputs.For example, in one of the most important processes; sales, it is vital to monitor and improvethe way salespeople convert the people they meet (their inputs) into paying customers (theiroutputs).Fortunately there are hundreds of ways ofimproving the conversion rate here. Forexample, a now famous life insurancesalesman became a multi-millionaire just bychanging the first few words he said onmeeting a new prospect. While most of hiscompetitors answered the "So what do you dothen?" question with the words "I sell lifeinsurance"... a response that was guaranteedto empty the room in seconds. This particularsalesman answered with the words "I buy life insurance for people at the lowest possibleprice. Would you like me to buy you some?"... 19 words that made him a multimillionaire.Often the difference between success and failure, between stagnation and explosive growth,can be as simple as that! Other key processes and conversion rates could include:• How many units of raw material (inputs) it takes to make a unit of finished product(output)• How many sales leads (inputs) does it take your sales force to convert into sales(outputs)• Haw many first time customers (inputs) they convert into repeat customers (outputs)• How many customers (inputs) they get referrals from (outputs), and many more• How many advertisements (inputs) to obtain a contribution from new staff (outputs)HERE’S SOMETHINGWORTHWHILEREMEMBERING…What you can measure, you canmanage… and what you can manage youcan improve!