Having a system of accountability in your business is the pathway to success.
If you can understand how you were able to achieve a result, then you can find a way to repeat it. How you account for those results, even if those results turn out to be not so positive, will provide you with information to make better decisions moving forward.
A system of accountability works well in a small business or in an entrepreneurial environment because it recognizes that each person is a major contributor or has the potential to be one.
To build an accountability culture and policy it is important to build a systematic method that defines expected time frames (i.e. daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually) and clearly defined roles, responsibilities and expectations. Depending on the size of your company, having a conversation that usually starts with the question, “How do you account for that?” can work as an effective system of accountability, but in order to be effective, the conversation must clearly define goals, opportunities, obstacles and responsibilities.
By seeing accountability as more than a means of having to be responsible and productive and viewing accountability as a tool for success, you can actually keep morale high, motivate employees and ultimately can move the company as well as individuals toward high and performance and a very successful business!
Every 30 days (maybe even sooner) you really have to say,
“What is working in my company?” and capitalize on that.
If it’s working, make it work more.
What’s not working? Stop doing that.
Maintain commitment and hold yourself accountable for the result.
WHEN BUSINESS OWNERS ARE CUT OFF FROM EMOTION THEY MAKE BAD DECISIONS
Recognize that emotions exist! It is not having the feelings that are the problem, it is how welearn to manage and understand them.
The Case Study:
I walked into a client’s office for our appointment. No sooner had I knocked on the door to announce my arrival with “Hi, how are you today?” than she quickly turned and emphatically retorted “How am I? How am I? I am overwhelmed and exhausted. The children need to be picked up, and I have one of the biggest deals unfolding today. I am having a terrible time with this negotiation. ”
Her logical thinking was being completely derailed by her feelings.
I asked her to take three deep breaths and just to take a pause from all thoughts and feelings about the situation. I acknowledged and empathized with how difficult the situation was.
After being able to calm down and have an intelligent conversation, we were able to get clarity about what was real in her knowledge of the issues involved and to separate that from her feelings.
We know that making decisions based purely on knowledge or based purely on emotion is always the wrong decision, but by employing three strategies we were able to come up with a new equation that got to the heart of the matter.
The very first thing we needed to do was to take a pause.
The second thing we needed to do was to acknowledge and empathize with her feelings.
The third and final step in the process is that she needed to do a body and mind scan and in so doing ask three questions:
“What am I thinking?”
“What am I feeling?”
“How can we come up with a new response that incorporates both intellect and emotion?”
As a result of this process, our client was able to navigate her emotions, navigate her client’s emotions, and close the deal with great success!
Emotions are the driver and influencers of all relationships.
Want to learn how to manage your emotions and others’ for effective results?
Starting and running a business is filled with trials and tribulations. Along the way one experiences their fair share of both successes and failures. Being an entrepreneur or small business owner requires resiliency and the ability to bounce back from setbacks. Given the reality of this situation, this can feel a lot like being on an emotional roller coaster.
Learning to manage one’s own emotions and the emotions of others is critical for both your health and business success.
Emotional Intelligence is defined as the capacity to make decisions and control reactions based on combining what you think with what you feel.
There are multiple philosophies regarding the teaching of emotional intelligence, but the great news is that the mere introduction of the language of Emotional Intelligence will immediately raise your ability to identify and express feelings and help you to connect your thoughts to those feelings.
When emotions run high, the thinking brain is cut off from the feeling heart and decisions and reactions become askew. There is no decision that is made straight from logic or straight from emotion that can ever be the right decision. Often a missed sale, miscommunication, or major disconnect is due to the disconnect between feelings and thoughts.
It is when we understand that emotions are the major influencers of all relationships and all decisions that we give proper attention to our Emotional Intelligence.
Emotions are the driver and influencers of all relationships.
Want to learn how to manage your and other for effective results?
How many times have you gone to a networking event, handed out or collected 50 cards,and a week later turned around and said, “Hey, no one called me!” or “That event turned into zero sales.”
The reality is that there is a clear difference between networking, sales and building trust.
Building effective relationships requires time and energy which equate to increasing or decreasing revenues.
In creating effective business relationships, it is imperative that we choose our networking or client meetings based on right fit audiences.
If you measure your business by time, energy and money, it is very important to make sure you are talking to the right fit person and attending a right fit meeting.Right fit clients or organizations are a match based on the following factors:demographic (age, location, gender), economic (they can pay for your product/service), and psychographic (their wants and needs match what you offer).Now comes the hard part—the relationship itself.
Building effective relationships requires effective listening, genuine curiosity, and the empathy for your client.
Finding the right fit client and building trust and connection will translate into a solid and profitable client base.
Ready to learn the most effective ways to stay top of mind to your clients and prospects?
Imagine there are 20 other people in the room, all with the same profession and same level of experience. Also in the room is one perfect client. Why should they choose to work with you?
In the first sentence you have either grasped your potential client’s interest or due to a lack of differentiation and understanding of the outcome you can provide, you have lost them.
It is important to give the prospect something to spark their interest enough to engage them in further conversation.
Different than a unique selling proposition or elevator speech, a differentiating statement identifies who you work with and what outcome they can expect.
If done effectively, a differentiating statement should lead to a conversation that allows you to explain how you do it.
Once you have been able to clarify this for yourself and your client, it’s time to make a commitment to 21st century, simple, repeatable, and effective marketing strategies that will propel yourself and your business forward.
Want to standout in the marketplace and get out of digital chaos?
Do what is most important. Defer anything that does not need to be completed right now. Delegate what you don’t need to do yourself. Dump all activities that take you away from SDDC (sell, develop, deliver, collect).
The Small Business Results Case Study:
In the day to day basis of running a small business, it is easy for owners to get caught up in the daily operations and wear the sales, marketing and finance hats. Therefore, it is challenging to remain focused, to grow and to expand the business in the direction that they would each like to see. Clients come to us with the problem of having too much to do and as a result either are not as effective as they would want, or they feel so overwhelmed that they are not even sure of what they would have someone else do or how they would teach them to do it.
We ask the clients to track their work day by using the DDDD system. When this system is employed, we consistently get a grasp on what is essential for the owner to do and what we could get someone else to do.
The Small Business Results Outcome:
By really tracking the day’s activity and measuring the business day by time, energy, and money we are able to create job descriptions, post it on a number of college job boards and hire right fit interns who can help grow the business and cultivate interns into great, future employees.
I love to put the constant question in the small business owners heads:
A day in the life of a small business owner or entrepreneur can be so incredibly overwhelming.
As great a tool as technology is, we find ourselves surfing, tweeting, facebooking, and not necessarily operating in a strategic fashion.For years, we have taken tremendous pride in seeing ourselves as multi-taskers, but we have found that in today’s world, multitasking does not work. We must have a razor focus on systems and structures for building revenue.
Often people ask us about time management and though there will never be enough hours in the day, we believe it is much less about time management and much more about self management.
Focused daily results means that you no longer turn around, look at the clock, and say to yourself “Wow, its 4pm, what happened to my day?” or look at your bank account at the end of the month and say, “Wow, where is my revenue?”
At the end of the day, there must be solid answers for what you sold, developed, delivered and collected.
At SBR, we believe that “commitment” is the most important word in the English language.
Not only is it the most important word, but making and keeping commitments seems to be one of the hardest tasks. Many factors can affect our ability to commit, such as losing passion, vision and purpose for our product/service, life circumstances, a competitive marketplace and the lack of current knowledge about your business.
People open a business because they have an idea, an interest, a passion or a skill and they get certified or licensed. They then fail to realize that to succeed they must also know how to structure and master the marketing, the selling, the policies, a web presence, building a data base, having a newsletter and e-mail communication. Most people have no way of knowing before they start a business how much there is to do. We continuously feel that everything we are trying to accomplish at once is interfering with our ability to actually get business results!
Commitment . . . commitment requires persistence, tenacity and realistic short term action steps because no matter what, a full commitment to you and your product or service is the key to success.
Ready to Make a Commitment To Your Revenue Growth?
Most commitments are made when we get to the NEED level, whether that be increased learning, selling or hiring.
The Small Business Results Case Study:
People open a business because they have an idea, an interest, a passion or a skill and they get certified or licensed. They then fail to realize that to succeed they must also know how to master the selling of their product or service. Before they start a business, most people have no way of knowing how much effort is needed to fill the pipeline and cultivate the relationships necessary to close sales. Time after time I meet with small business owners who say they have no revenue and that business is really bad. When I ask them about their sales calls they answer “Oh, I hate that part!” I ask, “Well, do you have clients that you worked with in the past? Can you call them?” Their answer is usually, “I really don’t want to. It seems so salesy. I know I need to do this, and I want to, but I hate it!”
The Small Business Results Outcome:
Selling requires discipline and consistency. I ask the business owner to create a list of 30 concrete names with contact information and to commit to making at least one or two calls a day and to tracking the results of those calls. This list consisted of past clients, friends, family, as well as new leads. By committing to make at least one or two calls a day the business owner went from zero sales calls to making 20 to 40 calls a month. The result was a 7% increase in sales!
The Small Business Results Takeaway:
Action plan every 30 days. You will end up with an excellent year.
Some of the most successful businesses in the world have made their mark by being able to differentiate their unique capabilities. Small businesses also need to be able to differentiate themselves in order to stand out in this very competitive marketplace. It is a tool that you use on all of your marketing collateral as well as a means to engage a meaningful conversation. It is worth putting the time and effort in to create this!
IF THERE WERE 20 PEOPLE IN THE SAME PROFESSION AS YOU AND ONE IDEAL CLIENT ALL IN THE SAME ROOM, WHY YOU?
A client of mine came in for a coaching session and I turned to him and said, “Okay, I am a new potential client – sell me, I am ready to buy.” The client proceeded to tell me that he is an architect, that he does design build, that he provides HVC consulting and contracting, that he creates architectural plans and that he handles property management.
I then said, “Okay, but I still don’t get it….tell me what you do.”
He told me that this has been a recurring problem of his for the past 5 years. He knew that he was so incredibly talented and capable of so many amazing things, but he had never been able to identify a way to properly communicate these skills or services that he provides to others.
I continued probing, asking him questions, and getting him to talk about himself –
What are his passions? What is his business? What are his skills? Who is his ideal client?
After carefully listening and absorbing everything he told me, I turned to my computer, began typing and said:
“How does this sound: My name is Joe Smith and I am the President/Founder of Joe Smith Design. We work with building owners who want increased efficiency and safety, and to bring their property up to code.”
He looked at me and exclaimed, “That’s it! That’s what I do!”
I then asked him if he knew any building owners, to which he replied, “Oh yes, many!”
“Ok, good,” I said, “then your homework assignment is to call at least one or two a day, tell them this differentiating statement and report back to me your results.”
My team at SBR received an email from Joe Smith today. He let us know that as a result of our last consultation session, a lot had happened in the past two weeks. He is now currently the manager of a very lucrative project, he has put in 4 proposals for other deals and he just recently signed a contract for another huge project that is scheduled to begin next month!
What contributed to getting him these deals? The answer is simple … a differentiating statement.
This 12-15 word statement is an amazing way to open a conversation, a door and should lead to one question: “Really, tell me how you do that?”
Like anything worthwhile, coming up with a great differentiating statement takes time and effort. You should really take a minute to look within, brainstorm some ideas, practice saying it to others and rewrite it as many times as needed.
1. Analyze the competition
2. Determine what sets you apart
3. Identify your client’s pain points
4. Create two columns:
– First Column: List who your ideal clients are
– Second Column: List the outcomes these clients receive by working with you
5. Spend some time putting the information from the two columns together to create your own differentiating statement, start standing out today!
How do you standout? How do you introduce yourself?
This can be a hard exercise. If you need my help, please schedule some time to work on this with me!