Today what I’d like to share with you is about the world of communication and management. Management, good management, is a function of the relationships you have with your team.
And the quality of the relationships that you have with your team, is a function of your ability to communicate, both the speaking, and being responsible for how it lands with that person.
And also in a way that you listen.
We have a saying, in ActionCOACH, that communication is the response you get. And it’s based on – well it’s not the truth, because maybe you’re talking to a psychopath, or something – but, it’s the idea of communication is the response you get is based on, what did you communicate, or fail to communicate that got the response that you received.
And it goes from just the words themselves, which is about 7 percent of your communication; 38 percent, the tone of your voice; And 55 percent body language. If you are on the phone, those two are reversed.
But, when you’re communicating with a team member, the best way to communicate with them is face to face. Particularly if it’s a difficult or important conversation. Because there are physical cues that you can’t necessarily get if you’re not face to face or you’re communicating through a text or an email, or in some other way such as that, that is often misunderstood.
You know I had a client the other day say they put it in caps that means they’re yelling at me. Well, maybe, maybe not. Maybe it’s just to emphasize a point. Nevertheless there was a misunderstanding.
So communication is the response you get. Meaning that you’re responsible for how your communication lands over there.
And its ever more important today because the old saying: “People don’t leave a job they leave a manager,” is more true than ever. As we go into what some are calling not just the war on talent like it’s about to go nuclear war on talent, where we will have a shortage of talent over the next two decades – that’s the prediction.
How we treat the people that are under us, and in our care, is going to be ever more important. So if you haven’t taken a course in communication. I invite you to consider taking a course in communication.
And, remember, everything communicates.
So be mindful of that and you’ll be a better manager.
If you like this, then go ahead and subscribe to my channel, or like it. And, if you’d like to have more information on how communication can impact your team in a positive way, then please reach out to me.
The end of the year was the perfect time for setting goals. Now, the beginning of the new year is time for new idea, new actions and making your plans happen. That goes for you, your business, and your team. Aligning all those goals is key for everyone to have success in 2018. Alignment of goals is a growth strategy that you cannot ignore.
How do you make sure that your team’s goals match the goals you have for yourself and your business?
Make sure you have clearly stated company, division, and department goals. You need to know what you want to do in the New Year before you can expect your team member to contribute to the business’ success. Communicate those goals with everyone before beginning any discussions of individual goals.
Connect each team member’s work to the goals of the department, division, and company. The work done by a salesperson in bringing in new clients and getting new orders is pretty easy to connect with overall sales goals. But, how does the work of an HR or administrative person align with company goals?
Set a specific time to sit down with each team member. Let that person know what you want to accomplish and how that person needs to prepare before the meeting. This gives the team member time to prepare his or her thoughts.
Work with the team member to develop individual goals that align with the larger organization goals. Both of you should bring suggestions to the table and work together to create the final list. By involving the team member in the goal making process, you are letting that person take ownership of those goals.
Ask the team member to come back with an action plan for each goal set. Setting a goal is one thing. Making sure that goal gets accomplished is another. A plan sets the stage for success.
Follow up throughout the quarter. Once you set goals and make plans, your work has only just begun. Set aside time every month to review progress on goals. It is a time to see what is working and if there are challenges preventing the team member from moving forward. You can make adjustments, change plans, and manage expectations.
Communicate department, division, and company goal progress with everyone. People need to see that their efforts are making an impact. Letting everyone know how things are going keeps them on track.
Goal alignment between you and your team is a growth strategy that sets you all up for success in 2018.
Marketing and sales are two aspects of a single business task: attracting and retaining customers. A common mistake made by inexperienced entrepreneurs is viewing them as completely separate aspects of the business. Building a cohesive marketing and sales strategy is one of the most important business growth strategies for any company.
Here are five key points for building your marketing and sales strategy:
Know your unique selling proposition (USP). What makes your products, your services, and your company unique from the competition? What will draw customers to your business and away from your competition? The thing that makes you unique is your strongest selling point. You need a clear selling position before you can create a successful marketing and sales strategy.
Know your target audience. Before you can sell your products and services, you need to know who would have the most interest in it. For example, if you are in the business of selling video games, your target audience will include die-hard gamers and teenagers just getting started. You need to know as much as possible about your target audience. This includes who they are, what they do for a living, what pain points they have, and how your product or service can help them. This information helps you develop an effective marketing strategy. It also gives your sales staff the ability to target prospects with the right sales pitch.
Know what you want to accomplish in 2018. For success, your marketing and sales strategies must align with your company’s goals for 2018. If you want to add a new product line to your company, you need to make sure that is part of your marketing and sales plans for the upcoming year.
Identify the right advertising and promotional options for your business. The options depend on what kind of business you are in and what kinds of products/services you offer. It also depends on your company’s goals for 2018. These options can take on many forms. This includes giving out free samples and coupons, doing demonstrations, sending out press releases, creating content, gathering customer testimonials, putting up billboards, taking out radio/TV ads, and even having a booth at an industry trade show. Finding the ideal mix is one of the business growth strategies you cannot afford to miss.
Align your promotional, advertising, and sales efforts with your company’s sales process. For example, it is a waste of time and effort to have your sales staff trying to convert leads that have not gone through a qualification process. In fact, it is a poor business decision. By concentrating their efforts only on qualified leads, you will see sales numbers going up and lead conversions increasing.
By concentrating on these five keys, you will be able to form a comprehensive marketing and sales strategy. It will be aligned with what you want to accomplish in 2018. Make sure this is one of the business growth strategies you make a part of your company in the coming New Year.
On today’s episode of business success with Doug Barra I’m going to talk to you about the how of planning.
I really want to talk about how do you go about creating an effective plan that’s going to actually have you build something great.
So let’s start with talking about how do we create the beginning of the plan. Well to create the beginning of the plan we really have to look at dreams … what is it that we want. What is it that we’ve always desired.
Dreams are maybe 10 years out and we don’t necessarily know exactly how we’re going to do them but we’re clear that there are things that we want. So we’re going to work towards them.
Now I’m going to then take my dreams and I’m going to pull those down into goals and a goal is something that’s never more than three years out.
OK. So here we’re looking at things that are a bit more precise. We’re three years out, maybe one year out, maybe 90 days out they’re more precise, we have a much better feel for how we’re going to get there and we’re going to be more clear on what it’s going to take to get there.
Then we’re going to take those goals and we’re going to pull them down into a plan. A plan is 90 days.
So we want to make sure that we’re looking at all of those things at the time when we’re creating our plan.
Finally the last piece of this is action. Actions are on the court, what you’re going to do on a day by day week by week to actually accomplish that goal.
And if you’re don’t have all of this then your planning is not going to be as effective as you would like it to be.
Once you’ve gone through that and you understand all of that you want to then actually use the Merlin process.
The Merlin principle says that I’m going to stand in the future fulfilled stand in having this future complete and I am going to then look back to look back in time and see what was it that happened that made it a done deal that I was going to be here.
Right so I’m not sitting here at the bottom of the mountain looking up going How am I going to get to the top. I’m standing at the top of the mountain looking down saying this is how I got here.
And we’re going to start with the end in mind. We’re going to stand here and we’re going to look back and we’re going to look back to some milestone.
And identify that milestone that made it a done deal that we were going to get here then you’re going to step into this milestone. And again look back towards another milestone. And say what occurred that had it be a done deal that I got here.
And we’re going to repeat this as many times as we need to, to create enough milestones that we can accomplish the goal.
Then we take each milestone and we work forward inside of the milestone.
When we’re looking at a 90 day goal, if this were 90 days and I was looking back, then in that case probably two milestones is plenty.
If I’m looking at a year I might do it based on quarters that way. I have my 90 days. 90 days is equal to one quarter. So I could do this for looking at my year goal. Breaking it up into 90 day milestones.
It doesn’t have to be based on time. It can be based purely on an event that occurred, something that happened, that when that happened, it was clearly a done deal that I was going to get here.
In today’s session of business SUCCESS with Doug Barra, I want to talk to you about learning, because learning is directly related to your planning.
“What!?!”, you might be saying to yourself, “what are you talking about? Learning is related to my planning!?! I’m planning. I’m planning on my growth. I’m planning on my sales. I’m planning on what I’m going to do. How is learning related to that?”
Well, learning is related to that, because you want to also plan what is the learning that you need. The learning that you need to understand to be able to do the plan that you’re creating.
Because – let’s look at it this way – if you’re creating a plan that’s just a list of things that you’re going to do over the next 12 months, the next month, the next 90 days, whatever, then is that really a plan? Or, is that just a list of “To Do” items that you’re going to do?
See, I see planning as creating the things that we’re not even sure how we’re going to do. We’re not even sure where we need to go to get that done, but we do know what we need to learn.
We do know what we need to get better at.
We do know all of the things that we don’t know in order to get this plan done.
And that’s where the learning comes in.
So, make sure that when you’re starting your plan for 2018, one of the topics is ‘what am I going to learn,’ so that you can have the best 2018 yet.
Looking forward to seeing you and talking to you soon. Please leave me a comment. What is it that you need to learn in order to really have your 2018 be successful? And, if there’s anything I can do to help, please let me know.
Welcome! In today’s session of business SUCCESS with Doug Barra, I want to talk to you about Year-End planning.
It’s so often that I talk to business owners that are actually sitting at the beginning of December going “I just want to get through the month. I don’t want to think about anything else. I just want to get through the month. I’ve got holidays coming up. I’ve got vacations coming up. I’ve got sales coming up. I just want to get through the month.”
However, this is the critical time for you to start the planning for next year, if you haven’t already started it. Now sometimes you might have gotten it done in November rather than wait until December.
But, if you have not gotten your planning done for 2018, then now is the time to start thinking about that and start getting yourself organized around what is it that you want to create.
What is it that you were looking to produce for next year so that you can have the most successful year yet.
I would love to hear from you as to when you start your planning or what’s going on for you around your planning.
Please leave me a comment. Let me know what you’re doing. Let me know what you’re thinking.
And, if there’s any way that I can be of assistance to you please let me know.
Transcript: I’m laughing because I said I want to talk in this episode today about CRMs, contact relationship management and got quite an odd response.
However, contact management systems are one of the most important systems that you can have in your business.
So let me share with you why that is. It houses all of the data about your prospects and your clients. And, if you have a good one, it can actually upload documents, it can keep track of emails, it can send e-mails, it has a calendar in it, it can do workflows…
I mean, there are contact management systems out there that are spectacular. And some of them are free all the way up through however much… They can be a couple hundred dollars, it depends on what you want and need them to do.
However. One of the ones that I like, we use Infusionsoft, one of the ones that I like is Zoho CRM. And I like it because it’s inexpensive and it has a lot of different modules that you can add onto it could do many things so you can kind of build your own so to speak.
And, when people do quotes, for certain businesses that have long sales cycles, you can lose track of them.
Sometimes people keep them in Excel or they just keep them in email or they try to Calendarize it in outlook or something like that. But, actually, if it’s done in a contact management system, a report can be run, and then you can go back and you can actually look at what stage is this quote in in my sales process, and then take the next appropriate action.
You can put templates in there so that you’re not inventing what you’re going to write in response to something, from nothing, but this can be the bones, or the bullet points, of something that you then customize.
So the time saver that it is, the tracking ability that it has, the housing that it is for your clients and prospects, and the ability to run reports is priceless information for business owners.
So, yeah, I really push people to have a contact management system. One that they utilize and that they continually build out so that they can automate more and more things, get the information they need, so that the time that they have available can be directed at the specific thing they want to say to that person.
I’m not talking about mass automation of email marketing or any of that kind of thing. I’m talking about, if you have that automated, you can actually invest your time in being very personable with the person that you’re speaking with and interacting with and have the information you need to take appropriate next steps.
How much time do you spend working in your business? How much time do you spend working on your business?
Be careful. Those questions are NOT the same. There is a difference between working IN your business and working ON your business. That difference is at the heart of the best and worse business growth plans.
Working In the Business
When someone starts up a business, that person spends the majority of his or her time working in the business. That means working on the day-to-day activities that keep the business going. A typical day might include:
Serving customers and clients.
Managing the team
Handling the billing
Putting in purchase orders
Keeping the bookkeeping straight.
Now all of those activities are important when it comes to keeping the business going. But, it is not necessarily what is going to give the company a stable foundation for growth.
Working On The Business
Working on the business is what makes the foundation strong and allows the company to grow in the right direction. When you are working on the business, you are strengthening your foundations and creating the basis for future business growth. What activities are included?
Defining and revising your business model. Many companies have an ever-changing business model that does not have much thought behind it. Spending time defining and refining that model can make the business more efficient and even more profitable. It may also show opportunities for growing the business in new directions.
Defining business goals and planning how to make them happen. Your company needs clear goals to strive towards and meet. You need to spend time thinking on where you want the business to go. Once you know the direction, you need concrete plans on how you will make each goal a reality. This planning is what keeps your company on track and moving forward.
Developing and establishing written systems. This is one of those business growth plans that most company owners don’t adopt. Developing systems to handle most of the functions and processes in your business is sound business practice. You make your business more efficient with systems that produce quality results every time. It reduces training time and makes it easy for one team member to help another.
Managing the company’s budget and finances. Your numbers are what tell you if your company is growing, if you are meeting your goals, and if you are having troubles. You need to spend time each day looking at daily numbers, each week with the weekly numbers, and so on. You also need solid financial planning to handle catastrophic or unforeseen events.
Editing your company. One of the most important things you can do for your company is to get rid of the things that are not doing the business any good. You may have products that were never popular. You might offer services which few customers want. You may have a team member that is not performing at the level you need. Releasing what is not working will allow the things that are working to grow and thrive.
Among business growth plans, working on your business is at the top of the list. If you fail to spend time in the endeavors which strengthen your business, your company will not survive. Take the time, make the time, to do the work needed to keep your company strong and moving forward.
How much time are you going to spend today working on your business?
I want to talk to you today about one of the three pitfalls all small business owners face.
Today’s pitfall is about structures; insufficient structures.
There is a trend today of having a free and open work environment, flexible hours, The Four Hour Work Week, work life balance…
Does this sound familiar?
Have you seen this happening?
Where all of this is great, it can only be effectively achieved inside of a great structure. So, what do I mean by a structure.
I’m not talking about a physical structure like a building. Although, the physical structures can be important.
What I’m talking about, is having the structures that support the business succeeding.
These are the structures of accountability, procedures, workflows and, dare I say it, policies.
When the business is small, with only a couple of people on the team, the need for these structures isn’t as apparent. However, as soon as the business starts to grow, the structures quickly become the things that can make or break the company.
One company that I worked with was nearing disaster when we met. As a matter of fact, they were considering bankruptcy.
They were a small store run by two brothers. They had taken over the business from their parents.
Their parents had always kept the store as a small local store but the brothers had loftier goals. They started to grow the staff, grow the revenues, but they couldn’t figure out why the more they grew, the more burned out they became.
Have you ever known anyone like that? Maybe you’ve met them in the mirror.
They couldn’t keep team members. They had a problem with quality control when they weren’t there. They actually started to ignore areas of the store to focus on what they preferred because they just couldn’t manage at all…
And the team watched it happen, did as little as they could get away with, and either got fired for not doing their job, or left because they were bored.
All because there were in sufficient structures!
So you can start to see how important the structures are in a business.
Please download the ebook on the three dangerous pitfalls that all small business owners face that keep them overwhelmed, putting out fires and chained to their business.
With the national celebration of the fourth of July, having just past, I decided to write on what that means to me, and to all business owners…
Fourth of July, Independence Day, the celebration of freedom.
What is freedom? What does Freedom really mean?
Is it the possibility to do anything I want? No, not really, not if I what I want is not inside of the law…
So, does law mean no Freedom?
In one sense, yes. However, without law there is no order and the possibility then occurs for no freedom if someone decides to limit another’s freedom.
This can be a tricky thing to look at. How much freedom should, and needs to, be allowed inside of the law, and how does one decide in what areas should freedom be allowed, or not, so that everyone can experience being free? I can see that this would have been a difficult issue for our founding fathers to debate and I am glad that they were able to come to an agreement that allowed for this nation to be created, where we enjoy a number of freedoms that are not allowed in many societies.
And then, of course, there are many things that are limited by law and are they all really for the good?
Sometimes I think that many of the laws that are passed, that limit our freedoms, are self-serving for one interest, or another. However, I think that overall freedom of our country still exists.
And, what is that freedom?
The freedom to be whatever you want to be! There is no limit to what you can be. You are not limited to what is allowed by your lineage, your cast, your skin color, your sexual orientation, or anything else.
Now, many will say that there are limitations that are disguised. For example, if you want to be an engineer, you have to go to a university to earn a degree in engineering and that costs a lot of money. And, if your parents are poor, you can’t afford the tuition to go to a university, therefore you are not free to be that.
In one sense, this is correct. However, if you were in this situation and you really wanted to go to a university and become an engineer, there are ways that you could get the funding, or even get into the university without funding! It is not impossible!
It may not be easy, but what in life, that is really worth it, ever is?
Mostly, I say that the odds are only stacked against those that believe they are!
If you are willing to be committed to your goals and go the extra mile – even when it seems impossible, even when everyone else says you can’t do it, even when you have failed again and again – then you can achieve anything.