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Strategy Archives | Spillly

Why Outsourcing Is The Right Choice For Your Business

By Agency Business Coaching Freelance Strategy No Comments

It’s been a good few years since the release of my book What The Freelance, where I take a deep dive into the benefits that come with outsourcing the right talent for your business.

Since then, the riveting content in my book has been turned into course material for tertiary institutions and made a positive, and noticeable, impact on those that have implemented this approach to improving their companies.

And now, with the pandemic, we’ve seen an even greater surge in the desire for freelancers to help save companies from crumbling to the ground, especially with so many of them having to either shut down completely or retrench significant portions of their staff just to survive.

It has certainly become more important than ever to acclimate to this way of doing things.

That being said, let me clarify how this approach works and why.

So Why Outsource?

Great question.

While outsourcing certainly isn’t a new concept, it’s gained a considerable amount of traction over the last 10 years, especially since Covid came into the picture. It’s also been proven to be a great option for both smaller and larger businesses – whether in their infancy or in their prime.

If implemented correctly, outsourcing can be highly beneficial to businesses that are struggling with revenues and tight budgets, stuck with very little staff and too much responsibility, or handling tasks that might be infrequent (marketing campaigns, blog posts, etc.)

It’s a proven approach that works, and has worked, for businesses for a long time now – especially for greater flexibility and reduced operational costs.

By using freelancers to fill more of the production roles in your business, you’re able to save a lot of extra time, resources and hassle that you would have to deal with when using a more traditional business model.

The 85/15 Rule

Traditionally, most businesses, agencies and consultancies use a core team of permanent staff that usually make up 85-90% of a company, while the remaining 10-15% of capacity was left for the occasional ad-hoc freelancer to fill any gaps.

Over time, a lot of smaller businesses have come to realise that they’d prefer to avoid relying on permanent staff and the costs associated with training, educating and retaining them and would rather opt for a far more flexible and agile overhead.

With the success rates that come with outsourcing, businesses are now swapping those ratios around, instead looking at around 85-90% of outsourced, freelance staff and leaving the remaining 10-15% as the core team to fill the most important roles within the company.

While freelancers are primarily used for production purposes (the product or creative output), the core team consists of roles in sales, account management, client liaison, product management (to also manage the freelancers), bookkeeping and project management.

As a business owner, it’s highly beneficial to focus on doing the jobs that you’re already skilled at, instead of wasting energy and productivity on things like filling out paperwork or dealing with other gruelling tasks that often take up too much time.

This usually results in you spending far more energy on the core processes of the business, getting much more done, while saving precious resources, time, effort and money.

The Benefits Of Outsourcing

Taking this approach to business means that you’ll have far more advantages, especially in the early stages of starting it out.

Firstly, you’re given far more flexibility where staff are concerned, as you’re able to make huge savings on picking freelancers as opposed to permanent employees. The cost of time and money to educate and train, as well as pay salaries, benefits and bonuses to staff (when you might not always require them) can be a major disadvantage.

So if demand dries up for whatever period of time, then you don’t need to keep too many permanent employees on the payroll – which leaves your cash reserves far more protected and readily available for other important and fruitful investments.

Secondly, it can be a huge advantage to your clients. Without the need to solely rely on internal staff to produce the best possible results for a particular client, you’re given far more access to experts and professionals in any field, at any given time.

Say a client requires someone to work on advertising or branding for a niche operation, but your current staff are trained, experienced and only used to handling one area of expertise – you’re given the opportunity to outsource someone that is already great at producing work for that particular niche and who would be capable of providing superb results for that client.

It also allows for the use of a pure strategy that doesn’t have your business making promises to fulfil client requests, regardless of whether or not your staff are capable of doing the job correctly.

It’s a win-win situation for both your business and the client.

Your business might offer to have the right people for the job but aren’t necessarily equipped to handle it in the best way, whereas with freelancers, you can find the ideal person/team to do the work and produce results according to what the client needs.

There are a number of other valuable benefits that come with this approach to business, such as access to world-class experience and expertise, the freeing up of resources that can be used in other areas to make more money, the reduction of risks that come with retrenchments and lay-offs and help in dealing with difficult operations and processes.

By implementing a similar approach to your business, you’re bound to reap far more rewards and opportunities that would be difficult to achieve if you kept to the traditional way of doing things.

Take a hard look at your business and figure out whether there’s room to outsource and find the right type of freelancer to fulfil certain roles far better than a permanent staff member might be able to.

If you need some more advice or guidance to go about implementing this in the best possible way, feel free to contact me.

I mean, I wrote the book after all. 🙂

My coaching expertise is ideal for ANY business owner that has an unrelenting desire for success, comfort and progress.

 

You know what to do:

Pick up the phone, save my number and email address, and make contact.

+2783 253 3339

brent@spillly.com

 

 

 

 

Oh! How you love to hate.

By Business Coaching Sales Strategy No Comments

It’s important for every business owner to review and evaluate clients on a fairly regular basis. Every entrepreneur needs to figure out whether a customer/client is either of use to them or should go through the dreaded culling process.

So it’s vital that you ask these two important questions: Do they add value to your company? Or do they annoy the living shit out of you?

In figuring out which clients to retain and which ones to scrap, I recommend using the love-hate quadrant to guide you in your decision-making process.

Hate-Love-Love-Hate 

It can be difficult to determine which filters to use when deciding who you should keep and who you should let go of.

Besides the obvious ones, like whether particular clients bring in small or big revenue, growth opportunities, and profitability – you need to be aware that certain filters usually lead to an emotional feeling between you and the customer.

Which can often result in you hating them.

So instead of relying on your emotions to figure out whether or not they should be kept or dumped, I recommend using a simple love-hate matrix to help you decide which route to take.

There are four different categories that you can place your clients into that will help motivate your decision:

Love-Love Quadrant – will contain your list of customers/clients that you love and appreciate the most. They’re the clients that you want to keep, the clients that you love and that love you in return. They pay well, the work that you do for them is always appreciated, and you enjoy the process and relationship that you’ve established with them. They’re also a great cultural fit and refer you to new clients all the time. So you need to give this category of clients 80% of your time, focus and energy – making sure that you look after them and their best interests.

Love-Hate Quadrant – consists of clients that love you, but you absolutely hate them. You usually run into issues when dealing with them, as they can be a nuisance and overly demanding. The money that they bring in isn’t too great, especially considering the work and effort that you have to put in. But, because they love you and the service/product that you provide for them, it’s wise to try and work them into the love-love quadrant. Make your staff aware of the issues that you have with them and that they have with you, then come up with solutions or offers that can extract more money and better opportunities from them.

Hate-Love Quadrant – this category is for the clients that you love, but they unfortunately hate you. While they’re constantly down your throat with complaints and criticisms, they still bring in a nice amount of money to your business. They aren’t always happy with the work that you provide for them and they make sure that you’re aware of that. While it seems like culling them would be a better option, you should try and address the issues that they have, attempt to satisfy their demands and try to work them into the love-love quadrant.

Hate-Hate Quadrant – these are the clients that you hate and they hate you. It’s mutual. They don’t have much to offer, especially in terms of profits and they consistently give you a hard time. When you despise a client so much that you cringe at the idea of doing anything for them, then it’s probably time to wipe them out. What you should do is work on ways to get rid of them – so that they no longer bring you stress. One of the easiest ways to do this is to just drastically increase your pricing or mention that you will not be renewing their contract.

This matrix is a great tool to use during annual strategy sessions.

It will help you determine and categorise which clients help you and your business, while either working on creating a better experience for those that you still want, or implementing a plan to get rid of those that you don’t.

It’s a simple, easy-to-use process to apply to your business strategy.

You’re welcome.

I would absolutely love to throw you into the love-love quadrant and list you as one of my top clients. So do us both a favour and get in touch with me.

It will change your business for the better. It will make you the leader that you’ve always wanted to be. It will give you clarity and vision. It will also make my day.

Squeeze me in if you don’t have the time, make the effort to grab my attention. I will be the best choice you’ve ever made:

 

+2783 253 3339

brent@spillly.com

 

 

 

 

Watch Your Assumptions! Why Assuming Can Harm Your Business

By Business Coaching Coaching Leadership No Comments

Playing guessing games can be a dangerous way to go about running your business. It allows for bias to creep in and can affect how you handle certain situations, often bringing about more harm than good.

When you make assumptions, you don’t always take the necessary time to get the full picture, nor the data and insight required to make the right decisions. This can result in taking the wrong actions and end up damaging either a promising business deal, your business strategy or even relationships.

In summing it up quite succinctly, Hannibal from the The A Team, reminds us that “Assumption is the mother of all fuck-ups”.

Why Do We Assume Anything, Anyway?

I’m guilty of it, you’re guilty of it and everybody has, in some shape or form, made assumptions. It’s an innate function built within all of us to either protect ourselves or to find shortcuts around our predictions and estimations (in other words, to be safe or to be lazy).

Sociology reminds us that we all have a frame of reference that navigates our decision-making, communication and behaviours; we all have biases that affect our perspective, which opens the way to prejudice and subjectivity. This ultimately shapes our assumptions.

The problem lies in the fact that those assumptions are further linked to our emotions and thus affect the way that we perceive and engage with others – even in making the right predictions around business strategy and the business, as a whole.

Sometimes cognitive bias won’t allow us to see the truth, because protecting our sanity is a priority for the subconscious mind; when something could fail, backfire or cause any mental distress, we often choose to turn away from the truth in order to maintain a semblance of control over difficult circumstances.

What Are Some Of The Common Assumptions In Business?

One of the most important things to remember in business is that objectivity is crucial and that being subjective can be dangerous when engaging with others and dealing with the day-to-day operations of your company.

As a business owner, there are loads of situations and scenarios that you have to encounter and deal with on a daily basis and so the risk of making the wrong assumptions becomes far greater.

When coaching my clients, I sometimes find that a lack of research and data is the culprit behind making inaccurate predictions around business strategy.

Some of these presumptions include the viability of a product or service and believing that there’s a market out there for it; the longevity or shelf-life of a solution, thinking that it can never go out of fashion or become outdated; customer behaviours and ignoring the extent of their interest or disinterest; and competitive forces being perceived as harmless and non-threatening.

Doing thorough research becomes a vital process in order to understand your market, how long your solution will remain relevant, whether or not customers enjoy your product and how intense the competition is. The amount of external factors that will end up shaping your business are far too many to be relying on assumptions, alone.

Some of the most common assumptions found in businesses tend to include ideas around finances, resources, economy and politics, and competition.

Every business owner needs to understand that it takes time to become profitable and that it can take years to produce returns from your product or service; that it isn’t easy to retain skilled employees and talent, as the culture that you provide, as well as the incentives matter; that the political and economic landscape you’re in constantly changes and affects your entire strategy; and that competitors are capable of altering market conditions and redefining entire industries.

By giving awareness and seeking knowledge around the assumptions found in business, it will shape your decision-making and help you work towards better solutions, while giving you enough clarity around the risks that come with making the wrong predictions.

This way of thinking doesn’t only cover the broader components that I’ve mentioned, but also some of the more intimate and personal beliefs that business owners hold.

Assumptions can lead to bad interactions with clients, staff and those that could potentially benefit your business further down the line. Preconceived notions can end up damaging your reputation – burning bridges and losing out on precious opportunities to grow.

On a personal level, especially as a leader and entrepreneur, you need to be a great listener and pay attention to everybody that you interact with. Allowing bias to dictate your assumptions of people can create uncomfortable working environments or awkward interactions that could quickly spread through word-of-mouth. Your reputation is on the line.

Employees, clients and even outsiders could see you as bigoted, which could shape the way that people see your brand. You end up becoming a role-model and ambassador for your business, constantly shaping the beliefs and ideas of your customers and staff.

How Can We Improve Our Assumptions?

Without the correct data, you run a high risk of jumping to the wrong conclusions and making poor decisions for your business.

I understand that certain assumptions will always be made, especially when faced with accurate facts and figures. There can be sufficient data to motivate your assumptions and push you towards action, but you need to constantly be testing those thoughts, as opposed to relying on them.

Remember that no strategy is bulletproof and constantly needs to be re-evaluated to ensure that it’s still effective. The same applies with assumptions, as they can be affected by external factors at any given time.

In terms of personal biases and prejudice, we need to learn to listen more effectively and avoid jumping to conclusions when facing and engaging with people.

Regulating your emotions and thoughts will come in handy when dealing with people; learning to clear your thoughts and mind when interacting with staff, clients and others, asking questions to ensure that you understand what’s being said, and making sure that you find something positive in every situation will go a long way.

In business, you need to differentiate between belief in your product or service and what the data presents to you; customers decide whether or not your solution is necessary, and you need to be aware of how they feel, competitors exist in every space and you need to know how to compete effectively, understanding that the economy and political environment determine laws and regulations, which in turn affect your business, is just as important.

Don’t assume and always follow the facts.

I’m going to go off of a hunch here and assume that, since you’ve made it this far, there’s some value that you’ve taken from this.

And if you’re somebody that seeks value, appreciates and enjoys the insight gained from material like the piece that you’ve read – then I’ve got just the thing for you:

One-on-one coaching with a professional, upbeat and experienced business coach that isn’t afraid of sharing his knowledge, network and novel approach to business growth.

Contact me today and let’s transform your business:

+2783 253 3339

brent@spillly.com

Reducing The Load Of Your Slowest Hikers

By Business Coaching Consulting psychology Strategy No Comments

When building out your business, there’s always a clear, set mission to achieve significant growth and success – not only for yourself, but also the people that you take on that journey with you.

Similar to the task of hiking together with a team, you, as a leader and guide, must find a process that gets everyone to the top of the mountain in the most effective way, possible.

But what often tends to happen is that you and your team might be slowed down due to the hikers in the back; those that might be struggling to endure the arduous journey with you. And this usually means having to patiently wait for them to catch up to the rest of the team before you’re able to continue and push towards achieving your goal.

While culling those hikers might seem like an easy option, it’s often better to help them by offering to lighten their load, teach them a trick or two, or motivate them to succeed.

A Chain Is Only As Strong As Its Weakest Link 

Indeed, you may find it quite challenging to embark on that journey to reach the top and you will undoubtedly face certain obstacles, but through a healthy dose of desire and determination, you’re well aware of the effort and willpower it will take to get there.

Confronted by ravines, narrow ledges and the many areas of discomfort on the path to success, it’s your job to motivate and empower your team – so that they too help ease the process of getting to the top.

And although each of the hikers within your team have their own backpacks or loads to carry with them, there’s almost always a person (or select group of people) that struggle to keep up and endure the load. Contained in those backpacks are things like skills, personal issues, beliefs, etc. which come to affect the load that needs to be carried on the way up.

Some people handle their load better than others. While some need help to manage or compartmentalise their load in a more effective way.

The issue with those members that lag behind is that it restricts progress and productivity; it slows the entire team down and prevents you from reaching your goal in the fastest way, possible.

It certainly seems like a great option to just go ahead and send those slow, struggling hikers back home, freeing up the energy to keep pushing forward – however, a better approach would be to convince your strongest, fastest hikers to train, inspire and assist the weaker ones, instead.

To do this, you need to ask your strongest hikers to help carry or re-arrange the backpacks of those that are in need of assistance. By removing or re-organising their backpacks, you reduce work-load, provide them with more opportunity to be trained and developed, and create a sense of camaraderie amongst the team. This results in a better, faster and more effective unit.

Using Theory Of Constraints To Reduce The Load 

One of the most effective ways to view and come up with solutions to this situation is through the Theory of Constraints.

Dr. Eliyahu Goldratt, a physicist turned business consultant, came up with this model back in 1984 in his book The Goal, which teaches readers that every organisation, at any time, is limited in its ability to achieve its objective due to a single constraint.

Goldratt defined it as, “A thinking process that enables people to invent simple solutions to complex problems.”

This method is ultimately about focusing on different areas that need attention; attending to the weakest link on that chain and fixing the problem in order to increase productivity and prevent it from getting worse.

By using the Theory of Constraints, it’s important to find the answers to three big questions: What to change?; What to change it to?; and how to change it?

Answering these questions will ultimately provide direction and assist you in coming up with a plan to solve the problems that need to be dealt with.

In order to identify and solve the constraints that need your attention, a five-step method is usually recommended. This will help you find a starting point and give you a process that works effectively when tackling the situation.

The five steps are as follows:

Identify the limiting constraint. In the case of our team of hikers, take a close look at those employees that struggle to keep up with the rest of the team and that slow everyone else down. Figure out what it is that they need help with, whether it’s a reduced workload, more training, counselling, or positive reinforcement – you need to focus on finding the reason why they are struggling in the first place.

Exploit the constraint using existing resources before any investment. If you’re able to identify  the constraint, come up with solutions that don’t require extra money and attempt to remedy the situation through resources that you already have available. If the slow hiker has issues with work that they are struggling to understand, then request one of your stronger hikers to train them, give practical advice or explain how to handle it better.

Subordinate all associated activities to the constraint. Although it might seem a bit counter-intuitive, it’s important to consider that every working part of the system might be supporting and giving fuel to an existing problem. By slowing the whole team down, you’re able to identify any hidden issues or problems that might be affecting the overall performance of your unit.

Elevate the constraint by throwing money at it. Once you’ve identified and worked on the issue at hand, it’s important to invest money or resources in it – so that you’re able to increase its durability and prevent it from causing any further damage down the line. If you buy better backpacks with more compartments and space to get you through the hike, i.e. spending money on training and education for those who are struggling – you create a barrier for those same issues surfacing in future.

Repeat the process to identify and solve the next constraint you could face. Go back and identify new constraints to be worked on and improve the ones that you’ve already solved, while keeping the cycle going. Ensure that everybody in the team is on the same frequency and keep a sharp eye on any new constraints that need attention.

This method has many benefits for not only your team, but the company as a whole. It helps you find and solve the reasons behind a lack of progress within the organisation, it provides a structure for continuous improvement, and allows you to approach constraints or issues without the need for investment or spending extra money on unnecessary band-aids.

Reducing or optimising the load of your weakest hikers will bring about a much faster and enjoyable journey.

Have the talk with your fastest and most efficient hikers. Butter them up, paint them as heroes and make them aware of how great they are and that they have the power to make a valuable and significant difference in the operation of your business, as well as those that need help.

If you’re starting to feel lonely in the front; nobody to bounce your ideas off of, tempted to try new routes or paths, or struggling to find the motivation to keep pushing – then I can help you with that.

Being a successful business coach means that I look forward to every opportunity to make a positive and remarkable difference in the lives of the entrepreneurs that I work with.

I’m like Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings. I will enhance your journey while offering you the perfect advice, guidance and respect that you need as a business owner. I will share my network, strategies and formulae for success with you. I will help you find what you’re looking for.

Do it. Make the call, send the message. Reap the rewards.

+2783 253 3339

brent@spillly.com

Why Having A Board Is Important For Your Small Business

By Business Management Leadership Strategy No Comments

Having an advisory board isn’t only for big businesses. And although it might seem like a waste of time, money and energy to have one – any entrepreneur and their business can benefit from the many advantages that come with them.

Ultimately, the purpose behind having a board is to gather experienced and compatible individuals that offer you valuable advice, guidance and insight with the intention to develop and enhance your organisation.

They ideally consist of a team of educated and proficient people that share a common goal:

To help your business flourish.

That’s why – no matter how small your business may be – you need a board of advisors.

“I’m Capable Of Creating A Business, So Why Would I Need A Board?” 

By understanding that boards only exist to help with the success of your company and not to trample on your goals and ambitions, you’ll come to learn that the advantages of having one will always outweigh any of the perceived disadvantages.

As a business coach, I usually deal with companies that are run by a single entrepreneur (often consisting of a 5-50 man operation) and I’m always shocked to find that a large portion of my clients perceive boards as counter-productive, with a firm belief that having one will slow the company down.

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Boards usually consist of hand-picked, like-minded individuals that come together to discuss, plan and implement strategies and processes to improve both you and your business. Their purpose is to set certain goals and outcomes that the company needs to achieve, while looking at the different approaches and actions that need to be taken in order to achieve those goals.

Many business owners run into a variety of challenges that come with operating their business: a lack of growth; finding new direction; coming up with new ideas; being lonely at the top; detecting problems and red flags; a loss of vision and creativity; and even being an effective leader.

These problems, along with many others, can be remedied by setting up an advisory board in your company. An advisory board usually consists of experienced and professional individuals that are often paid to provide the guidance, feedback and network that’s needed to nudge a business in the right direction.

These experienced individuals usually include: existing entrepreneurs, lawyers, accountants, a mentor/coach (like me), and even an existing or potential customer/client.

By forming a team that consists of people with these backgrounds, you’re kept accountable and focused on the steps that need to be taken in order to achieve greater success within the company. It also acts as a much needed eye-opener, showing you that your resources and experiences are both limited and limiting.

When I recommend setting up a board to some of my clients, they often argue that they’re far too small to have a board. But I push back and remind them that no business is too small and that with the right mix of people, they’re sure to find the exponential growth that they seek.

Being a business coach means that I often sit on various boards where I provide advice, feedback and guidance for entrepreneurs. I help them identify the direction that they want to take their business in, making sure that they have a clear, straightforward plan and are sticking to that plan. I also ensure that they take things seriously and that they’re held accountable for their actions or inaction.

The benefits of having a board are plenty. You’re given feedback and transparency; support and accountability; honesty and a sense of comfort; and access to resources and new networks.

Another huge advantage of having experienced individuals on your board is that you’re able to learn from their past mistakes.

While you might see an opportunity or have an idea that seems perfect – they might have gone down similar rabbit-holes or made the mistake of chasing shiny pennies. They’re able to prevent you from dealing with any embarrassment or failure.

Together with a powerful, hand-picked board, you’re able to avoid risks that you would’ve taken on your own; you’re able to create improvements around policies, processes and overall workflow; you have the opportunity to enhance your identity through personal growth and exposure. There are certainly far more benefits to having a board, especially in comparison to doing things on your own.

What is there to think about? Get a board of advisors and be advised. Take advantage of the networking and resources that they make available to you. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Whether or not you’re looking at setting up an advisory board for your business – I can be of assistance to you.

Most of the amazing benefits that come with having a board can be provided by yours truly.

And if I’m your business coach, you’re immediately given access to a massive network, as well as peace of mind where strategy, advice and accountability are concerned.

With my experience as a business owner, I can also steer you in the right direction – helping you avoid the mistakes that many entrepreneurs make, while keeping you motivated and excited about the future of your company.

Take action. Throw me into your board of advisors, or keep me as your secret weapon:

+2783 253 3339

brent@spillly.com

Driving Your Business To Success In A Tesla (Or V8)

By Business Coaching Entrepreneur Motivation No Comments

Putting your foot down hard on the accelerator and going full steam ahead when running your business is quite a common theme amongst entrepreneurs. Most of the time, emphasis is placed on driving the business with your pedal to the metal – barely ever slowing down or stopping to smell the roses.

Obviously, it’s great to be that invested, inspired and driven to become successful and achieve extraordinary things in the quickest way possible – but going full speed isn’t always beneficial or effective.

Just like a race-car driver, you need to hit the brakes at times to comfortably make sharp turns around those difficult bends – and by counting on speed alone, you might just cause an accident.

I believe that slowing down, or sometimes coming to a complete halt, will do you and your business great justice. So loosen up your seatbelt and prepare to slow things down a bit.

Think About Your Business – Don’t Just Push It 

In order for you to get to break-neck speeds and drive your business to achieve success in the fastest possible time, you end up pushing extremely hard; making as many sales as possible, spending resources and money on getting better results, and ensuring that you keep your eye on the prize – never stopping for anything.

Being in the driver’s seat usually means that you want a bigger, faster and more powerful car. You want to be better than the rest and reach your destination before anyone else does.

But the problem with that is that you end up spending very little time looking at the best ways to win; rather focusing on getting to the finish line through sheer speed alone.

So what pace should you be going at to achieve better success in your business? What is the ideal vehicle to choose on your journey?

Well, you could probably choose a Prius and end up last, knowing that you’ve made a great impact on the environment; or you could pick something with a V8 engine, where you get powerful acceleration, reach amazing speeds and take yourself to victory faster than anyone else. Both are great choices, depending on your motives, but I recommend that business owners pick a Tesla.

Why not just pick the V8, though?

While it certainly seems like a great choice to choose the V8, the time it takes to fuel-up isn’t exactly good for your business. The engine is much bigger, so the fuel consumption is greater – which also means that you need to stop quite regularly before you get back on track and keep moving. But stopping isn’t the issue; the time spent on your stops, is.

When you stop to fill your petrol tank, those moments give you time to let the route sink in – providing you with clarity, innovation and thought. With the rush that you’re in to make it to the end, you barely have enough time to think about using better techniques, tactics and strategies – or to find more fulfilling and fruitful paths to success.

Having a fast car with a high speed is great and arriving at your destination faster than anyone else gives you a wonderful feeling, but it’s not always the most strategic approach to your business (nor is it economically or environmentally friendly).

And over time, with maturity and growth, the realisation that you no longer need such a powerful, fuel-hungry machine begins to sink in.

It’s only then that you start to understand the risks that come with being too fast and your desire to be number one. You begin to see the importance of hitting the brakes from time to time, slowing down to appreciate the views and putting some of your brightest ideas to the test.

If you’ve already chosen the V8, I recommend a trade-in. It’s time to swop out that roaring beast for a sexier, more modern and sought-after car: A Tesla.

But, why a Tesla? Because they are far more economical, safe for the environment, desirable and just as fast as a V8 is. You’re given the opportunity to speed up when you want to while enjoying the luxury that it offers you – you also make a much better impact on the world around you.

Hold on. Don’t you have to wait a lot longer to actually recharge the car before you can get back on the road? Precisely. As a business owner, that’s exactly what you want; time is extremely important and rushing into things can be dangerous, so taking much longer breaks during your journey will be far more rewarding for your business.

You’re unable to properly think about your business if the only thing that’s on your mind is winning. Thinking about your business means spending more time on strategies, developing your working environment, and giving more attention to people, policies and processes. These are the things that far too many business owners ignore and don’t give enough attention to on a day-to-day basis.

Slowing down to gather your thoughts, work on areas that need attention, and develop your abilities doesn’t make you a loser. In fact, it makes you a smarter, enjoyable and more remarkable driver that people can appreciate and look up to. It makes you a winner.

There’s absolutely no need to rush. The journey that you take in running a business is a beautiful one. Growing yourself, enhancing the lives of others, discovering new strategies, techniques and tactics to make you the best leader that you can be will be far more rewarding than sacrificing everything just to make it to the finish line.

Think about using a Tesla in your approach to business and scrap the idea of using a V8. You can still speed up whenever you feel the need, but there’s far more time for you to think about the important things and grow.

Clear up your passenger seat and make some room for me.

I can act as your GPS, giving you the right direction, guidance and information on all of the greatest routes and pit stops to visit along the way.

It’s about the experience, the journey, and not always about the end. I’ll send you my location via Whatsapp or Email you directions to come pick me up:

+2783 253 3339

brent@spillly.com

 

6 Great Models To Attract Recurring Revenues

By Business Management Sales Strategy No Comments

Too many entrepreneurs think long and hard about finding the simplest ways to generate money through their product or service. But what they often fail to realise is that the way in which they package their solution will ultimately determine how sticky, profitable and attractive their product/service is to the customer.

And one of the smartest ways to package your product more effectively is through the pricing and revenue model that you choose to offer.

That being said, here are a few of the top revenue models that could transform your business into a gold mine.

Why Your Choice of Revenue Models Is So Important 

A revenue model is the approach your business takes to earn revenues. After establishing your value proposition and the set price(s) of your product or service, the next step is to figure out how your client or customer is going to pay for it.

That’s why having a good revenue model ensures that your business is able to make long-term projections based on current and future profit potential. This will aid you in extracting the best possible returns for your company, while retaining clients through the use of subscriptions, contracts and the sunk cost fallacy.

Sunk cost what?

The sunk cost fallacy (or sunk cost bias) refers to the justification we give ourselves when buying an expensive dinner, finishing a movie that we don’t necessarily enjoy, or remaining a loyal customer to a brand that we’ve already been with for years (even if there are better options out there).

Putting money, energy or time into something means that we inherently develop a bias towards it and are willing to ignore any pitfalls or failures that could motivate us to change our minds.

While it might sometimes be unfortunate for us as consumers, clients or customers, it certainly works in the favour of any business owner. Conversion rates can be increased, contractual obligation can maintain profits, upselling can be amplified, and client retention can be improved by simply being aware of this cognitive bias.

So choosing the ideal revenue model for your company will enable more consistent profits and a far more loyal customer base.

And the great part is that there are a number of promising options to choose from.

As a business coach that cares so much about your success, I’ve taken the time to sift through some of the best models out there and rank them from the least beneficial to the most.

Let’s check them out:

The Top 6 Revenue Models

1. Consumables:

These are your typical consumables (whether a product or service) that generally get purchased once, twice or three times a month or even every few months.

Think of products like coffee, milk and bread, or services like electricity, gardening or cleaning; these ‘consumables’ work well once you’ve established customer loyalty, which will ensure that you’re bringing in a recurring revenue.

2. Sunk-Money Consumables:

By making use of the sunk cost fallacy, this model is based on offering a product or service that requires an additional item or clause in order for that product or service to  operate or function effectively.

Basically, you offer a base product/service that’s quite affordable (a Gillette razor handle, gaming console, or a dating site) and then provide additional items or functions that the base product needs for it to be of any use (Gillette razor blades, games, or in-app currency for extra purchases).

With this type of model, you ensure recurring revenue based on customers’ reluctance to give up on something that they’ve already invested in. You wouldn’t buy that gaming console without feeling the need to buy games for it; or sign-up for a dating service and be limited to one message per day, when you can pay to receive more messages.

3. Renewable Subscriptions:

One of the most common and effective recurring revenue models would be through the use of renewable subscriptions. By incurring a monthly fee (a subscription), you ensure that the client or customer is bringing in revenue on a monthly basis and has the opportunity to renew their subscription at the end of a certain period.

This model is usually a win-win, as the customer perceivably pays less to own a product or use a service, while the business owner has a more stable and predictable source of revenues (especially when compared to consumables).

A great example could be a cell phone contract or streaming platform like Netflix.

4. Sunk-Money Renewable Subscriptions:

This model has the customer invest in a base product or service that has additional premium features that are offered on a subscription basis.

By taking renewable subscriptions and adding an element of sunk-costing to it, you guarantee more recurring revenue options. When you purchase a device (e.g. an Apple TV) or a service platform (e.g. a Bloomberg terminal), you’ve already sunk money into it, so you’re more likely to purchase exclusive additions for it, such as an Apple One subscription for the TV or a business publication subscription for the Bloomberg terminal.

It takes advantage of the sunk-cost bias and blends it with renewable subscriptions.

5. Automatic-Renewal Subscriptions:

By taking renewals into your own hands and making the process automatic, you allow for a much better recurring revenue.

Instead of letting the customer renew their subscription after a period of time (say, a year), you automatically renew it until they choose to end it. This way, customers are more likely to stay, as they don’t bother looking at competitive prices and you make the renewal process easier for them.

Think about gym memberships or insurance firms that keep renewing your subscription until you’ve made the decision to terminate the agreement.

6. Contracts:

Long-term contracts are highly beneficial for maintaining a recurring revenue that can’t be challenged or disputed. It ensures an ethical agreement between both parties that a certain amount will be paid within a particular period of time in exchange for goods or services.

This model is a great choice, especially if you’re able to get customers to come on board for a long period of time. If you’re planning to sell your business, then ensuring that a survival clause is present will help keep customers from leaving after a change of ownership takes place.

*Bonus Model: “Rundles” 

This new approach coined by NYU professor, Scott Galloway, takes a recurring revenue model like renewable subscriptions and blends it together with bundling.

Bundling basically entails putting multiple services or products together and selling them at a ‘better price’. This extends to products/services that might not be very popular and putting them together with more favourable ones, then selling them as a package.

With “rundling”, you take those two concepts and form an approach that has seen huge returns. I’m talking billions of dollars in revenues and millions of customers migrating to platforms that offer recurring revenue bundles or “rundles”.

A great example of this is the way in which Apple has offered services like iCloud and Apple Care, then bundled them with entertainment services (Apple Entertainment and Music) under one affordable subscription model.

Companies like Adobe and Walmart are also jumping on this lucrative bandwagon to bring in the big bucks. It’s most certainly one of the best recurring revenue models taking over many industries and I’d highly recommend looking into it.

If you’re looking at your product or service and thinking, “how do I apply one of these models to best suit my business?”, then I’ll let you in on a little secret:

Taking me on as a business coach means that I can help you identify exactly what will work best for you and your company.

It takes DICE (determination, interest, compassion and experience) to move a company forward, both on a micro- and macro-level.

And I’ve got all the DICE you need!

So do yourself a huge favour and start communicating with me as soon as you’re ready for a better future:

+2783 253 3339

brent@spillly.com

small business consultant cape town

It’s Time To T.E.C.H. (Teach Each Customer How)

By Business Coaching Entrepreneur Sales No Comments

So your business provides a great product or service, you have clients that appreciate what you do for them and business is going great, but there’s a certain issue that keeps coming up: a lack of understanding as to what you actually do.

Different industries require different processes and the more technical the service is, the harder it becomes for the client or customer to understand.

So in order for you to get better results, it’s essential that you teach or explain to your customers how and why you do certain things for the service to work effectively.small business consultant cape town

That’s why I’ve come up with the acronym TECH, to help remind you that teaching them how your service operates can be helpful in more ways than one.

Teach Them How

A lot of the conversations with business owners have revealed to me a recurring frustration that they deal with. I often hear, “most clients don’t understand the technical side of the work or service that we provide for them,” and it often becomes an issue when doing the job.

Some spaces that require technical knowledge, such as software development, engineering, etc. come to find that the client doesn’t always understand the work that needs to be done or the processes that go into providing the service.

Most clients end up seeing the output, the end result or the reason for doing the job in the first place.

Many of these clients often don’t understand why certain things can’t be tweaked or changed to suit their needs in an immediate manner, simply because they don’t understand what happens in the background.

That’s why it comes down to you, as the business owner, to TECH.

You need to have the ability to clarify and simplify your service into an easily digestible explanation that helps to paint a picture of your processes, procedures and ultimately, the work that you do for the client.

I’m not saying that you should jump the gun and give away your IP, but by making it clear that you have to go through certain steps in order to achieve your end result, you’re allowing for the customer to understand why you do the things you do and that it takes time and an iterative process to give them what they want.

By doing this, you deal with less confusion from the client and they won’t be as demanding, which allows you to do your job more effectively and without any added pressure or frustration.

You need to show or explain to them that your job or service doesn’t just happen overnight, as you have to first lay a foundation, build the walls, place the roof and still test everything to ensure there are no issues, bugs or kinks that need work.

If your client can comprehend what you do in an untechnical manner, then you’re provided with more time, freedom and flexibility. This will also allow for less complicated expectations, as they know that your process takes time, because of x, y and z.

Teaching Each Customer How is also quite easy, as there are a few different options to pick from: you can explain it to them face-to-face, through documentation, a video that you create, or even via email, text or a phone call.

Your goal should be to give them as much clarity and transparency as possible, so that trust and understanding is formed.

Also, don’t forget just how important word-of-mouth can be. By painting them a clear picture of how your business and service operates, you allow for them to explain to other potential clients how you do the work and how open you are to include them in the process.

Try not to be esoteric in your approach, as giving people clarity will result in them giving you their trust.

My role as a business coach will see that you understand exactly how your business should operate for it to be effective, remarkable and in a constant state of growth.

I’ll teach you how to TECH and show you exactly how I approach business owners and leaders; what routes to take when the road is foggy, when to lay down your anchor and realign your crew, and how to implement the right strategies when the wrong competition comes along.

Let me teach you how:

+2783 253 3339

brent@spillly.com

 

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