All Posts By

Brent Spilkin

5 Reasons (Other Than Money) Why Entrepreneurs Work So Hard

By Business Coaching Entrepreneur Motivation psychology No Comments

I rarely find entrepreneurs that don’t work incredibly hard in their businesses. They often make major sacrifices by spending loads of time away from family and friends, neglecting their health and giving up on moments of leisure (holidays, gatherings, etc.), in order to be the best at what they do.

Working hard to become successful and run a great business is generally for one major reason: making profit. Usually, making as much money as possible to have the freedom, security and comfort that financial stability can bring you is a huge motivator.

But I feel that it’s not always quite as simple as that.

I’ve come to discover that there are 5 more reasons (other than cash) that motivate entrepreneurs.

Let me enlighten you:

5.A Sense Of Guilt

Some business owners feel that if they’re not working, then they are being lazy, unproductive and aren’t making a valid contribution to society. People that deal with guilt generally have an internal narrative that reminds them of their obligation to work harder for themselves or for someone else (be it for family or to keep a promise).

There are many people that use guilt to drive their ambition for success and quite often do very well in running a business or in developing a strong career path.

And although it certainly does motivate them to do things, or at least get things done – it’s not exactly a healthy reason to work harder. Guilt often creates a sense of shame, especially if something doesn’t get done or get done right. Yes, we all need to be responsible and hold ourselves accountable, but shame can end up bad for your health and negatively affect your output.

4.High Levels Of Competitiveness 

Some people are highly competitive and absolutely love to win. Losing is never an option, so doing whatever it takes to be the best at what they do is a huge motivating factor. While competing for profits is one thing, competitive business owners see a challenge in almost anything.

Winning can be subjective, though; it’s relative to each individual and will differ from person-to-person. But the highly competitive entrepreneur is often never satisfied with one metric of success, rather they constantly seek out new benchmarks to measure achievement.

When you interact with someone that loves competition, you come across questions like, “How many people do you have in your business? What are your profits like? Who are your biggest clients?”. And usually, questions like these are aimed at gauging the level of success a person has, so that they’re able to determine the best route to take in order to become the better leader.

Being competitive can be great and help you in reaping many rewards, but there are a few disadvantages that come with the desire to always come out on top. There’s a fine line between the enjoyment of playing the game to win and negative motivators like jealousy, envy, and obsession. Sometimes being overly competitive can also mean that you secretly want others to fail, that you don’t want others to be on the same level as you, and that you don’t care who you hurt to get what you want.

3.Being A Perfectionist

Some people are addicted to perfectionism. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder can sometimes play a role, but certain individuals can’t progress until they believe a product, service or task has reached the point of perfection.

The thing is that it takes a lot of hard-work, energy and time to try and attempt perfecting something. I’m not saying that being mediocre in everything that you do is alright, but putting too much effort into a product or service can sometimes do more harm than good. While causing you heaps of stress, which can lead to emotional outbursts, perfection is highly subjective and not always worth the attention that you give to it.

While it might seem admirable to give everything your all, it’s not always effective. Sometimes giving a product or service that is too polished can be off-putting. Also, by trying to make something perfect, you put yourself at greater risk of taking criticisms too seriously which might end up in feelings of failure and resentment.

2.Being A Control-Freak

I’ve come to find that plenty of business owners are driven to do the important work themselves in order to have complete control of the outcome(s). They love either being in control or take complete joy in controlling others. If they aren’t actively involved in the business (pulling the levers, engaging with the work) then they feel pained by a lack of control.

While I often suggest that giving clear briefings, delegating the work that needs to be done and evaluating it afterwards can give you just as much control – there are some absolute control freaks that simply can’t give up that sense of power. This insatiable need to be in control all of the time can be traced to the desire of being right all the time. It creates discomfort in others and displays deep-seated issues of trust.

It might seem like doing the work yourself would be a better approach and your pride might tell you that your involvement is crucial to the success of a product, service, process or operation, but there are plenty of disadvantages that come with being overly controlling. If there’s one way to annoy the living shits out of your employees, then revising their work over and over again is certainly a great option. You end up making people feel inferior and like they aren’t good enough. It can also create resentment and diminish the respect that people have for you.

1.An Addiction To Dopamine & Adrenaline 

This one has become more and more apparent, especially in business owners that work from home. These people are often motivated by the stress of getting work done – they thrive under pressure and quite often produce excellent results. Working hard and through long hours, they function well on the adrenaline and dopamine that comes with the pressure that they deal with.

The idea of producing great results under pressure is called eustress. Eustress is often associated with growth, productivity and skill development – but with any form of stress (whether good or bad), there is a chemical/hormonal reaction that takes place within the brain and body. When dealing with situations that involve pressure, there’s a release of adrenaline, dopamine and cortisol (to name a few) into our bloodstream and it’s not always healthy.

Dopamine is usually released upon achievement of a goal and leaves you feeling great – like a drug, this can become addictive. With adrenaline and cortisol – the two negative hormones that are associated with stress (and eustress) – you end up doing more harm than good. Adrenaline, our fight or flight hormone, causes the body to react to these situations (sweaty palms, frustration, mood shifts) and can have negative effects in the long-term. Cortisol, the stress hormone, is a slow-releasing chemical that can negatively affect our immune systems, blood pressure and digestion (along with others).

With a cocktail of hormones coursing through your veins, it can inevitably have negative effects. And one of the biggest issues is that of depression. Long-term, these chemicals will bring harm to the mind and body; short-term, you can be left with feelings of sadness and hopelessness.

Being that addiction plays a role, when you do end-up taking a break or vacation, then the lack of hormones will affect your mood and energy-levels; you’re basically going cold turkey and it will take up to 2 weeks for your body to stabilise.

Motivators Come In Clusters

Most business owners that are motivated by these different factors usually relate to two or more of the reasons listed above. Some people are driven by guilt and perfection, some by control and competition – each person has more than one motivator.

As a business coach that comes into contact with so many different personalities, I recognise some of these traits in some of the entrepreneurs that I assist.

Making them aware of what motivates them is crucial for self-awareness and understanding why they do the things that they do. In helping them realise these things, I’m able to advise and guide them towards better thinking, reasoning and action.

Knowing how these reasons affect you and why they might be unhealthy will push you towards becoming a better business owner, leader and human being.

As the saying goes: “Check yourself before you wreck yourself.”

Being a business coach means that I not only want what’s best for your business, but for you, as well.

I’m driven by the desire to make your life better, your business better and your approach far more effective.

You deserve a coach that takes every single thing into consideration and not one that is purely motivated by profits, control, competition, guilt, stress or perfection.

You deserve compassion, strength, wisdom and guidance.

So take what you deserve:

+2783 253 3339

brent@spillly.com

 

 

 

What Is Strategic Account Management and Why You Should Use It

By Business Coaching Marketing Sales Strategy No Comments

As a business coach, I’ve come to find that business owners will often overlook the advantages of client retention and tend to be rather shy in giving the right amount of focus, love and attention to both their new and existing clients.

And although it might seem like a heinous crime and a blatantly obvious area to focus on, you’ll be surprised at how many businesses don’t put the customer at the center of their attention.

That’s why making use of a strategic account management (SAM) plan allows for the development of an in-depth strategy that puts the customer in first place and draws out their needs so that you’re able to provide more solutions and retain them for the long haul.

Let’s look at how it works, why it’s necessary and how to differentiate it from the traditional sales approach.

What Is SAM?

Simply put, strategic account management focuses on building healthy and fruitful relationships with all of your clients or customers – especially the important and high-value ones.

It makes use of in-depth research and strategic planning to identify new problems for you to solve with the goal and purpose of enhancing the customer experience, strengthening loyalty and paving the way for better returns.

It’s almost like finding ways to invest in your clients to get better profits and secure recurring revenues.

Using a SAM plan comes with some pretty big benefits, too: it builds and strengthens customer loyalty, it stimulates and motivates new growth, and improves profitability.

Setting up this sort of plan usually involves every department within your business, as it should be a strategy that everybody is aware of and actively participating in. This way, everybody contributes to a system that seeks to improve the interactions, experience and relationships with existing clients.

How Does It Differ From Sales?

There are a few key differentiators that separate SAM from sales.

The easiest way to look at it is that sales primarily focuses on seeking and capturing opportunities, while SAM focuses on providing consistent value and satisfaction to clients that result in more returns – usually being implemented after the sales cycle.

Sales makes use of small and dedicated teams that use short-term strategies and planning to achieve results. This is quite different to SAM, which functions across the entire organisation and acts in an intimate manner that has far more involvement with the client.

In other words, sales is for drawing in and getting more clients; strategic account management is for retaining and getting more out of clients post-sales.

SAM is seated in between both sales and operations in that it uses more complex, long-term strategies to both add and extract value from clients. Clients are also generally more open and receptive to strategic account managers as they’re viewed as partners, where sales teams have a relationship with clients exclusively based on the exchange of goods/services.

The adage, “It’s cheaper to keep your clients than find new ones”, basically sums up and differentiates the two from one another; retaining clients through enhanced satisfaction, better service, improved relations and attention to detail is far more beneficial than the costs, maintenance and unpredictable nature of sales.

What Is The Purpose of A SAM Plan? 

If a SAM plan is implemented correctly, then there are certain key benefits and results that can be used to measure its success.

By using a SAM plan in the correct way, you’re able to identify new opportunities in your existing client base, allowing for you to upsell far more efficiently as you cater to new problems that they might be facing.

It also gives you far more intimate access to your clients in terms of influence, as you understand their needs and desires on a much deeper level – this also allows for more innovation with your clients to improve on new and existing services.

With this influence and access to your clients, you’re able to keep your competition at a distance, as a sense of loyalty is fostered between your company and the client.

How To Get That SAM Plan Started? 

Firstly, you need to identify your key clients and create an offer that they can’t refuse – one that is unique to them and that other clients don’t get unless they’ve been ‘upgraded’.

You then sit those clients down individually and determine what the perfect system looks like from their perspective. This will give you more insight into what they desire most and will help you figure out the best way to deliver on their expectations without annoying them.

Bear in mind that you ideally want to focus on anywhere between 5 to 25 key client accounts when you engage in this strategy, so you’re not overwhelmed by too many.

Strategic account management usually follows a 10-stage plan when it’s implemented correctly:

1) Develop The Customer Profile

At this stage you determine what the client/customer looks like, what they want, what they do, their goals and the products/services that they use.

2) Analyse Relationships

Determining how the relationship came to be and what influences your relationship with the client is the next crucial step. You look at their attitude towards you, their concerns and expectations, the frequency and methods of contact, and a SWOT analysis of them.

3) Identify Strategic Requirements

The third stage has you looking at specific requirements for the strategy to be implemented effectively. Looking at the history of sales, any issues that have been expressed, what it would take to impress the client, as well as the current and future needs of each department should all be measured and evaluated.

4) Analyze New Opportunities

With the mounting information that you’re gathering on your client(s) and the business as a whole, you can begin to target and determine any new opportunities that might benefit you.

Figuring out ways to leverage your resources to find new opportunities, identifying what obstacles need to be overcome, discovering whether there are unique offerings that your business can offer, and correcting mistakes that haven’t been attended to is your goal.

5) Map the Decision Process

At this point, you need to plan out and explain to the client your decision-making process. Here, you determine and explain which factors and people will influence the decisions, who the key decision makers are, explain the external pressures that exist, and the level of influence each decision-maker has.

6) Analyze Competitors

Gauging how good or bad the competition is with the client can provide very helpful insight. During this stage, you have the client rank you against other competition in terms of speed, innovation, cost, quality, service, etc.

Together with the client, determine the benefits of buying from you over the competition, who their preferred choice is and why, and use a SWOT analysis of the competition from the client’s perspective.

7) Establish Objectives

Looking at goals and objectives that can be measured will help in setting out deadlines and key changes that need to occur for the plan to take effect. Look at your expected sales and profits from each client, map out the objectives that need to be completed in the next 3 months, and determine what relationships you want with your clients.

8) Develop Account Strategy

Working on a strategy that focuses on each client account will be your next step. Here, you figure out how to successfully present your USP, determine the success factors for each account and how you aim to implement these factors, look at how you’re going to provide better value than your competition, and how to motivate the client to purchase more.

9) Coordinate Action Plans

In the penultimate stage, you look at the best ways to implement the necessary actions that need to be taken. Figure out who will be responsible for taking action, how you will accomplish these goals, the order and process that needs to be taken, which methods to use for measuring success, and what resources/people you need for the strategy.

10) Manage Account Relationships

Your final stage would be focused on the management, maintenance and measurement of those relationships that you develop with your key clients. You need to look at more initiatives that you can take to improve relationships, identify which clients give you the greatest return on your efforts, look at how you’re going to extract feedback and improve performance, and how often you measure client satisfaction.

Get A SAM Plan Going 

Remember that a SAM plan must be both measurable and iterative in its implementation. Look at it more of a long-term process as opposed to a short-term solution.

Try not to make the mistake of putting your best sales staff in the position of a strategic account manager, as not all people are comfortable with the change in roles and responsibilities. It might also result in losing some of your best sales staff.

It might seem like an intricate and long-winded process, but I assure you, it’s worth it.

And instead of looking at changing your business to embrace these new roles and this entire process, think about outsourcing the job to someone that has experience and practical knowledge in this field.

That someone could be me.

I’ll help you set up and manage a SAM plan with ease and comfort; other than all of the advice, skills and insight that I bring to the table as a business coach, I’m more than capable of providing you with a plan that will have your best clients fall in love with you.

I’m so good at it, you’ll probably fall in love with me.

So get that SAM plan going and bring me on board.

+2783 253 3339

brent@spillly.com

 

 

Need New Staff? Then Draw Them In With A Great EVP

By Business Coaching Hiring Marketing No Comments

Finding employees to fill very specific roles in your business can be a pain – especially if you’re a company that primarily provides niche or novel services.

And perhaps your marketing and sales are pretty much on point, but to take on more growth and demand, you need certain skilled individuals to fill these often unconventional roles.

This usually brings up two issues; the scarce skills in your industry make it that much harder to do and finding a starting point to draw in the perfect employees isn’t always easy.

So how do you attract new potential employees to your business and get them eager to work for you rather than the competition?

Well, your favourite business coach is here to let you in on a little trick:

The Value of an EVP

We all know that branding is critical to the success of any business, that’s why you’ve probably already worked on a value proposition for your clients.

In case you need a reminder – a value proposition is usually a statement that provides clear detail around the value, benefits and advantages that your company is capable of giving to potential clients and is used to spark interest and attract new clients to purchase your solution.

By using what’s called an EVP (Employee Value Proposition), you’re able to draw in new, skilled employees and let them know what your business is about and why they’d be stupid not to work for you.

The EVP is pretty much the same as a value proposition for clients, just reworked to focus on potential employees, instead.

Ultimately, it allows you to position the employer (your company) as a desirable brand to work for. It’s used to market your business as a favourable and tempting choice for new employees and gives them a clear indication as to why working for your business is an ideal choice for them.

In using an EVP that is both well thought out and desirable to the employee, you increase the likelihood of acquiring top talent and retaining your staff for longer – while giving yourself a competitive edge over the competition.

Marketing to Attract ‘Scarce Skills’ 

Known by many as ‘scarce skills’, there exists a demand for a range of roles that need to be filled within growing industries. Think about software and web development, network and information security, engineering and healthcare professionals – each one of those skills is highly sought after and companies often struggle to fill those roles. 

Other than the fact that it’s challenging to get those ‘scarce skills’, it can be an even bigger struggle to position yourself as the ideal business to work for.

Seeing as there is already a lack of people to fill those roles, you’re automatically put up against bigger companies that also require those skills, but that have more to offer potential employees; they often have bigger budgets (giving better salaries and benefits), nicer work environments (office space, meals, beverages, etc.), and reputations that provide their staff with credibility, network and exposure.

So the big question becomes: ‘what value can I bring to my staff?’

With an EVP, you can flex your brand to potential candidates, by showing them the opportunities and advantages that come with working for you, as well as why you’re a better choice than the competition.

It’s your job as a business owner to determine what the best offerings are to attract and acquire talent in the most effective way possible.

So What Does An EVP Look Like?

In constructing an employee value proposition that works well, you need to look at your own company’s strengths and unique offerings. This way, you’re able to offer value that your competition struggles to compete with and that potential talent can’t seem to find in other businesses.

For your EVP to be effective and work well, you need to consider a few important factors:

Firstly, you need to think about and map out the financial advantages of working for your organisation; how much are employees able to earn, what bonuses or incentives exist for them and do you offer any other financial benefits that come with working for you (stock options, shares, etc.).

Make sure to then address and give clear indication of the benefits that they can receive if they become an employee; do they get paid leave, retirement funds, health insurance or gym benefits?

Also look at and list any advantages aimed at career growth; do you offer paid education (sponsored courses), any training or mentoring (leadership, technical, career guidance), and opportunities for development (promotions, different positions and areas)? Bear in mind that if your financial advantages aren’t the best in the industry, beneficial career growth opportunities will help with attracting new talent.

And finally, your company culture and work environment; is there a healthy work-life balance that you can offer, are the hours flexible, will you be recognised for your efforts, is there a well-functioning team that you will be a part of and does your environment resemble a strict and formal set-up or is it relaxed, fun and dynamic?

Your EVP should contain and market the advantages of working with/for your company and include as much information as possible regarding the financial, cultural and developmental benefits that you’re able to offer.

How Do We Begin Construction? 

Knowing what your employee value proposition should contain will help you understand the steps that you need to take in order to construct it as effectively as possible.

You need to first assess what it is that you can offer the potential talent, identifying and understanding how your business can impact the employee.

With that in mind, gauge and evaluate your current and past employees to see what they love and hate about working for your company. This way, you can figure out your strengths and market them – and you can discover your weaknesses and work towards fixing them.

Now that you’ve identified what makes your company great, start writing out and constructing your EVP. There are loads of templates and examples on the web to get you started.

Next, you want to promote that EVP through the right platforms and channels, so that people can see and respond to it. If it lands up in the right places, it’ll attract far more attention and either draw in the potential talent or be shared by people that know people.

As with any strategy, your final step is to evaluate, measure and determine whether or not this approach is working. If it needs to be reconfigured, reworked or rephrased, then identify where you might have gone wrong, rectify any issues and try it again.

And there we have it.

A great trick to use for attracting new talent and identifying new ways to retain your existing employees.

You can thank me now – leave a comment, send me a message, give me a call, share the post.

Or!

You can take it a step further and think about the positive difference that I can make for your business… And take action.

From client/employee retention and satisfaction strategies to making effective use of the freelance space, all the way to the mindset and psychology that drives entrepreneurs and leaders to achieve the phenomenal – I’ve got your back.

I come loaded with the insight, experience and just enough secret recipes to get the most out of being a business owner and achieving great success.

Keen to find out more? I’ve got just the thing for you:

Ring ring! +2783 253 3339

brent@spillly.com

 

Doing It For You, To Doing It Together – To Now Doing It Yourself

By Agency Business Coaching Innovation No Comments

The vast majority of my clients run service-based businesses. This means that they sell time in some form or fashion – be it through consultants, graphics designers, or media specialists – and are quite used to taking a traditional approach when a client approaches them; “you need something done, we’ll do the work.”

But over the last couple of years, there’s been a large migration towards the productization of particular services; an attempt to convert a service into some kind of product or process for the client to be more involved in.

This new approach allows for the service provider to make the same amount of money according to the result, as opposed to the time it takes to provide the service.

It’s a clever new strategy that changes the narrative from ‘I, as the provider, do it for you’ to ‘we, the provider and client, do it together’ to ‘you the client, can do it yourself (with a bit of help)’.

Giving You The Tools To Do It Yourself

With technology transforming the way that we do things, especially in business, it’s safe to say that there will be newer and more effective ways to provide solutions to clients. Many service-based businesses are finding exciting ways to wrap their service into some sort of product that the end-user can use to produce results by themselves.

Traditionally, the provider would have to engage in manual processes that take up a lot of time, effort and engagement. However, over the last 10 years or so, we’ve seen technology involve the client in more and more of the processes required to get the job done – with the provider and client working together to save both time and energy.

Now with artificial intelligence, machine learning and natural language processing becoming an integral part of our lives, we see these processes move into the hands and space of the client. This means that, with a bit of guidance, the client can do the work by themselves and have better control of the outcome.

One of the biggest questions that sit on the minds of these companies is “instead of charging time, how do we charge a flat price and automate some of the production within that service that the client is either aware, or unaware of?”

This has led to different companies discovering a loophole in the system and taking full advantage of it: Instead of the traditional approach of the provider doing the thinking, research and hard work, there’s a shift towards pushing the client to do most of the heavy-lifting with assistance from the provider.

An example of this is in providing the service of conducting interviews to gain insight that will later be put into a report. Instead of spending hours in a room asking the same repetitive questions and writing down a shit load of answers – making use of Google Forms to extract that information is far easier to do and brings about the same results.

Other than the ease-of-use, it’s a major time- and cost-saver for the provider.

With technology advancing these processes, instead of charging for time, you charge for the output – resulting in the same profits, but less work from the provider.

By adopting this method, service-based businesses are able to help guide and advise the client on the best route to take when they need a specific problem solved. It not only helps the customer create a more suitable solution for him/herself, but also makes the job far easier to do for the provider, while freeing up time to do more tasks and make more money.

Sure, it might not be suitable for every business, as some services need special expertise to execute a task, but this approach has certainly made a significant impact on the service-based industry as a whole.

And as a business owner, this is great news for you.

Making it a priority to determine whether or not your service is capable of a similar conversion will improve efficiency, productivity and overall profits.

With the ever-expanding landscape of technology, certain jobs will become far easier to do through automation and it would be pure sacrilege to not look into this new approach.

If you’re too conservative and prefer the traditionalist approach, then you might just lose out on these new opportunities for growth – as well as the advantage of being at the forefront of introducing new productised services to the market.

There are so many examples of these productized services, including: design-as-a-service, where you’re able to make your own custom designs through application-based tools and templates; marketing-as-a-service, where you can market and sell products/services through simple and effective features on the web; and even customer-support-as-a-service, where one company handles customers from different businesses, while still providing them with a great customer experience.

The world is quickly adapting to this approach and you should consider jumping on the bandwagon if you want your company to remain relevant in the years to come.

Let customers and clients do it themselves.  

Sure, there might be a few coaching-as-a-service companies out there, but none can quite compare to the way that I do things.

You see, technology hasn’t quite captured the essence of a highly-effective, caring, energetic and experienced business coach, just yet.

Maybe it will happen someday. But, all I know is that I’m here to stay and can make a superb difference in your business and your life.

Get in touch and I’ll prove it to you: +2783 253 3339

brent@spillly.com

 

Capturing Vistas In The Three Horizons

By Business Coaching Innovation Strategy No Comments

As a proponent of technology, science and society, Bill Sharpe has come up with a powerful way to view the current, the potential and the future states of business and entrepreneurship, naming it The Three Horizons.

The angle that he takes is to change our viewpoints from that of a one-dimensional perspective to a three-dimensional way of seeing the world.

As a business coach, I feel his insight is profound and enlightening for all those that come into contact with this way of thinking and engaging with both life and business.

The Present, The Potential and The Future 

It goes without saying that nobody is capable of seeing or predicting the future, especially after the impact that Covid has made on the many industries that have either suffered or succeeded during such an intense time.

But the awareness that comes with acting in a one-dimensional view of reality has become irrational, to say the least; there needs to be far more attention paid to the potential change that comes with time and the new paradigms that we will come into contact with in the future.

If there is one thing that we can all agree on being consistent, it’s that change is inevitable.

As a business owner or entrepreneur, you need to work on being inclusive of the thought-processes that come with widening your scope to include the possibilities of that which is to come and the guaranteed shift in worldviews that inevitably arrive with the future; allowing yourself to see the world in a more three-dimensional light.

Sharpe has divided and defined these three viewpoints as three horizons that should always be considered and adopted into your thinking process when running a business: with the First Horizon referring to the present moment and what needs to be done in the here and now; the Second Horizon pointing out the potential of the near future and what can be developed, innovated or grown to shape and move towards that point; and the Third Horizon being the unpredictable and unforeseeable future that will ultimately shape all that we know.

In your approach to the timelines that exist when building your business strategy, these three horizons should be implemented in your vision and considered at all points when navigating through the ever-changing circumstances of life.

Many of the clients that I work with run their businesses within the First Horizon; in a reactive manner that is inclusive of the present and without much interest paid to the short and long-term future that is yet to come. This certainly works, but when the Second and Third Horizons come into play, there often isn’t enough innovation or preparation taken to deal with the inescapable shift in gear.

Just as much focus needs to be given to the Second Horizon, as well. It’s a transitional period that sets our sights towards the potential of the near future, where infrastructure and technology shape innovation and bring with it a whole new set of circumstances that need dealing with. By opening your mind to the “what if” moments of several months or a year down the line, you’ll be surprised at what can be anticipated and developed to cater to these changes.

Taking a stroll through history, there are always patterns that repeat themselves and that should be worked into a means of predicting what’s to come and how to work with those predictions and possible circumstances.

With a keen eye and diverse mind, you can analyse, determine and form insights into what the future might hold and prepare yourself for endless possibilities; certain patterns are unavoidable, but predictable, with natural disasters, technological advancements and new innovations, we can see the Third Horizon open up and ensure that we take better control of the wheel.

Open Your Mind And Your Sights 

The Second and Third Horizons can certainly seem quite daunting when attempting to look at what the predictable and unpredictable future might hold, but by taking the time to let it simmer and by engaging with this thought process, you’re able to make better-informed decisions for your business.

You open the way to see what could be and innovate, accordingly. This gives your business and your vision a head-start in taking the future on, rather than being shocked and disoriented by any surprises that might come knocking on your door.

We are aware of the ever-growing potential of artificial intelligence, the unpredictable nature of diseases and pandemics, the direction that businesses are headed towards in learning the psychology of the customer, the leader and the employee; so by keeping well-informed and educated on such topics, you’re able to deduce and induce particular changes that the world will most certainly introduce to our civilization, as a whole.

Knowledge truly acts as a form of power in looking towards these new horizons, bringing with it innovation, adaptation and potential in sky-rocketing your business towards the beautiful vistas of the future.

Engage with that future and don’t focus too much energy on the single dimension of the present; open up your mind’s eye, view business and life in three dimensions and see the opportunities of the present and the future.

In my three-dimensional vision for the world, I can certainly see you as being a part of it. If you haven’t seen the testimonies, just yet – be sure to check them out.

With that, I’m able to predict the levels of growth and success that I can bring to your business and will provide the greatest level of coaching you’ve ever seen!

You can believe that.

If you’re a bit curious and want to know what exactly I’ll offer you (other than time, expertise, advice, strategies and the best insight) contact me for a one-on-one:

+2783 253 3339

brent@spillly.com

Charity Or Capitalism – What Drives Your Business?

By Business Coaching Entrepreneur Motivation Strategy No Comments

Empathy is a beautiful thing. It shows compassion, understanding and often presents itself in the form of charity.

Giving back to others, whether they come from a difficult background or struggle to afford certain things, is inspiringly profound and I’m fortunate to have so many clients that are always seeking to act in charitable ways.

But, at the end of the day, running a business based on capitalism means that giving out freebies can be problematic. Keeping an eye on the losses, the leeches and missed opportunities is essential to the growth and success of your business.

That being said, I believe that it’s important to determine whether you’re in it for profit or for charity.

Are You In It For Profit Or To Give Back? 

I tend to find that a large portion of my clients land up in a position where they’re guilty of providing services and doing work that they know they’re losing money on, or they end up keeping staff that they shouldn’t (those that are too slow, unproductive, etc.)

So a question that I ask many of them is, “are you a business or a charity?”

If you’re a charity, that’s great. I recommend going ahead and starting a non-profit organisation and making the world a much better place.

However, from a capitalist-based perspective, if you really want to do charitable work, then it’s often better to make a lot of money and then spend a portion of it on giving back, or even starting a large business that affords you the time and freedom to commit to charitable work.

As a business coach, it’s only right to remind you that running a business, which is aimed at bringing in profits for the shareholders, and trying to do charity at the same time is not a very smart move.

If you really want to commit to doing charity in some form, then perhaps telling your staff that 5-10% of the work that will be done is going to be pro bono, so it’s measurable and accounted for.

At the end of the day, I want my clients to be as profitable as possible.

Don’t get me wrong, I love that there’s so much empathy within my client-base and I respect that they want to do good in the world, but they aren’t doing themselves, their shareholders, or their staff any favours by wasting time, effort and resources.

The difficulty lies in looking carefully at your clients and staff – identifying who the charity cases are and making the decision to either keep them or let them go.

If you’re losing money, then it’s probably time to summon up the courage and do the inevitable. Getting rid of the charity cases will improve efficiency, free up time for new clients and allow for faster growth.

You need to be clear with yourself around where the charity starts and where it ends.

This might end up pissing you off, but at the end of the day, you have smarter choices and options to choose from if giving back is a priority of yours.

Remember that starting and operating a business isn’t easy and in order for you to keep on a trajectory of growth, certain sacrifices are absolutely necessary. Keeping a client that can’t pay at times or that needs you to bail them out of sticky situations will bring about more harm than good; the same goes for an employee that doesn’t quite grasp the role that they have in your business or that ends up slowing down the momentum with backlogs.

Decide what you want in the years to come.

I understand the ethical dilemma that you might be facing, but if you open up your perspective and look at it from Spock’s point of view: “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”

This simply means that you should focus on driving your business to greater heights and then affect change at a larger scale, rather than catering to the handful of clients or employees that act as charity cases and slow down your business.

Or don’t.

The choice is entirely up to you. I’m not saying that it’s a smart choice, but you decide.

And if you are acting as a charity, willing to give away money without any return, then count me in; I’ll gladly be a business coach that does nothing and still gets paid.

I’m kidding.

It will drive me insane.

I’ll end up sharing more strategies, tactics and advice with you; I’ll seek any opportunity to help you become the success that you dream to be; I’ll give you the time, effort and energy that you require as a business owner and leader to become the very best.

It goes against my very fabric to do nothing and walk away with pockets full.

I’ll prove it to you:

+2783 253 3339

brent@spillly.com

Why Foresight and Forecasting Is Important For Your Business

By Business Coaching Leadership Strategy No Comments

Being an oracle or seer isn’t exactly on your priority list as a business owner. I get that. But using experience, perspective and the almost limitless supply of online information to predict, estimate and foresee the disruptions that end up shaping our world is absolutely essential to any successful entrepreneur.

Indeed, there aren’t any crystal balls or tarot cards that can predict the likes of Facebook, Google or Amazon rolling in and dominating their respective industries, but one thing is for certain: each of those successful companies had an element of foresight attached to them.

They were able to predict and understand that with the rapid growth in technology, there were new problems on the way. And that meant new solutions needed to be worked on before anybody else could realise the potential.

So why is business forecasting so effective and how do you start making it a part of your business?

Fortification Through Forecasting

 Being a business owner means that you have loads of responsibilities on your plate. The planning, effort and the hard work put in to maintain that business is already a struggle on its own, so finding new ways to keep it growing, improving and well-fortified will take up even more energy, time and dedication.

As a business coach and someone that’s all too familiar with the highs and lows of running a business, I know how difficult it can be to manage everything on that brimming plate of yours. But without seeking new avenues for growth and progressing your business to move ahead of your competition – you leave yourself susceptible to risk.

The less risk, the better. Right?

Although forecasting and prediction isn’t a cure-all for some of those risks, it certainly makes a huge difference if you’ve prepared yourself and your company to deal with the constant changes that are bound to come your way.

Ultimately, adapting to a mindsight of prediction will strengthen the fort that you create around your business. It forces you to plan ahead and formulate contingencies that will help strengthen your company – should some form of change occur.

This way, you’re always prepared for the inevitable and ensure that you are always moving towards the goal of finding new solutions before they’re needed.

3 Benefits That Come With Forecasting 

As you begin to consider an approach that makes effective use of forecasting, it would be wise to know some of the benefits that come with using it.

Firstly, it gives you the opportunity to formulate a more structured approach towards your business strategy. By using insights, trends and patterns to predict any new changes in the world (disasters, pandemics, new technologies/infrastructures, war), you can better prepare your business for any major changes and plan out how you’re going to deal with any problems that you might face.

Secondly, you’re able to estimate an increase or decrease in demand based on patterns and insights that you’ve gathered through historical data, or through predictive trends. This will allow you to plan ahead for an upcoming increase or decrease in sales; so you’re able to speed up or slow down production and employ or let go of staff to deal with changes in demand. The ability to be and remain dynamic is a powerful weapon.

And last, but certainly not least, with forecasting you’re able to allocate the necessary time and resources for emerging possibilities, rather than relying solely on guesswork and gambling. It allows for calculated risk-taking and prepares you to deal with the outcomes that could be either damaging or beneficial.

Research has also proven that businesses that prepare for the future outperform average ones by 200% higher growth and 33% higher profitability.

3 Ways To Approach Foresight 

Okay, so I can’t give you a crystal ball or a black mirror to use for scrying, but I can provide some tips that will help get you started with making effective and promising predictions.

Listed here are a few of the methods that can be used to get started with forecasting. Remember that not all forecasting is based on looking into the future for possible change, but gathering insights through any form of data that will ultimately come to affect the future of your business.

Use The News – the news acts as a great source of recurring trends and patterns that indicate changes in the environment, industrial landscape and technology.

By using the news to predict certain shifts in behaviour based on impending change, then you’re able to work on promising solutions or strategies when changes occur. Think about how companies like Apple saw the changes in technology with regard to music, bandwidth and connectivity, in turn creating the iPod, iPhone and MacBook; or Canon looking past analog film and exploring digital photography, giving us access to the amazing DSLR cameras of the day.

Look At Quantitative Data – with quantitative data, you look at existing data based on purchase statistics, historical shifts and current technology. You can use your company data to discover patterns and coincidences that help you mould new strategies, additions and solutions.

With this approach, you can look at trends and changes in population, culture, technology, the environment, etc. and make predictions to take action based on the data that you’ve collected over time.

Use Qualitative Data –  this type of data isn’t too focused on stats and figures, rather you gather opinions, knowledge and thoughts from your staff, leaders, customers and executives.

Using collected data from these sources could bring a lot of insight for your business; what changes could benefit the company, ideas for new services, suggestions to improve the customer experience, and even external predictions and thoughts into what might happen in the years to come. Listen carefully to outsiders and insiders to make better predictions.

Start Looking Ahead 

Being aware of the knowledge that history might hold, the information that the present keeps hidden and looking into where the future is heading will help you formulate new decisions to enhance and improve your business.

Historically, certain patterns and events end up repeating themselves; currently, there are new technologies creeping in and slowly changing the way that we do things; and while the future might be filled with ambiguity, the futurists, innovators and Elon Musks of our time all have a vision and idea about what the future might hold – so watch them carefully and prepare for the inevitable.

I don’t have a crystal ball, but if I did, it would show me that you and I are capable of doing great things together.

My foresight tells me that your business could make use of some new insights, changes and improvements that only a business coach like myself could offer.

So, take a glimpse into the future and see yourself working with me to make that business of yours remarkable, impactful and transformative.

Do it. Or Don’t. The choice is yours:

+2783 253 3339 + brent@spillly.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Culling And Stacking Staff – Your Vitality Curves.

By Business Coaching Consulting Hiring No Comments

Every single business needs a great level of attention paid to retaining the right staff and culling those that don’t fit the ideal avatar of a suitable employee.

It can certainly be a difficult or tough process to undergo, but in order for your business to be as successful and as progressive as possible, there needs to be a level of measurement applied that will determine which staff contribute the most and those that are the most destructive to your company.

And in coming to terms with those that don’t bring any value, that are a weak culture-fit and that simply can’t grow – you need to get that rifle locked and loaded and begin hunting.

Rifles Ready; It’s Time To Go Hunting 

As a business coach that comes into contact with so many different businesses and entrepreneurs, there’s always an apparent vitality curve that needs evaluation and consideration.

Within the vitality curve you always find a small percentage of employees, around 10%, that sit on the edge with no value to bring to the company; these employees tend to be a bad fit in both productivity and culture. While they work at a slow pace, with low-output and a distinct inability to get certain responsibilities done, these members of staff are to be considered problematic for the healthy operation of your business and need to be pushed out.

The greater portion of the curve, which is generally around 70-80%, will be the staff that perform at an average rate and do the job well-enough to have the business operate effectively. These employees generally make up the majority of your business and keep it functioning at a healthy level without hassles and the requirement to possibly terminate them. I recommend training, motivating and incentivising those that fit in this category.

And finally, you’ll find on the other end of the curve your company’s top performers, also around 10%, which drive your business in the right direction and bring better profits, efficiency and promise. These employees should be treated with a higher level of respect and should be compensated, accordingly. Give these staff members great incentives, prizes and/or motivation to keep doing an amazing job.

When it comes to dealing with the bottom 10%, your poor performers, then it’s recommended that you find ways to get rid of them, either by firing or working them out of the system.

As criticised and difficult as this method might be, you need to cull this group of non-performers, as they act as leeches to the company – constantly feeding off of your business and never bringing anything to the table.

The former CEO of General Electric, Jack Welch, is famous for doing exactly that; firing and getting rid of the bottom 10% of performers on a yearly basis, keeping his top 20% of performers incentivised and motivated, while coaching and training the other 70% in order for them to keep developing and progressing in the business.

Even with a strong defense and great interview approach, there will always be a few rotten eggs that end up in any business, so it’s helpful to divide, categorise and select those that need better incentives, more training or to be culled.

This method is quite popular in some of the biggest companies out there and is often referred to as “rank and yank”, where employees are ranked and yanked out according to how well or poorly they are performing. It ultimately makes way for a better performance culture and the overall efficiency of the business.

It’s Not Always Fun, But It Needs To Be Done

 Obviously it takes up loads of time and energy to proactively get rid of staff and ensure that you’re constantly evaluating which of them make a good fit every year, but you’ll come to see that it becomes a necessary evil.

While it can be highly criticised and seem like a harsh route to take, your business will reap the many benefits that come with a strong, determined and high-functioning environment of performers that have what it takes to keep you on a trajectory of growth.

Keep in mind that you’re not being vindictive or malicious, but rather keeping your company’s best interests at heart.

In the belief that everybody deserves a second chance, you are more than welcome to act on that and give every employee a chance to improve and deliver on expectations. Offer training, coaching and advice to help bring about a change in attitude and if it doesn’t work, then you know that your rifle is in arm’s reach and ready to fire.

Remember that you also might run into dishonest and malevolent employees that might not necessarily deserve second and third chances, but that should be fired and replaced by someone with more promise and that will appreciate the opportunity to work for you.

Also, be open to creating an environment that takes care of average employees by training them and giving them the opportunity to grow in the company. This keeps them hungry and motivated to reach the status of a top performer and will most certainly bring positive results.

Finding difficulty in taking aim of the staff that need culling is a common occurrence and you don’t need to worry, because I’m here to help you with that (and a whole lot more). My coaching services include rifles and ammunition, along with the tracking techniques to sniff out and determine those who are detrimental to your business. Let me in and I’ll show you how it’s done.

We can meet via Zoom call, face-to-face, at the shooting range, or even a traditional phone call will work wonders. Let me know how I can help you:

+2783 253 3339

brent@spillly.com

Bullwhipping The Sales Machine Out Of You!

By Business Coaching Entrepreneur Sales No Comments

Thinking back to some old-school (and brilliant) pop culture, Indiana Jones definitely comes to mind. Such a legendary character that brought true action and adventure into our hearts that satiated our imaginations with all the right choices. Ah, the nostalgia.

One of my favourite trilogies of all time (of course, they had to butcher it and turn it into a pentalogy, with a fifth being introduced in 2022), I was hooked like a salmon to a treble hook and was in total awe of his ability to use the bullwhip like a proper Spanish Vaquero.

Using that bullwhip effectively is no easy task and understanding how it works will add a bit of bulk to the analogy I’ll be providing for you today.

My Whip Is Longer Than Your Whip 

In those years, when cowboys mattered, the size of the bullwhip determined the strength and ability of those capable of wielding such a responsibility. The bigger the whip, the stronger you were; not to be mistaken with small-dick syndrome and the overcompensation that comes with having the most expensive, phallic-shaped car possible.

By using it as an analogy for sales and referrals, you need to be aware of what it does and how it works.

Being quite a difficult process to get started, there needs to be a lot of work and strength put into initiating the circular motion that will gradually expand in circumference to eventually send out the tip as far as possible. This is done in order to create a loud crack through a small sonic boom made by breaking the sound barrier.

So, how does this translate to sales and referrals?

Obviously, in order to get new clients, you need to get out there and do some heavy lifting of your own, pushing down on your sales team and using the right marketing tools, while setting aside your pride and asking for business.

Like the bullwhip, getting it going can be difficult to do, but once there’s momentum built-up – it becomes a lot easier to manifest your intended outcome. It takes a lot of strength and effort to go out and land your initial clients and deliver value and a quality solution to them; but once those clients are involved in the process of buying on a regular basis, they will start referring you to others with comfort and confidence.

Similar to the cone that a bullwhip forms, which gets wider and wider as you spin it; so do your clients continue to expand until they reach a tipping-point, where referrals start happening.

At that point, you don’t have to put as much effort into sales and marketing, but you just have to maintain the quality of work that you’ve been producing.

You need to be aware that in order to become a referral-based business, you must look at it as a long-term goal, because in the short-term phase of your growth – you need to be far more aggressive and proactive and go out there to do your marketing.

Pace Yourself And Crack The Speed Of Sound

 In sales, the pace in which your sales leads grow is directly related to the effort that you put in at the beginning of the process.

As soon as you start selling and landing new work, the sooner referrals will pour in from those clients and you’ll build a portfolio of work that will fetch positive PR that can be used as content for your marketing strategy.

In your business, you act as the wrist that will provide motion to the bullwhip; speaking to as many relevant people as possible, advocating your business and driving awareness to your service and USP.

The faster you whip those sales, the larger the sales will be and the easier it becomes to maintain those clients and the referrals that will come with them.

Now, before I whip you, get going and drive those numbers up.

Get those referrals flowing to you like a well-irrigated rice farm.

And be sure to include me in your ass-whipping journey; I’ll provide you with a bigger, stronger bullwhip, one that won’t just break the sound-barrier, but shatter it.

Get in touch for a lunch, a chat or to see who might even have the bigger whip:

+2783 253 3339

brent@spillly.com

 

Stop Playing In The Middle; Pick A Side, Dammit!

By Business Coaching Entrepreneur Strategy No Comments

A big part of building a concrete business strategy is in deciding the market that your company is going after, which can be difficult as every market is unique and all of them have certain dynamics that are to be considered when taking them on.

Every business also has a different approach as to what they are going after and within that playing field there’s always opposition to be considered. As a business owner, you want to find space where you’re not in direct competition with that opposition.

This is why I’ll often recommend to my clients that they should always consider and keep fully aware of the market that they are aiming for to adopt their product or service, as it’s not always a clear-cut path.

“Where Do You Play And How Do You Win?” 

As you’re going through the process of finding the right market to deliver to, your awareness shifts to dynamics such as size of market; the geography of that market; the LSM and earning potential that comes with those potential clients; and whether you’re targeting a large, mass audience or a very niche and particular audience.

Within every product or service, your market can often be divided into two categories that sit on either side of those dynamics mentioned. Bear in mind that there is always room for a middle-ground, but that’s the space that you want to avoid when picking a side.

I like to look at the two sides as the Rolls Royce and the Chappies sides of those industries; the Rolls Royce side refers to the most expensive, exclusive and niche markets, while the Chappies bubble-gum side refers to the cheaper, high-volume and open markets.

Essentially, your goal is to pick a side and work your product or service and customer relations into one of those sides, while keeping away from the middle.

It’s better to pick either the low-volume, high-margin route or to take the high-volume, low-margin route, as the markets tend to be split and function better in one of those two areas.

In South Africa, when you take a look at the retail and food industry, we have Woolworths that takes on the Rolls Royce model, with careful attention paid to high-quality import products that opt for a smaller target market that are willing to pay higher prices. They dominate that area of the market, with a greater experience to offer their customers and a more comfortable environment; which ends up being a bit more costly.

In comparison, you have the Shoprite brand that adopts the Chappies model, where there’s access to a much wider market, but with much lower pricing on their high-volume products which cater to people with lower incomes. The experience isn’t as great and less attention is paid to making the customer feel far more comfortable and at home, but the pricing is far cheaper and there are far more customers at the end of the day.

These two models work very well for the businesses in these spaces and when you find some companies that try to sit in the middle, like Pick ‘n Pay, there’s always a challenge to deal with as the bottom takes up most of the volume-based market, while the top takes the niche and exclusive market; while they struggle from the middle to cater to both ends, taking fire from both sides.

Pick A Side And Stick With It

 When picking and deciding on your target market, be very deliberate as to whether you want to find and attract Rolls Royce (high-touch, boutique, exclusive; better experience and enjoyment) customers or Chappies bubble-gum (lower priced, high-volume, wide audience) customers.

You will do your business the world of good if you choose to focus on a particular market and ensure that you deliver the best possible product or service that you can. Don’t fall into the trap of chasing shiny pennies that distract you from picking one side.

Try to avoid the middle and keep away from attempting to make both sides of the spectrum happy, as it doesn’t always work out for your business in the best way. You’ll be left under a load of strain as you compete with both the cheaper and expensive model, rather than dealing with one competitive force by choosing one of either side.

Take the time to consider the pros and cons that each of those markets present you with, weigh it out and determine which area suits your product or service best.

Being a fence-sitter has never really worked out too well for anybody, ask Humpty Dumpty.

And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, picking a side and being firm in that decision will help your business blossom in the best way possible.

The same applies when choosing a business coach to assist you in taking ground-breaking leaps to achieving the best your business has to offer; it’s either you want me in your court, or you don’t – there’s no time for indecision from the middle.

So, let me know whether or not you’d like to have a meeting, a chat, a face-to-face or a much-needed wake-up slap:

+2783 253 3339

brent@spillly.com

I’m kidding about the slap, but I mean, if that’s your thing… I know people…