In the world of business advice most of the effort is either put with businesses that have less than five employees or more than 1,000. I think the group of businesses that have between 25 and 200 employees is what I call the lost businesses.
Although these businesses have the most potential to provide the best economic value for our country, they are often left out when it comes time to help them deal with problems many businesses of this size have.
Why don’t you watch this video and let me know what you think about this issue:
Hi, this is Josh Patrick and you’re at Ask Josh Patrick. Today, I want to talk with you with what I call the lost opportunity. You know, the lost opportunity really means there aren’t many ways for businesses like yours, if your business employees between 25 and 200 people, to get the help you need to move your business to the next level.
What the problem is.
You know, most online courses are based on solopreneurs or one-person companies. There really isn’t much out there for businesses like yours. And then if you look at the best-selling business books they tend to be aimed at the fortune 1000 companies. You know, Good to Great was written about big companies in search of excellence. It was written about big companies. There’s not a lot of stuff that’s out there written about companies of your size.
So, at Ask Josh Patrick, one of the things that I want to be focusing on is having programs and processes and things that you can use for your company to help you grow and take your successful business and make it personally and financially sustainable. So, here are some of the things that you might need help with. How about, do you take your personal values and integrate it with your company values. Does your company even have values that are stated and are integrated in everything you do? Do you have a mission statement that is short, 10 words or less, and can be answered with a “yes or no”? I’m going to tell you from personal experience, there are very few businesses that have done a good job with that – big businesses, small businesses and especially businesses with between 25 and 200 people.
Things you need in your company.
Do you have a sales system that supports your company? You know, there’s a ton of really good stuff on individual sales. And there’s a ton of really good stuff at very large sales forces. The fact is you probably have one, two – maybe three, maybe five sales people in your company but probably not more than that. And running a sale system for a company like yours it’s really important to focus on the right customer and only sell to that right customer.
You know, there are two things that can make your business sustainable, economically sustainable. The first is to have a recurring revenue source. The second is to become operationally irrelevant in your business and that doesn’t mean you’re leaving your business. It just means you get yourself out of the day‑to‑day. And when you get yourself out of the day-to-day, you might find there’s a really nice side effect that happens with that. And you know what that side effect is? You’re not going to get burned out.
How to avoid burnout.
You know, there’s not a lot of times I’ve had business owners walk in my office and I’ll say, “What do you want to talk about?” They’ll say, “I want to leave my business.” And I’ll say, “When?” And they’ll say, “Yesterday.” But what that often means to me that I’ve got somebody who’s burned out because they’ve been involved in the weeds. They’ve been down in the weeds and had been doing the day-to-day operation of business for 20 or 30 years and are just plainly tired of it. The fact is if you’ve been doing the same thing for 20 or 30 years, you’re probably a little bit tired of it and you’re a little bit bored, and you’re sick of doing the same thing. You want things that are more interesting.
But what you’d rather be working on are strategic activities that can actually make your business sustainable and not the tactical activities that you have to do and run it from day to day. What are you doing about institutionally institutionalizing your innovation process? You know, if you institutionalize your innovation process, you know what’s going to happen? Your business gets better. Innovation isn’t just about putting together new products. Innovation is also about how you run your company. So, I want you to think about innovation from both inside your company and outside your company, or internal innovation and external innovation.
Why you have a problem with delegation.
Delegation is something people like you probably have a problem with. You know, most private business owners I know have a really big problem with delegation. And there’s two reasons they have that problem. The first is they don’t really trust their employees enough. And the second is they don’t have what I call a ”culture of mistakes”. And nobody wants to make a mistake but the fact is “how do you learn?” You learn by doing it right or you learn by doing it wrong? But here’s a question you need to ask every time somebody makes a mistake and you need to get an answer for this before you move on. And that question very simply is “What did you learn?” If you learned something useful, it’s a great thing to go with.
Do you measure the right things?
Finally, let’s talk about measuring the right thing. You know, it’s great to look at your profit and loss statement and maybe your balance sheet but the problem of the profit and loss statement and the balance sheet is it’s all historical information. What are the numbers in your business that are going to tell you whether you’ve got success in the future? Those I call Key Performance Indicators. Key Performance Indicators are what’s going to happen in the future and the measurements you put on the scorecard that tell you where you’re going down the road.
So, at Ask Josh Patrick, one of the things that I am really interested in helping you do is sell and get answers for those sorts of questions. And here’s how we do it. We have one-on-one programs. We have mentoring program. We have group programs. I write several blogs. We have a podcast every week. We have videos like this. We’ve created e-books, case studies and worksheets.
I’m going to encourage you to poke around the website and find stuff that you find an interest in, download it. Most of it’s free. All you have to do is give us your e-mail address for it and you get this information that’s really valuable and is aimed at companies your size.
Our free offer for you.
So, I have an offer for you. Get our free audio CD. On the free audio CD is Success to Sustainability. It’s a one-hour audio CD course. I’ll mail it to you. It’s a physical CD so you can play it in your car as you drive to and from work and you can hear about what it takes to make your business a sustainable one. In one hour, you’re going to get lots of good ideas and lots of good take home value.
So again, this is Josh Patrick. I’m the head curmudgeon here at Ask Josh Patrick. I really thank you for spending a few minutes with me and I hope to see you back here soon.
Thanks a lot.