In the last post we started our series on catching big clients, or “fish”, that will sustain your business over the long run. Today we are going to take that a step further by talking about how to understand and think like a big fish company and how that can help you plan your approach and find success.
Before you can start the process of landing big clients, you must make sure your entire team is on board with your approach and vision. There are six keys to finding big clients. They are:
- First Impression: You must remember you have one shot to land a big client. If you make a mistake, they are not going to consider you again. Never give them a reason to doubt your abilities.
- First Priority: Your fish must always feel like they are your first priority. Return calls and emails immediately and find solutions to their problems or questions as quickly as possible.
- Flexible: You need to be flexible in your negotiations. If they need a special service or for you to customize a product, say yes for the benefit of the long term. A little hassle now will be a big pay off later.
- Long-term: This goes along with the last one a bit. As you are approaching and negotiating with big fish you need to think about the long-term benefits for your business. If you go for a one-time big score you will lose their interest.
- Have Fun: Work should be fun, even when trying to land big clients. In fact, this should be the most fun. You are sharing your vision with new people and including them in your future success and likewise. People simply work better in a fun, happy environment. Your passion will also be contagious and pull the fish into your vision even more.
- Help Them: If you take just a little bit of time and offer your clients ways to save money or time by introducing them to potential business partners, this will show you really are invested and interested in their business. Strive to find a balance between your business needs and your client’s needs.
There are also a few tactics you can use to bring in a big-company vision to the people on your team. You can:
- Post these six keys for everyone to see.
- Put together a performance-based incentive program.
- Conduct frequent team meetings.
- Use a “right now” policy that dictates big fish calls be answered immediately.
- Offer awards/recognition for big-company ideas and executions.
- Put together a training and certification program based on the six keys above.
These 6 keys and tips will help you instil a big-company mindset through your company which will help you be more prepared and more likely to land your big fish. Once your team is thinking this way, you will be unstoppable.
If you need help putting together an incentive program or other way to push your team toward the big-company mindset, try our GUIDED TOUR to work with one of our coaches or check out our resources and tools.
In the last post, we talked about the first three of the 7 specific areas you need to consider in your franchise prototype process. Here are all seven again:
- Primary Aim
- Strategic Objectives
- Organizational Strategy
- Management Strategy
- People Strategy
- Marketing Strategy
- Systems Strategy
These 7 areas will fine-tune your plan for the ultimate level of success. Today we are going to cover the last four.
Think of constructing your business model like planting a tree. At first, it is so small and weak you wonder if it will even make it through the night. But you keep watering, fertilizing, and nurturing it. Your ideas will grow the trunk and each of these strategies will extend out like the branches of your now strong tree. Finding the perfect support staff, employees, vendors/suppliers, and other relationships will make your tree flourish with leaves and flowers.
Today I’m going to talk about the life cycle of a business and how to get the most out of each cycle while also extended the lifespan of your business.
The four different stages of a business life cycle are:
- Growing Pains
We’ll talk a little about what each of these cycles means and how they can each help expand your business’s lifespan.
This is generally considered the technician’s phase, which is the owner. At this point, the relationship between the business and the owner is that of a parent and a new baby. There is an impenetrable bond that is necessary to determine the path your business will follow.
The key is to know your business must grow in order to flourish. You cannot stage in this stage forever.
In this stage, you need to start bringing your support staff together to delegate to and allow growth to happen. The first line of defense is your technical person as they need to bring a certain level of technical experience. This cycle really belongs to the manager though. The planning stage needs to start and a relationship should be built with the entrepreneur to plan for the future.
There’s a point in every business when business explodes and becomes chaotic. This is referred to as growing pains. It’s a good problem to have, but a problem nonetheless. You are often faced with a number of choices:
- Avoid growth and stay small
- Go broke
- Push forward into the next cycle
The last cycle is maturity, though this doesn’t mean the end of your business. Your passion for growth must continue in order for your business to succeed. You need to keep an entrepreneurial perspective in order to push your business forward.
You see how all three of these cycles are connected and depend on a strong foundation for each one of them for your business to be and continue to be successful. All three of your key roles must also work together to work through these cycles.
If you’re having trouble putting together your business life cycles and figuring out which of the key roles you fit into, try our GUIDED TOUR and work with one of our amazing coaches.
When you get in your car, you know where you are going, you have a destination in mind. Your business should be run in the same way. What is your business goal? Where are you taking your business? What is the higher purpose for doing what you are doing?
Clarity on your goal will increase the likelihood of achieving them.
“What do you want to achieve at the expense of all other options available to you?”
Answering these questions will help you gain clarity on your goals.
- If I won the lottery tomorrow, how would it change my life?
- If I knew I was going to die in 12 months… what would I do day to day?
- What do I enjoy doing the most?
- Who do I currently spend the most time with?
- Who do I most enjoy spending time with?
- Who pushes me to ‘think bigger?’
- What is a dream accomplishment that I’ve been afraid to try?
- What are my primary three financial goals?
- What are my primary three career goals?
- What are my primary three health goals?
- What are my three biggest worries?
- What would I like them to say at my funeral?
The more clarity you get around your goals, the easier it becomes to move towards and ultimately accomplish them.
Remember a Mammoth goal is achieved with the first small step.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Amazon.com was just an ‘idea’ in Jeff Bezos’ head not too long ago.
Apple was a figment of Steve Jobs’ imagination.
Google was a University project.
The sky is the limit!
Your business success is our passion. Check out our Guided Tour to find out how we can help you get to the next level.
I was privileged to be part of a conversation with local business leaders this week. One of the attendees asked, “How do you anticipate something like COVID so that your business survives beyond the crisis?”
My very first instinct was BCP (business continuity planning) should go a long way. Most businesses don’t have it in place, but thinking through the process will help with the anticipation thinking.
Then Kodak came up in conversation, and you see Kodak thought they were in the film making business when they were in the memory-making business. So what went wrong? In my opinion, Kodak didn’t understand their customers, what their needs, expectations and goals were. The problem they were solving was capturing the memories, not printing films.
So what does this mean for business owners?
- Understand your customer, be crystal clear about who you are serving
- What are their needs?
- What are their expectations- remember you do not just create these
- What goal are they trying to achieve?
- Design your solution around the goals, needs and expectations of your customers, think about the assumptions you are making about your customers, their needs, expectations and goals.
- Validate your hypotheses with your customers
- Create quick solutions which you test and refine
Remember that needs are continually changing, so understanding your customer is an ongoing exercise, not a once-off event.
If we know our customers and keep an eye on them, care about them, understand how we deliver for them, then we will be able to create solutions that set us apart from those who don’t understand the role they play in their customers’ lives.
You could argue that we should have anticipated Covid-19, every hundred years or so the world has faced pandemics of some sort, if this is true then I think if we fully understand our customers and the role we play, then we can weather the storm.
Use our GUIDED TOUR to create your market dominating position.