Harsh? Maybe, but the fact is too many business owners are ‘playing safe’ within their business, and it’s crippling their true potential!
Our research clearly shows that 80% of business owners are wrong about EVERYTHING! – In every industry and every sector, you can segment any business into 5 categories, from those who are ‘nailing it’ and smashing all the goals and targets, to those who are failing and on the verge of closure! The scary thing is, 80% of businesses are at the wrong end of this scale.
Fear of failure
Fear of success
Fear of change
Fear of the unknown
Fear plays a HUGE part in business owners NOT making the BIG moves to significantly and sustainably SCALE their business. And with all good reason!
Throughout your upbringing, the majority of adults spent a minimum of 13 years (some almost 20) in education
Before you purchased your first car, you spent hours and hours and hours learning how to drive
And yet when it comes to setting up, owning, growing/scaling and successfully exiting a business, less than 2% of business owners have ever received any designated training on how to achieve this!
And so, whilst many start with rather grandiose plans for what success means to them. The majority slowly revise their thinking, dampen their expectation, and accept a life of early mornings, late nights, evenings and weekends in the pretence running your own business gives you a sense of freedom!
But surely there is another way?
Yes, of course, there is. It’s called investing in YOU.
If YOU are the most important thing in YOUR life? (And if your not, you jolly well ought to be) and the plans, goals, aspirations and dreams ARE what you want (and deserve) for you, your family, your future? Then, just like your education, and driving) shouldn’t you invest a little time and money in learning what it takes to achieve more!
Outcomes = Action + Thought
Or in other words, your thoughts drive your actions, your actions create the results. Therefore, if you want a different outcome, it starts with a different level of thinking.
Two GREAT quotes from einstein include:
“Insanity is doing the same thing again and again and again, still hoping for a different outcome”
“You will never overcome a problem, using the same level of thinking, as that which created it”
Isn’t it time to learn a new level of thinking? in order to create a new level of results? Below are 7 steps to creating your BFHAG! And within the first comment, an invitation to join me next Monday for a FREE TO ATTEND #ADDAZERO ScaleUp masterclass.
I had the distinct pleasure and disgust this weekend to watch the multi BAFTA / AACTA award-winning Netflix documentary “Sherpa” this weekend! – The true story following New Zealand Tour guide Russell Brice and Sherpa Phurba Tashi during the period of the 2014 disaster leading to the loss of 16 Sherpa’s.
Having previously watched a number of documentaries around climbers, mountaineering and various other films including Everest, K2 and Meru. I was keen to see this documentary and to learn more of the Nepalese people, the sacred origins of the rock and how they had been depicted throughout the film.
And whilst there is some great cinematography, and incredible views, it became quickly and abundantly apparent of the disparity between the story of the Nepalese Sherpa, and the blatant selfishness, arrogant, ignorance of the white middle class “Guest” who claims to have ‘trained for months’ to be worked with hot towels and waited on with Tea/Coffee whilst the Sherpa is paid a pittance to work through the night carrying their every luxury across moving ice rivers to each stage of their resting area prior to being led to ‘their’ summit!
This was a beautiful yet tragic, terrifying, and revealing documentary that shows the undeniable differences in values and attitudes between the Nepalese culture and beliefs and the west’s insatiable desire for thrill, adventure, and self-glorification at any cost.
At one point (less than a week) after 16 Sherpa’s are killed whilst transporting masses of equipment, including flatscreen TV’s, books and bookcases, heaters, marquees, etc through the night from ‘BaseCamp 1’ to ‘BaseCamp 2’ ahead of the fee-paying westerns rising to hot towels and coffee in bed, ready to be led from 1 to the other. The Sherpa’s finally determine ‘enough is enough’. They have been persecuted for generations by westerners seeing them as slaves to command at their beck and call. And the loss of so many of their family, friends, colleagues, with such little regard shown by the tourists, pushes them over the edge.
A meeting is called, and they determine only if they stand in solidarity and refuse to climb will both the tourists and the government listen to their plea for better conditions, better wages, and compensation. They refuse to ‘walk over the dead’ of whom have just perilously lost their lives before them, and instead state ‘out of respect for them and their families, they will forgo any further earnings that year and return home’.
Instead of acknowledgement and support, or any offer of compensation, an American lawyer, annoyed because the expedition cannot go ahead, calls the Sherpa climbers “terrorists” and wonders why their “owners” don’t get rid of the ones who don’t want to climb out of respect of the 16 deaths. And whilst privately Brice suggests to the Sherpa’s he is there to support them, and ‘respects their wishes’. When confronted by the “devastation” of not being able to climb up a hill! rather than stand up and defend his employee’s right to Health and Safety, Equality, Fair pay, he joins his fee-paying western clients saying they are militant trouble makers, that should be punished.
It’s a really well-made film, that depicts the stark contrast between western and Nepalese morals and values. With the Sherpa, one of the Tibetan ethnic groups native to the most mountainous regions of Nepal, Tingri County, and the Himalayas. And their 3000+ heritage of culture, Gods, and traditions. And how, like their ancestors of high altitude farmers, have transitioned to the perilous, subservience of the middle-class western tourist who calls themselves ‘mountaineers’ and yet hasn’t got the first clue about the hardship of high altitude mountaineering, because of their ongoing demands and expectations of all the creator comforts of a 5* hotel, at 22,000 feet above sea level!
My questions to you on reading this, are:
Have you watched the film? And what did you take from this?
If you haven’t, will you? Based on what I have shared?
Whether you have or not, What are you going to DO TODAY in regards to this?
Where does your moral compass point these days? What are you doing to WEAR your values with pride? How do you reflect these. in all you do? and what do others know of what you stand for?
Now is NOT the time to say, it’s nothing to do with me. NOW is the time to self-examine who we are, what. we do, whom we do it with and the impact it has in our community, our profession our world.
Launching a new product is no small undertaking. Whether you’ll be selling SaaS, enterprise software or a physical product, it’s critical to lock down a strategy to ensure you can effectively build buzz, reach targets and hit your sales numbers.
Every company is different. Every market is different. But every successful product launch example has one thing in common:
The business had an effective strategy and stuck to it.
Here are the seven product launch steps you need to know and love before your creation can hit big time.
Launch Step 1: Go or No-Go?
A common mistake companies make is skipping the research that should be done when deciding whether or not to even introduce a product to the market. Ask yourself some questions:
Is there a need in the marketplace for my product?
Is it a unique offering, or are there others that are already being marketed and sold?
What are my differentiators and unique selling points?
If there are competitors, are there sufficient additional features and benefits to separate your product from the others?
What about pricing? What is the expected ROI?
Talking to your customers and industry colleagues can also help you to evaluate the value and market potential of your product. If things don’t look quite as rosy as you thought they would, don’t be afraid to pull the ripcord and focus on initiatives other than your product launch checklist. If it can’t be a hit, focus your R&D team elsewhere and look at other ways you can utilize and monetize your innovation, IP and work.
Launch Step 2: Pick the Right Team
Choosing the right development team is critical in launching a new product successfully. Obviously, having the technical muscle on the team is important. Equally essential is representation from the company leadership team, project managers, product users, marketing, public relations, sales and QA.
Why involve every department?
Because launch success depends on buy-in and collaboration.
Company leadership must communicate the value and importance of the project and create accountability for meeting deadlines and milestones. Project managers and product users will be able to provide valuable information and feedback on workflow. Marketing will help develop the launch timelines and will gain a deep understanding of the product’s features and benefits that will translate into the marketing campaign. Sales will be able to provide insight into pricing, customer requirements and product features, and will gain the intimate working knowledge of the product needed to effectively communicate with prospects.
Launch Step 3: Timing Is Everything
Set milestones and establish a firm production schedule and new product launch process.
Creating accountability by adhering to a schedule helps keep your costs in check and allows the marketing team to build a marketing campaign based on the product launch date. Really think about the timing. When you launch a product can heavily influence the success of the release. Timing a launch around a trade show or other event can help to generate buzz and can serve as a terrific jump-start for the marketing campaign. Making sure key team members are available during the launch is absolutely crucial for troubleshooting unexpected system glitches and hiccoughs.
Launch Step 4: Show and Tell (and Ask!)
When you’re launching a new product, it’s critical to keep key internal project managers and users in the loop, asking for feedback along the way. Asking a few trusted clients to test your product will give you incredibly valuable insight and will tell you a lot about your product. You’ll get feedback on the product appearance, usability and performance that is better learned before launch than after.
Launch Step 5: Prove it
Beta test. Validate. Load test. Ensure security. Bringing an untested product to market is a bad idea. It’s asking for system failures and bound to cause user frustration. Ensuring that each feature of the system works and that it can handle the number of users anticipated will go a long way toward launching a product that works the way it is intended to and meets user expectations. You only have one chance to make a first impression. Be sure to make it positive.
Launch Step 6: Plan Your Campaign
Building an effective marketing strategy around launching a new product involves a lot of planning and effort. The first step in building that strategy is setting the launch date because that date affects the timing of the rest of the campaign. Branding development, product positioning, public relations, digital marketing, social media, trade show attendance need to be decided upon well in advance of launch.
It’s launch day! Great! But … is your staff on board?
Properly preparing the entire team for the new product launch means more than sending out an email the day before the release. Support and sales need to know the product inside and out, and all customer-facing staff need training and should be able to answer basic user questions. Anyone talking with a client should be able to help them reset passwords or negotiate through basic functions. Taking these steps will give your staff confidence and empower them to help clients and effectively communicate with prospects.
I’m DELIGHTED to share, that after 7 years of research, engineering, testing, calibrating, and documenting. TODAY see’s the launch of:
#ADDAZERO: The Ultimate Guide to Sustainable SCALE
Just one of the many positive quotes I received from our BETA test Proofreading group regarding this book was:
For ANY entrepreneur serious about growing their business, this book will become their business bible
It’s by no means a lazy Sunday afternoon, curl up on the couch type of book. It’s an educational reference book, helping you to steer your business towards SUCCESS SUMMIT.
You can order either the paperback or Kindle version by clicking here.
(The AUDIOBOOK is due for release within the next 2 weeks also)
Have you reviewed your current offering(s)?
How effective are they at meeting and surpassing your client’s/Customers needs/expectations?
Do they go ‘elsewhere’ to purchase things you could provide?
Today, shortly after 3.20pm (Local) I received an important package from Amazon!
Inside the cardboard box, was a gift-wrapped bag, with a label that read:
Congratulations Jay, you did it.
On further examination, I was able to discover the first printed copy of my new book:
And I can’t BEGIN to tell you how exciting that feels!
This journey started in late 2008, with the sudden collapse of Woolworths.
We began researching in 2012, and by 2016 had a team of 9 data analysts working on the cause of more than 150 Big Business Failures.
Then 18 months engineering a series of ‘Questions’ task of ANY business (New or old, modern or traditional, product or service) to determine if the business leader implements THESE suggestions will it reduce/remove the risk of failure?
A further year of BETA testing, then analysing the results, before 15 months spent correlating all the data and writing it all up.
Today marks a new #milestone of achievement on our quest to support 1,000,000 Business Owners #ADDAZERO to their Personal Disposable Income!
Not turnover, or any other vanity matrix, but CASH in THEIR HANDS to transform them, their families, their business and their community.
Well, at the time we first launch BETA testing, there were approx 6M SME businesses in the UK.
I remember, years and years earlier when the Federation of Small Businesses had run a national marketing campaign entitled “Just get ONE”. The idea was for every member to introduce one new member to the association, thus doubling their membership in one year.
I’d already seen (through our BETA test group) that during the course of applying the #ADDAZERO methodology to their business, and the subsequent SCALE it enabled them to achieve. There was a growing need to take on more staff. (On page 253 I share the formula to follow for your first NINE hires!)
At that time, there were approximately 960K unemployed people in the UK seeking work. So I determined,
If we could support 1,000,000 Business owners to significantly and sustainably SCALE both them and their businesses
Not only would that enable them to #ADDAZERO to their personal disposable income
But it would also generate in excess of 1,000,000 new vacancies!
And collectively, we could eradicate unemployment in the UK!
Offering employment to EVERY person that was seeking work!
Last week, I was gifted a book to read by a friend in Wealth Management, called ENOUGH: What’s YOUR number? It shares many examples as to how so many people are working hard, putting money away for when they retire, with little to no idea as to how much they actually need TO retire!
The idea was that everyone has a “number” that defines how much they need to retire. While it’s absolutely true that you need to set clear retirement savings goals for yourself, it’s also true that you have a “number” right now that perhaps you don’t even know?
That’s right, in this stage of your life, you have an “enough” number. That number defines the total income you need in order to meet your needs, reach your goals, and enjoy life.
It’s key to define what your “enough” number is, as quickly as possible and how that goal aligns with your personal and professional priorities. When you have financial goals that are actually tied to your lifestyle goals, you’ll be able to start working with your “why” in mind.
Too often, people fall into the trap of setting arbitrary income goals for themselves. While it may sound amazing to have a six-figure salary or to run a multi-million-pound business, you have to ask yourself whether those numbers will actually move you toward the life you want to build.
Sometimes, the arbitrary financial goals you set for yourself are coming from a place of vanity. For example, a seven-figure business may sound better to you than a business that grosses £300,000-400,000 each year, but do you actually need that much revenue to support yourself and your team? It’s only when you have absolute clarity on both your and the business goals, that you can ensure they are aligned and are working effectively to achieve them. And not at risk of achieving one, at the detriment of the other!
It may feel good once you are able to generate a 6 figure salary, but will that income be enough to move you toward your goals? You may find your “enough” number is actually more or less depending on your unique vision for your life.
In order to calculate your “enough” number, start by reflecting on your goals and priorities both during this season of life and in your future. Prior to setting these priorities, it can be helpful to do a values check-in. Jot down the 4-6 core values you live your life by. Not sure where to start? Take five minutes to run through a free program like the Life Values Inventory to determine what you and your business value most.
With those values in mind, you can start to clarify your priorities and set clear financial goals that support them. Looking at the values list above, you may find that your priorities are:
Having a job that allows you to spend more time with your family.
Having the flexibility to travel both now and in the future.
Earning enough income to successfully send your kids to college debt-free, and to go back to school yourself.
Being able to donate to charity, or support family members in need, as part of your annual financial plan.
Once you prioritise your goals, you know what “enough” looks like, and you can work backwards to determine your “enough” number.
Determining Your “Enough” Number
Wondering how to create a clear income goal based on your priorities? Start by adding monetary values to the priorities you’ve already set. Carrying on our example, you might say:
Having the flexibility to travel both now and in the future. £16,000/year for your whole family now through retirement.
Earning enough income to successfully send your kids to university debt-free. Circa £70,190 for each of your kids in the next 5-15 years (depending on when they graduate)
Being able to donate to charity, or support family members in need, as part of your annual financial plan. £6,000 per year dedicated to charitable donations.
Then, add those figures to your other financial goals (like retirement savings or debt repayment), and current living expenses. Your equation should look like this:
(Annual Priorities Costs) + (Annual Living Expenses) + (Annual Emergency/Retirement Savings + Debt Obligations) = Your “Enough” Number
How Does Your “Enough” Impact Retirement Savings?
Are some of your priorities going to impact the amount you spend in retirement? If you want to travel the world during retirement or continue to donate to charity as a retiree, you may need to add these expenses to your savings goals. Remember to add them to your total retirement cash flow needs, and plan accordingly. You may find that you need to save an extra amount each month or set a lump-sum of money aside to achieve your goals as a retiree.
Having trouble figuring out what your ideal retirement savings are? A good rule of thumb is to estimate that you’ll spend 80% of your current income during retirement. Ideally, you’ll have paid off your mortgage and other debt to free up additional cash flow.
What If “Enough” Doesn’t Feel Achievable?
Does your “enough” number feel like an unachievable goal? It’s time to assess what roadblocks are holding you back from your dream life. A few questions to ask are:
What would my business need to look like, do, generate, for me to receive the income I deserve?
What do I need to change in my business for me to reach those goals?
Do I need additional education or training?
Making a Plan
Once you know what your “enough” number is, you’re able to create a plan with confidence for how you can achieve that income. If you’re uncertain about how to reach that goal, reach out to a financial planner. Together with your advisor, you’ll be able to discuss your current priorities, how they translate into financial goals, and what you need to do financially to move the needle.
And whilst they are working on your “enough” number, we can get to work reviewing and revising your business plan to SMASH IT!