Finish Strong: Measurement

While it isn’t necessarily popular, all things of note and import need to have some quantitative or qualitative measures.  Measuring success is that yardstick on anything that helps you put your arms around it and understand its relevance to your company.

So what kind of measurements will you put in place to help secure this finish strong initiative?

There are both quantitative and qualitative measure:

  • Quantitative are mathematical and usually rely upon hard numbers
  • Qualitative are more about the quality of an attribute an and can be measured as well

Let’s start with the pure sales numbers (usually quantitative):

  • An expectation of XX% increase in sales.
  • Acquisition of YY new clients.
  • Improve your close rate by WW%.

Moving on to human resources, you might expect:

  • NN new hires.
  • Implementation of a new training program.
  • Creation of a retirement plan

Then there is operations:

  • Increased internal productivity of ZZ%.
  • Improved profitability of PP%.
  • Process improvement of MM%

On the qualitative side there are more “squishy” items:

  • Delays
  • Defects
  • Deviations

These do not have to be for a product or a manufacturing process.  Delays, defects and deviations happen in every business including service-based businesses.  Take an HVAC and plumbing company:

  • Delays can be late arrivals for appointments.
  • Defects could be dissatisfied customer visits or a problem not solved.
  • Deviations could be not following through on a standard customer interaction process.

Every one of these can be quantified and some level of over, or under, performance can correlate to a dollar or budget impact.

And so on.  You get the idea.  These are measurable goals.  The goal -setting process will help you better understand your company, too.

For more information about how to finish the year strong, please reach out to us.  We’d love to hear from you.

The New Paradigm Advisors team

Exit Planning: Discovery

As you begin the voyage of discovering the value of your company, you need to start right there: in the mode of discovery.

This phase takes two paths:

  • Business valuation
  • Assessment of your personal financials

By taking each of these components separately a clear evaluation of both “halves” of the equation can be dealt with realistically.

Truly, until you understand the value of your company viewed along with your personal financial picture, neither evaluation will be complete nor clear.  A chicken-or-the-egg scenario at its best.

Once those two evaluations are made, they dovetail nicely into a prioritized action plan.  And by plan we mean a step-by-step set of actions intended to reach a goal.

That’s our next segment: preparation.

Each phase or step leads to the next and a final decision.  Drop us a line or give us a call should you be in a similar situation.  We all need someone to talk with–try talking with us..

 The New Paradigm Advisors team

Fashioning a Team Environment

Before you get into too much of hurry to flee from your company, are things in place that will allow you to depart?

Delegated authority? Check.

Flat organization? Check.

Company sufficiently “you proofed?”

Created a team environment?  Wait a minute…

Oh, yeah.  Have you put the right team in place AND have you put the right, minimal structure in place for them to operate?  In other words, is it a TEAM environment?  Let’s look at the attributes you should have in place for your team:

  • Do they have a team mindset? That is, are they willing to give in for the right decision?
  • Can they agree to agree?
  • Are they respectful of one another and their roles?
  • Any slackers, willing or unwilling?
  • Do they not tolerate gossip?
  • Are the contributions of all team members recognized?

So the environment is possible.  Do you have the right people as team members?  Here are the attributes of a good team player?

  • Always reliable.
  • Communicates with confidence.
  • Does more than asked.
  • Adapts quickly and easily.
  • Displays genuine commitment.

That a good guide for team players.

OK, let’s review: a solid team in place with a team environment.  Check.  You should be in good shape. If you still have doubts, drop us a line or give us a call.  We can be part of your team, too.

Affirming Personal Detachment

If you founded your business and have been involved in it from Day 1, then you are truly invested in the enterprise.  It’s hard to step away, even for lunch.

However, for your health and the health of the company, you need to consider how to detach yourself from the company. But you also need to affirm this detachment in a positive way.

Truly, if you have the correct organization and team in place and have empowered them to make decisions, you are half way there.  The other half lies inside you—you need to give up on some things and you can do that with some simple acts:

  • Before you leave the office, leave instructions on any critical projects with your team lead in charge at the end of the shift.
  • Have the day start and end at a specific time. 8am is early enough and 5pm is a good time to close up.
  • After hours leave your phone off or in the charger in your garage. 99% of decisions can wait until morning.
  • Close your home office door. Office hours ended at the office and have at home, too.
  • Make standing appointments for exercise and other non-work pursuits. And keep them.
  • Take up and pursue a hobby that gets you out of your head—draw, paint or color.

You aren’t abandoning your enterprise, just freeing it and you up to go in new directions.  While you have earned the right to pursue other things, the enterprise itself has also earned something.  It’s time to consider the next act for the company.

But it all starts with you positioning yourself as a detached part of the organization.  Important, just detached.

Call or contact us should you want to explore this topic further.

 

The Fastest Most Unique Racing Boat In The World

Imagine owning the fastest and most unique racing boat in the world. You’ve designed it and built it with your own hands.

What an accomplishment!

What a prize!

You spent hours on its design. Studying and researching all the most successful winning race boats in history. Finding out everything you could about what made them faster and more efficient. You’ve interviewed hundreds of designers and drivers. And, with all of that, you’ve designed something special – something that will change racing forever.

Parts manufacturers and suppliers of all kinds are literally throwing money and technical help at you because they, too, see the uniqueness of your racer.

Your bank and several potential sponsors have all contributed heavily just for the right to say they have been on your team.

Finally, you’ve brought it all together and you’re standing back admiring your work. You’ve sent out invitations for the final reveal and the first run around the track. There’s just one problem: You’ve built the boat in your basement. And without tearing it completely apart or destroying your house, that’s exactly where it’s going to stay. It’s not going anywhere.

Sound crazy?

Of course, it does! Why would anybody build the best racing boat in history in a basement that has no exit?

Well, that might just be what you’re doing with your company. You’re so busy driving your company forward, taking every sale and customer that comes in the door, working your team to the point of exhaustion every week because there’s so much business coming in, no one can take time off. You’re going to look up one day and find that you’ve got this great company – great revenue with great profits but no one wants it because it’s stuck in your basement. The reliance of the company on you and your specific team, the lack of written and repeatable processes, the lack of reliable and understandable financials all combine to tell the outside world that your race boat – as beautiful as it is — is stuck and, therefore, not worth anything more than its parts.

Scary?

Think of your business: is it stuck in one place with no way out? Or is it already racing around the track getting the attention that it deserves? Other than its speed (revenue) and efficiency (profitability) do you know the other key things that people are looking at? What do you think it’s going to take to get this right?

Call us and let’s talk!

The One Liner

One of the hardest things a business can do is define itself.  And defining oneself in the context of the future can be quite another exercise.

So it was with setting the direction of New Paradigm Advisors. It was a bit of “physician heal thyself.”

Given that we are in the business of helping companies clearly define themselves and then succeed within that framework, it was only fitting that we have to go through the same exercise.

The human brain is drawn to CLARITY and away from confusion. If customers are confused about what you offer, they’ll look past you for somebody who can say it clearly. Once you clarify your message, your company will begin to grow. Companies that clarify their messaging win in the marketplace. Nobody will know how much they need your product or service until you tell them in the right way.

To get there we had to get some noted outside help.  Donald Miller’s “Building a Story Brand,” was the mechanism we used to get us to both understand our business as well as be able to tell clarify our story. This framework was revolutionary because it taught us to stop playing the hero in the story, and instead, invited customers INTO a story.

The process involves Miller’s application of a screenwriter’s technique of mapping out characters in the drama that is your business.  Once you’ve determined each of those characters and their role, the shaping key words and phrases follows.  Like any strategic or branding exercise, you need to paint the larger picture to get to your corner of the frame.

In our case, it broke down into a simple concise, compelling phrase that gets people interested in how we can help them.  This is known as our one-liner:

“Many business leaders are chained to their business.  We break those chains, increase their company value, and help them build a fabulous future.”

There it was right in front of us: a painting of what our business looked like and a roadmap of how we would be conducting business.

  • There was the freedom by breaking the chains that kept us from growing.
  • Followed by the ability to drive value.
  • And leading to a fabulous future with a road map on where we were going.

If you need to clarify your company’s vision and need a roadmap to move to the next level, we’re available to talk.  And guide you through the freedom, value, future tangle.

How to Increase the Value of Your Business by 71%

How much did your home increase in value last year?  Depending on where you live, it may have gone up by 5% to 10% or more.

How much did your stock portfolio increase over the last 12 months? By way of a benchmark, according to Market Watch, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has increased by around 16% in the last year. Did your portfolio do as well?

Now consider what portion of your wealth is tied to the stock or housing market, and compare that to the equity you have tied up in your business. If you’re like most owners, the majority of your wealth is tied up in your company. Increasing the value of your largest asset can have a much faster impact on your overall financial picture than a bump in the stock market or the value of your home.

I’m fond of asking my clients, “Where do you want to be in 20 years?” I’m always interested in the answer and I’m always surprised at the questions I get back in response. The point I’m driving at is that no matter where you want to be, the value of your business is the asset that will most likely fund that dream.

Let me introduce you to a statistically proven way to increase the value of your company by as much as 71%.  Through an analysis of 6,955 businesses, we’ve discovered that companies that achieve a Value Builder Score of 80+ out of a possible 100 offers received to buy their business that are 71% higher than what the average company receives.

How long would it take your stock portfolio or home to go up by 71%? Years, maybe even decades. Get your Value Builder Score now and you will be able to track your overall score along with your performance on the eight key drivers of company value. Like a pilot working his instrument panel, you can quickly zero in on which of the eight drivers is dragging down your value the most and then take corrective action.

Your overall Value Builder Score is derived from your performance on the eight attributes that drive the value of your company.

  1. Financial performance: your history of producing revenue and profit combined with the professionalism of your record keeping.
  2. Growth potential: your likelihood to grow your business in the future and at what rate.
  3. The Switzerland Structure: how dependent your business is on any one employee, customer or supplier.
  4. The Valuation Teeter Totter: whether your business is a cash suck or a cash spigot.
  5. The Hierarchy of Recurring Revenue: the proportion and quality of automatic, annuity-based revenue you collect each month.
  6. The monopoly control: how well differentiated your business is from competitors in your industry.
  7. Customer satisfaction: the likelihood that your customers will re-purchase and also refer you.
  8. Hub and spoke: how your business would perform if you were unexpectedly unable to work for a period of three months.

To find out how you’re performing on the eight key drivers of company value and start your journey to increasing the value of your largest asset, get your Value Builder Score now:    SCORE-MY-BUSINESS

I’m always interested in where you’ve been as much as I’m interested in where you’re going. So, contact me and let me hear your story. Let’s see what we can do together.

Blessings,

Dave

Finding and Using a Guide

“Have you been to Europe?”

“Where did you go?”

“How did you go?”

A friend of mine was recently asking several of us these and many other questions about his family’s upcoming vacation to Europe. I was doing the same thing about a trip to Denver recently.

In every case the exact answer to each question and much more can be obtained through a simple Google search. Yet, that’s not what was being asked. Specific facts weren’t being searched. Advice and confidence were. Do you see it? It’s surely not that all of us don’t know how to look things up on the internet. It’s that we are looking for someone that we know and trust who has gone there before. We’re looking for wisdom, knowledge and confirmation in our decision. We’re looking for a guide. Someone who’ll lead or point the way, so we can maximize our enjoyment and avoid unnecessary mistakes.

Here’s a question for you. When we’re so open and willing to seek the advice of our friends in order to guide us through important personal decisions, why don’t we do the same thing for important business and career decisions? When we’re entering into unknown territory in business like a new market, a new process, or even a new type of customer, why aren’t we taking the same approach? It’s true that in the business decision we’re looking for specific answers, but the real truth is we’re doing the same thing as in the personal example. We’re looking for wisdom, and knowledge from someone who will guide us through the process and help us maximize our efforts and avoid unnecessary mistakes.  Sometimes you can get that guide from a business friend or acquaintance like your accountant, banker or attorney. But in all cases, you’re looking for someone who’s been there before.

When I first entered into the consulting world, I had an associate that cautioned over and over again about giving our services away for free over a casual conversation. I was never comfortable with that advice and have come to realize just the opposite.  These conversations can sometimes quickly help someone who is just simply looking for that word of encouragement and get them back on track. (Like my friend who just wants to be confident in his decisions booking his trip to Europe). At other times, they can also reveal a much more serious need that our team can help with. Whatever the situation, I’ve discovered that I’m the one blessed with every opportunity to help.

If you have found yourself in a business situation where just talking it out with someone who’s been there and done that, I’d be pleased to listen. Who knows? You might just find yourself freed up to go to Europe.

Dave

Why is the monkey on your back?

Recently we were in a client’s executive meeting where everything was going smoothly. People were engaged and contributing. After a while it was time to assign tasks and responsibilities for the various issues identified. That went pretty well, too, until one particularly challenging item was on the table. Rather than assign this, the leader volunteered to take the responsibility for it himself. You could feel the sense of relief everyone else in the room felt. They were off the hook on that one.

We call this taking the monkey. You’re familiar with the concept of having a monkey on your back? Well, this is the same thing.

Continue reading “Why is the monkey on your back?”

Leader, Manager, Disruptor – Where Do You Put Yourself?

A few years back we worked with two different companies with two very different management styles that were affecting the business.  Unfortunately, we were brought in when things were already bad.

The one style I will call the “Resident Terrorist.”

The other I will call “Many Hats.”

The Resident Terrorist (RT) demands significant change from the employees.  As change was implemented with employee input, RT would come in and demand the use of previously ineffective processes undoing what the team thought would work in favor of RT’s known approach.

Many Hats (MH) had a command and control style.  All the decisions had to go through MH even if MH was not available.

Fear existed at both organizations.

You can imagine the outcomes.

Entrepreneurs who create their business from the ground up know every aspect of daily operations and how to do it all.  Some have the relationship with every customer even though there are other employees involved.  Can you ever relax if you are the focal point?  Can you create lasting value if you are the only decision maker?

Recently I went to lunch with a friend nearing retirement.  He knows he must let go.  He said he has a plan in place to transfer customer control to his sales leader.  This was explained to me while he took customer calls and texts during the lunch.

  • Leaders figure out how to empower their team to excel.
  • Managers do just that – manage.
  • Disruptors are managers on steroids.

All of us want to believe we can be leaders.  That means trusting your team.  Part of that is knowing their skills and mindset.

Are they on the bus, with the right people and are they in the right seats?

We have been through this.  Maybe you have been, too.

Call us. We know how to help.

Jay