This post has been sponsored by Adding Zeros. All thoughts, opinions, and experiences are my own. Thank you for supporting brands who support TCM!
We live in a society where virality and over night successes in business seem to be everywhere we turn. Which can leave many frustrated and burnt out as they try to figure out how to grow their business. Few people realize just how many things need to fall into place – or how much work goes into it – to multiply your profits by adding zeros while looking effortless. Brad Sugars and Monte Wyatt talk about the five disciplines to “add more zeros” to your business in their new business handbook, Pulling Profits Out Of A Hat. It was truly eye opening to see just what it takes to be a unicorn in business and the areas we can all grow in.
How To Multiply Your Profits With These 5 Disciplines For Exponential Growth In Your Business
This is what makes your business sustainable. It's the combination of your where you want to go (your goals) and your plan to get there. Sugars and Wyatt explain that strategy isn't just about the products or services your provide. Early on in the book they talk about the difference between a business profits and business success. When you only focus on business profits, you're viewing your business as a commodity. Meaning the only real strategy that most people end up taking it to undercut their competitors prices. Which ultimately kills their margins, adds stress, leads to burn out in the rat race and… well I'm sure you can see the grim future from there.
However when business success is prioritized over profits, we can shift to create a strategy that's sustainable. I see this in my business all of the time. In fact, I actually just had a blogger tell me that I'm just a commodity and I internally chuckled. We can all end up being commodities. Whether we are selling a book, a blog post, corn, coffee, coaching package, whatever. However, it's when take a step out of the rat race and look at the big picture we can really begin to strategize.
We no longer need to kill our margins to offer the lowest price in order to close the deal. Instead, we recognize that people are willing to pay more for excellent service and perceived value. If you think you're offering the same thing as the next guy, so will your customers, and the only thing you'll ever be as good as is your price. If you recognize your secret sauce, the hidden strategy, market rates will no longer apply and sustainability will be based on your long term strategy made up of all five of the disciplines.
In Pulling Profits Out Of A Hat, business development is comprised of marketing, sales, and customer service. This chapter is BEAST! Seriously, you want a plan to grow and scale your business, they break it down for you exceptionally well with step by step directions. Before reading this chapter, I always felt like I was falling short in this area. I'd constantly beat myself up internally about all the things I could be doing more of. However, after reading I realize just how much more savvy I am in this area. I think this area also builds off of the concept of not viewing your business as a commodity, but in how you're developing your true differentiators. How you're pricing based off of value and service, not market rates.
For me personally, I realized part of what's made my business development practice so sustainable is realizing that lead-generation doesn't just have to do with who my paying clients are (brands), which I always felt like I could be doing more with, but instead it also has to do with my consumers (audience). I've developed such an in-depth psychographic of my target audience that in focusing on lead generation with growing my audience, I've in turn been able to grow the brands who are attracted to working with me, so I haven't fallen as short as I previously thought, but still have plenty of room to grow! This chapter totally opened my perspective of marketing, sales and customer service as lead generators. So I ask you, what ways are you growing your leads that you hadn't recognized before or can you branch out into?
“Asking hard questions is the difference between good companies and great ones.”
The authors encourage readers to focus on leadership, talent development, and recruitment. Because let's be honest, if we are prioritizing business success, internal team growth is a big key performance indicator in my opinion. You can have great revenue, but if you have to take all of that revenue to re-invest in recruiting and training because you can't keep a team, then you're still left with nothing.
I'll be honest, this is the area I've grown the most in since entering the workforce, but an area I still have a lot of room to grow. While I'm great at focusing on the people that make my business a business (my audience), I have a lot of work when it comes to growing my internal team. I've tried over the years with interns and hiring specialists, but constantly find myself struggling to find the right fit.
At some point, you have to ask the hard questions and realize it's you – or at least I did. I loved the author's break down of what makes a good leader and realize I do encompass all of the traits they discussed, but I also encompass a lot of the traits of a poor leader. I think that was particularly eye-opening. We can have all the good, but still be working through the stuff that no longer serves us as we transition and grow.
This led me to think of a few different self-evaluated Q's, and I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
What makes a good leader? What have you disliked about previous managers? How are you keeping people engaged on your mission?
“If the process isn't written down, it doesn't exist.” Oof, that nugget hit hard! In the past, when I've gone and hired people, I've had all the processes documented, but realized people weren't using them (poor management and training on my end) so I ultimately stopped. The issue? I prioritized profits over business success. You see, I was paying hourly, and since it was faster for me to just explain it to them, rather than tell them to go find it in the processes manual, it also meant it was a cheaper route (or at least seemingly). Cutting those types of corners cost me money down the line. My team members weren't learning to be self sufficient, so it drained my resource of time, and ultimately led me to letting them go and having to find new team members to recruit and retrain.
The chapter dives so much deeper than that on execution though. Here are some of my favorite thought starters I took away: Are your processes written down? How are you measuring success in each area? Do you understand your financials?
In Pulling Profits Out Of A Hat, mission comes down to the following: core values, purpose statement, and giving back. This line, “when an employee's purpose aligns with the organization's purpose, they are more motivated, more creative, more productive, and more satisfied” rang so true for me.
I thought back to my 9-5 and what went wrong. I've talked about it before, I was 24 and landed my dream job, at what I thought was my dream company. Only that quickly changed and I think it's because once I got there, I realized our purposes weren't actually aligned. In fact, I remember a “team building day” where we were writing out the team values (something the others actually talk about in depth in this chapter!). One of mine was to have fun – I mean we were working with people who could potentially die at any moment, that's heavy stuff. For me, fun counteracted the heaviness of the job and kept burn out at bay.
I'll never forget when the majority of the team came down on me for that, “fun is what you do after work, what we do is life or death!” I had already been feeling like the company focused more on money than our patients. Then to hear them magically pull the patients well-being above our own, felt like moral licensing rather than truth. Because if we're honest, we need to put our air masks on before we could help another and everyone on the team was burnt out – we needed fun but I was the only one who saw it. That felt like the nail in the coffin for me and I was fired shortly after.
This chapter is probably the best thing I've ever read on developing your business' mission. I'm not even joking. It takes it so much further than “finding your why” or “defining your values.” It breaks down how values become actions in the company. How to craft a purpose statement and give back in ways motivate your team members. All building back to true sustainability and business success.
Sustained Business Success Is Possible Through Exponential Growth!
Exponential growth is possible for your business, no matter what industry you're in. It's not just about profits, it's about exponentially growing your business on every level. Focusing on the big picture, not just profits. That's made abundantly clear time and time again in Brad Sugars and Monte Wyatt's business handbook. Sustained business success comes down to learning how to multiply your profits by adding zeros to your company. It's not magic. Your business success is combination of the five disciplines talked about and I love how this book is an actually handbook to grow your business. It's engaging, funny, has action steps and thought provoking questions and will be a go-to reference for me whenever I'm feeling stuck in the future. Pulling Profits Out of a Hat is available wherever fine books are sold!
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