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The 8-Layered Approach To Business Strategy

By Business Coaching Entrepreneur Strategy No Comments

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

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

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

 

The Situation, The Victory Conditions And The Goals

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Initiatives, Thrusts And Impact vs Effort

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Tactics, Resources, Sprints, Then Control and Measure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There you have it!

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

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

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

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

+2783 253 3339

brent@spillly.com

 

Credibility – Your Success Currency

By Business Coaching Lifestyle Strategy No Comments

Perception is everything. All that we see and interact with is affected by our judgements and personal evaluations of people, places, brands and our surroundings.

Whether conceived or pre-conceived, our notions about people are a staple to our survival as human beings. We need to judge and discern whether something is right or wrong for us in any given situation and as humans, we tend to be both horrible and remarkable at doing just that.

That is why credibility is just so important. People will always have lasting, if not life-long impressions of you and your character, deciding whether or not you are deserving of their love or their hatred. Trust is fundamental in building a strong network of followers (and no, I’m not talking about Instagram).

 

Build and Become the Brand 

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, an employee and regardless of whether you’re 20, or even 50 years of age, building a brand is one of the most important things you could possibly do to serve you well.

A brand is not to be mistaken with simply having a logo or a website, but how your customers perceive you and ultimately how you have affected them. It is so important to be aware of the impression that you leave on your customers and people in general, because it will ultimately lead to what they spread through word of mouth.

Recently, in a state of frustration, I put out a tweet that said:

Ask yourself the question, “what brand am I building and putting out there?”

Do you leave a positive and lasting impression on every person that you meet? Yes, every person that you interact with becomes important, as you never know where that person might end up tomorrow.

The people that you went to school with, the family that you grew up around and the people that you work with from the very beginning, all have the possibility of impacting your life in some way later on in life. Always be aware that a person’s status or influence in the present could be changed in the future – the junior staff that you started out with could someday end up being CEOs, high-ranking officials, or even your boss. Imagine that nightmare.

The impression you leave can last a lifetime.

 

Start Filling Your Bank With Credibility 

One of the most powerful ways to leave a strong and lasting impression, one that is impactful and unforgettable, is to develop your level of credibility.

Credibility is your ability to leave a positive and memorable point-of-view on your identity, one that says you’re an honest and remarkable person that people can respect, trust and admire.

Through this, you will have the ability to create a strong network of support and a following that you can be proud of. If you’re seen as honest, impressionable, hard-working and capable, you sign-up for unwavering respect and the power to have people follow and look up to you.

In order to grow a successful business, especially in South Africa, you need to have a strong network. This network starts at school and keeps growing all the way through to your employers, colleagues and even your opposition; everyone can be your network.

The power and size of your network is directly proportional to your success.

People don’t necessarily remember the work you do, but rather how you did the work. Were you trustworthy, honest, diligent in every move you made? You become a merchant that trades in trust, giving others the opinion that you are credible; and dare I say it, incredible.

 

Become Viral Like The Coronavirus

Seth Godin, writer of the Ideavirus has an excellent take on marketing and how important the customer is when spreading your brand to more and more people. He talks about becoming like a virus – contagious to your customers, so that they spread your product or service to as many as possible.

Your credibility should do the same thing. You should become contagious in the way that you disseminate yourself, as a brand and as a business owner. Let the love and respect of your character spread like wildfire, so that as many people want to be involved with you.

Apply it to your daily diet and ask yourself, “who am I meeting today and what will those people be saying about me in the years to come?”

Build yourself a trail of ambassadors that will follow you on your journey and share your virus with the rest of the world.

Sharing is caring, after all.

 

Be The Leader That Keeps On Leading

By becoming the leader of your own personal brand, you begin a trend that will open up more networks and a stable, unbreakable following. By taking on the responsibility of reliability and trust, you open the doors to becoming more respected, admired and remarkable.

It starts with one follower that will invite and inspire many more to join in on your mission. I quote Derek Sivers, “the first follower is what transforms a loon into a leader.”

You become like the Pied Piper, leading and gathering people with your harmony of trust and honesty – strengthening relationships and forging an undying perspective on the amazing person that you are.

Are you unique and remarkable?

Or are you forgettable and easily replaceable?

I sometimes find that being trustworthy and honest starts with a firm kick to the groin.

We could also just start out with a strong-ass cup of coffee, so join me for one, we can discuss how to shove you in the right direction. Or if you’re a little bit shy, too afraid to catch the Covid:

 

Call me on 083 253 3999 or email me: brent@spillly.com, Let’s plan a risk-free Zoom meeting, sometime soon.

Change Quotient – Better than IQ and EQ?

By Coaching Motivation psychology No Comments

Finding comfort, stability and security are amongst our top priorities as human-beings; we seek to find solace in being as lazy as possible, sitting flat on our asses until our legs go numb.

Some of the most intelligent people on this Earth choose to sniff out the easiest possible route to take in life to get rich as soon as humanly possible. That’s why you might find some of the top-tier criminals have some of the highest IQs.

Unfortunately, a high IQ doesn’t always translate to wise decision-making.

Then there are those with extreme levels of empathy, leaning toward the wrong-end of the spectrum of EQ. Tell me something, is it a form of Emotional Intelligence to be so wound-up about something – anything – exuberating such intense levels of empathy that it translates to high-level cringe? Think extremist vegans; feminazis; simps and the like.

Too much emotion can have you crying and even throwing earth-trembling tantrums for the most irrelevant horseshit.

It goes without saying that a healthy combination of intelligence and empathy can go a long way – as a leader, an employee, a business owner… a serial killer.

But without the ability to adapt to change, they don’t hold as much weight.

 Darwin showed us just how powerful natural selection is – the innate ability to adapt to changing environments and circumstances; inevitably resulting in longevity.

Stupid dinosaurs. They couldn’t even outlive roaches.

Even roaches, crocs (not those despicable shoes) and lobsters all stood the test of time, leaving the dinosaurs but a memory forever bound to history books. What a shame.

What a shame it would be if the top of the food chain – i.e. humans – were to act so weak and powerless. Our innate ability to adapt to changing circumstances makes us amazing, capable and with the potential to evolve faster than anything else on this Earth.

In the workplace, in business, in running the world, our consistent battle with adversity is one that makes us better, stronger and far more capable then any of our quadrupedal counterparts.

As humans, we are constantly faced with hurdles and challenges that test our mettle, that push us far beyond the boundaries of excellence and history has proven this to us time and time again.

Adapting to change is etched into our genetic makeup and psyche, it’s so natural and yet we scoff at anything that rocks our boat, anything that brings about a change in flow and direction.

CQ Is the New Black

Our Change Quotient (CQ) is becoming quite trendy and a far more popular indicator of how capable people are in their work environment – whether running a business, leading a team, or being the best employee.

Being able to adapt and change when adversity rears its ugly head is becoming just as important as one’s IQ or EQ and is a powerful determining factor in our capabilities as humans.

With the Covid pandemic pillaging and destroying businesses, jobs and lives, we’re left to see the determination and power in those that are able to navigate the unpredictable storm.

This burgeoning storm, like many others, has brought about immense change in some of the best ways possible; new ways of doing business, new technologies, new competition, new roles, new services and products.It seems like we only enjoy change when it suits us; which should be all the time.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not about changing completely and having to forage for a new identity from the abyss, but we should constantly strive to evolve and grow, especially in times of adversity or extreme change.

Like a tadpole taking on new features and form, becoming something bigger and stronger without losing its identity, its DNA. Or a caterpillar adapting and taking on a newer, more powerful design, one that can take on far more challenges with poise and agility.

Your ability to change is a profound gateway to more possibilities and opportunities.

3 C’s of Change

 I’ve come to find that there are three different factors that bring about change. These three factors force you to evolve, or be left behind and eaten – gobbled up like a McD’s burger in a fat kid’s lunchbox.

Two of the three factors that play a big role in our ability to make provisions for adaptation shouldn’t be the only reasons to propel us forward in life, as they force sudden change:

Circumstance forces you to take a look at yourself, your position and make quick decisions that will have you adapt and survive. Covid, as an example, has forced us to deal with circumstances we were too relaxed to pay attention to. Only when the shit hits the fan, do we take a look in the mirror and say, “it’s time for a change”.

Don’t wait for a circumstance to creep up and swallow you whole.

Crisis demands that you pull up your socks and get the ball rolling with haste, or die. We hate it when it barges in, but neglect to acknowledge that it is a reality that needs to be addressed and planned for. When you’re struck with absolutely no choice, left wondering “why am I here and how did this happen?”, you’ve been battered by crisis and often find it’s too late to gather your things and run.

Everything gets swept up into the maelstrom and you’re left with no option, but to change.

Don’t wait for a crisis and be shocked when it does come kick your door down.

And finally,

Choice is the factor that we should all strive to undertake. Like the tadpole, or the caterpillar, we should seek and choose to evolve and adapt toward a bigger, better form. We need to make the decision, the choice to bring about change and always be prepared for uncertainty. Be eager to adapt and avoid reliance on comfort.

We all have free-will, so by exercising your ability to change and by showing readiness to adapt, you will find that great benefit and strength in adversity become your new norm.

Do you want to go beyond extinction, still alive and well, way past your due date?

Well then, I have just the thing for you…

… My number and my Email address.

It will take a little bit more than just reading this to prepare yourself.

You need someone that will get you armed to the teeth and ready for war,

Ready to take on the next massive shift:

Find change, before it finds you.

+2783 253 3339

brent@spillly.com

..or just follow my mind as it dumps value all over the interwebs… @Spillly with three Ls everywhere; Twitter, Instagram, Facebook..

 

 

 

Vision Boards For Entrepreneurs: The Wall Of Blue Logos

By Business Coaching Motivation Strategy No Comments

Setting up an environment that carries within it a vision of success is a huge requirement for any successful business owner and in doing so, you motivate not only yourself on an individual level, but the employees and anyone that comes into contact with such a culture.

I’ve come across and use a wide variety of tactics and ways to keep entrepreneurs, staff and my clients motivated to attract better results in as many aspects of their business as possible and have found that the methods I’ll be sharing with you today are extremely powerful in creating such a great environment.

The Wall Of Logos

About six years ago, I was called in for a meeting with a very large advertising agency that was a potential client of mine and being a bit anal about time, I showed up about half-an-hour early for the interview.

Being there that early meant that I was stuck with the friendly receptionist and the various staff slowly dragging their feet into the workplace. I was offered a delicious cup of coffee and patiently waited to be summoned in.

During that time, I noticed a distinct wall of plaques behind the lovely lady and each one had a logo of some famous brand that anybody could recognise; big players in different industries all spread across this company’s wall. What I noticed upon closer inspection is that some were in colour and some were still silver in the shade of the original plaque.

Thoroughly impressed, I thought to myself, “Wow, these must be the clients that this agency works with,” which created even more anticipation to land them.

The time came and I was called into the meeting, everything went as smooth as Jazz and I bagged the opportunity to work with this amazing company. During the meeting, I brought up the glimmering wall of logos and it was explained to me that the brands that are in colour are those that they work with and already have as clients, while the plaques that are completely silver were the clients that they were aiming at getting.

An amazing idea that not only has their goals displayed for the world to see, but also one that motivates and pushes their staff towards a horizon of success.

This way of thinking left a solid impression on me and I firmly believe it to be a fantastic way that the company reminds itself and its employees that they are striving to be the best and will seize any opportunity to be huge in their industry.

The Blue Logo Approach

A few years after my encounter with the great wall of logos, I was working with another client of mine, also a large advertising firm in marketing and media, where I noticed that they had a slightly different approach to the plaque idea.

This company used what could be called the ‘blue logo strategy’, where they specifically targeted brands with blue logos as potential clients and without being confined to a single industry, these brands were all involved in multiple sectors and markets.

If you pay some pretty close attention to some of the biggest industry giants, you’ll come to find that a huge portion of them use a significant amount of blue in their logo: BMW, Unilever, HP, Intel, Facebook and Paypal (Oh! Spillly is also in blue – just putting that out there).

Making sure to tell their staff on a daily basis that those were the particular clients that they were going for, they created an environment with a concept similar to that of the wall of logos at the previous company I mentioned.  They were inducing a sense of motivation and ambition in themselves and their employees to strive towards capturing the best clients they could.

One really cool thing about that was the fact that they didn’t restrict themselves to one industry (like automotives), but to different sub-categories, like blue logos in the tech industry and the banking industry, as well.

This also didn’t necessarily mean that they were only accepting clients with a blue logo, but some of the best brands tend to have blue as a preferred colour choice. (*cough* like my one)

Vision Boards And Attraction

These methods that are used by the companies bear a stark resemblance to the law of attraction and a trick used to attract and manifest certain possibilities in one’s life and environment: something known as vision boards.

A vision board is usually a collection of images, formed into a collage to remind yourself, and others, of certain goals or ambitions that you’ve set out to achieve.

By creating such a device, you condition your subconscious to adapt and attract possibilities and opportunities that will bring about those goals, ambitions or dreams into existence.

Through having the blue logo approach or the wall of plaques, the entrepreneur and the staff all envision and fixate on particular results that they are all striving to achieve and in keeping a visual reminder, they constantly remind their subconscious minds of an outcome that needs to be delivered. This affects their behaviours, body language, communication and interactions with people in order to bring about their desires and breathe life into them.

It’s a fun way to think about who you are as an organisation, the type of clients that you want and how big you want that client base to become.

Finding a similar way to motivate yourself and your staff to excel in and achieve higher goals like this will most certainly be beneficial to your own business, including the environment and culture that it creates.

From the inside, your business will carry and develop an energy that strives for success; while from the outside, people are drawn to the high levels of ambition that you’ve put out on display – making it known that you’re on a quest to becoming a big-player in your industry.

This is a nice and easy trick to make use of and implement in your work environment and so am I.

I’ll be the best business coach you’ve ever invited into your life and business and just like those big corporate kings: my logo is blue, too.

Okay, I won’t keep bombarding you with how awesome my logo is, so if you need to know more about how I can turn your business frown upside down:

Let’s do a Zoom call, a face-to-face, a get together, a coffee:

+2783 253 3999

brent@spillly.com

I’m easy enough to find – there aren’t many bald, bearded business coaches with a blue logo out there. (Again, just putting that out there).

 

 

What the hell is a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)?

By Coaching Entrepreneur Social Media Strategy

An SOP is a procedure specific to your operation that describes the activities necessary to complete tasks in accordance with industry regulations, provincial laws or even just your own standards for running your business.

 

Any document that is a “how to” falls into the category of procedures. In a manufacturing environment, the most obvious example of an SOP is the step-by-step production line procedures used to make products as well train staff. An SOP, in fact, defines expected practices in all businesses where quality standards exist.

 

SOPs play an important role in your small business. SOPs are policies, procedures and standards you need in the operations, marketing and administration disciplines within your business to ensure success.

 

These can create:

  • Efficiencies, and therefore profitability
  • Consistency and reliability in production and service
  • Fewer errors in all areas
  • A way to resolve conflicts between partners and staff
  • A healthy and safe environment
  • Protection of employers in areas of potential liability and personnel matters
  • A roadmap for how to resolve issues – and the removal of emotion from troubleshooting – allowing needed focus on solving the problem
  • A first line of defence in any inspection, whether it be by a regulatory body, a partner or potential partner, a client, or a firm conducting due diligence for a possible purchase
  • Value added to your business should you ever wish to sell it

 

Developing an SOP is about systemizing all of your processes and documenting them. Every business has a unique market, every entrepreneur has his/her own leadership style, and every industry has its own best practices. No two businesses will have an identical collection of SOPs.

 

Below is a listing of just a few typical SOPs, which you will want to consider writing for your own small business.

 

  • Production/Operations
  • Production line steps
  • Equipment maintenance, inspection procedures
  • New employee training
  • Finance and Administration
  • Accounts receivable – billing and collections process
  • Accounts payable process – maximizing cash flow while meeting all payment deadlines
  • Marketing, Sales and Customer Service
  • Approval of external communications: press releases, social media, advert, etc.
  • Preparation of sales quotes
  • Service delivery process, including response times
  • Warranty, guarantee, refund/exchange policies
  • Acknowledgment/resolution of complaints, customer comments and suggestions • Employing Staff
  • Job descriptions
  • Employee orientation and training
  • Corrective action and discipline
  • Performance reviews
  • Use of Internet and social media for business purposes Legal
  • Privacy

 

 

Tips

  • Establish prior to opening; review at least annually
  • Develop procedures in the language style and format best for the establishment (your industry/operations knowledge is crucial here)
  • Write SOPs in clear, concise language so that processes and activities occur as they are suppose to
  • The level of detail in SOPs should provide adequate information to keep performance consistent while keeping the procedures from becoming impractical
  • Keep written SOPs on-site and in the cloud so that supervisors and employees can use them
  • Drafts should be made and tested before an SOP is released for implementation
  • The more decision makers, employees and complexity in the business, the more SOPs are required
  • SOP’s should be developed in existing businesses by all the stakeholders in each process.

 

In my experience, companies with well built, managed and maintained SOP’s are far less likely to make the same mistake twice and are often more resilient internally. An SOP can often be the difference between getting new work and not as clients can see the value of a well-run organisation.