Now, we talked about measuring the critical activities but what exactly are those? In a company. there is the top 20% of the activities and the bottom 80%. The critical activities that need to get done first every single day are that top 20%. Everything else is either a task you can complete later or delegate to someone else’s top 20%. If we want something, we work for it. Without the work, it’s just a goal with no plan to reach it. There are priorities in life as well as priorities in business. Knowing what your priorities are and why they exist are what gets us to the finish line. So, we need to make a goal, map out a plan of how we are going to get there, then execute it at a high level.
Quick! Make sure you have your 2016 budget handy before we begin. Don’t have one? That’s what I thought. Don’t feel bad. Most other people don’t have a written budget either. But wouldn’t it be fair to suggest that in a world rife with ads begging you to buy more things, rampant mismanagement of personal finances and the ever escalating cost of living, a written budget is more necessary than ever?
When it comes to spending, most people learn the hard way. Over-spending, excessive credit usage and ignorance of available funds causes destruction. Avoid chaos in your finances through smart decision making, because it’s all in the choices you make with your money AND time. Many growth-minded entrepreneurs make sound financial decisions based on what their current expenses can reasonably handle, not what their projections forecast they can handle. They then budget accordingly to allow for additional spending to fund future developments in their business. These choices allow for new ideas. New ideas create the spark for new dreams and new dreams fuel the flames for a more interesting life. You can rationalize spending so easily with the choices you make.
Here’s 6 ways to avoid financial chaos:
- Mindshift through simplicity
Deciding, “I want to be better with money.” doesn’t involve a life-altering series of events, but it does take a mental commitment to break the habit of being poor with money. Recognize this and work through your debt. Find out where you can save money. Trim the fat. It’s as simple as finding the courage to examine each transaction in your bank account(s)
- Get help through tech
Start with visiting www.everydollar.com. This free site takes 10 minutes to set up and will help you take the first step in getting your financial life in order.
- Just say NO
Remember, it’s all about choice. You don’t have to put it on the credit card. You don’t have to drink the expensive coffee every day. And you certainly don’t have to be persuaded by advertisements of things that aren’t critical to your everyday life. Saying YES to everything leads to financial ruin, stress and strained relationships. It’s much easier to say NO!
- Time is money too
Budgeting dollars is one layer. Budgeting time is another. Time is your biggest resource and the most wasted resource. If you write down what you are doing by hour and see how much time you are currently wasting, its shocking! Start calendarizing your life and watch your efficiency go up. If you could add in one more hour per day of lead generating, what kind of financial impact could it have on your life? That is seven hours per week. That buys you an additional 45 work days per year just by being smarter with your time. TIME IS MONEY!
- Make a list
Once you make a list of the critical activities you need to perform in a day, week or month, you’ll be able to decide what fits the budget. You’ll also be able to determine what financial sense it makes, whether or not to delegate the task altogether or prioritize what needs to come first. www.Trello.com is an excellent resource for logging and assigning tasks and it keeps you very organized and communicative along the way.
- Don’t be a rebel
Ask for help when you need it. Use your resources early and often. There isn’t a single successful person on this planet who achieved their greatness without the support of others.
Building momentum and profitability starts with adding team members, systems. and models that can help expand brand reach, sales, and efficiency. Many entrepreneurs really struggle when their business grows beyond what they can handle individually. Upon reaching some sort of business “zenith” the question begs, “What are the expenses of expansion?” Adding your first team member is where it starts. For systems and models to hiring your first teammate, go to “How to Hire” class on LiveTeamLife.com.
When you are running the business by yourself, it takes an investment in time and finance to add a full-time employee. Once you have made the hire, mentally map the first 100 days. The hours will be grueling. On one hand, you will be responsible for executing the day-to-day business tasks. On the other hand, you will need to block time to train and prepare the new hire. Additionally, you may be used to being a lone wolf. Over the course of the day, you will talk more and be talked to more. You might have to exceed your word count and your patience level for the week in one 8 hour day. Prepare for this. You may like it or it may drive you nuts. Remember though, many hands make light work and if you hire and train correctly, this person will make your life easier.
The training of your first hire is a catalyst to the growth of your organization. My first hire is now the senior vice president of my real estate firm. Obviously it was the best hire of my career, but through my researches, I’ve discovered hiring is where most business owners spend the least amount of time. That’s incredibly inefficient. Spend the most amount of time finding talent upfront so you can have freedom on the back end.
So here’s 6 easy tips, starting with hiring, to embody when building a team starting with only you:
- It starts with hiring
Surrounding yourself with the right people means everything. Systematically hire with commitment, expectations, and deadlines of performance.
- Lead democratically
As the CEO, you are just one spoke on one wheel, not the ONLY spoke on the ONLY wheel. Build a collaborative ecosystem where the expectation is to contribute and participate without fear of rejection. You need vocal people to be the people’s champion.
- Share your vision
Vision drives growth. Growth in revenue drives the need for more talent within your organization. The more talent you have, the more stable and profitable your organization becomes. “Vision is the key driver,” Kelly Hager, CEO of The Kelly Hager Group says, “For example, we always use the phrase ‘Your company. Your story. Our mission.’ Team members draw strength from this. It greases the wheels and keeps things moving forward.”
- Even your best can get better
Your most talented stars still needs direction, structure and deliverables. Make sure they are encouraged and challenged to shine brighter.
- Focus on the big “Why?”
Have you wondered “why” you need to grow? Be mindful of the “why’s” when you build your team. Acute attention to accountability, production and growth is everyone’s responsibility, but leaders set the pace for these deliverables. When you define why you need to achieve your organizational goals as well as individual goals, the vision will become reality.
- Retainment is paramount
It doesn’t make any sense to develop a great team model, find great talent and train them up only to watch them leave for a better opportunity. Don’t be greedy. Reward your talent.
e·con·o·my – /əˈkänəmē/
- careful management of available resources
When you define your “organizational economy”, there may be several opinions of what needs to be done to get to a healthy and growing economy. Don’t overcomplicate it. It boils down to 6 easy principles of obedience. Whether you’re an independent entrepreneur or CEO of a large business, you can still follow these 6 principles to be the architect of your own economy:
- Consistent Critical Revenue Generating Activities.
At the forefront of every business, lead generation is essential in building your economy. How much money do you want to make? What do you want your life to look like? Systematizing the way YOU lead generate is essential. Setting time aside to lead generate everyday will generate consistent revenue. Think about your professional language. Are you using scripts and dialogs that make sense and trigger people to understand the need for your product or service? Think about your follow up strategies. Do you have any? Developing a follow-up system is equally as important as picking up the phone for the very first time. Poor follow up is the reason many fail.
- Managing YOUR Greatest Resource – TIME.
Strangely, most people are afraid of spending time on things that truly make a difference. Rather, they work in tasks that satisfy their comfort zone, and, as a consequence, waste valuable hours. Guard your time. If you need more of it, think of what should be delegated from your responsibilities. If you treat time like a commodity, you can buy it back when you need it most. Delegation can buy back two to three hours a day if you truly wanted to protect your time. Over the course of a calendar year, it’s approximately 720-1,000+ hours…or 30 to 40 days. How much more profitable would you be then?
- Surrounding yourself with smarter people than you.
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. If each employee can work in their strengths 80% of their day, their joy of work, efficiency, and buy in would increase by 300%. When you hire, hire around your weaknesses and then LISTEN. Collaboration with a group of people working together who are efficient, love their jobs, and are completely bought into the vision is the perspective you need to gain the competitive advantage.
- Building systems and process engineering for efficiency
In every business, there are multiple systems keeping everything on track. Building these systems and processes is essential for efficiency. As you’re building, think about how you communicate along the way. “Is what we’re doing the most efficient way?” Modify the model to engineer the most suitable path and adapt if a better way is discovered. This is what differentiates the mediocre companies from the exceptional ones.
- Measuring results
This is very simple. What are your key performance initiatives? Based on the key performance initiatives, establish some checkpoints. Are they daily? Monthly? Quarterly? Annual? All of the above? You must know where you stand against what you projected!
- Were you able to achieve the growth that you needed?
- Were you able to build your sales performance?
- Were you able to put systems in place to achieve the initiatives?
Understanding when you performed extremely well and when performance suffered will make a company grow at a faster pace.
- Share-ability of your story and how YOU knock that out.
What story does your company tell? What is your personal story? In many cases, people buy because they believe in the product. Moreover, they buy because they believe in the company that sells the product. Sharing your “Why you sell what you sell” story should be a top priority. How you plan on delivering that message is critical as well. There are four key destinations for your story to reach as these represent the largest penetration to the most people:
- social media
- past clients
- pay per click through audience development statistics
- public relations
Building a profitable business requires a detailed plan and a manageable budget. In the plan, you’ll set daily, weekly, monthly, and annual goals. In your budget, you’ll determine dollars in vs. dollars out and diversify the correct spending approach.
Both your plan and budget have action items as you work towards these goals. If your most ambitious initiative is to grow, you’ll need to first identify more than one way to make money. These multiple streams of revenue will determine which avenues are the most profitable and ultimately give you permission to expand in a healthy way.
These four streams of revenue can assist in building business from an entrepreneurial mindset to a corporation with a solid foundation.
- Sphere of Influence/ Mega Mentors
- Pay Per Click Budget
- Public Relations
Sphere of Influence /Mega Mentors
Have you assembled your database of contacts you know, love and trust? This is your Sphere of Influence (SOI). This database should have a minimum of 300 contacts. There is a way to break down your tribe to pull those 300+ people out of your brain. Each of those 300 people likely knows 300 more people. Mathematically, your reach is now 90,000 people. 90,000 people…Seriously! When our short documentary was released, we used a social media booster program called ThunderClap. It helped us spread the word across all of our SOI’s and asked for everyone to share the documentary link on their Facebook walls. In 30 days, after all the sharing was completed, the total reach was 1,085,000. That creates momentum. Adding a mega mentor to your SOI – someone who is much further down the path, is helpful as well. Even though those types of coaching sessions can be expensive, they thrust you light years ahead. Even a simple photograph can speak volumes of your affiliations!
Pay Per Click Advertising
The pay-per-click stream is trickier investment as it is more of a long-term stream of revenue. A large majority of internet leads need an incubation period of 18 to 27 months to mature. There is also the decision making process with choosing the right system to manage the leads. Certain platforms offer ease of use features that allow for more effective communication/follow up with the families on the other side of the computer. It has taken us several years, systems and training curves to see profitable results. But alas, it requires a patience, training, dollars and the willingness to take the risk. Time on task over time on this stream is really important. In reference to risk, many prospectors give up on the client because, in most cases, they do not represent a quick return on investment. However, this stream eventually provides consistency in your team business. This system helps formulate a Top 20% of critical activities by providing a daily go-to set of tasks in managing this investment.
Events such as trade shows, expos and community fundraisers are excellent drivers of business. This stream is an immensely popular choice so long as you choose events which represent opportunities for potential clients needing your services at some point over the next 12 months. No matter your industry, research opportunities to attend face-to-face events in your area of influence that could be profitable for you. Factor in this stream to your budget and decide your prospecting strategy prior to setting up. You should also consider a traffic builder such as a drawing or give away to capture the information of the families. This information is vital. Most people won’t commit to anything at the first meeting and you’ll need contact information for adequate follow up, no matter their timeframe for purchasing.
The visionary’s role on the team is getting out and meeting with people that can drive business to the team. You can leverage public relations to do some of the heavy lifting for you. What you will find is being well known in the community gives you a competitive advantage. What is extremely important is then using the public relations throughout all of your social media feeds. These feeds establish you as a thought leader and someone who will take great care of a family that is moving to the next chapter of their life.