Category

Entrepreneur

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

 

 

 

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

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…

7 Great Reasons To Start A Business Today!

By Business Coaching Entrepreneur Lifestyle Motivation No Comments

Sure, starting a business is no easy task and it certainly comes with its struggles and challenges, but the bulging benefits of starting one are far too many to ignore.

From the freedom and autonomy that comes with becoming an entrepreneur, to the skills, experience and purpose that you’re able to develop along the way – starting a business will open up new, empowering horizons that you never thought possible.

Freedom And Autonomy

 In starting a business, you’ll find that you take away the pain of working for a boss or within a hierarchy that might have an uncomfortable culture to deal with or operate in.

You allow yourself to feel the independence and freedom to do as you please when creating the environment of your choice. Have you always wanted to be a better leader, have a better system for employees, or a peaceful and productive environment to work in?

If that’s the case, then by creating your own business, you take control of the steering wheel and make the decision to operate in a better way for everybody. This will give you a strong sense of control in your ability to create change and mould something incredible for people to respect and admire.

You’re free to be who you want to be and make the right changes, while enhancing the lives of those around you. You’re free to play golf all day or spend time with your family and go on extravagant vacations.

Achievement And Pride

By taking that level of control in building out a business, whether big or small, you’re left with a level of pride around the hard work that you’ve put in to achieve something memorable and impactful.

You can rest with a clear conscience around the fact that you’ve taken the risk, effort and time to create something from nothing. The improved self-esteem that will come with that drive and ambition will give your ego a facelift and have you feeling like a king or a queen.

It goes without saying that humility is always one of the best traits to keep in touch with, so avoid arrogance, but embrace the fact that you will certainly be dripping in confidence and come out looking and feeling sexier than ever. Just like building anything from scratch, you’ll be proud and feel great about what you’ve achieved and succeeded in doing.

A Healthy Bank Balance 

It pretty much goes without saying that running your own business will help you in achieving far more financial freedom than you would by working a normal job.

Obviously the responsibilities that come with paying employees on time, taxes, rental fees and other costs will take away from your earnings, but when going about it the right way – you have a world of potential profits to look forward to.

The money that comes with running a successful business can help you build even more businesses, retire early or live the lifestyle of your choice. It ties back to having a sturdy level of freedom and autonomy in your life, which gives you peace of mind when doing what you want to do.

Skills And Development 

As great as the freedom, money and pride that come with running your own business can be, you’re able to develop a wide range of skills and abilities that you simply can’t put a price on.

While building your business, you learn more and more about the different approaches, models, strategies and tactics used to take your business to the top. This allows you to view everything around you in a completely new way; seeing opportunity in places you wouldn’t have expected, spotting marketing strategies that you were unaware of before, developing your insight and mind’s eye to take on and navigate through uncertainty.

You grow in ways that you wouldn’t have expected and as you explore new avenues of interest, you begin mastering the many different facets that come with all of this dynamic and constantly progressing information.

Learning how to use technology and infrastructure to your advantage; understanding how the laws around particular industries and markets operate; and the knowledge of your own potential and limitations provides insight into the person that you are.

Meaning And Purpose

We live in an age with so much to offer, with plenty of paths to choose from and without any direction or purpose it can be disheartening and somewhat demotivating when we run into existential crises; left confused and battered by unfulfillment.

By starting a business where your passion can be the driving force or even in discovering new interests through this process, you find purpose in the world and see that it’s far easier to navigate through life knowing that you’ve left a positive impression and footprint for everyone to see and feel its impact.

This sense of meaning can bring about wonderful changes in confidence, self-esteem and balance in your life as you know that you’ve done something meaningful on this earth, while taking away loads of skills, insight and a developed character.

It’s difficult to find meaning and purpose, so starting a business can certainly be rewarding in that sense. You’re kept busy with growth and improvement, becoming more fulfilled by the day.

Causes & Charity

One of the more philanthropic and selfless reasons to start a business is the fact that you can make a significant contribution to the causes and charities of your choice, especially as a reputable business. You’re able to make more impact and a greater difference in people’s lives and contribute to the movements that you see fit.

Fighting for a particular ideal can give you plenty of joy and happiness in different areas of your life, again raising self-esteem and confidence in yourself.

Your business can also act as a sign of hope and relief to the different charities and organisations that seek to make a difference and better the lives of people. PR might not be on the top of your list when doing good for others, but you will naturally become recognised for the good that you do and it will be far more rewarding to yourself and others.

If you’re a person that wants to help make a difference in huge and meaningful ways, but find it difficult to do this on your own, then starting a business can push you to make better changes for those that you see fit.

New Experiences 

Working on your own business will bring about new experiences and viewpoints on reality and the world around you. Opening your doors to new situations allows for better personal growth and a deeper level of understanding around the way that life works.

With these new experiences, you’re always kept busy and constantly engaging with so many new perspectives, leaving you with knowledge and wisdom on a wide variety of subjects.

You will encounter numerous personalities that you need to work well with and understand, industries and markets that operate in certain ways and people from all walks of life that open more doors of opportunity to you.

This will force an evolution and a valuable change in your emotional intelligence as you begin to view people and situations differently than you had before, allowing more experiences and moments of magic to come into contact with.

Bonus Reason No.8 

There you have it, 7 great reasons to start a business.

But, there is an 8th that I’d like you to be aware of.

If you start a business, you’ll have the opportunity, nay, the advantage of the advice, knowledge, experience and insight of a brilliant balding bearded business coach.

Not all business coaches come with that alliterative function, so I’d definitely recommend checking him out.

He has what it takes to have your business blossom with all of the right strategies, tactics and research you could ever need; he is trustworthy, credible and driven; he is motivating, energetic and creative.

As I unmask and reveal to you, while no more referring to myself in the third person, that I, Spillly, am the best business coach for you, do yourself a favour:

Start a business and get into contact with me.

+2783 253 3339

brent@spillly.com

Selling Your Business? Well, Here’s What Buyers Look For

By Business Management Consulting Entrepreneur No Comments

I often call bullshit for the litany of reasons that people sprinkle on me for wanting to start a business; talking about wanting to make an impact on the world, a dent in the universe, change and better lives… Such a load of crap!

Spare me the soft, fluffy and sordid motivations behind starting a business, we all know that often, the biggest driving force behind that decision is money – cold, hard cash.

9 times out of 10, people predominantly want the wealth and power that comes with owning and running their own business; perhaps enjoying the journey along the way, while making a positive impact and supporting people in that venture of self-discovery.

When digging deeper, though, I find that quite a sizable portion of my clients have the goal of creating a business just to sell it down the line, cash out and then retire with millions in the bank.

These people often don’t go in with the right mindset to approach that in the best possible way – that’s where I come in.

Cut The Bullshit; Let’s Call A Spade, Well, A Spade.

By identifying that your mission is to ultimately work on creating a great business in order to sell it 3, 5 or even 7 years down the line, you’re already on the right track to discovering what it might take to find the right buyer.

A lot of people try to build a business with the sole intention to sell that business. There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing that and I will often push for my clients to find the right way to go about it, if that’s really what they want.

As a business coach and having successfully owned and run a few great businesses, myself; I know how to make a business run beautifully, but I also know a gorgeous opportunity when I see one.

Clients will often approach me and tell me that that’s what they want to do, the route that they want to take and I make them ask themselves a few important questions, “firstly, what does the buyer of your business, in five years, look like?”. You should ask yourself what kind of business or buyer will want to buy your business and what makes your business attractive to them.

It’s absolutely crucial to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and define what it is that you’re looking for if you were the one wanting to buy a business.

What To Flaunt In Your Business, So That You Find The Right Buyer

There are numerous factors to consider when looking at it from the buyer’s perspective and you should ensure those factors cross your mind in some way or the other, so that you make the most desirable and mouth-watering business, possible.

Most of my clients run businesses that provide the service of selling time, so the approach is fairly different to all enterprises, but many of these aspects can be applied to one that is product-based, as well.

To flaunt that sexy business of yours, you want to take note of a few very important things, such as brand value and how valuable or desirable your brand is; how deep your defensible moat is in protecting the business; the lifetime value and scale of your clients/customers; how stable your profits are; and the overall quality of your product and clients.

There’s plenty more to be discussed and it will turn your company from a typical, boring 6 to a desirable, gorgeous catch of a 10!

Starting with brand value: in the past, I was offered a very tempting amount by a large multinational to buy one of my product lines; interestingly enough they didn’t want product, stock, people, nor the assets – they simply just wanted the labels and the brand. It fascinated me that all they wanted was to take over the IP and this taught me the real value of the brand that you present to the world. The way your business looks, is presented and talked about is crucial in selling to a potential buyer.

In creating a product or service that is difficult to replicate or duplicate, one that is expensive for anyone to hop into the same market and to compete with; you begin to form an impenetrable moat around your business, so that it becomes even more desirable to the buyer. Vertical integration (do you own the service, product, supply chain, outlets?) will make that moat run even deeper, like a bottomless pit. The more vertical integration there is, the more stable you are and the more likely your business will sell.

Next, your clients become just as important: as long-standing customers that bring lifetime value and a stable income are golden-nuggets to the buyer. If your overheads are always covered and there’s a consistent flow of profit coming in, the likelihood of making that big sale increases drastically.

Do you have all of the necessary contracts in place? Contracts between you and your clients, between you and your suppliers and any other stake-holders in your business are all of value to the buyer. Ensure that all of those contracts are rigorous, so that no unforeseen circumstances rock-up and that nobody can just walk away with no obligations.

Take a stroll down memory lane – generally around the last 3-5 years – and determine how consistent your profits and revenues are, while identifying whether or not they are continuing to grow, or if they are in decline. The person that wants to buy your business is ideally looking for consistent (and consistently growing) profits. Having one great year and one shockingly bad year will make any potential buyer a nervous and reluctant wreck. It also doesn’t hurt if your revenues and profits are higher than that of your competitors.

Quality clients are also very attractive – do you supply large multinationals, do you supply large, comfortable and secure businesses? Or do you supply lots of bottom-feeders that tend to be inconsistent and unpredictable? These questions can make or break the attractiveness of the business. If you have consistent annuity-based clients with great reputations, you will tickle the buyer’s taste buds.

If you have intellectual property, or proprietary technology that’s patented and protected; a stable management team with trustworthy and reputable leaders that are suitable for advancement in your business; and a variable overhead, where the staff and employee-base is small enough to cut back on and find freelance work if crises like Covid might arise: you’re on the right track to finding the most suitable buyer for your business.

Most buyers also look at geographical reach and whether or not you dominate only one province, or city, or if your reach extends to the entire country or even a global customer-base; also, an excellent and high NPS (Net Promoter Score) that indicates how likely your clients, customers and staff are to refer you and whether or not they adore and believe in your business, willing to spread your brand like unrelenting Jehovah’s Witnesses.

It doesn’t end there, trust me.

Synergy also becomes important to the buyer, as potential savings are always a major benefit to them. If the buyer has the option to immediately save money by removing some of your costs, because they already have it built into their business, it becomes more desirable. An example might be that your business and theirs have a full-time server, where they can transfer everything to one of the two and cut back on some of the costs of operating both. This can also extend to particular staff that both businesses might have, like a bookkeeper that can be let go of, because they already have one, or in the delivery of products and distribution (instead of using two trucks, transport duties can be shifted to one).

Is your solution plug and play, that it solves the buyer’s needs so that they can plug your solution into their client-base with ease?; what is the level of automation in your processes and policies, so that there isn’t huge reliance on extra employees, that it is fully-functional and works fluidly without too much human interaction; and does your USP differentiate you in the market and is it very obvious to the potential buyer?

Finally, does your business sit in a ‘blue ocean’ marketplace? Is it in a clean environment that has plenty of opportunity to dominate that market or industry, or does it sit in a ‘red ocean’ market that is surrounded by constant competition, rivalry and challenges? It’s far more attractive if the buyer doesn’t have to deal with strong competitive forces and can dominate that area with far more ease.

Throw All Of Those Ingredients Into The Crucible

 In taking all of those elements into deep consideration, you create a solid business that any buyer would leap at the opportunity to acquire it from you.

Your goal is to make it as attractive to the potential buyer as humanly possible. By paying such careful attention to what they would be looking for in a business, you’re able to create the most impressionable and desirable set of circumstances to sell.

Now, with you filling the shoes of a prospective buyer, are there any other important things to consider when looking to buy a business? What else would have you gunning for the opportunity to take over such a high-potential company?

I want you to walk away that much richer, having made the right decisions behind selling your business and for the highest possible amount. All of this with the peace of mind that both you and the buyer will be happy with the decision you’ve both made.

Who knows, maybe if you tick all of those boxes correctly, you might find that your business is a keeper and end up hogging it all to yourself.

If you’re looking to sell your business and are in need of an evaluation, based on what I’ve talked about, definitely hit me up. We can run through your goals in attracting and manifesting the most suitable buyer and what exactly it’ll take to sell, effortlessly.

I’m a phone or video call; a lunch or a quick beverage; a whatsapp or an email away from making your dreams a reality:

+2783 253 3339

brent@spillly.com

 

 

The T-Shape Entrepreneur – Developing Skills On The Periphery

By Business Coaching Entrepreneur Motivation No Comments

One of the greatest benefits of finishing university or college is that you walk away proud and armed with a new skill set, newly qualified and capable of filling a particular role in that field, but what you’ll come to find is that you are limited in your ability to actually turn that skill into starting a business.

With that new qualification, whether it’s in law, design, coding or whatever you spent the time, effort and resources on, starting a business around that skill will bring about a whole new set of learning that needs to be undertaken in order to succeed in it.

When I talk about this to clients, I use the imagery of the letter ‘T’, where you’re given a horizontal and vertical line that represents your current capability (the vertical line) and the new skills required to become a great entrepreneur (the horizontal line).

 

Thicken Your Horizontal Line To Become The Best Entrepreneur, Possible 

By taking a look at that ‘T’ shape, you’ll come to find that the vertical line starts out longer and more prominent than the horizontal; this represents the expertise that you’ve acquired in your studies and it’s up to you to either thicken or lengthen it, or begin working on the knowledge required to actually start and successfully run a business.

If your plan is to strengthen the vertical line, then you will end up paying more attention and giving more time to developing the profession that you chose to study. As you strengthen this line, your experience and ability in providing that service or skill will be of better use to those that need that role filled.

This motivation to keep developing that skill is indicative of a great employee and when searching for people to fill a particular role in your business, that’s exactly a trait that you would want in an ideal candidate.

As that vertical line gets thicker and longer, your horizontal line remains small and diminishes in size. This is perfectly fine if you want to be a great addition to a company and become an expert and achieve mastery in that field, but doesn’t work very well if your goal or plan is to become an entrepreneur and start a business.

If your quest or objective is to start and run a successful business, then you need to pay far more attention to the horizontal line and start developing knowledge in other fields.

As I’ve mentioned, you walk away from your studies qualified to fill a role and without the knowledge required to turn that qualification into an actual business. Running a business requires far more knowledge in a variety of fields, such as accounting, HR, sales, marketing, business strategy and far more than what you gained in your studies.

By taking the time and effort to thicken the horizontal line, you begin to focus on the peripheral skills needed to operate a business – which is necessary to achieve success.

 

Spend Less Time On Your Vertical Line 

If your aim is to start a business around your skill, or any other skill for that matter, you need to learn to focus on the other aspects that a business requires to be successful.

To achieve more, you need to begin educating yourself on the other fundamental pieces that make up a business and become multi-faceted in your abilities and expertise to understand the symbiotic relationships and processes that are present in the operation of one.

Even though you’ll have to come to terms with neglecting your vertical line, you produce the effort required to develop new areas that will ultimately enhance your identity and character – leaving you far more aware and knowledgeable around company operations and culture.

It will be far more difficult to run a company on just the basic skill that you’ve acquired, so exercising your ability to thicken out and lengthen your horizontal line is of the utmost importance in building, managing and structuring the business that you aim to create.

I recommend focusing on these other necessary requirements to make your horizontal line stand out and that doesn’t exactly mean that you should neglect your current skill or profession; you just spend less energy on enhancing that which you know and more on that which you don’t.

Being an entrepreneur isn’t the easiest thing to do, but by focusing on the right things you’ll take yourself much further than attempting to do it with just that qualification in your field.

So thicken up that horizontal line, get to learning and improve your knowledge on the many factors that will come with understanding the business you want to run. Your journey only begins once you acquire the skill and although it’s challenging, you’ll thank me later.

Or! You can thank me now and begin thickening out that horizontal line with a business coach which has the experience, knowledge, shortcuts and expertise to get you on track faster than going at it alone.

If you’re planning on starting a business and don’t quite know where to begin or have a vague idea of what needs to be done; I can be of great assistance to you.

Let me in and let me advise you on the steps to take to speed up that process. You can call me, text me or email me – I’m always happy to help.

 

+2783 253 3339

brent@spillly.com

 

Practice What You Preach And Become Your Own Best Client

By Business Coaching Entrepreneur Motivation No Comments

When dissecting this proverb, “the cobbler’s children have no shoes”, it can be understood as a phrase that describes a person who doesn’t benefit from the products or services of their own profession and as far back as this saying goes, it remains clear how relevant it is in business today.

In my experience with coaching, I’ve come to find that the lack of internal use of services or products that a business provides is a common occurrence within plenty of industries, whether it’s a law firm, advertising agency, or media company – implementing their own solutions seems to be out of the equation.

I don’t quite agree with that logic, as every company should be their own number one client and make practical use of the services (and products) that they provide.

Salaries Are Paid, So Provide The Service To Yourself

 Indeed, it does take time, resources and plenty of effort to provide a great solution to different clients. And as a business owner, you make sure to put your best effort in when giving people the greatest possible value that you have to offer.

But, the same logic should be applied when looking at your company; clients will come and go, leaving the most consistent and important client being your own organisation.

For some strange reason, too many entrepreneurs feel as if they should outsource or pay for external involvement to solve some of the problems that they are perfectly capable of handling within their own company.

I find it quite a common occurrence in ad agencies, where they often look past their own employees to advertise and market their business by looking elsewhere – wasting energy and resources on other people to do the job. The very same thing happens in particular law firms, where legal issues are handled externally, instead of looking at their own highly qualified and capable staff to get certain jobs done.In doing the research and going through a number of case studies, I’ve come to find that some of the most successful companies that exist make use of their own services internally and take this approach quite seriously; often spending up to 20% of their total budget around providing homegrown solutions to themselves.

This becomes even easier (and obvious) to do when staff are already being paid salaries to provide these solutions for other clients.

When you boil it down, it’s simply a case of practicing what you preach. You should put your own services into practice and utilise them to advance your business, while avoiding unnecessary spending.

It becomes a bit counterproductive to spend time and money hunting down external sources to do things that your company is already highly capable of doing on its own. Every business owner should be aware of this when seeking out solutions for their organisation.

You’re technically paying for the service already, so make your own company a client and treat that client with love, respect and attention.

 

More Benefits To Becoming Your Own Best Customer

 Making efficient use of the solutions that you provide within your own business is obviously very useful and will be of great benefit, so it goes without saying that running with the idea of being your own client or customer can bring about even more promising results.

Taking the time to act as a client for your own company will give you more insight into the way that it operates.

You go from actively seeking clients to becoming one – looking at your business from a different perspective. And by using your own products or services, it will help you pick up on issues, flaws and points that could be worked on to build a better brand identity.

This brings awareness around processes or interactions that could be made better for your customers, improving delivery in different departments and discovering areas where money, time and resources can be saved.

Becoming your own customer or client allows for more involvement and understanding, which will aid you in developing a much better solution.

Give it a try, be more involved, practice what you preach and make a far greater impact.

As a business coach, I’m constantly practicing what I preach and have to ensure that it’s my duty to deliver an impactful, remarkable and informative solution to my clients.

It isn’t easy running a business, it isn’t easy being alone at the top, it isn’t easy figuring out the right direction to take when the going gets tough, but it is easy to connect with a coach that has the ambition, drive and desire to make a difference in your life.

I am that coach and I am eager to take the journey with you in becoming the best version of yourself, so that your business will flourish.

Make life easier by contacting me whenever you’re ready:

+2783 253 3339

brent@spillly.com

The 7 Year-Cycle. Re-invent, Recreate, Re-incarnate

By Business Coaching Coaching Entrepreneur No Comments

Do you remember the old Etch-A-Sketch, or am I just a boomer? For those of you that don’t, it was a pretty amazing toy back in the good old days (look at that, I am a boomer), being made up of a book-sized board and filled with an aluminium powder that you could create sketches on.

By using two knobs, each controlling horizontal and vertical movements to lay out your masterpiece, you were open to a realm of possibilities (if you could actually figure out how to use the thing properly) and by shaking it, the image would clear away – leaving you with a blank screen, ready to start the next new idea.This piece is not about that killer toy, but rather about going through the process of design and creation; only to clear it up and start again with something fresh, new and exciting.

Reincarnate Yourself While You’re Still Alive 

Around 2012, I wrote one of my first blog posts about a pretty dark and confusing time in my life. After seventeen years as a business owner, I threw in the towel and walked away from the years of torment, tears and trepidation that I was facing and made the difficult decision of starting over.

By trying numerous activities and finding solace in distractions, I was taught the valuable lesson of reinvention and coming to terms with who I am and what it is that I want from this world.

I was able to find purpose, a new-found passion for people, life and business; I was able to find myself.

This clarity and direction dawned on me in a profound way, proving that taking a break is often necessary in rewiring and refreshing the repetitive and monotonous nature that life can sometimes dish out at you. In taking the time to trade in years of hard work and sacrifice for a few justifiable moments of simplicity and stupidity – you’ll come to find how rewarding a trade-off like that can actually be.

And this isn’t a new or foreign concept, as there’s a term for people who do this on an ongoing basis – generally university lecturers and a few other fields of work will recommend taking time-off for yourself after every seven years of hard grind; the sabbatical.

After seven years of driving down hard on your work, taking a sabbatical is one of the best things you can do for yourself. I can’t tell you that it won’t be filled with a bout of initial boredom, anxiety and hints of insanity, as a vacation for a full 12 months can certainly be a major shift in gear, especially after forming routines, rituals and a certain rhythm; but it is extremely rewarding to your mind, soul and body.

In taking this time off, you’re going through a sort of pseudo-metempsychosis (or reincarnation) of yourself – allowing a new creature to form within you that is filled with creativity, passion and the reignition of the dimming flame that had you driving yourself to those great heights for so long.

Tabula Rasa – The Clearing Of One’s Slate 

In a wonderful Ted Talk by world-renowned graphic designer, Stefan Sagmeister, there’s a huge amount of emphasis put on taking up to one entire year off after every 7-year run in order to give yourself that much-needed rejuvenation of the mind.

He talks about all of the beautiful insight, vision and invigoration that comes with taking such a necessary break from the constant and relentless effort that goes into working for many years on projects, deadlines and business growth.

The theory of tabula rasa says that we’re born with a clean slate and clear mind, without any innate abilities and that our environment etches our ideas, concepts, notions and abilities onto that slate. There are plenty of arguments against it, as language or talents can be argued to be innate, but if we take the concept and apply it to ourselves after every seven years; we are capable of doing some incredible things.

Similar to the Etch-A-Sketch, once you’ve spent a period of time constructing, creating and working hard to make a beautiful picture; shake it up, clear away all of that effort and see a new, bold and profound ambition come into play.

Adopt and embrace a clean slate, refresh yourself, clean up your act and either take a whole new direction in life, or go back to what you’ve been doing for so many years with a radical, new perspective and love for what you do.

Business owners and entrepreneurs who have been in the game for a long period of time can benefit greatly from doing this, as they can come back with a whole new vision and direction to take their business; perhaps creating a brand-new enterprise with the pent-up child-like wonder that they’ve been struck with.

I’ve taken a huge leap to get where I am today and if it wasn’t for me walking away and taking a much-needed break from the same cycle for so long, I might have ended up bitter and resentful – taking my frustrations out on the people around me.

Learning to embrace and engage in sudden change like that has rewarded me on a whole new level. I’ve become my own brand, adored by my clients and able to make the difference in people’s lives that I have always wanted to make. I’m happier than I have ever been.

Try it for yourself. Shed your skin and come out a better, bigger and stronger creature with a healthy, new appetite for the world and conquer it with a forked tongue. Especially if you’re like me and have put so many years of dedication, time and effort into working your ass off only to find yourself coming to a point of suffering.As a business coach, who’s been through hell and come back stronger than ever, I invite you to take my service into consideration and let me help you decide whether or not this is the perfect time to take a much-needed vacation.

I just need to check-in with the wife, but I’ll be glad to join you on your sabbatical:

Riding out into the sunset on over 1000cc of pure adrenaline, while the wind runs through my not-so-long and luscious locks of hair (a bald head equals more speed, BTW. Less resistance, or whatever).

Contact me, I’m cool with calls, emails, a face-to-face, or even a slow motorcycle race (boomer alert):

+2783 253 3339

brent@spillly.com

 

 

The 8-Layered Approach To Business Strategy

By Business Coaching Entrepreneur Strategy No Comments

In unpacking the most suitable strategy methods for my clients, I make sure to have them thoroughly understand this approach and how to apply it to their thinking in order to achieve some kind of business objective in the next 12 months.

This strategic approach is split into 8 layers that provide insight and analysis into the goals and measurements required to get some solid work done within a particular window period.

Let’s take a strong, hard look at how exactly it works and in what ways it will help your business shine.

 

The Situation, The Victory Conditions And The Goals

 

When looking at this multi-layered approach, there are first a list of questions that need to be asked and key information that needs some sort of identification.

Taking a look at the very top of the approach, you’re welcomed by the need to identify the current situation you’re facing in your business:

This is done by taking a look at some important factors like understanding your risk analysis using all of the right tools; where you sit financially from a cash-flow and liability perspective; understanding what the market looks like in terms of risks and trends; ensuring that you have the right product set for the market at this particular time and where you are in terms of producing your product; and finally, what the current state of your suppliers and staff look like.

Begin with confronting and truly understanding the current situation you’re in and answer all of those particular factors that apply.

The next piece to look at is your shareholder’s victory conditions:

Identify and think clearly about what the shareholder wants to achieve long-term (around 3-5, or 5-7 years); then mid-term (the next 12 months); and begin to unpack what winning and success looks like from a shareholder’s perspective in the next year of engaging in this strategy. When identifying what’s needed at this stage, you look at what winning looks like and by a set deadline, ensuring that you have all the necessary goals that need to be achieved at a particular time.

The third fundamental piece of information that you need to provide before moving on would be the actual business goals:

In finding the best way to go about this, make sure to break it down into a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal); what would be the single measurement to confirm that you’ve won or succeeded in the next 12 months? Would it be winning a certain account, getting x amount of people or clients, achieving x amount of turnover – it needs to be something that’s measurable.

Take it further and find your SMART goals (Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic and Time-based) and then set those objectives based on each business vertical, such as sales, marketing, operations, HR, finance, the product and the rest of the departments in your business.

After identifying your situation, victory conditions and goals – you can now decide what the initiatives are that you need in order to achieve these objectives.

 

Initiatives, Thrusts And Impact vs Effort

Based on the situation that you’ve analysed, the victory conditions that you’ve identified and the goals that have been set; it’s time to decide on the key strategic initiatives that will be run over the course of a year.

This takes your 12-month goal or objective and has them broken down into four key strategic initiatives that become a quarterly break-down of the year (3 months per initiative). Each of those quarterly initiatives can be divided further into thrusts for each quarter, which refer to the particular things that need to happen in each quarter to get closer to achieving the final year-end goal.

If you manage to complete all four initiatives, you’ll complete your goals.

It’s important to list what you’ll be doing in each thrust (usually 2-3 thrusts per initiative) and achieve them to move on to your next 3-month initiative. However, this can become a little bit difficult to manage all of these things, while running the business on a day-to-day basis.

So, I suggest putting those thrusts into an impact vs effort quadrant, where you can determine whether each thrust is either: low effort and high-impact; low effort and low-impact; low-impact and high effort; or high-impact and high effort.

You’re looking to find the low effort, but high-impact work and pay attention to that, leaving the high effort, but low-impact work to do last.

We want results that we get the most amount of impact from, while doing minimal effort. This has you focus on that first, then on high-impact, but high-effort work; thirdly low-impact, but low effort; and lastly, work that is high effort, but low-impact.

It becomes easier when you can decide which of those thrusts are more important to work on now and which ones can be focused on or left for later in the year.

 

Tactics, Resources, Sprints, Then Control and Measure

Once you’ve established and categorised the thrusts into appropriate positions and which of them will take priority, you can shift your focus toward deciding which tactics, resources and weekly measurements are needed to get those thrusts done.

There may be a need for particulars to get the jobs done, like: people, money, tools and applications, time allocation, smarter marketing – paying attention to the tactics necessary for completing the thrusts in the most effective way.

After identifying those required tactics and particulars, I suggest breaking it down into weekly sprints; figuring out what you’re going to be doing every week (sometimes bi-weekly) to try and push the business forward to achieve the thrust. Then at the end of each quarter, to re-evaluate those initiatives and take another look at those thrusts.

And last, but not least, as you’ll find in every strategy is the control measurement phase:

Identifying when you start doing these weekly sprints, how well the implementation of these actions are working and what other actions need to be taken to achieve the desired results. Paying attention to the what, how, who and when; how do you know it’s actually working?

You don’t want to get ahead three months, look back and say, “that was a waste”. So, it is important to step away from it on a monthly basis and look carefully at what’s been done over the past four weeks and ask yourself if you’re closer to achieving the thrusts and whether or not you need to speed things up, slow things down, realign, or just cancel.

Like with every strategy, you can (and should) always adapt, accordingly.

There you have it!

An 8-layered approach to a solid strategy that will have you achieving your goals like Christiano Ronaldo.

Speaking of goals: you should include me in one of them. Get yourself a powerful and kick-ass business coach that will take your business all the way to the top.

We can hang-out sometime, have a chat, a meeting, a sit-down and discuss where you see your business going in the next couple of years.

It’s so easy to reach me (almost too easy):

+2783 253 3339

brent@spillly.com