Jody Ann Johnson here with a 65th episode of “Coffee with Jody”, And today we’re going to cover wrapping up this first month of the year. Along with some of the things to be focusing on.
We’ll look at 10 Resolutions, Re-Solutions. We’ll look at the training, the learning and the giving. And what is your predominant theme going to be for the year?
In 2020, Doug and I did a lot of work on pro bono coaching sessions and helping hundreds and hundreds of business owners in our community to get through these really challenging times.
Now, I know not every business had a devastating effect on their bottom line or their top line, however many, many businesses did. So we’re looking now at what are 10 Resolutions, that’s Re-solutions for companies that are looking to add value to their business and make it more profitable.
Stop chasing top line revenue: A lot of business owners and teams are seduced by the revenue number. “Oh, we sold 2 million”, “We sold 10 million”. You could just sell yourself right out of business. The most sexy number in your profit and loss and on your balance sheet, is the profitability of your company. How much cash are you able to take? And either use it to repay debt, make capital investments, or have an owner or a team distribution. So stop chasing top line revenue! Focus on profits.
Survey your customers: Ask them, what should we stop doing? What should we start doing? And what should we keep doing in the marketplace? They know because they’re living with your product or service, and know what you ought to be doing better than you do. Many times, as business owners, we’re like, well, this is what we want to do…. This is what we think people need…. No, our opinion doesn’t count nearly as much as their opinion does. Survey your customers.
Sell less stuff to more people: I know it sounds counterintuitive because everybody thinks about expanding their product line right? But the science actually shows us that the more niche you become, the more well-known you are for that niche, the more you can sell. Rather than being somebody who sells lots of different kinds of stuff (and doesn’t do any of them exceedingly well); you’ll want to be focusing on what can we eliminate from our product or service line. That actually allows us to focus and become masterful; to develop that as a core competency in our company, and then sell it to more people leveraging that niche.
Drop the services and or products that depend on you: Now this one scares me too. I got it! However many times if the product or service is dependent on us and only us we’re the lid on the opportunity of our business to grow. Yes, you actually can get other team members to do those things that are not the best use of your time. If the product or service is dependent on you, start considering which ones you would be willing to drop.
Collect money up front: I’m finding a lot of clients have shifted to doing this, even in industries where that wasn’t typically done, they’re taking deposits upfront. And then using that deposit to secure an order. This is huge in stabilizing cash flow.
Increase whatever you can inside of recurring revenue: If you don’t have a recurring revenue model in your business, what’s one that you could create that doesn’t require you; that would allow for recurring revenue in your business. Just look, if you don’t have that, start looking and make it a goal to be able to implement that sometime this year. It might not be quarter one, but at some point, how can we create a recurring revenue stream here in our business?
Be different: This leads me to what I’ll be talking about in our next couple of videos, which is on profiles and how to actually be your very best self. One of those profiles from Sally Hogshead is called “How to Fascinate”, her premise is – it’s more important to be different than it is to be better. That you stand out in the marketplace and in your customers’ minds. So how can you be different? What is something that you can add to your company and your service offering or your product offering that’s different from anyone else in your sector?
Find a backup supplier for raw materials. If you’re in manufacturing, this is going to be really critical. I see this a lot in the food industry and in wood working. Find a backup supplier or two or three… for those items that you may not have been able to get a hold of during this time of COVID.
Create a procedure manual for every process that happens in your organization: The reason for doing this is, it allows people to come into your team and be an asset pretty much from day one. So create an instruction manual or policy and procedure manual for every process in your business.
Teach your team members to fish: You’d be surprised, particularly in our experience of bringing in the eight LEAN Principles to our business, how much more engaged, how much more of a contribution the team is than when we’re just: “these are the things you do”. The best ideas, as I’ve said over and over, come from the people “Doing the Doing”. So teach them how to be independent, give them the autonomy and authority to make decisions inside of their realm of accountability and teach them to fish.
The next thing I want to talk with you about is creating a plan. If you’ve created your plan, make sure these elements are in it. If you haven’t created your plan yet, make sure that these elements get into your plan. Next, what is the learning, what is the training and development that we need to do individually and as a team, in order to gain efficiencies or develop additional core competencies in the areas we’re passionate about. Where we make an economic impact for our company and we contribute to the community. And so look for that training and development that needs to happen in the company and on the individual level with the company’s training and development pathway. If you don’t have one it’s a good initiative for 2021.
Next, look at your giving. How are you going to give back? For us, we are very passionate about B1G1 “Business for Good”. From the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in our firm we’re aligned with number 8 “Good Jobs and Economic Growth”. We give back by being on different committees, chambers and economic development organizations. And we’re also giving back by providing education and strategy sessions for business owners in our community to help them with the thinking that they need to do in order to be able to start growing again.
Now that things are hopefully opening up in our economy; then as you think about this year, look at it inside of these four arenas, the decision arenas for every single company whether you’re Coca Cola or a small business like ours.
First, PEOPLE which includes the team members, includes the clients, includes your vendors and suppliers, your colleagues in the community and your industry and so on.
The next area is STRATEGY, which covers top line growth.
The next area is EXECUTION, how we implement and execute on the plans that we made. Those are your tactical aspects of fulfilling the strategy.
Lastly, your CASHFLOW and financial management.
All of the key decisions in your company will fall into one of those four areas. So it gives you a framework for looking at your business for the year.
So with that said, we’ll wrap up the 10 Re-Solutions. What is the learning that the company is going to do both as a company and individually? How will you give back? And the four different areas of decision-making: people, strategy, top line execution, profitability, and then your financial and cash flow.
With that, make it a great day. Week, month, quarter, and year. And know, you’ve got this!
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