Yearly Archives: 2018

Promise Keepers Rule Ok!

get to know your clients

Promise Keepers Rule. It is common for us to have customers that we enjoy working with as well as ones that we loathe or make our hearts sink. Your easiest way to improve this is always to be working towards duplication of the most favoured client.

You need to be focused on the type and preferred client, but also the desirability and need of a future income stream with them.

Repeat and growing business from the best type of client is the heavenly business.

So, let me ask.

What does that client look like to you?

Do you have any already?

Where could you find more of them?

What would you need to have in place to be easily referable to that type of client?

 

Al this relies on having a relationship. A strong and healthy one. Even if it is on the internet.

You need to ask yourself, how this can be nurtured? Do you know anyone who is doing this already?

One of the main reasons is that if you don’t, someone else will.

It is easier to court the great client and have them come on board, than it is to keep finding ‘ones that will do for now’ clients.

It is more productive, satisfying and meaningful, as well as being the only way to go to have a future business you can rely upon. The future of your relationship with your client will be exposed by your competitors as well as social media. It is the new secret weapon and is easier than you think.

Dinosaurs didn’t see what was coming but we can.

It’s amazing to think that there are many companies out there that have yet to embrace the need for a digital platform as well as a relationship built on trust and reliability.

How often are we caught out by the service providers who promise the earth, then do not deliver? Just by keeping our promises, we can shine.

We can shine by showing we care, showing appreciation and going the extra mile. This alone will keep us above the 90% that do not do it. To be blunt, it is easy to be ahead of the competition than you think.

Amazon, deliver. Fed Ex deliver. Domino’s, deliver.

They promise, and they deliver. Why? It works that’s why.  It’s no good thinking, we’ll deliver our promises most of the time, and then just be mediocre at it.

Once you get known for not keeping your deadlines, your integrity becomes questionable.

The preference to refer to you is will be less than it was.

Your option for price increase becomes tougher. Your confidence is tainted, and clients start to feel unloved. It is that simple. It’s not hard to promise something and then do better. What is hard is to be unsure about what you can deliver, and then making it up as you go. It is the hardest way to run a business.

Being great is easier and a lot more fun. If you were to forecast the future of your business based on the clients you deal with now, where would you be? You can choose that destination.

The high road or the low road?

 

The high road or the low road?

As part of our coaching practice, we ask programme members the following question:
 
Why did you start your own business?
 
The answers are generally very similar.
  • I felt I could make more money doing (what I do) myself
  • I wanted to be in control of my own time
  • I did not like the way I was treated at my last company
  • I had a great idea that I wanted to put into practice.
However, nobody starts a business which they believe will fail. Most people start a business in which they have expertise in what the business does. A florist starts a florist shop. An electrician starts working for himself as an electrician. A financial adviser like myself starts a financial advice business. This trend is very well covered in the excellent book for small business owners – the E- Myth Revisited. The book also covers the reasons that most new businesses fail in the first five years. The figure is around 80% which is alarming and terrible for the people concerned.
 
The main reason is, although they know how to do what the business does, they have no skills in how to run a business.
 
This skill of understanding how to run a business well is significantly more important than knowing how the work of the business is done.
 
A highly experienced business owner could probably make a success of a florists business, even if he or she did not have the slightest idea on how to be a good florist. Essentially, this is where a good business coach can help – they know the strategies which work and the ones which are less likely to.
 
Nearly everyone believes they can make more money working for themselves. This is normally is a primary driver for taking the risk of starting their own business. This is fine as an initial driver as we all have to live and pay our bills. However, once the business is relatively stable and profitable running a business purely for the money is the low road. This low road has a high potential to end in dissatisfaction, stress and burnout.
 
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as shown below says that once our physiological and safety needs are met, we all aim to satisfy our needs for self- fulfilment.maslow hierarchy of needs
 
Setting the main goal and purpose of the business as only making a large a profit as possible causes a problem. It will make it more difficult for the directors and team to stay motivated and aligned with that purpose in the longer term.
 
The high road is to set a purpose of contributing to the world and adding the most value possible. Of course, the bottom line of working as effectively and efficiently as possible does not go away. The business must continue to make a profit to thrive.
 
Delivering on this higher purpose will generate money as customers all appreciate good value. This higher mindset will align the directors and their teams to work harder. They will also have higher levels of job satisfaction that simply more money will not bring.

Action required

Review your company goals – are they set around the high road or the low road?

Explore what your business does. Ask your customers why they use your products and services. Talk to your employees. Ask them what value the company provides.
 
Once you have collected all the information, spend some time setting a vision for the future. This vision should encompass the contribution the company intends to make and the value it provides. Clarify and write down the company purpose, mission and values.
 
Get feedback on your statements from your employees and customers before settling on a finished version. Then keep these statements under review and set your company goals and direction around them.
 
This is the higher road which leads to self-fulfilment for all people working at the company. It also helps you employee people who are aligned with what you are trying to achieve.  These more engaged employees work harder and smarter to help achieve company goals and produce higher profits.
So in deciding on your business goals remember the high road or the low road is a conscious decision which can make a big difference in your approach
Enjoy the journey

Should I put a hammer through my TV? – The power of rituals

Goals and Rituals

 

Should I put a hammer through my TV? – The life-changing power of rituals

Ok, I admit this is a rhetorical question as my significant other would go mad if I actually did it. However, spending what I consider to be too much time watching TV has been a bad habit I have unsuccessfully tried to crack for a long time. The failure to date does, however, teach me something about building good habits and using the power of rituals to help embed them.

Therefore this post is a live example of how I intend to crack this particular nut.

I have just returned from 18 days on my honeymoon in the Greek Islands which both Heather and I love visiting. Heather and I finally got married after living together for 22 years. – Don’t ask.

As I had just got married, I thought would be a good time for a life review. I started by reviewing my life goals in all the different areas using the wheel of life system.  I then wrote down habits that would help me achieve the desired outcomes.

During the time on flights and ferries between islands, I decided to set up some rituals to embed all of those excellent habits into my life. Ok, so I get many coaches would tell you to concentrate on one habit at a time which is good advice. However, I thought I would try a different approach and try and instil a whole range of habits at the same time by using the “don’t break the chain” method. This is simply recording on an app or spreadsheet whether you took action on an intended habit or not on any given day. You then review at the end of every week and month which ones were not getting done and then exploring what was stopping you.

So, for instance, I want to be fit, healthy and highly energetic and be able to ski and kitesurf well until I am at least 90. So that’s the broad goal. This type of goal is different to a SMART goal as it has no specific timeline but is ongoing for as long as I live. The question I asked myself is – What habits must I embed to achieve that goal and how do I ensure that I follow through 95% of the time. This is where the power of rituals come in.

Rituals are a set of habits which fit together and are implemented together in the same order on a daily basis. The idea is that the habits you may already have in place help you jump start into a new one you are trying to build. The power arises from the fact that as you do one habit directly followed by another in the same order and for the same length of time. The series of habits become a habit in itself.

There is a comfort in rituals, and rituals provide a framework for stability when you are trying to find answers. -Deborah Norville

Before setting any goals, the first question is to have clarity in my mind of a strong enough reason why I want to achieve the goal. If you have enough motivation, it should be easier to take the required action.

So WHY stop watching most TV habitually?

Ok, I do watch some interesting documentaries from which I learn some useful information. However, the majority of TV is not at all beneficial except as possible relaxation.

The vast majority of the time I spend doing it is not aligned with my life purpose which should be reason enough. However, it has other knock-on effects. The problem is once I settle in I don’t stop until bedtime and sometimes past my set bedtime which stops me from getting enough sleep. Worse still this longer stretch of TV time is also a trigger to eat unhealthy snacks.

Action required

So as I have decided (and it’s a proper MUST DO decision) to only watch prerecorded programs for say 1 hour a night at most – How do I implement?

So I bought a “don’t break the chain” app for my phone called Habit Bull. It’s simple and effective. I then set up all these rituals on it.

As an example – The following are my current morning rituals  – “Fit body and Mind” rituals

Fit body ritual – 2 hour

  • The alarm goes off at 6 am every day so get up immediately
  • Plug in my phone to charge it to the max for the day
  • Go to the bathroom, take out my overnight contact lenses and clean them stringently
  • Put on my training clothes and have a glass of filtered water
  • 5 minutes – Go outside and skip as a warm-up
  • 15 mins – Go to my Home Gym and do my mobility/ flexibility routine
  • 30 minutes train hard 4 days/3 days stretch instead – See My training routine
  • 5 minutes stretch after training days
  • 20 minutes of meditation for breath recovery
  • 10 minutes Win Hof Breathing
  • Make the wife a cup of tea
  • Drink a glass of water with a half teaspoon of Pink Himalaya salt to wash down my supplements – on my strict real food diet I get little other salt
  • A warm shower followed by 4 minutes of a fully cold shower
  • Shave, brush my teeth, tidy my bedroom and get dressed for work or weekend
  • 8 am ready to rock and roll my day.

Fit Mind ritual (already started with Meditation, Win Hof and Cold shower) – 1 hour +

  • 10 mins Gratefullenss diary
  • 15 minutes Journal
  • 30 minutes blog or book writing
  • 5 minutes check this month personal and professional goals
  • 15 mins – plan the day on Trello
  • My team start work at 9.30 – so 15 mins leeway built in.

So what all the above to do with giving up TV?

So besides just being a waste of my life, I mentioned staying up too late and or eating unhealthy snacks. They both have a negative impact as I don’t have the energy for my morning Fit Body and Mind rituals. If I don’t get up at 6 am, there is simply not enough time to get all my scheduled activities in, and it throws out my day.

I do have some afternoon rituals like writing which I try and keep to, but they get disrupted for various reasons. In my opinion, it is more effective that important habits and rituals are set to be implemented before the working day and after the working day. Like many people, my working day has to be highly flexible. I have to fit in seminars, training for myself and my team and seeing clients in and out of the office. This all serves to make my schedules for each week different making it difficult to stick to regular habits.

So my challenge is to set up and stick to an evening ritual for the evenings when I am not out on a social event. This is currently more difficult as after dinner at 7 pm I feel I have less energy than at the start of the day. However, this may also just be a limiting belief I need to work on

The following is a proposed 2-hour “Skills” ritual for the evening to substitute for watching TV. This will still leave around an hour to catch up on anything worthwhile

  • 15 minutes Win Hof breathing – to generate more energy
  • 30 minutes of ukulele practice
  • 30 minutes of book or blog research
  • 30 minutes of language learning practice
  • 15 minutes meditation

Hopefully all of the above gives you an idea on how to set up and use the power of rituals as a strategy for integrating excellent habits into your life.

Enjoy the Journey

 

 

 

 

 

 

Muhammad Ali – Inspirational thoughts

Muhammad Ali – Inspirational thoughts

Muhammad Ali – I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.

I must admit to being very surprised when I first came across this quote. “Hated every minute of training?” and yet he still went on to become what many would regard as the greatest boxer who ever lived? He was certainly an icon who transcended his sport.

Muhammad Ali must have spent thousands of hours training to become the best at what he did. This training is a testament to his basic beliefs. If you want outstanding results in your field of endeavour you have to train long and hard.

Many business owners wonder why their business is not progressing. They believe it should be performing better. And yet they have spent very little time training as opposed to “fighting in their ring.” They seem to believe their business is completely different to all other businesses. They ignore the benefits of a great training and coaching program.

This is a misplaced point of view. Every business may indeed be different. Indeed, every athlete is different. If those athletes want to become great,  the same principles of coaching apply to all athletes. In business, the same applies. Coaching will help you to develop as a person and a business owner.

How much time do you spend in the training zone?

How much time do you spend in the performance zone?

The training zone gives you help and feedback to improve your skills. In the performance zone, you have to achieve excellent results.

Nobody wants to have an operation done by a surgeon who is in training.

You want him to have trained to an excellent standard beforehand and then produce outstanding performance in your operation.

Allow yourself time to train to be the best you can be. This investment in yourself is the best investment you can make.

The results of such a change will have a huge positive impact on your life and business profitability.

If every great athlete like Muhammad Ali in the world has a coach why don’t you?

Do you know your clients?

get to know your clients

Do you know your clients? Yes, but do you really know?

We often think we know our businesses, and its true most us have a handle on the numbers and the history.  However, Sir Clive Woodward, at a recent conference talked about ‘The Data’, and the story behind the data is not often a true explanation of the facts.

Get the Facts. Truly, deep down can’t get any more data Facts.

You can look at your ROFE, yet behind that could be just a handful of great profitable customers that are masking the truth behind the vacuum of profit customer. Averages help get an overview but break them down and the character of the good bad and the ugly, start to show.

Ask your team, who is a pain to deal with, and why is that so. A client may serve you better by being referred to a nearby competitor. That client may have come from them in the first place.

I remember letting a client go once, and he was horrified. He got quite angry too. So, I explained to him that my average customer spent 20 hours a month of my time and gave me £300,000 turnover a year. I explained that my profit from my average customer was £100,000. On the other hand, he gave me 30 hours work a month and only contributed to £80,000 to my turnover.

Once I had explained the ‘Facts’ to him he calmed down and realised why I was making the decision and that had he known more, he would have looked at what I offered differently.

The result with this client was that I offered to charge him an hourly rate. He declined as he knew he could go and take advantage of a competitor, without paying the fees for his time. So, we agreed to no longer work together.

Unless I had got to the bottom of his way of dealing with us and backed it up with enough comparable facts, I may have continued to be bossed around by this client. It turns out the staff loved that I had ‘let him go’ because he was the proverbial heart sinker. A double win.

Working with clients you like is always a bonus. Ones that are profitable as well make a great business.

The sweet spot of what you offer is one number crunching exercise. Looking at clients who could be ten times more profitable than your average is another.

Which of your clients have the capacity to do so much more? Fewer clients to deal with could be a new option. The numbers will reveal them.

It could be that your top clients are not top clients. It could be that your low turnover/profit clients are capable of so much more, or, would refer you to others that can. Getting to know your clients in depth is important.

By getting ALL the numbers, the decisions are so much easier.

Yes, it felt good to remove Mr Pain. It was easier than I thought because I had got the facts. Numbers never lie if you dig deep enough.

So do you know your clients well enough?

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