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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

 

 

Limber Up For The Double Niche

By Coaching Consulting Marketing Uncategorised No Comments

I recently had a client tell me about a great idea of theirs, one that would have them come across as more remarkable, standing out from the rest of the crowd and I naturally recognised it as one of the concepts that I often preach to business owners:

A little something, called the Double Niche.

Upon recognising the tactic, he asked me “what is that? Some kind of kinky bedroom move?”

No, not quite. But, I mean it could be.

The double niche is a great way to take your area of expertise, find a niche market and become the best-known person to provide a valuable service surrounding that.

Not Just A Lawyer, But The Best Gay Marriage Lawyer Around

 

In making use of the double niche, you need to know what you do best and find a niche audience to cater to in providing that product or service.

When explaining it to my clients, I often use the example of a lawyer that primarily focuses on gay marriages; by taking on the added label of ‘gay marriage’, you become more than just a lawyer or a lawyer that practises in divorce, but seen as a professional in that very particular field.

When someone hits the search bar with “looking for a gay marriage lawyer” then you should be all over the first page of Google and hard to get rid of – almost just like a glitter-bomb (all over the place and impossible to clean-up).

By adding a niche area of the market that you provide your services for, you’re creating an impression of more knowledge and expertise in that specific field – keeping you on the iron throne and at the forefront of anybody that is in need of your unique offering.

Sure, your USP is very important in differentiating you, but I find that it’s not always enough and that you should find ways to add a niche area of expertise that you’re comfortable in.

Another example might include being a graphics designer for pharmaceuticals, where you’re given the advantage of the network that it provides and you’re able to tap into a demographic that caters to that niche market.

You should be the first to pop-up on Google when people search for the service that you provide, especially when combined with a particular niche-area.

People recognise, or become aware of your ability to provide a service in that particular area or field and it narrows their options down to only a few choices that they are left with. If you execute the double-niche well, then you should be that choice.

Become World-Class Through Double-Niching

 In making effective use of the double-niche strategy, you polarize your audience and appeal to a small segment of a particular market – this will make you the go-to person for that service.

As a business coach, clients ask, “why not just appeal to everybody?”

I often explain that with the high levels of saturation and homogeneity in so many areas of expertise, by trying to appeal to everyone, you often end up appealing to nobody.

You can branch out to and be recognised by a world-class selection of clients in using this technique well and ultimately build a strong presence in those niche markets. People prefer to narrow down all of the options to make life easier.

You also offer a very unique solution that nobody else is offering; becoming remarkable and sticky in that field, as well as the perfect choice in a world full of choices.

My Double-Niche Project, BBBRAP!

 I’ve made good use of the double-niche technique in my own unique and remarkable way. With all of the tools at my disposal, I was able to find a perfect fit for both me and a large portion of my clients. 

Coming up with it was quite easy, as I took something I’m great at (business coaching) and blended it together with something that I love to do (ride motorcycles); so I came up with my Business, Bikers and Breakfast Radical Accountability Programme (BBBRAP).

In going after entrepreneurs and business owners, of any size, that also owned a motorbike and were on the lookout for coaching services, I came up with a fun solution that people really enjoyed being a part of.

Rather than just focusing on entrepreneurs, or just motorcyclists, I opted for both niches and took on a small and dedicated market. It was a unique solution and nobody else was doing it, so by default, it became quite popular.

As Seth Godin said, “in your career, even more than for a brand, being safe is risky. The path to lifetime job security is to be remarkable.”

Double-niching will make you stand out and be exactly that: remarkable.

Target the people that are searching for whole sentences in the search bar, “biker entrepreneur looking for a coach,” and be the first option that shows up on the results page – like scattered glitter all over that first page, so people know who the best choice is.

A good friend of mine Richard Mulholland talks about how “your USP (unique selling point) is actually your UPS (unique problem you’re solving).”

There’s always a problem that needs solving and that unique solution can be discovered quite easily with the use of finding your very own double-niche.

Figure out your double-niche with me:

Let’s have a meeting, a cup of joe, or a chat sometime about your niches and interests.

What direction(s) can you take, what do you both love doing and are great at doing?

I’ll be around to help you figure that out and you don’t even a need a motorcycle!

+2783 253 3339

brent@spillly.com

Stop! Don’t Chase Those Sleek, Shiny Pennies.

By Business Coaching Strategy No Comments

In providing simple, effective and strategic frameworks for my clients, especially those that run small businesses, I always make sure to include the Five Ones.

“What’s that, 51s?”. No, my friend. Five (5) Ones (1s).

This strategy is easy to use and apply to any business that wants to grow and that doesn’t necessarily have a lot of products or services that they offer. These businesses generally do one thing, or one of several things and don’t offer too many solutions.

Places like agencies, content production companies, even an apple farmer – they all specialise in one thing.

But, Shiny Pennies Are So Shiny, Though.

 Making use of Clay Collins’ strategy of the 5 Ones, helps business owners give themselves, their business, their team and marketing a focused and clear path to take when putting out a product or service that they specialise in.

Most of the 1-15 man businesses don’t deal with a large variety of clients and don’t supply a huge selection of products, or services. So, it’s important to find ways to gather the energy and intent to identify and market the product or service that they offer, in order to squeeze the best out of it for their customer or client.

It sounds easy enough to start implementing, but I tend to find that numerous clients that I end up coaching will fall into a wicked trap – one that I like to call ‘the shiny penny’.

A shiny penny, simply put, is a distraction from the intended goal and purpose behind what the business provides its customer; put it this way, you have a direction, a destination that you’re heading towards and along the way you stumble upon a shiny penny. This shiny penny arrests your attention and takes it prisoner to the newness and potential that it offers.

You’re now distracted and your focus is on the penny, instead of the intended destination.

This tends to happen to business owners when they become enamoured by what seem like new, sexy and innovative ideas along the way, but that push them off-course the predetermined direction of their business.

Often justifying shiny pennies, business owners claim that “it’s complementary to my business and we can do it quite easily, just hire one more person,” without being aware of the fact that it’s a different service, or a different kind of business altogether and requires a different kind of client.

The 5 Ones is a framework to remain on the path, without being distracted by the silly need to chase all the shiny pennies that are out there.

So, What Are These 5 Ones?

They are simple enough to understand and digest, with enough room to re-evaluate and realign them when necessary. They follow each other and each one should be thought about and implemented one after the other, for better results.

  • Start with One Client Avatar or a perfect client that you want to be focusing your time and energy on that will embrace your solution, product or service; they are the ideal customer that you want to be focusing on for the next period of time. Answer the questions: which industry do they belong to and what are the problems in that industry that we can assist with?; what is their geographical location and what demographic are they a part of?; what product or service do they want from you and how much of it should we supply?; how much and how often would they spend money with you?; where could you advertise to gain maximum exposure and are they traditionally or digitally inclined?

 

Remember to apply the 1:9:90 rule and figure out where that perfect client sits in the bigger picture – who is the primary audience member? Are they just lurking in the 90% and are happy with finding new solutions without really looking too far?; or are they in the 9% that will spread your brand, products and services, because they understand its value and importance; and if they’re the 1% that can influence the masses, how do you make them happy and appreciate your offering enough to start a snowball effect?

 

  • The second One, is One Solution that’s considered unique and that you can deliver with ease. It should solve the perfect client’s problem through your primary product or signature service and should differentiate you from your competition and should be double-niched to make it as unique as possible. Your USP becomes extremely important in this phase, as you need to convince clients to buy from you and with immediate effect; outline what makes your offering important and the unique problem that you are solving for the client; create a list of why your offering is better than what the opposition offers and why the client will adopt it; make it clear how you’ll impress and intrigue clients and provide a promise to deliver.

 

You want one product to sell to this one target; you don’t want five products, you don’t want ten, you don’t want 15; you want ONE amazing and unforgettable product.

 

  • The third One, One Marketing Channel speaks to staying clear of the shiny pennies and too many responsibilities – pick one platform or channel that you can become an expert on and that you know your client spends time around. You need to make a decision and decide whether or not you’re a B2B or a B2C business and once you’ve decided who you’re selling to, you need to make the decision whether you want to go ‘direct’ or ‘indirect’. Direct is generally the simplest approach, because it allows the vendor to sell to the customer directly.

 

Some great examples of these marketing channels include: social media, public speaking, affiliate marketing, public relations and email marketing (to name a few).

 

  • The fourth One, One Conversion Method relates to the way that you take the interested party that sees you on the marketing channel to a sales funnel and provide the necessary conversation to convert and get them to spend money on you. You should start looking at how to take them off the marketing platform and turn them into a client or customer. Finding ways to transform them from interested to committed and to start buying from you. There’s a variety of conversion methods out there and some of them include: e-commerce, virtual or physical sales meetings, webinars and freemium models (offering free, but charged additional features, services and goods).

 

  • The fifth One, One Year is the period of time that you need to apply this strategy in order to start assessing and evaluating the level of success that this method is achieving. It’s recommended to take a firm direction for up to a year and make slight tweaks and changes in the strategy where it’s needed. Keep in mind the importance of the impact your strategy will face when coming into contact with the enemy and that adaptability is critical, when needed. Constantly revise and revisit the method to get the absolute best out of using it.

 

I will reiterate the fact that no strategy is completely bulletproof and will bring about the exact results you’re looking for; so in picking the 5 Ones, always measure and re-evaluate it. Make changes and realign it if it isn’t working for you in any particular way.

To further your understanding of this strategy and its implementation, I recommend:

One Person (Me);

One Coach (Me);

One Meeting (With Me);

One Amazing Business Owner (You);

One Contact Method (Phone, or Email – with, guess who? Me!).

You’ll find no better combo!

 

Phone: +2783 253 3339

Email: brent@spillly.com

And PLEASE, for the love of Coffee, don’t chase shiny pennies!

I Wrote The Wrong Bloody Book!

By Business Coaching Freelance Strategy No Comments

As an entrepreneur, freelancer, consultant or a professional in any field, for that matter – try and stray away from dipping your fingers into too many flavours and always be aware of the shiny pennies that might arrest your attention on your journey.

Take it from me, I’ve had to learn the hard way.

While it has certainly been a great journey in self-discovery and personal growth, I’ve found myself quite deep-down certain rabbit holes and it goes without saying that I have my regrets. (Now my fingers are sticky and my pockets sag with those heavy pennies.)

Take Caution When Delving Into Rabbit Holes 

In the previous business that I owned, I became known by friends, family, staff and the food manufacturing industry as “The Atchar King”, where I was renowned for my excellent product and the great service that my business provided in that industry.

At the time it was certainly convenient for my identity, as that level of credibility can take you and your business to great levels and leave lasting impressions of you.

And I’d be lying if I told you that being dubbed a king at something wasn’t pretty damn cool.

However, that doesn’t quite carry through to my current occupation and the business coaching that I provide to my clients today. It would be great if it did, but it instead takes away from the image and identity that I’m cultivating at this moment in time.

When I started coaching in 2012, I began gaining traction in the media, communications and technology spaces, slowly becoming known as the guy that provides great entrepreneurial advice and insight to business owners in those industries. I had just started building a name for myself, when I made the mistake of chasing a shiny penny.

For those who are unaware of the concept, a shiny penny is any form of distraction from the original destination that you’ve chosen to move towards. When your business is heading to a particular destination, shiny pennies often pop up along the way and realign your focus onto other ideas, concepts or projects that you might believe are beneficial to your company at the time, but end up affecting the resources and effort that should be spent on moving towards your intended goal.

So I found myself a shiny, new penny: the freelance space.

I Got Distracted With Writing The Wrong Book

It had interested me for quite some time that the freelance space was one that businesses could utilise to cut back on the expenses of having permanent staff and that particular roles could be outsourced whenever it was required – and so I went down a deep rabbit hole.

As an interesting and insightful piece of content, I landed up interviewing 64 agency owners around their use of freelancers so that I could better understand how well the strategy worked for them, what their frustrations were, whether certain things didn’t work and all of the pros and cons that come with this approach to running a business.

With all of this great information that I had accumulated, I came up with a report and it ended up gaining plenty of traction and interest – to the extent that I wrote a book about the freelance space and how to successfully run a freelance business.

It was a 2-year long project that I undertook, with a lot of time, money and effort spent on the process of writing and self-publishing it.

It didn’t end up being such a bad thing, as it was transformed into an engaging set of course material, where it was lectured and taught at a few tertiary institutions and I had even done some talks around it in a few different environments – but it ultimately took away from the identity I’ve been aiming to achieve.

People started referring to me as “the freelance coach”, which isn’t what I do, or advocate.

The shiny penny that I had picked up and took with me on my journey was becoming a part of my identity and started to define the clients that I would attract. Truth be told, this works wonders if that is the particular niche, or double-niche, that you want people to recognise you for, but it’s not what I wanted.

I don’t want to be known as “the freelance guy”, or “the freelance coach”; it’s not what I offer and it takes away from the core of my business, who I am and what I do.

It takes time to change the narrative around the identity that you’re given surrounding a product or service that you’ve offered or sold and I’m still working towards changing people’s views on what I actually provide to them as a business coach.

Rubbing Salt In My Wounds 

As if writing and publishing that book wasn’t enough of a reason to distract people from the service that I actually provide and what I yearned to be recognised for, I decided to share my Business Bikes And Breakfast Radical Accountability Program (BBBRAP) with the world.

It was still in-line with the direction I wanted to take in coaching and included a great passion of mine, but people started to attach that niche that I created as a label around what I do.

Taking a slightly different approach, I published a lot of what I did in BBBRAP as visual content on the different platforms that I was on and soon became known as “the guy that does bike events”, or that I “coach bikers.”

This was, again, something that I didn’t want to be exclusively known for and I’ve had to learn the hard way to avoid making mistakes like this.

Stopping to admire and pick up the shiny pennies that constantly draw you in becomes problematic when developing an identity or image that you’re trying to make stick in people’s minds.

So I implore you to be careful of the distractions that come your way and always be aware of quick-sinking rabbit holes, as well as the glimmering shiny pennies that might detract from your core business identity and main source of income.

Try and keep away from these types of distractions if they aren’t going to enhance the image, label or personality that you’re attempting to cultivate around your business, product or service.

Like I mentioned earlier – I’ve had to learn the hard way and find it quite difficult to redirect the narrative people have of me and what I provide as a business coach.

For some real business coaching, without the labels of ‘freelance’ or ‘biker coach’, then feel free to get into contact with me for advice, strategic planning, understanding the market and growing a powerful and profound business.

I can assist you with all of that and plenty more.

Don’t be under the assumption that I’m just a badass biker freelance wizard coach – I have so much to offer you and your business.

It’s easy to find me, chat to me and set up the meeting that will change your life and business for the better:

+2783 253 3339

brent@spillly.com

But, I mean, if you are interested in that book of mine or keen on biking and business – I’m still your guy!

The Strategy Paradox – Tactics Or Subterfuge

By Coaching Consulting Strategy No Comments

I always talk about the fact that the word ‘strategy’ is often one of the most abused, overused and misunderstood words in any entrepreneur’s vocabulary. Everyone assumes they’re being strategic, when in fact, they’re being tactical.

Many of the clients that I work with and coach often get the concept confused as a means to describe their objectives and goals – rather than a methodology that needs to be constantly adapted to help them achieve success in their market.

Let’s do some real unpacking and figure out exactly how strategy works and how it effectively applies to business.

Unpacking War – The Origins Of Strategy 

There are many ways to build a company strategy, as there are numerous strategies and methodologies out there, along with a wide selection of tools that support the use and abuse of a great one.

But it should be said that there exists no perfect strategy methodology and that a lot of dependence lies on the complexity of the person’s barriers; like the maturity of their business and how quickly and aggressively they want to build the business and maintain it.

The strategies used for entrepreneurs need to feed the entrepreneurial dream, versus a corporate dream and they should most certainly be differentiated.

In unpacking strategy and it’s roots, you’ll find that it was born out of war with the need to ensure victory over a common enemy. The ultimate price to pay was that of death; with all the many fatalities war has brought there needed to be a way of thinking that would reduce loss and increase the odds of victory.

This boils down to the need of defeating your opponent in the most effective way possible. As soon as there are competitors in the same space; you cannot co-exist and need to take some kind of action to achieve a long-term goal of success.

“No Plan Survives Contact With The Enemy.”

The German field marshal, Moltke the Elder, said that “No plan of operations extends with certainty beyond the first encounter with the enemy’s main strength,” meaning that any strategy is always vulnerable and rarely goes without the need for adaptation to the ever-changing circumstances in war.

This extends to the use of any strategy in pretty much any arena – whether it’s boxing, business, or battle. No strategy is bulletproof and should always be used with the clear understanding that circumstances can change at any given moment, so adaptability is key.

In business, you might build a strategy (with a solid plan of action) that you take to market and as soon as you engage with the enemy – your competition, clients, the industry – your plan ends up being imperfect, leaving you with no choice, but to adjust that plan accordingly.

You should never be completely comfortable with your strategy and need to realign it at multiple stages; it needs to always be flexible enough to change or adapt.

I’ve never seen a person, whether it’s one of my clients or someone in a competitive environment, build a 12-month or even 3-year strategy, get to the end and achieve their goals without changing that strategy – a perfect strategy simply doesn’t exist.

One of the biggest stories that come to mind reaffirming this is the battle of Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield, a battle also known as “the Sound and the Fury”. These formidable boxers prepared for months studying one another’s fighting techniques, strengths, weaknesses and abilities, each coming up with a strategy to win the battle – until that plan came into contact with the enemy.

During the 3rd round, both boxers were forced to shed away their strategies, as Tyson surprised the world by biting a sizable portion off of Holyfield’s ear. In no way could Holyfield have planned for such an insane turn of events, throwing his strategy straight out of the window. Even with Tyson having lost control of his temper, none of what had happened was planned for and changed the outcome for both parties involved.This example provides insight into the ever-changing nature of strategy and how to approach it going forward, rather than believing it to be a fixed solution.

With Strategy, “It Always Depends” 

The answer to any strategic question or method is “it always depends”, as certain variables can alter the strategy at any stage of it being implemented.

It always depends on what the ambitions are, where we are in the market, how well we’re funded and what leads or resources we have; which results in a constantly dynamic and often imperfect strategy implementation. There’s always a strategy that makes sense at that given time and there are always factors that can alter its viability.

It’s important to understand that strategy is generally broken down into six core stages:

Understanding the current situation; where you are in the market, what works and what doesn’t, where or who your opposition are; your pricing and everything that talks to where your business is today.

Goals, objectives and what you hope to achieve; by making use of the variety of ways to set a plan of action and assessing how close or far you are to achieving your desired results; and knowing exactly what it is that you want to achieve and by when.

Implementation of high-level strategies that can be used to achieve the goals and objectives set, bearing in mind any changes that need to occur during that stage.

The tactics and methods used to activate those strategies in the best possible way and by when they should provide results, or will be in need of re-evaluation.

Granular-level actions to identify and decide who is going to be doing what, how they are going to do it and by when; what needs to be done daily, weekly or monthly to achieve the strategy.

Control and measurement of the strategy, deciding when and how to check-in and gauge the success of the strategy; making sure that what is being implemented is working or failing and coming up with ways to find out how to measure any needed changes.

In building your strategy, it’s always wise to check on these stages and understand how, why and whether or not the strategy is working for your business in the best possible way. Strategy isn’t as clear-cut as it may seem and taking the necessary steps to ensure that it’s suitable and working well is very important to any business owner, leader or entrepreneur.

What’s that? You want more?

You’re seeking more advice on strategy, tactics and how to assess or implement them into your business diet? I have all the right meal plans, supplements and measuring tools you’ll ever need to get your business into perfect fighting form;

Get in touch with me as soon as possible – let’s get you fit, strong and ready to eradicate your competition in the first round:

+2783 253 3339

brent@spillly.com

Let’s destroy your opponents, together!

Looking Through The Customer Window – What Do They Want?!

By Business Coaching Innovation Strategy No Comments

Imagine you could look at a magical window that would show you what to look for when dealing with your client’s satisfaction – one that would help you understand what your perfect client looks like and wants.

This mystical tool will help to ensure that you’re building your service around the needs and desires of your client and ensure that you remain competitive in the market.

In that case, you don’t have to keep imagining. I might just have the right trick up my sleeve for you. No sleight of hand, no smoke and mirrors – just a simple quadrant that will aid in the first stage of your strategy.

Introducing: The Customer Window

During the delightful process of building out your strategy (especially your product strategy) and in understanding what your perfect client looks like, one of the tools you can make use of is a very simple quadrant that I’ve come up with for business owners.

It’s a great tool that I make sure I provide my clients with for their business and should be used on a regular basis (at least once a year) to check on customer-satisfaction levels and to ensure that you’re building your service for the client and remaining as competitive as possible in the market.

This tool should be used during the first stage of your strategic planning, when you’re going through the research phase and trying to understand what your ideal customer, or client looks like.

Investigating your customer-satisfaction levels ends up becoming extremely important in developing a sound strategy and it can be done through the use of questionnaires, or even asking your team internally.

Not only will it help you in understanding the customer’s satisfaction/dissatisfaction towards your product solution, but will also help you measure the adequacy/inadequacy of that entire solution and provide a more complete picture of your business delivery.

1 Window, 4 Questions = One Happy Camper 

In providing a method of analysis that aids in strategic planning, it will also bring more insight into how you should innovate products accordingly.

Each quadrant has a specific question that needs answering:

 

  • What does your customer want and not get from you? Think long and hard about that question and then map out exactly what you can provide for them. It can be solutions or additions outside of the actual product, as well; it could be that he/she wants quicker turnaround time; he/she wants more, or less, detailed reporting; maybe more face-time; even better pricing options; or benefits with the current pricing. What does he/she want and not get?
  • What does the customer want and get? It doesn’t seem like a difficult question to answer and that’s because it isn’t. It is important however, to recognise what they want and that you’re giving them what they want; identifying whether or not they are happy with what you’re providing to keep providing it in the best possible way.
  • What does the customer not want, but gets anyway? As important as it is to provide extra benefits or services, it’s even more important to recognise whether or not they even care about the fact that it’s there or not; if the customer gets something that they don’t even care about, you’ll be far better off removing it and saving the time or resources that it takes to give them that offering.
  • What does the customer not want and not get? Seems stupid to even bother asking that question, but in seeking an answer to that question, you have more to gain. By compiling a list to ensure that you don’t start offering crap that they don’t want, you make sure that you don’t start offering it in future. Rather avoid chasing a shiny penny that the customer doesn’t want or care about. Save the trouble; save the time.

So there you have it – an easy way to get right into the first stage of your strategy by doing some simple customer research and evaluating what the customer is actually looking for.

You get an idea of your perfect customer or client; what they want or don’t want; and where you can save time, energy and resources doing unnecessary work.

What do I want, but not get from you? A call, an email, a meeting with you;

What do I want, but get from you? Your interest, engagement and attention;

What do I not want and get from you? Nothing. You’re simply perfect;

What do I not want and not get from you? I don’t want you to not see me as the best business coach you’ll ever have and I’m waiting on you to reach out and make me yours.

You know how to reach me, you know an amazing opportunity when you see one:

+2783 253 3339

brent@spillly.com

Now don’t waste another second answering questions. Be like Nike and “Just Do It”.

5 Leadership Types – What Type Of Leader Are You?

By Business Management Coaching Leadership No Comments

Being a great leader can be challenging. Nobody is born with some miraculous gene that grants them the ability to lead and also be effective at it. To be a leader means that you need to have attributes like patience, curiosity, interest and determination, so that you’re able to create a positive impact on those that you lead towards a collective goal.

But there are many different types of leaders.

Some are more aggressive than others, some more understanding and open-minded, some are strict and some are lenient; but they all have one thing in common: the ability to foster action and mobility while creating an impact on the lives of others.

While I deal with so many different personalities and leadership styles as a business coach, I’ve come to learn that being aware of each person’s approach to leadership is extremely important in developing and strengthening their business, as well as their people.

So, I’ve done a bit of research and listed the top leadership types that exist so that you, as the business owner, can find those that you resonate with in order to develop and enhance your approach to leadership. Let’s dive right in.

 

5 – The Autocrat

The autocratic leader is usually authoritarian in nature. While they’re a bit more aggressive, they tend to delegate the tasks and jobs that need to be done, so that workers listen and do as they’re told.

This style of leadership works well because it saves time and provides much-needed clarity around objectives, goals and outcomes. There are also fewer errors in strategy implementation, as less people are involved in the strategic process – which often brings about much better results.

However, the down-side to this style of leadership is that employees feel undervalued and easily replaceable. It leaves them less motivated and far more likely to rebel against either the leader or the company, which usually results in lower levels of productivity and morale, and increased levels of office politics and infighting.

Using this approach in high-risk environments can be quite effective, as there is usually no room for errors or mistakes to be made. However, it usually fails in educational and creative environments, where people need a lot more freedom and independence to give good ideas and feel heard.

 

4 – The Democrat

This approach to leadership is significantly different to that of the autocratic leader. They make sure to involve team-members in the decision-making process and give them the opportunity to voice their thoughts and opinions. Most of the time, this type of leader has the final say, but values and embraces the input from employees and the team as a whole.

The only problem with it is that it can be quite time-consuming to take in every individual’s ideas and thoughts which can often lead to poor choices if the team or its members are inexperienced or unskilled in any way.

With this approach, the upside is that there is far more motivation from employees, as they feel valued and respected. It allows for the accumulation of different perspectives and approaches, rather than relying on one person to provide his/her viewpoint.

It works really well for those smaller teams or any team that has highly skilled and experienced members which can bring value to the decision-making.

 

3 – The “Let Them Do” Leader (Laissez-Faire) 

The complete opposite of the autocratic leader. This approach doesn’t usually fulfil the typical role of a leader, as everyone’s input is deemed valid and equal. Ultimately, they leave the decision-making up to their team members, giving teams complete trust in their abilities to motivate themselves and navigate the business effectively.

While this style seems quite favourable, it often leads to confusion, delays and slow-progress – especially in strategic planning. It also hampers individual development, as people become reliant on their own ideas and thoughts, rarely looking to improve themselves.

However, this approach can be great in that it helps team members feel valued, heard and appreciated. It empowers employees and leaves them with a greater sense of confidence and autonomy, as they feel capable of handling the work on their own without being pressured and undermined.

This approach works very well in teams with highly-skilled individuals that usually have the expertise to make valuable contributions (similar to the democratic approach). Each member is able to take the lead and has great trust in one another to make proper, productive and effective choices that add value to the company.

 

2 – The Incentiviser (Transactional Leader) 

These are the types of leaders that make use of effective reward and punishment systems in order to promote self-motivation and the ambition to succeed. By using incentives to drive employees, these leaders have a fixed and functioning system that says to work hard or receive no benefits.

One of the biggest issues with this approach is that the environment is usually quite strict in structure and rather inflexible. There’s often little room for different viewpoints or processes and can lead to people feeling undervalued, as they’re only there to follow the lead. Employees usually feel restricted in making an impact and everybody has the same measurement of achievement – those who sell or produce more, get more.

However, the upside is that goals and outcomes are clearly defined and can easily be understood by teams and individual employees. The incentives and consequences are also made crystal clear and it’s up to the individual to do a great job – so it also instills a sense of confidence and accountability in the employee regarding their expectations.

 

1 – The Transformer (Transformational Leader)

This approach to leadership puts more focus on the leader’s personality and the way in which they motivate employees to constantly innovate and improve. They are often guided by a clear vision of success and ensure that everybody is focused on the company’s mission and purpose. These leaders aim to inspire and create a positive work culture for everyone involved, acting as a role-model and exemplar.

One of the biggest issues with this style of leadership is that it makes way for a culture of sycophants that aim to please the leader at any given opportunity. Employees can become more focused on getting their leader’s approval, instead of focusing on performance, productivity and team support.

This approach works well, because leaders act as role-models to staff, inspiring them and motivating them to achieve greatness not only for the company, but for themselves. There’s usually a high focus on the vision of the company and what it will take to become more valuable in the long-run. These leaders value interpersonal relationships and are engaging in the way that they communicate with staff, leaving lasting impressions and a stronger sense of camaraderie.

 

What Type Of Leader Do You Want To Be? 

While there are these different approaches to being an effective and impressionable leader, it’s up to you to pick and choose. Weigh out the different options, see which of them suit your personality more and learn, learn, learn.

By taking the time to educate yourself on your favourite approaches, you’re able to decide which one(s) will be more advantageous to you and your business.

Perhaps you like two, or even three of them and want to make a cocktail that includes the best points into one powerful hybrid approach that suits you better – then by all means, do so. Being a unique individual means finding unique and remarkable ways to do things.

If you find that you’re already comfortable with your approach, but need advice, mentoring, guidance or more perspective, then I’m the right coach for you.

Even if you’re still trying to figure out what leader you want to be, I can help you make the right decision for you and your business.

I’ve worked with so many different clients that I’ve helped develop and grow – engaging with many different leaders and personalities that attract high levels of success, so I know exactly what to look for and inspire in you.

 

Get in touch today. Tell me about your business, your dreams, goals and ambitions. Let me help make the difference that you seek.

+2783 253 3339

brent@spillly.com

 

Become Like A Chef – Share Your Secret Recipe!

By Business Coaching Creative Motivation No Comments

What is it that makes so many great chefs, well, great? Some would say it’s in their ability to take some of the simplest ingredients and make something surprisingly delicious out of it, or to bring novelty to the kitchen, introducing insane dishes and combinations nobody would have thought to invent.

Some of the greatest chefs known to man like Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver and Nigella (to name a few) all have one thing in common: they refuse to keep their genius a secret.

You could say that it’s somewhat outdated (and deluded) to be holding onto a secret recipe that would be kept and carried to the grave, only to be experienced by the innovator and those they deem worthy of indulging in their beautiful offerings.

Not in this day and age.

 

The True Secret is To Share

What you’ll find is that these culinary architects refuse to keep their ideas all to themselves and instead opt to share their incredible creations with the rest of the world and through whichever medium they so choose.

With a simple Google search, you can find pretty much any recipe that a world-renowned chef has ever put out there to be gobbled up by the masses.

Too lazy to read it? Well, you could probably even find them on Youtube and watch the entire process with all the direction and guidance you’ll need.

The bottom-line is this: these chefs know that they are amazing at what they do. They thoroughly understand the science behind the food and that they can, and will, do the job better than anyone else that would attempt it.

So sharing their secret recipes and even going as far as to putting the directions on display is of little detriment to what they are capable of offering.

 

Your IP Is Like Expensive Jewellery 

What would be the point in having the most gorgeous watch, or the most stunning necklace that you know people would be completely enamoured by, but always keep it hidden away in a jewellery box, afraid of it being damaged or stolen?

It’s of no real use if it isn’t shared with the world.

I have clients that tell me that they have such superb, or ground-breaking ideas, but are too afraid to show the world; in fear of their idea being stolen and copied, or worse, made into something better.

Your IP, or Intellectual Property, could be worth millions, could change lives and could launch you into stardom, but without wielding it and displaying to the world how powerful it is, you’re not doing yourself any favours. Keeping it a secret means that you are not acting on it and that in itself is a travesty.

Imagine King Arthur drew Excalibur from the stone, wrapped it up and hid it under his bed, for it to never see the light of day, again. Fearing that someone might steal it, or make a clone.

That fear will be a massive hindrance to your growth potential.

The great Zig Ziglar once came up with a fantastic acronym for fear. You can approach fear in one of two ways; you can either “Forget Everything and Run”, or “Face Everything and Rise.”

By facing your fear, you take on the promise of having your idea spread and heard by people. Those people will give credit where credit is due, especially if you are open to sharing your ideas and strategies with the world. This selfless approach is a catalyst to selfish results, if that makes sense.

Use that precious, luxurious IP of yours and wear it for the world to see. Don’t keep it hidden in your box of precious belongings, or nobody knows that it even exists.

 

Spread Your IP Like a Virus 

I’ve made reference to Seth Godin’s Ideavirus, before and will reiterate it here once again.

You need to look at your ideas as if they should be a contagious virus, to ultimately become viral; an infection that spreads to as many people as possible.

Your product, brand, or idea should spark and ignite a pandemic that has as many people know about it. It should spread like a sneeze and keep spreading until everybody is a carrier.

The same can be said about what those great chefs do. They spread their recipes and tricks like a virus to hook as many people as possible. Fully aware that they are amazing at what they do, they aren’t afraid to share their ideas for free or for a bit of money.

In the end, they win.

 

So Be As Contagious As An Infected Chef 

Your IP is only as good as the amount of people that are infected with it, to share it and spread it.

Don’t be afraid of sharing your tricks, your ideas, your business and brand with the world. Share the secret recipes that you’re keeping locked up in a safe, wear your ideas like fine jewellery and sneeze that shit all over the place like it’s Covid.

I’m basically terminal – giving away all of the advice and secrets to my success, even though it’s my bread and butter.

I know how valuable I am to my clients, to business owners and entrepreneurs and I’m more than confident in my ability to coach like Tony Robbins. I have no problem sharing.

So when you’re ready to be infected, like a zombie with an insatiable hunger for the world – hit me up.

I’d be more than glad to share my years of experience and knowledge with you. Let’s get together and not wear our masks; come and get infected with me.

Cough up a call sometime, my number is +2783 253 3339

Or sneeze an email in my direction on brent@spillly.com

I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

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