Episode #3 - taking your business to the next level.
I speak with business coach John Cameron, owner of Rock Solid Business Coaching. John talks about what it means to take your business to the 'next level' and how to do an assessment of your business to see if your ready to take the leap.
Too often business owners get ahead of themselves and fall into the trap of expanding or trying to do more without having all the pieces in place. John walks us through the process of what we need to consider before scaling up.
Below is a transcription summary of my interview with John. To get the full benefit, watch the video.
Joe: In today's episode the discussion we’re going to go through is - ideas to get your business to the next level, but I thought maybe we can define what it mean, ‘to take your business to the next level’.
John: It means something different to a lot of people. I've worked with hundreds of people and everyone has their own interpretation of what is means to take their business to next level.
Having said that, most business owners can look at this way.
In the first level, people are doing their own sales and marketing, or delivering on a product or service and its basically solopreneurs out there earning a living and they want to reach the next level where it turns into a company.
This is where they can rely on people for different facets of the business and that's really kind of getting to the next step of building a company.
They’re getting away from being an individual who's really good at what they do supplying services and now getting into having a company that supports them and takes care of maybe those things that they don't enjoy doing as much.
These are most likely the type of things that drive the profit into the company.
Joe. In the article that you wrote you talked about 'the first next level', how do you go through the assessment process? How do you determine what that first next level is?
John: The first next level usually happens when you're putting in far too many hours and the work starts to take over your life and the bottom line profits aren't really a size they should be or could be.
Basically, if you find yourself being stuck doing lots of administrative tasks or not doing that type of thing that supports the business, and you're not doing what you're really good at…that's really when you need to get to the next level.
Joe: How would a company decide if they're ready to make that next step?
John: I call it the company accountability matrix and that's basically where we're making an inventory of everything that happens within the company. Just this morning I worked with a client where his expertise is in greenhouses and he is introducing new insects that take care of the pest insects to keep the balance of things in greenhouses.
He was working about 70 hours a week, so we're working to reduce this, and to do that we have to be able to delegate more of his tasks.
When you're struggling doing things, that you're not really trained for or good at, that is what starts to cause problems in the company.
To solve this, we create an inventory of everything that needs to happen, and we rate how well things are being done. We use an elementary school grading system.
For example: if you're doing work that you’re not good at, you'd get a C on your filing; but your ability to deliver your services might get an A.
On that inventory list, all the functions of your company are rated and how effectively your doing them.
You want to look at making logical decisions and what we want to pick off right away, are those things that are happening with a high frequency and a low effectiveness because that's really what's causing the most grief and frustration.
When you use the company accountability matrix, you start to track and delegate the things that are slowing you down.
Then we started to plan for growth and make sure the planning process is effective.
Joe: What are some additional tips that you could provide for people that go through the assessment?
John: Every company should be designed to profitably deliver value; so you have to look at the design of your business, you have to be able to step back and have a look at it, so you can figure out what that value promise is for your business.
When you create a company promise, you make a promise to each and every customer that comes to your door. You care for every customer that you deal with and it gets easier to grow the company.
Joe: As a coach you can help people accelerate this process?
John: Yes, the program put in place helps to build the company. We structure how the company should be and what the core part of it is and what it should be. So, that's really what we do.
We take everybody from wherever they’re at in their business and help them build the company. We help them get lots of energy and entrepreneurial spirit, then focus on growing a business.
John Cameron, owner at Rock Solid Business Coaching.
Since 2001 John has been helping business-people build companies that perform the way the owners want them to. His highly effective Company Strength Program gets results for all stages of growth from start-up to succession.
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Joe Griffith is a digital trends expert and advocate for small business owners. He specializes in helping service professionals grow their business and gain new clients. Learn more about Joe here.