I am so excited to be able to bring you the first of eight episodes of the Lazy Entrepreneur.
Every Monday, as usual, the Podcast will be available on all the usual platforms and there are also links available on our website.
Over the eight weeks, I'll be sharing not just the 'How to" in each step of a straightforward and practical application of the process and the use of the free documents, templates, and cheat sheets.
In this week's episode I'm taking you through the first steps of the Scale to Success Solution that I created to help my clients get their business ready for sale, so they don't have to sell. And that way they can retire into their business.
It's the foundation on which you use to do a Deep Dive Analysis of your business and get very clear on your objective and subjective views of your business.
If you follow the steps I walk you through and take the time to reflect on your business, I know you’ll receive an enormous amount of value.
Stephen Sandor CEO Inspiring Business
Inspiring Business website
We record on Riverside.fm and if you are considering recording your Podcast I can highly recommend it. There is link below. If you do sign up with riverside we receive an affiliate fee
Welcome to the inspiring business podcast, where we hope to inspire you the business owner so you can focus on what you do best and delegate the rest. Our goal is to provide you with the knowledge, information, and tools, so you can create a business that is scalable and ultimately independent of your daily involvement. So if you've been a long term listener of the show, normally there would be a guest and this would be the time when I would introduce them. We're going to do something different over the next eight weeks. What I've felt after 59 episodes of the inspiring business podcast was that the information that we were sharing was really valuable, but what I felt that was missing was the actual application of. So, I'm going to run a, an eight week series and I'm calling it the scale to success solution, because that's the product that I have or the service that I delivered for my clients and what I'm going to do is I'm going to take you the listener through basically what I do with all my clients and follow roughly the process that I take everyone through now, obviously every business is different and my solution is bespoke. But I would suspect that it's probably 80 to 90% going to be applicable for your business. So the eight weeks are starting with business analysis will then go into goals and objectives. We're then going to go in week three through priorities and decision making processes. And then we'll get into people and human resources and I've been very specific around that human resources is the sort of technical part or the compliance part. People is more the cultural aspect of the business. Then we'll get into what is I'm passionate about. And I guess I'm known for is process driven businesses and building capacity and capability that enables you to scale your business to whatever it is that you are trying to aim for. We'll get a little bit into financial modeling. I'm this is not an area of my expertise, but what I have done in my career it has done have done some modeling in terms of sales, projections, and product pricing. So we'll get into a little bit of that. And there'll be resources that will be available to you that will help you with that aspect of it. Looking at a, an implementation plan. Not so much project management, but how to set out that project plan. And then because you then have that plan how do you allocate resources that makes sense to you. It ties back to the decision making process, and then I've got a special offer at the end of the eight week period in, bonus week number nine, where you'll just have to hang around to hear what that is at the end of nine weeks. Trust me. It's, pretty special. So for those of you who are on audio, you won't be able to see this. We're actually gonna put this up on YouTube, I've had some wonderful guests that have delivered some really nuggets of gold is the only way that I can express it. And I often say that I'm, blessed to be able to have the front seat view as these thought leaders within their industry, share their knowledge and experience with you. And I think that's been extremely valuable. The one thing I thought though, That was missing along the way was the ability to actually apply this. Now, when you're in business, there's so many intricate things the business is a spaghetti bowl of function, there's product, there's systems and processes and all of these tie in together and they're all interrelated with each other. And, in isolation, each of those podcast episodes were brilliant in looking at one particular area. And what I felt was that there may be something slightly missing in terms of how do I apply this knowledge? And so that's why I've decided to run this particular eight week period. So for those of you who have been listening to the podcast for the last 59 episodes, you'll have an insight into what it is that I've been able to achieve in my career. I guess the, value that I'm able to bring to my clients and hopefully to you, is the combination of something like 40 years of work experience. And it has some felt sometimes like work experience. Because as when you're running a business, there are so many things that you don't know, but I've been, I say blessed. I've been very fortunate to have some wonderful mentors in my life. I've spoken about those in the past. They've given me some wonderful foundations on which to build a career. I've also been very fortunate to work overseas. I spent some time in Hungary back in the late eighties. I've spent, I spent 10 years in Papa, New Guinea. I've spent the majority of my corporate life within the financial services industries. I work for American International Group Citibank or Citi Corp, Tyndall Australia. I ran my own financial services business for about 10 years. And then I went to Papa New Guinea and worked with some very large organizations the Steamships Nambawan Super SP Brewery. And some government agencies, the Internal Revenue Commission and Bank of PNG just to name a few. So I've got the knowledge to be able to walk you through this and so I hope this information that I'm sharing with you that you can just follow the bouncing ball and work your way through this program. I'm calling it the lazy entrepreneur program. What I mean by that is not that entrepreneurs are lazy, but the most successful entrepreneurs that I've worked with or business owners that I've worked with have been the ones that have understood that they are really good at one or two things. Typically it's the area of expertise. So if they're an accountant or architect or a manufacturer that they're really good in that particular area. They're also very good at managing money and understanding the money part of it. That's why they're successful. And they're also very good at business development or bringing in new opportunities. The rest of the stuff, not so much because it takes a broad knowledge of experience to be able to be in a position to run a a, reasonably large business and for some business owners, they just don't have that breadth of knowledge. It, most of the time they're running on intuition. So the reason that I'm offering this program here is that a lot of the time, the problems that your business is experiencing falls back on you. Your employees are looking to you as their leader, they're looking to you for support and information on, on making decisions. A lot of the times you struggle with communicating what you need done because you are in a rush. So you are running a round delivering services to clients, you're putting out fires. And when that happens, it's really difficult to be very clear with your instructions and as you're rushing out the door, you yell something to somebody can you get this done or can you ring this person or can you do this? And it, and for them it's confusing and it's not clear. The, business typically has some processes in place. So you might have some, documentation done, but it's not really if, I was to ask you could you put your hand on your, sales process or your recruitment policy? Would you be able to know exactly where that is? And, the conversations I'm having with clients is that they don't have that always in place. And that's understandable for relatively small businesses, but it's no excuse. At your core you probably know that your business is running a little inefficiently or maybe a lot inefficiently. And, but you're not really sure where to start to identify where those issues are, or you might be working on some areas of the business that you feel are necessarily need work. And the one common theme that I hear when I'm talking to my clients is that before I start working with them it's not fun running the business. We know that it's difficult, but what was exciting when you first started running the business has worn off a little and, you're trying to, you're trying to rekindle that, and what we will be doing is as we progress through the weeks, we'll be talking about how you can communicate with your staff and, understand what the emotions are that are driving the business and bring back some joy into the running of the business. We all want to turn up at work and enjoy what we're doing. And I guess finally the guilt trip that we put on ourselves. As business owners, we are far too hard on ourselves and when you are at work, you are guilty because you're thinking you should be at home with the ones that you love. And the old saying at your deathbed, you, no one ever wishes that they would spend more time at work. They wish they had to spent more time with their family and, friends and when you are at home with your family and friends, you're feeling guilty because you feel as though you should be at work. And so one of the things that we're going to be looking at is, goals and objectives and priorities, and also being present when you are in those places so there's no point thinking about work when you're at home and vice versa. We all know that, but what we'll do is we'll try and work through some, practical applications of how you might apply that. So the Scale to Success Solution is a number of processes or steps. So what we're going to be doing is we're going to do a deep dive into the weeds of your business. You're gonna take some time out to look at your goals and priorities. Be very clear on the systems, processes and procedures that you have, or you don't have. And what that does is it'll give us a, sense of the duplications and efficiencies that may be in place at the moment and I have yet to do any work for any organization, regardless of its size by going through this process and not finding three four, 5% improvement in productivity just by removing duplication. Not changing anything just by removing duplication. What that will do then is that as we go through that whole process, what it'll do is it'll give you the ability to start thinking about the development of a strategy. So you'll have your goals and objectives, you'll, have a, an audit or a situation analysis of where your business is. And the combination of those two, it'll be the realistic strategy that may be over a six, 12 or 18 month period that will get you through that. What we'll also do is we'll develop an implementation plan so that you can then allocate resources, time, money, people to do the plan and then how do you then integrate that plan into your business? I see a lot businesses maybe they're led this way or they feel this way is that they think that their business is broken and, they need somebody to come in and help them fix it. Or the person that is offering the service comes in and says, I can help you I can fix this for you. My contention is that the business is not broken. It just needs a little bit of finessing. It needs a little bit of polishing around some edges because really what we're looking for unless you're looking at a massive growth in your business, and if you've got, if you've got 10 to 15% improvement in the bottom line, That's a huge, that's a huge number for the majority of the businesses that I'm working with. And, that's enough for the business owner to hire a full-time person to basically manage the business or hire a number of people to enable them to step out of the day to day operations of the business. Not let go of control, but be less controlling and therefore delegate to the to the staff, the people that you've hired to do a job well allow them to do the job. The deep dive process that I take my clients through I'm gonna take you through here so pretty much everything that I would do with a client I'm going to do with you here and you can follow that along with me. There'll be some cheat sheets. There'll be some tools that you'll be able to use along the way that will assist you with this, but effectively the process is that what we're looking for. Your estimation or your satisfaction level of each of the functional areas within your business. So we're going to be looking at people, sales, marketing, operations, finance it, risk management and, other areas that might be specific to your type of business. We're gonna be looking at how you feel about each of those areas. So what's your satisfaction level now and what you would like it to be in a six, 12 or 18 month period. So an example of that might be your sales are running reasonably well and so your satisfaction level might be a seven and but you'd like it to be an eight, eight and a half in six to 12 months. That's a reasonable assumption to make. Your operations area or the delivery you might feel as though that's a five and you'd like it to be a seven in six to 12 months. That's reasonable. If something is a four now and you'd like it to be a nine or an eight in a relatively short period of time you might need a reality check there because it does take time and effort to shift the dial on all of these in all of these areas. So that's the first part looking at how you are feeling towards the satisfaction level of your business. We then get into in each of the areas, we look at the importance and urgency of that. So if it's, if you are bleeding and you need to triage the wound, then it's important and urgent and something needs to be done reasonably quickly. If something is not urgent and it doesn't require immediate attention it's important, but it's not urgent. So you've got time and that's the differentiator between the two, it's the amount of time that you have to be able to resolve the issue that you're dealing with. And that's the urgency part. So it's a matter of the amount of time that is required to be able to solve the problem that you have. That's the importance and urgency. The final piece is the capability and capacity that you have to be able to shift the dial and the investment that you're able to make in terms of dollars, because any change does require some effort so there'll be people and time. And ideally what you'd want to do is you want to use the people from inside your own organization provided that they have the capability and capacity to do that. And if you've got time, what you can do is you can develop those skills. Over time. If it's important and urgent and you need to get things done reasonably quickly and you don't have the capability and capacity to do it internally, that's where you bring in people like me, who can help you to to, work your way through that. Now I don't have all the answers and I don't have all the skills. There are times when I work with a number of professionals who have got specific skills and as a team, we are working with the organization that are our mutual clients to help them move forward. So we're, I guess the virtual management team that works with our clients Let's get into some detail around collecting information on your goals and objectives and the data collection process. So if we look at the goals and objectives, now this is something that a lot of people talk about I've, got my goals and this is where we're heading, but sometimes are they developed over time and they don't really have a purpose or the purpose is lost. And so what I'm, what I see is in this particular phase is it's really important that you actually take some time. So take some time out. It's not something that you can rush. Settling into it. And I would suggest somewhere around two to three hours of time where you actually just settled into thinking about what it is that you are, you your family, your personal goals, your business goals what, are they really mean for you? And what is it that you are trying to achieve that doesn't come sometimes it comes in the shower But it, does actually take some time. Now, if you don't have two to three hours in the next two to three weeks to spend then, okay. Don't, that's, there's no point in forcing it. What I would suggest that you do is that you look out some some time in the future, two to three weeks out, find a block of time and block it out and let everybody know that you've blocked it out. I would suggest that you do this for the moment on your own. There will be an opportunity for us to bring in your team and collect information, but this is You This is about the goals that you want to achieve. These are the goals that, that you want your vision for the business. And I think you deserve the time to be able to sit there by yourself. And work your way through that. Now for those who are quick starts and want to get this thing over and done with, and stop talking, Steve this is more important for you, right? This is the time where you do need to stop slow down and actually take the time and honor the business that you are in and honor yourself in here. Take your time, gather your thoughts. And does it feel right? Once you've done the brain dump and there's a there's a strategy for this write everything down, get it out of your brain and then cluster those into groups and group them together. And, then see how does that feel? How does it resonate? Is it similar to what you the thoughts that you had when you started the business or have, has it moved. Have have you migrated from the original purpose of your business or the direction that you're heading and have you purposefully and intentionally moved or has it moved or pushed you in a direction that maybe you didn't want to go, and this is the opportunity for you to do look at that, potentially a reset on that. The next piece is a data collection and there'll be a there'll be a link in the show notes that will take you to our website and there, what you can do is you can register and download the free tools that will be of made available over the course of the eight weeks for you to be able to you do whatever it is that you need to do in, in, throughout the whole eight week period. I would suggest that you do this data collection in sprints and maybe it's a 30 minute sprint when you've got some time. Because I would normally spend three days going through the data collection process with a client. Doing it on your own you don't want this to be a burden. Again, the cheat sheet that you'll have access to will guide you, and you'll be able to ask the right questions as you go through. And the more details that you collect the better. The more honest you are with yourself at each of the various areas of the business, the better. Rather than looking at every part of my business is going well, actually taking a critical look at it and then again, in each of those areas will drill down into the satisfaction level, the importance and the urgency of each of those and the capability, capacity, time and money. So I spoke about that earlier, this is doing this exercise for each of your functional lines and collecting that information. So once you've got that information collected, you'll be able to do some analysis. Now I use a tool or software program called me. It's www.miro.com. It's a whiteboard. It's an infinite whiteboard. It's got a whole bunch of templates on there, you can do organizational design, you can do mind mapping, you can do customer journeys, you can do workflow processes. It's a brilliant tool. I'll put a link in the show notes. There's no affiliate I don't get a fee for it. It's just a tool that I really like. And you can share that amongst your team to be able to contribute to that. I use it with my clients, we set up a specific board for their for their business and we start putting things in and you can attach documents to it. So you can create a for example, a job description and you can attach it as a link inside the miro board so if you're looking for that file it can be in a, Google doc or a I use Zoho as a platform, so work drive for Zoho houses, all of that. You can link your project to it. It's a fantastic tool. So wrapping this up. I, hope this was a value or week one at least was value. I'd love to get your feedback on that. If you if you jump onto our website or email me let me know whether you think this was of value, whether there's anything that you would like me to cover a the more input I get from you, the more I can actually deliver value to you. And that's really what I'm trying to do. The, podcast has been a labor of love for me. I've really enjoyed the conversations. I hope you have too. What I'd like to do now is ramp that up a little bit and, create an opportunity for you to actually get some value from the work that I do with my clients and build a business for yourself that is more valuable than when you started through this program. So book yourself out so that you can get some time to work through this process. If this is important enough for you to listen all the way through, it's important enough for you to, do the work. Don't skip over the details. I know a lot of, you because you are the lazy entrepreneur and you don't like to do things that you don't like to do. And what I'm asking you to do is to do some things that you don't like to do, it's for a purpose, and it will become evident over the there is method in my madness. And eventually what we'll do is we will enable your team to be involved. So I hope you've enjoyed this first episode of series two. The lazy entrepreneur as I said, there'll be links in the show notes that will enable you to log into our website and download the checklists and any tools that will be publishing in the future. As always, I hope the information that you receive today inspires and energizes you to make a difference in your and others' lives.