Build your dream team: the secret to attracting and retaining talent.

Brilliant people don’t just appear in your office one morning and start working perfectly in your business. It takes some skill and a proven process for attracting and retaining talent (great talent!). Rest assured, you don’t need an HR degree or a great deal of recruiting experience to attract a winning team. ActionCOACH has a five-hour recruitment process that will bring in the talent but first you need to ensure that your business is one that will appeal to great talent – they have to be attracted to work there and to stay there!

 

Why must a business be attractive to talent?

Good or bad, the people you get and retain are the people you deserve! And, if you want a great business, that doesn’t depend on you being there all the time, then you need a winning team.  The more work you put into becoming really good at recruiting and retaining talent, the better the result will be for you and your business. Never underestimate the potential of a team that works well together towards your company vision… especially if they can do it while you’re on a beach somewhere with no internet access.

 

Six keys to a winning team that will attract and retain talent:

 

Key Element One – Strong Leadership. Your Team will look to you for guidance, growth, decisions and development. No matter which leadership style you have; strive to hand out praise, champion the team’s new ideas, teach people, make timely decisions, listen to your team and be enthusiastic about the business. These are the actions common to history’s successful business leaders.

 

Key Element Two – Common Goals. The company Vision, Mission and Goals should be shared with everyone in your team (new and existing). Before anyone signs up to a job, they want to know what they are getting involved with, what you and the business stands for and how you are all going to reach the said objectives. When recruiting team members – whether from inside the business or from outside – the vision statement is emphasized, explained, and delved into at great length.

 

Key Element Three – Rules of the Game. When it comes to business operations, employees and teams are often left in the dark about what they are actually required to do! Just like a professional football team has a playbook which defines the boundaries and areas of measurable responsibility for each team member – your business also needs a rule book so they know their unique and specialised roles, and the team keeps winning.

 

Key Element Four – Action Plan. Everyone in your team needs an action plan for success. Give each person a title, a job description, KPI’s and a clear plan for their success. Explain how others will support them in their role. Supporting the team with tools, training, technology, and systems ensures that the talent stays motivated, and means the owner or entrepreneur can run the business without being run by the business.

 

Key Element Five – Support Risk Taking. If you are not open to some degree of healthy risk-taking within your business, it is almost impossible for your team to succeed. Every new product, new way of marketing, new niche or internal business process seems too risky… until it works. To build effective teams in your business, led by example, and be open to change, calculated risk and new ideas.

 

Key Element Six – 100% Involvement and Inclusion.  The best teams have everyone in the team doing their job and doing it well.  Sometimes, team members even need to go ‘above and beyond’ their exact role.  It’s a wonderful experience to work in a team where everyone really does deliver to their responsibilities and just a little more beyond.  Make sure, as the leader, that you’re inclusive in your management style and also make sure that individual team members actively involve themselves – this is a two-way street!

 

How will I know when I have a great team?

The end result of a successful team is synergy. This means that the sum of teamwork is greater than the separate parts of the team. In business terms, this means that the return on an investment is greater than the contributions made to that investment. People have innate chemistry. If we combine that natural chemistry one way we get an explosive, disastrous outcome from opposite polarity. Combine it in another way and we get increased energy, vitality, and success from magical magnetism.

 

 

If you want a Business Coach that can help guide you through the talent recruitment process, please call ActionCOACH on 02 9146 4439.

 

For more detail on attracting and recruiting talent for your business, download your eBook Building a Winning Team here.

 

How to use time management skills to be more productive

If you are running a business, making the most of your time is critical for getting ahead and growing your business beyond being a 9-5 job. But how do we know if our time management skills are the best they can be? Could we increase our productivity?

ActionCOACH recommends the following four techniques to increase your productivity in business. Try them for a week and you’ll very quickly learn how much more productive you can be!

Technique 1. Plan your time.
At the end of each week, plan what you will do in the coming week. It’s really easy and won’t take you long. This technique will work best if you already have a clear 90-day plan in place for your business. If you don’t have a 90-day business plan, read our eBook Planning for a Successful New Business Year.  This weekly plan should be more than just meetings – be sure to dedicate specific time slots to completing the most important activities for your business.

Technique 2. Stick to the plan
When you’ve planned to do something at a particular time, it’s important to minimise distractions and get it done. After all, it’s part of your grand plan for business success, and is a key time management skill. If you skip a part of the plan you are in fact sabotaging a part of your grand plan. Distractions cause a 50% reduction in your productivity because it takes so long for your mind to re-focus on each of the different tasks. So be sure to focus on the task you planned, instead of trying to multi-task.

Technique 3. Have an accountability coach
Ever told a child that they will get a treat if they work toward their goal? That child will more than likely work hard and report back when they have (or almost have) achieved that goal. If you are accountable to someone you are more likely to stick to the plan, and therefore be significantly more productive. Your accountability ‘coach’ can be anyone (not necessarily a professional) who cares about you and is willing to help you.

Technique 4. Avoid Productivity Killers.
Believe it or not, fatigue, stress, illness, poor diet and an unhealthy lifestyle have a direct impact on your time management and productivity. How? Being fit and healthy improves your productivity and performance at work, which in turn makes you happier at home and a better spouse/parent/friend, which in turn motivates you to further build your health and fitness and so on – a very powerful virtuous circle. But beware….it goes the other way too so be sure to stay on top of all three elements!

Once you’ve nailed these techniques, it remains only to execute on the plan.  At this stage, the most common challenge is procrastination.  So here are a couple of ways to stay productive and avoid procrastination:

The first is called ‘Eat the Frog’. Brian Tracy coined this phrase in his book, and he means that if you were told to eat a live frog by tomorrow or die, you would either get it over and done with, or stress about it until tomorrow and then do it anyway. The same can be applied to our business tasks! To avoid procrastination, know what your “frog” is each day and do it first thing in the morning. You’ll be satisfied that you’ve made progress and are more likely to have a productive rest-of-the-day.

The second way to avoid procrastination is to remind yourself of your ‘why’. When you find yourself procrastinating, walk to a window and think about your goals and dreams and ‘why’ you are actively working towards them. Decide then whether you want to delay them (because that’s what procrastination is doing) or if you want them sooner.  Usually it’s the latter so get back to work on achieving them!

In business, you’ll have some great, productive and effective days, but you’ll also have some tough days. One great day won’t get you there, but one bad day won’t stop you getting there either – keep appropriate perspective. Stay on the road, hone your time management skills and you can achieve anything you want!

Contact ActionCOACH today and book in a free 90min coaching session to really improve your time management skills and have your most productive and successful business year ever! Or register here for the 6 Steps to Building a Better Business Seminar here.

selling-your-business

3 critical steps to help you sell your business for a great price

Looking to sell your business this year? That’s exciting news – for about five minutes – until reality sets in and you need to figure out what’s required in order to sell your business to the right investor at the right price!

ActionCOACH is highly experienced in helping business owners sell businesses, and in this blog they share their 3 proven steps to get organised and get a great price on your business within a year.

Firstly, be aware that to get the best sale value, it takes a good year of preparation before you even put your company on the market. Savvy investors will see that you took the time to plan for the sale, and will shortlist your business immediately, in front of businesses who will make the buying process too difficult for them.

Step 1. Prepare your financials

Over the next year, run your business with accurate financials, keep your paperwork up-to-date and document everything. Outline the responsibilities of each job and include KPIs that clearly establish what is expected of each player and group. ActionCOACH has an extensive checklist to help you get your financial data in shape. Call us today on 02 9146 4439.


Step 2. Investigate potential buyers

Investigate who your potential buyer could be, and how to best position your company to get the most value in the marketplace. There are basically two types of buyers: Those who are looking to buy a business that needs work, and those looking to buy themselves a job. To get the best sale value, look for an investor who wants to take the business to the next level, and who can work with your current team and systems. These buyers are usually willing to pay more for a business that already have effective systems in place.
Get familiar with how businesses in your industry or category are valued. Different industries use different multiples. Some use multiples of profit, some revenues, and others cash flow. Sometimes, your database is the biggest asset you have, although you may be in a business where stock and inventory levels will figure into the equation as well. Knowing what you have to work with, or need to focus on, will give you confidence in putting together a solid informational and sales package for prospective buyers. For more detail on how to value your business, read our previous blog here.

Step 3. Create your sales kit
Buyers will want to access information as part of their own due diligence, and the more information you can provide in a ‘kit’ the better and easier the sales process will be. Include these items:

  • Samples of all of your marketing materials
  • An overview of your financials
  • Contracts for your team
  • Inventory of your assets

At this stage, try to be patient. Around 30% of deals fall through in the due-diligence phase of the process. While all of the prep work can be exhausting, the more work you can put into positioning and ‘packaging’ your business, the quicker and easier the sales process will be, and the more value you’ll get in return.

Contact ActionCOACH today 02 9146 4439 so we can get you on track to sell your business for the best possible value. Or download a copy of the eBook Selling your Business here.

selling-a-business

When to use these 3 deal structures when selling a business

Did you know that not all business sales look the same? Or that there are in fact three distinct selling types you can use when selling a business? ActionCOACH breaks down what they are, how they work and the pros and cons of each, so you can make the best plan and get the best value for your business.

Type 1 – Financial Sale

This means selling to a financial investor who is buying your business solely based on the return it will bring them. This is the most common type of sale, but usually provides the least amount of value to you, the seller. This type of sale is undertaken often with little or no planning, which could be a pro if you absolutely needed to sell the business in a hurry. However, in this case, no plan usually means a low price. For more about how to plan to sell your business, read our previous blog about how to value a business

Type 2 – Emotional Sale

An emotional sale structure will often provide the highest value – which is ideal for you, the seller. This type of sale ignores logic, to some extent, because it is based on the buyer’s emotions and makes them ignore the data that undermines their feelings.

A great example of an emotional sale is someone buying their dream home. They walk into their dream home and fall in love before they’ve walked through every room, and they ignore that it is in a terrible area and has poor resale value! The person selling the house is lucky that this person walked in!

We can apply the same logic to selling a business. For example the buyer’s parents may have shopped there for years, they may have fond childhood memories of the brand, or simply love the feeling they get when using the products. The only problem with an emotional sale is that you have to be lucky for someone to stumble across your business with an established emotional bond. You cannot plan for it, and so it is extremely unpredictable.

Type 3 – Synergy Sale

Often the best kind of sale, a synergy sale typically produces higher value than a purely financial sale.   The reason that a Synergy Sale attracts a higher value is that it involves selling to another business who can make more out of your business than you can and, as a result, values your business at a higher value, with the future in mind. Best of all, a Synergy Sale can be planned for by you, the seller.

For example, a bike parts manufacturer buys a retailer in a similar line of business. The manufacturer then sells the bike parts through the retailer, removing duplicated costs like as admin and finance. So both businesses actually become more profitable as a result of coming together.

As part of your selling plan, brainstorm who your potential buyer could be, and how to best position your company to get the most value for them in their marketplace. What sort of business might be able to get synergy from your business? What can you do to make it optimally attractive to that specific prospective buyer?

Planning on selling a business? Click here for a free one-on-one initial consultation or book in for our 6 Steps to Building a Better Business Seminar here.

 

selling your business

Are you planning on selling your business this year?

Selling your business is often an exciting time. It’s a time when you can finally reap the rewards of all your hard work over the years, put your feet up and ease into retirement or a new venture.

But before you put your business on the market and wait for some incredible offers to roll in, ask yourself one question – do you have a business that someone else wants?

Is it actually an asset you can sell? Will you get the price you’re hoping for?

Whether or not you’ll sell your business for the amount you want or deserve mostly comes down to preparation. If you need to sell your business in a hurry, you probably won’t get the value you deserve. It typically takes a solid year of preparation before you should put your business on the market, and if you haven’t done this, chances are you won’t get the best result.

The good news is there are plenty of people out there ready and willing to invest in an established business. If you’ve taken the time to diligently prepare your business for sale, you’ll no doubt spark the interest of more than one investor. Your business will stand out and be more appealing because you’ve got the systems and process in place to make the purchase and handover progression smooth. Investors like to see financial records, projections for the future and detailed procedures, to name just a few. Without these valuable documents prepared in a professional manner, you’ll struggle to receive what the business is worth.

If you want to sell your business but haven’t yet started to prepare it for sale, and are wondering how to go about it, our free e-book summarizes everything you need to know to get ready, showcase your company and receive the highest possible price. For many business owners who have worked hard for many years, selling their business for an excellent price is the ultimate goal. Don’t waste all your efforts building up the business on poor preparation when it comes to selling.

To find out more, download the e-book now – Selling your business.  Or you can register for our 6 Steps to Building a Better Business here.

synergy-in-business

Synergy in Business – How to run your business like a well-oiled machine

Synergy, by definition, means two or more things interacting to produce an even greater effect. And by synergy in business, we mean the combined effect of the several parts of your business that you’ve been working on, that come together to create greater business success.

Let’s recap our 6 steps to building a better business:

  1. Mastery – moving from chaos to control
  2. Niche – reaching a predictable cash flow
  3. Leverage – creating systems for efficiency
  4. Team – structuring your business for growth
  5. Synergy – multiplying your business
  6. Results – exiting your business

We’ve shared our insights on the first four steps in our previous blogs. To get up to speed, click here.

Step five, synergy, is specifically for business owners who want to take their business to the next level, but still want to keep the business.

How do you know if you’re ready for business synergy?

If you are at a stage in your business where you don’t have to be involved in the day-to-day running of it, you are perfectly positioned to focus on synergy in business, and move yourself from being owner, to investor and ultimately entrepreneur.

What are some of the methods to achieve business synergy:

  • Mergers and acquisitions – buying or teaming up with a complementary business and joining forces to grow faster.
  • Adding substantial new products and/or service lines. These will usually complement the products and services you already have, but they can be a completely new range.
  • Geographical expansion – selling interstate or internationally and having offices located in these areas. Expansion allows you to reach a larger base of target customers and therefore increases your revenue.
  • Franchising – creating a business model that can be replicated and sold to franchisees. You retain control of the core business elements but do not need to be involved in the everyday running of the franchised stores.
  • Starting a new complementary or related business that fits in with what you currently do. You have an advantage of already knowing the market and what does and doesn’t work, and knowing the needs and wants of your customer base.

Your first challenge as you move from business manager to owner and investor, is to try to maintain your new role, rather than working in the business day to day. To help you achieve this, use your systems that keep the business running without you, and keep your long-term goals top of mind.

To achieve synergy in business, you’ll need skills such as a broad understanding of various business models, investment strategies, higher-level financial management and a wider range of businesses and industries. You will also need to focus on measures such as return on capital, enterprise value and portfolio mix. Most of your time will be spent working outside your existing business as you start to explore the many and varied options for multiplying it – i.e. creating synergy!

The two unavoidable constraints on all business owners and managers are capital and time. However once you become a true business owner and your existing business operates without you on a day-to-day basis, you’ll have more time available, and your income is no longer limited by your time. As you move toward becoming an investor (i.e. making money from your money), the former limitation can be virtually removed. As you become an entrepreneur (i.e. someone who makes money from other people’s money), you can largely escape the second limitation as well.

At this point of business synergy, your scope for success and what you can achieve is almost unlimited!

If you’re looking for some advice about how to multiply your business…

Click here for a free one-on-one initial consultation 

Or

Register here for our free 6 Steps to Building a Better Business Seminar.

good-leadership-skills-for-business-growth

If the foundation is set, how do you plan to take your business for a spin?

In our recent blogs we’ve stepped through the process of writing a business plan, how to implement that plan and then getting the team on board with it. Click here to read these blogs.

These steps mean that the foundation for your business is now set. Cash flow is good and the business is ticking along. Great! Now what?

The next step is what we call ‘Synergy’ – the point at which you have a bit of time back, you can really let your good leadership skills shine, and take the business from organic growth to step growth. Examples of Synergy activities are; launching a new product or service range, expanding to new territory, diversifying your channels and franchising. Perhaps you even want to explore buying other businesses.

Before you can successfully drive exponential business growth, there are a few steps that, by now, you should have in place.

First up, you should have basic controls in place: control over your finances, clarity about your goals, control over your time and control over the delivery of your product and service.

Second, you should know what your point of difference is. What is it that you have or do that means you don’t have to compete on price alone? Ask ACTIONCoach to help you target the right markets, develop the right USP and put a sales and marketing plan into action. You can also check our blog on differentiating yourself from your competitors here.

Thirdly, systematising your business so the business can run without you is paramount to business success. Good leadership skills are really put to the test when the business can run smoothly without you. This is the foundation for you to start leveraging off successful business models such as franchising or expanding.

Finally, build a strong team and culture and hire the right talent, so everyone is working to achieve the same goal and is ready (and excited!) for growth.

Once these points are in place, the business should produce income for you and shouldn’t depend on you being there all the time. Now you’re ready to go from steady growth to exponential growth!

If you are like most business owners, you are probably now experiencing the most common constraints standing in the way of exponential growth; your time and money. Since you only have $X in the bank and 24 hours in a day, the solution to these constraints is leveraging other people’s time and money!

If you decide to launch a new product, use the processes and team structure you have already established and treat this as the blueprint for your new product. Initially your time and financial investment is substantial, but very soon (practicing your good leadership skills!) you should be able to step away from these new tasks just as you have done in other areas of your business.

If you decide to franchise, view it not as a business in itself, but a way of doing business. You will share some of your marketing strategies, plans, operational standards, systems and formats, training content, quality control and ongoing mentoring, but essentially someone else is investing their time and money into growing your business; allowing you to grow faster than relying on your own time and money would allow.

If you decide to license, another company is investing the time and money into your product or service, once again freeing up your time to focus on the growth and development.

Having good leadership skills is about breaking free of the constraints of owning a business, not replying on your own time and money and enjoying the synergy and growth that your solid business foundation allows.

If you would like to know more about these steps to building a better business register for our free 6 Steps to Building a Better Business Seminar here. 

Are you building a business? Or are you doing a job?

Many would say, “of course I’m building a business”!

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

However, we meet plenty of people out there who, whilst technically owning a business, are actually doing most of the work themselves.  And often, they’d find life easier if they just got a job with a salary…

 

Our definition of a successful business includes the words “works without me the owner”.  What are you doing to get your business to the point where it doesn’t rely on you?  Where you can take a couple of months off anytime you like, without any concern as to the impact on the business.

 

The 9-Steps to systematising your business are a great process to work through to reach that point where you’re no longer critical to your business.  It’s a step-by-step process, that takes a few months, and is guaranteed to get your business systematised.  But that’s for another day….

 

In the first instance, there are some immediate and simple things you can start doing to get some leverage in your business.  Most importantly, start measuring how many hours each week you personally spend on leveraged activities.  What do I mean by leveraged activities?  Those activities that you do once as the business owner and benefit from for a long time or for ever.  What are some examples?

 

1. Writing a new system in your business…once you’ve written the system, your staff can manage it and you will enjoy the benefits of it without having to actually do the work.

 

2. Design a good marketing campaign…once you test it, measure it’s results and confirm that they’re good, you (or someone else in your team) can just keep rolling out the same campaign whenever you need new customers.

 

3. Recruit great people…your business growth will be seriously constrained unless you recruit other people to it.  They’re the ones who will generate significant growth and allow you to focus on leveraged, massive value-adding activities.

 

4. Training your team…all very well to get great people into your business but, if you don’t invest the time and effort into training them, they’ll never reach full productivity or they’ll leave!  Train them well the first time and you’ll enjoy the benefits forever!

 

5. Business planning and strategy…spend time writing a good plan and you’ll benefit from it for the life of the plan.

 

These are just five examples and there are many more.  The important first step is to start asking yourself each week, “how many hours did I spend this week doing leveraged activities?”  Ultimately, as the business owner, this should be the majority of your week.  If it’s less than five hours, and you’re spending most of your week “doing the work”, change now!  Do five hours on the business this week and start enjoying the rewards!