August 14/21: Volume 32, Issue 5
By Jim Augustus Armstrong
(Second of three parts)
Picture a hot air balloon lifting off the ground, but it can’t go higher than 60 feet because of the rope holding it down. The balloon is your business, and the rope is how many hours you can physically work each week. Your business wants to soar, but eventually you reach the end of your rope. It might be 50, 70 or 90 hours, but eventually you’ll run out of the time you can put into your business. Let’s look at five keys to cutting the rope.
Key #1: Goals/objectives. Imagine a ship setting sail from New York; without a goal where is it going to go? In circles, most likely. Which is where a lot of dealers find themselves going. Goals enable you to set a course and move forward toward a specific destination.
Goals must be specific, written and have a deadline to be useful. Saying “I want to make more money,” is not a goal. But writing “I will increase my average monthly revenue from $20,000 to $25,000 by July 1, 2018,” is a goal. Saying “I want to work less” is not a goal. But writing “I will take Fridays and weekends off by November 1, 2017,” is a goal.
It’s important to review your goals regularly. Let’s go back to that ship setting sail from New York. The captain has a goal to reach London. During the voyage, waves and wind will knock the ship off course, so the crew must monitor where they are at and make continuous course corrections. The ship will get to London not in a straight line but in a series of zig-zags. It’s the same with your business. The more frequently you review your goals, the tighter the zigs and zags and you’ll get there more efficiently.
Key #2: Develop core values. These are the timeless values that that are unique to your business and separate you from the competition. Some real-world examples include: customer service, always do the right thing, continually strive for perfection, exhibit creativity, be growth oriented, we have fun in business, etc.
Your core values already exist in your organization, you’ve just lost sight of them in all the chaos. An effective way to uncover them is to do the following four steps, which I learned from the book “Traction” by Gino Wickman.
Step 1: Have your leadership team make a list of the two or three people in your organization who—if you could clone them—would enable you to dominate your market.
Step 2: Make a list of all the positive traits those individuals exhibit in their roles.
Step 3: Your businesses core values are contained within this list. Your leadership team should identify every core value or principle that applies to your company.
Step 4: Whittle the list down to the five to seven that are truly your company’s core values.
Being clear on your core values enables you to attract and keep the right people. It empowers your team to make decisions or handle tricky situations when you’re not there. Once you identify your core values, hire, fire and train based on these values. This will enable you to build a strong company culture that can survive ups and downs in the market and enable you to achieve your ideal business and ideal lifestyle.
In the next installment I’ll cover the remaining three keys to cutting the rope so your business can soar. If you have questions or comments I’d love to hear them. Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jim Augustus Armstrong specializes in providing turnkey marketing strategies for flooring dealers. For a complimentary copy of Jim’s book, “How Floor Dealers Can Beat the Boxes and Escape the Cheap-Price Rat-Race of Doom Forever,” visit beattheboxestoday.com.