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

Finish Strong: Being Organized

Being able to finish strong starts with being organized.  If you don’t have an ordered way to do things, things might not happen.

Here is a checklist to help you shape up for the task at hand—finishing strong!

  • Create a to-do list.
  • Clean up your email in box
  • Keep your team small and empower them.
  • Clarify and adjust (if need be) your year-end goals.
  • Put your sales team to work.
  • Keep your eyes on the prize.

A list of what needs to happen is a powerful tool.  It becomes a key touchstone of what needs to be done.  Creating a list causes you to determine what needs to be done and, really, drives goal setting.

Cleaning up your email in box will give you room for new correspondence and weed out old stuff that really should have either been addressed already or needs to go. And it will cause you (and your team) to focus on the task at hand.

While, ideally, everyone in the company should play a role in this year-end push, that might be possible because of the sheer number of bodies involved.  Consider, if your company is large, having a hand-picked team to lead the charge.  Give each member an assignment and allow them to push back. By empowering them you give them the opportunity to help shape the goals and to actually reach them.

Goals and objectives should be flexible.  As you move forward you are going to learn things that will cause you to adjust the goal to reality—and, thereby, make it actually attainable.

The sales team plays a big role in this process—put them to work.  They can describe the landscape outside the company to your internal team and also tell you weak spots both in the external markets as well as your internal processes.  They are some of the few people who work for your company who have this perspective.

And, always, keep your eyes on the prize—remember why you are doing all of this.  It is about the health and future of the company.

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

Finish Strong: Our Next Workshop

While our theme through the end of the year in this space is finishing strong, we do have a real-time event coming up this week that builds on that theme and could be of real value to you.

Beside, hearing from a real, live person and interacting with others with similar challenges with their businesses might be a good use of your time, right?

On Wednesday, November 20, our team will assemble to present a 2-hour workshop on how to finish the year strong.  Taking pages from their experiences with EOS (the Entrepreneurial Operating System) and Strengths, Michael Visentine and Nancy Canada will walk attendees through a program that will result in a tangible plan.

In this session you will learn:

  • How to set goals that are both measurable and achievable.
  • What to assign to whom on your team once the goals are set.
  • Who on your team is going to be asked to do what.
  • How to determine the schedule of events and activities.
  • How to get buy-in from your team.

At the end of the session you will have a working set of tools that will allow you to set and manage your goals for the end of the year so you can finish strong.  And that in itself will make 2020 all that much brighter.

The workshop details:

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

Finish Strong: Being Aware of Time

Finishing the year in a strong fashion is a noble goal.  Yet, don’t forget about the element of time.

For example today is November 11.  That’s just about 7 weeks until the end of the year.  That’s 33 business days or 50 calendar days (including holidays).

OK, so now you have the schedule, a framework.  A few questions:

  • Are you going to work nights and weekends to get this done?
  • What are your major milestones and when do they fall?
  • What do you expect from your team by when?
  • What’s the end result look like and when should it be finished?
  • Who is participating?
  • Why are you doing this and for whom?

Knowing the schedule will help you build the other elements of a great plan:

  • The scope—what needs to be done and a description of what you are tryi ng to accomplish.
  • The budget and monetary component of this work—what are the costs to get it done and what are the sales goals (revenue expectations).

In upcoming posts we will delve into the details of how and why to finish the year strong.  Remember, it is about the health and welfare of your business.

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: Following a Process

Making the decision to keep or divest yourself of your business is a big step in business owner’s life.  It might be because you are ready to retire or exit or you might want to be passing the business on to a new generation.  Or you’ve just outgrown the business.  Whatever the reason we all should consider following a process.

As certified representatives of the Exit Planning Institute, we have a plethora of tools available to us that other consultants don’t have access to.  Add in our collective experience as business owners and managers and we are here to help you define and then guide you through a process.

This is the first post in a series outlining the steps and what to take to make this major change in your life and the life of your company. These aren’t the end-all-be-all, but, as with any process, it is a staring place that will help an individual make their specific decision.

Over the next few posts we will cover this process in more detail, following this basic outline and steps of coming to a decision about the future of you, the owner, and your business.  These steps follow a path of:

  • Discovery
  • Preparation
  • Decision

Each phase or step leads to the next and a final decision.  Follow along with us and let us know should you have any questions or feedback on our methodology.

 The New Paradigm Advisors team

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.

 

Could Having an Operating System Help Your Business?

Operating systems are the heart and soul of whatever they power.  The drivetrain for your car. The OS in your computer.  The processes and procedures by which you run your company.

Wait. What’s that last one?

Oh, you hadn’t thought of your company as needing an operating system? Or, if it had one, it would be called that?

Without an operating system for your company, your organization can’t function. If you’re struggling to get your business under control, it’s time to consider implementing an operating system in your company.

One of the premiere sets of tools to help entrepreneurs to get results and build their organizations is the Entrepreneurial Operating System or EOS®.  One of the components of EOS® is establishing processes and creating plans and systems for organizations.

Truthfully, everyone needs a plan.  And everyone in a company needs to have the same plan for that company to succeed. You know that old adage, “plan your work and work your plan?” Yes, it applies to the infrastructure of your company.

This idea isn’t new.  Nor is there just one way to approach this challenge.

This is about getting your business under control.  And it fits hand in glove with the philosophy of New Paradigm Advisors:

  • Freedom. Processes help companies run without their founders.
  • Value. Having a culture and roadmap helps companies grow their value.
  • Future. Everyone (including the company) has a future if there are processes in place.

Taking these concepts and matching them up to those of EOS® and you have a set of tools that helps companies of most any size and age and in any industry excel.  The EOS®system relies upon:

  • Instilling a vision organization wide on where you’re going, and how you plan to get there
  • Giving a focus to every day for the entire team to execute on the vision.
  • Creating a healthy, functional, cohesive leadership

Starting a company is one thing.  Having it progress, grow and thrive over time is quite another.

Contact us to get your organization positioned for increasing value and getting result for long-term success.

 

 

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.

Selling Strategically

At some point in all of our lives we have to sell something.  A glass of lemonade from the stand in the front yard. A car that has outlived its life with you.  Or yourself to that prospective date.

Most of us know what to sell.  Yet few of us consider how to sell. Selling strategically is how business is developed.  Ben knows how to do this and do it well.

Ben Buono will tell you that sales and marketing are intertwined.  And so are operations, finance and just about every aspect of your company.

“Everyone in your company is involved in sales,” Ben is known to say. And in his experience, it is true.

“Whether it is a Fortune 100 or a smaller local business, everyone in the company plays a role in sales,” Ben said.

Ben is responsible for new business development for New Paradigm Advisors. Yet his role goes beyond that of finding business for his fellow consultants at New Paradigm Advisors.  He is also available to our clients to help them set appropriate sales strategies, goals, and targets.

“Unless your enterprise has an effective sales strategy tied to an integrated marketing plan that is part of your business plan,” Ben said, ”your company can stagnate.”

When he worked for Arrow Electronics, Ben nurtured relationships and grew business for clients that included Microsoft, Intel, McAfee, Advantech, Kontron and SuperMicro, to name a few.

“At the end of the day it was about trust,” Ben said.  “Trust, not only in the solutions I brought to a need they had, but trust in me and my company to deliver and support the products.”

This philosophy is also at the heart of how New Paradigm Advisors does business.  Trust comes first with us, we believe, and the sales will follow.  Not only for us, but for our clients.

To take the next steps in shaping your business, please contact Ben or our team.

The Most Important Resource

“People are our most important product,” the old advertising campaign extolled.

But how many really believe that statement?  And it was made long before entrepreneur Richard Branson said that it was most important to treat your employees as if they were your number one customer.

Platitudes aside, being able to boast about your company’s employees as a key resource has to be more than just words.

Just ask Nancy Canada.

“Saying your people are your most important resource has to be more than words if you want to have a successful enterprise of any size,” Nancy said. “Your people really are your business.”

Nancy should know.  She is an accredited human resources professional and knows how to evaluate and place talent. During her 20-plus years at GuideStone Financial Resources she not only found the talent (as a recruiter), she trained and developed key staff. And because it was a financial services company, she earned her Series 6 and 63 licenses along the way.

In addition, Nancy is certified with John Maxwell and CliftonStrengths (formerly Strengths Finder) as a coach.

“Taking stock and evaluating your human resource will help you not only keep people, but advance them and grow your company,” Nancy said. “That’s why tools like CliftonStrengths are so critical to the management and growth of a company.”

What’s this mean to you as a business owner?  It means that human resource management is more than hiring and firing people.  It is about curating the talent you do have and keeping up with trends affecting your business.

And just like your finances, maybe you should turn over your human resources function to a professional who does this for a living.  It might save you time and money and maybe lead to an increase in your company’s value.

“Finding talent is one thing,” Nancy said. “Keeping it, is quite another thing.”

If you truly want to understand and build value in your company, contact us.  We can help you develop that resource that is already under your roof the right way.

 

*photos courtesy of Upsplash, rawpixel and Dylan Nolte