These four core strategies will improve any business. Happy Monday to you! I hope that you had a great weekend. Here I am again, bringing you podcast #71 in my beautiful outside landscaped garden.
Next week, I’ll be in Vancouver so you will get to see the gorgeous Canadian landscape in my podcast videos next week. Now — let’s talk about those four core strategies I mentioned.
Strategy #1 – Delegating
Many people call it delegating, but I also call it outsourcing. You can do whatever you need to for your business, but delegating to a member of your staff or a member of your team is important. It’s not just delegating, but it’s delegating with full and complete trust.
A lot of owners like myself, are control freaks and deep down the reason is because we know that if we do it ourselves, we can do it perfectly. We do it exactly how we want it to be done. We don’t imagine anyone else will be able to do it like us.
Last week, when I was at my strategic coach meeting , this very topic came up a couple times. The night before I sat with one of the guys that is a top entrepreneur and he is very, very smart.
This guy was sharing his struggles with me, because he is a consultant and he found he could outsource some of the tasks but some of the things could only be done by him. He was the only one who had the skills to do it. He was sharing this with me over our evening meal. I didn’t have time to explain it to him, but that is a mindset problem.
I also had a discussion with someone else earlier that day. We did an exercise together and he was struggling to offload emails to another employee. He works in financial services and it’s very important that the emails are answered correctly.
He was scared that if he did hand them off to someone else, and they did it incorrectly, he then would have to undo their work, take it back under his wing and add it back to his tasks.
What I explained to him is to try and think back to when he first started answering those emails. I asked him, “Who taught you?” His answer to me was no one taught him. So then I asked him, “How did you figure it out?”
His response to me was that he just did it. I then reminded him that he taught himself and after time, he got better and better. Even though he’s done it for a long time, and has come across every situation, he learned how to answer them and how to deal with it.
When you delegate a task with trust, people are capable of doing anything. Do you think you are the world’s best email answerer? No, you’re not. What training did you have? Exactly. So all you need to do is put the effort into giving that person the right training and then the tools and then keep on training them, backing them up and supporting them.
If they get something wrong, realize that it is a great opportunity to teach them the right way to do it. Show them, then trust them again to do it the way you showed them to do it. If they’re the right person, they will get it right, they will free up your time, and you will never have to do it again.
Never stop teaching them.
Strategy #2 – Always Be Learning
That brings me on to the second core strategy. I mentioned it the other day. Always be learning. This is a very fast-moving world. I work online. In the ten years since I’ve had a business online, everything has gotten so fast paced. I couldn’t have done this a few years ago.
Things change, which means you need to be learning all the time. Now, I’m an old guy to a lot of you, and it has been said that old people don’t like to learn. I graduated from school 30+ years ago. I finished all that, and I don’t want to learn again but I’m prepared to learn because it benefits me and it’s not hard because learning these days is available for free.
Podcasts, books, groups, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google Plus communities, free membership sites, marketingforowners.com, blogs, fabulous blogs with information. There is not one place online that you cannot learn something.
Just stick to learning. Learn something every single day. If someone recommends a new type of phone or tool or an app, find out how it would help you. Ask a question. “How will this benefit me?
Strategy #3 – Goal Setting
Now, let’s talk about goal-setting. You won’t get anywhere unless you set goals, targets, and things to aim for. Personally, I set 90-day and 100-day goals. The 90-day goals are reviewed constantly. I then work with to-dos. There are many, many tools that you can use to keep up on daily tasks and to record and get back to things. Always set goals.
Strategy #4 – Communication
Lastly, we are going to talk about communication. You need to communicate with your customers. You need to communicate with your potential customers and you need to communicate with your staff and outsource assistants. You need to communicate all the time.
You need to talk to people and that’s a two-way communication. Remember the old adage that we got one mouth, two ears. Listen to people. Listen to peoples’ opinions. It’s not all you. You are not as important as you think you are. No, really you’re not. Ask your wife or your husband. They’ll agree with you. So, communicate.
Those four core strategies, if you apply those constantly to your business and to your life, things will move forward.
Monday Book Recommendation
Today’s book recommendation is one that will help with your learning. This is one of my favorites actually. It’s called Ready, Fire, Aim and it’s by Michael Masterson.
Now, we’ve talked about Michael Masterson before. He wrote the book Changing the Channel with Mary Ellen Tribbey, an excellent book as well.
But Michael Masterson is a genuine business entrepreneur who makes a fortune from businesses. He’s in direct mail, but it can be applied to anything. What he does is he talks of the three stages of size in turnover of a business.
He has some fabulous insights into what he learned and what did well for him. You can apply them. I’ve applied some. One of the ones is being faster to get projects done.
He found, for instance and he explains why, he found the longer a project took, the less likely it got completed and the less interested people were in completing it. If he sped it up, it worked and it made money. Ready, Fire, Aim by Michael Masterson. Fabulous book. Read it this week.