I am having a week away skiing, and I have told you before that I have a lifestyle that is pretty cool. I have a couple of companies and I don’t have to be there that often because my staff takes care of everything.
I have been called an entrepreneur. As I explained in a recent series, it’s more of a mind set. Being an entrepreneur is not a job.
My job as the founder of Marketing for Owners and the managing director of Fire Protection Online, is a way of doing my business and that is what it means to be an entrepreneur.
Now, I have stated that you can just be a business owner, and that is fine. You can be as happy as you like.
The only problem is, that it’s quite difficult to grow a single little business. It’s easy to manage it when it is little, but if you are going to grow it, you are going to need more staff.
I think being an entrepreneur gives you a lot of opportunities to get away and gives you an opportunity to think of things.
If you are clever enough, as you quite are, if you started one business, you can start others. Then you can make more money, and believe it or not, you can take more time off.
This is a weekend challenge, so this is what I want you to think about over the weekend.
#1 Have Written Goals With Deadlines
Goals without deadlines are just simply goals and dreams. Ones with deadlines are the goals you are actually going to take action on and finish before the deadline.
You will find out that this is the top similar trait of all successful people. They have continuous goals, some may be 90 days, some may last a couple of years, and then some lifetime goals.
Then when they hit the 90 goals, then they will come up with some more.
#2 Know Your Unique Ability
You have an extreme talent. You started this business, so you are brilliant at doing something.
To work it out, go through and write down everything that you do in a day. Be sure to note the time and what you did, such as 9:15 answer the phone.
Over a few days, you will get a pattern of what you do. You can group these into criteria such as admin tasks, you can also put down a section that says bad tasks and then one that says my tasks I should be doing.
Then, start making an effort to get rid of the ones you should not be doing.
#3 Delegate Effectively
When you need to get rid of those tasks you shouldn’t be doing, it doesn’t mean that they don’t need to get done, they just need to be given to someone else to do.
Like it says in E-Myth, if you want to grow your business, you have to work on your business, not in your business.
Your job is to grow the business, not do the admin tasks. There are plenty of people with great talents out there who would be perfect for doing that work.
If you own a shop, you really shouldn’t be standing at the counter serving people. I am sure there are other things you need to be doing with your amazing talents.
I am sure that there are other people who are capable of doing what you do. You have got to learn to let go.
Other people are very very good at doing jobs as well as you.
#4 Know Your Company USP and Make it Truly Unique
Your USP — or your unique selling position is basically what sets your company apart from the others. What makes you fantastic? And put that in the perspective of the customer in the features.
Don’t say “We are the biggest” “We are the leading” blah blah blah — they don’t want to hear it like that. They only want to hear it from their perspective.
They do not want to hear it from your point of view. Everyone can say, “we are the leading”… then you have to back it up with statistics and it is no use.
Make a unique USP — don’t say “we are…” that is not necessary and not helpful to the customer at all.
Put it in their point of view — what makes you unique from their point of view. What sets you out from the crowd and attracts you.
Think of some of the new big businesses that have sprung up — things like Alta Vista, Yahoo, things like that and they were doing great and everyone was happy.
Then Google came along with their single little box and the slogan “I’m feeling lucky”, and they took all the others out. It was pure genius.
#5 Communicate Your Vision Continuously
Now that you have your new USP, people need to know about it. You have a vision. Why did you go into business? Why do you think you can do it better?
Is it just because you didn’t like your job and you thought you could do something better? That’s fine but why did you pick this business?
There must be a reason for why you decided to do what you decided to do. Find that. Why did you think you would be different?
You had or have a vision so think about it. If you are really not sure what that is, you have to track back, because at some point or another, you will have had a brain storm.
You might have though, “You know what, we are going to set up a cheese shop, and we are going to do it like this because all of the other cheese shops and supermarkets are all full, and our difference will be this —
This is what we are going to offer the customers and we are going to be super successful”.
So find out what that is or what it was and communicate that to your staff, to your customers, so that they know.
Something that I have always said is, and this is mine — give people their opinion of you.
If you want people to know what you are famous for, tell them, give it to them continuously and they will just know it.
They don’t realize that you told them, they will just think that is it. But don’t forget your staff want to be on the same page, so be sure to communicate it.
This is really really an important point.
One of the reasons my companies do well, and the reason I am able to get away is because they know what the company is for.
Not like most people in a company who want to buy the Ferrari, and high end toys like that. They know what this is about. They know why I am hardly ever there and they know what their jobs are.
#6 Systematize Every Single Task in the Business
The reason for that is the people who systematize it is the people who do it, so by systematize, I mean write down what they do and how they do it.
Now, once they have written down a system, then you teach them how to do it — for example — answering the phone.
You simply write down, “We let the phone ring twice and then we answer it and we say “…..” and then we say “….” and we follow that up with “….”.
After they have written a system, give to someone who is a senior to check it. Then have someone else use the system to see if it works.
The point is — 1} if everything is written down, first of all everybody knows how to do their job, no excuses and the job gets done the same every single time.
This is how franchises like McDonald’s works.
That is how you systematize it.
But 2} sometimes staff leaves, moves on, or they get promoted to other jobs — so then who is going to do their job?
Sue, who runs one of my other companies, was hired as a customer service person. It was just her, me, and one other person.
She now runs my entire business. How cool is that? She has never run a business before in her life and she is really good at it.
So when Sue moved along to run the company, her job is already written out and explained how to do it, because it is systematized and we are continuously adding to it and improving the system.
And that’s it! Now — I am off of this ski lift and you are off to do your weekend challenge. I will catch you again on Monday.