My Podcast

How to Build a Better Business

3 Key Points in this Episode:

  1. Leaders must have a dream of changing the world for the ideal customer the business serves.
  2. Managers must be leaders within the business and be a part of the development of solutions that are consistent with the dream the business is designed to achieve.
  3. The amount your employees care is a direct reflection of the culture and environment the leader has created in the business.

Thank you so much for listening to the Build a Better Business Podcast. I’m your host Jamie Irvine and just before we get started today, I would like to encourage you to share this podcast with one person today. Your word of mouth is like oxygen for this podcast, without it the podcast cannot thrive.

Let’s get started with episode 92, entitled How to Build a Better Business, this is part 3 and the conclusion of the mini-series, Build a Better Business – Employees That Care.

In today’s episode there are three key things you will learn:

  1. Leaders must have a dream of changing the world for the ideal customer the business serves.
  2. Managers must be leaders within the business and be a part of the development of solutions that are consistent with the dream the business is designed to achieve.
  3. The amount your employees care is a direct reflection of the culture and environment the leader has created in the business.

I’m going to teach you those things by first reviewing the past 9-weeks where I have produced three mini-series:

  • # 1 – Leaders That Dream
  • # 2 – Managers That Lead
  • # 3 – Employees That Care

After our break, I am going to teach 6 key lessons that I have not yet covered but will round out your knowledge and empower you to build a better business that is solidly focused on changing the world for the ideal customers the business was designed to serve from the very beginning.

In episode 75 I began the first mini-series entitled Leaders That Dream. In this episode, I introduced you to the idea that to build a better business you must have a dream. This means that to build a better business you must be a leader that dreams. That dream must resonate with first your ideal customer and second your employees. To the degree that they adopt your dream for themselves is to the degree that you will either succeed or fail to become a leader that dreams building a better business that has ever been built in your given industry.

In episode 78 I continued the mini-series entitled Leaders That Dream by explaining that identifying your dream is all about getting to know who that dream will impact. I pointed out that if you are unsure about your dream all you must do is tell your customers and employees about it and solicit their feedback carefully gauging their response. They will tell you everything you need to know.

I reminded you that the purpose of your business is to make an impact in the lives of your most important ideal customer. Therefore, the return on investment is critical because the greater the dream you are pursuing the greater the responsibility. You must make as much money as possible to fund the achievement of that dream.

In episode 80 I concluded the mini-series entitled Leaders That Dream with a discussion about the strategies that will help you transition your business from where it is today and where it needs to be to achieve your dream. The most important strategy is developing good communication with all the stakeholders in your business which include; your customers, employees, suppliers, and financial partners. It is also essential that you identify the gaps accurately and develop an action plan that includes feedback from the stakeholders in the business.

In episode 82 I began the next mini-series entitled Managers That Lead with a frank discussion about managers that win the attrition battle by basically being the last person standing and I explained how this can cost a business the war. I also encouraged you to either let this kind of manager go or find them a position that is a better fit for their personality profile. The first step in developing the next generation of managers in your business is to develop the ideal profile of the manager you are looking for using the profile-first approach to find or promote managers that lead.

In episode 84 which was part-2 of the Managers That Lead mini-series, I explain why many managers struggle to handle complex decision making and confrontational situations. The answer can be summarized by saying that it is because they have a personality profile better suited to doing the job than managing the people who do that job. To be successful the leader must understand which weaknesses in their management team they can live with and which they cannot.

Finally, I concluded the Managers That Lead mini-series in episode 86 by contrasting the difference between empowering managers and “passing the buck.” To empower managers to be leaders you must collaborate with them in the development of systems and solutions that are consistent with the achievement of your dream and you must support them when everything goes wrong. I explain how and why things often go wrong despite your best efforts.

This brings us to our third mini-series entitled Employees That Care. In episode 88 I started off with an in-depth discussion about some of the many reasons why individual employees may be struggling including; mental illness, substance abuse, and societal influences. The reality is that aside from these external forces the key to finding great employees who will care like finding managers that lead is using the profile-first approach when hiring. I also got real by shining a bright light on the ugly truth that none of us want to admit which is that often the problem is more with us as leaders than with the employees.

In episode 90 I continued the Employees That Care mini-series by explaining that to get employees that care you must develop a culture of caring in your business. It’s the leader’s responsibility to create an environment that supports a culture of caring. Standards in business lead to caring and the reality is that the way the employees care is a direct reflection of the leader.

So, there you have it, a comprehensive review of the mini-series, Leaders That Dream, Managers That Lead, and Employees That Care. This is the blueprint to build a better business.

What other important factors must be considered to build a better business?

I will answer that after we hear from our sponsors.

Before the break, we asked the question, what other important factors must be considered to build a better business?

I have come up with 6 important factors that must be considered when building a better business.

#1 – Your business needs to solve bigger problems.

Incremental improvement is insufficient to be truly successful in this hyper-competitive global economy that we are all a part of. So, if your business is in the trades you can’t just be 10% more punctual, 10% safer, 10% more organized, installing 10% better quality products or 10% cheaper and expect to have the kind of impact we are talking about when we aim to build a better business.

We must solve a big problem in a very different way for a very different reason. Now I get it, this can be overwhelming, and it can be downright discouraging. I struggled to achieve this in my contracting business, I struggle every day to achieve this in my professional selling career, and I struggle to achieve this with this podcast.

The good news is that the way to solve bigger problems for your ideal customers is to systematically brainstorm new ways to look at the problem and then to implement the development of the solution over time.

Patience and persistence is the key. If you have listened to the podcast from the beginning, you will see exactly what I am talking about as I have consistently reinvented the podcast over the last 92 episodes to move closer to solving bigger business problems for you the listeners and achieve the dream, I have of helping you build a better business.

You can do the same thing with your business and your customers.

#2 – Develop a systematic method to deliver a consistent solution.

Patience is not the entire picture though. Once you identify a bigger problem you must be able to develop a solution to that problem. That is obvious but what is less understood is that your solution must be delivered in a consistent way otherwise you do more harm than good.

Look at it from the perspective of the customer.

They have been going along thinking that the way everyone does what you do is the only way it can be done. Therefore, they accept the status quo and are unaware of the better solution you are working on and the impact that solution will have on them.

In other words, they don’t know what they are missing.

Then you come along and show them this wonderful solution and they become excited at the prospect of receiving the benefits of your unique solution to one of their big problems.

In other words, they are now aware of what they have been missing and now that they know they will never be able to go back.

If you are unable to deliver that solution consistently, they are going to be very upset and that anger and frustration will be hurled at you with great force and rightly so. You can do a great deal of damage to your business and its reputation if you fail to consistently deliver your new solution. In fact, if you fail to be consistent you are better off to just try and incrementally improve your business over the way everyone else is doing it and stick with the status quo.

#3 – If there is no joy in your business you should quit.

Starting a business and keeping a business going is one of the most difficult things you can do. We all know the statistics of business failure.

So, if you don’t love what you do and the process of building a business you will quit. The fact is that if you don’t find joy in the work the worst thing that can happen to you is not a total business failure. The worst thing that can happen is having the business operate with moderate success for a long period of time.

You become a slave to the business, you hate it, and you can’t get out.

Life is precious, and it is short so please find joy in your work.

There is one word of caution here:

Don’t expect every moment to be joyful. That is totally unrealistic. You are going to have bad days, weeks, or even months but if you love the process of building a business you will find joy.

#4 – All your problems are your fault, thank goodness all the solutions you will ever need are within you.

We are all our own worst enemies and we create the worst bottlenecks for ourselves restricting our potential. It’s just the way we are built. Our greatest strengths are simultaneously our greatest weaknesses.

We can easily slip into the mindset that we are a victim.

We start to blame everyone else for our problems. But the reality is if you are blaming everyone else for your problems the problem is most definitely you.

The only way to move past this is to assume radical accountability.

You started a business or accepted the position of business leader. No one put a gun to your head and forced you to do it. You made a choice and now you are the one who is responsible come what may.

Assuming responsibility as the leader of your business and understanding that everything that happens inside your business reflects your leadership and is your responsibility is a very humbling and very brave thing to do. But, it’s also the right thing to do and it empowers you to take different actions that will lead to better results in the long run.

#5 – Love your employees and teach them to love your customers.

This is very simple.

Take care of your employees and they will take care of your customers and your customers will, in turn, take care of your business and ultimately your business will take care of you.

The way your employees treat your customers reflects your leadership. If you have an employee who is mistreating a customer and you haven’t dealt with the situation that is on you, not the employee.

Remember that caring leads to more caring.

Sometimes that expression of care comes in the form of doing something wonderful for a person, but it also sometimes comes in the form of appropriate correction and discipline.

#6 – The formula for systemization.

Michael E. Gerber who was a guest on the podcast in episode 64 has said for 40-years that “the solution is the system, the system is the solution.”

To build a better business and achieve a dream of solving a big problem for an ideal customer you must develop systems.

In my experience, there is a formula for creating systems and I want to share it with you now. It involves taking 6 steps in sequential order. If you try to change the order you will fail to create a system that works properly.

The 6 steps are as follows:

  1. Educate yourself about the outcome you want the system to produce. This involves clearly understanding the previous attempts to produce the outcome.
  2. Develop a system which is defined as a documented step-by-step description of the actions that must be taken to produce the desired outcome.
  3. Measure the results of the system.
  4. Compare the results to the previous ways of attempting to achieve the outcome.
  5. Adjust the system to improve the results. This is also known as innovating the system.
  6. Once you have consistently achieved the desired outcome delegate the system to the appropriate employees.

These six steps produce a framework that you can use to systemize your business and to achieve an outcome.

Over the last 9-weeks, we have covered a tremendous amount of information. I have linked to each episode in the show notes of this episode, so you can easily access them.

So, to conclude today’s episode I will ask this question again:

“Are you going to build a better business by becoming a leader that dreams, and an employer of managers that lead and employees that care?”

This concludes part 3 of the mini-series, Build a Better Business – Employees That Care.

On Tuesday, in episode 93, I am going to introduce you to Cori DiDonato. Cori is going to talk about how to quickly improve cash flow in the teaching moment, you don’t want to miss it. If you’re new to the podcast, why not hit that subscribe button so you are notified every time I publish a new episode.

This episode sponsored by:

Trackstar Web Design

Every business needs a website and I have used Gerrit and Trackstar Web Design since 2012 and so should you.

Process Street

I use Process Street to create systems in my business and I highly recommend that you use Process Street as well.

Thank you for listening and I look forward to working with you soon.

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