E-Commerce secrets to scale

051 - The 4 Areas That Drive Profits In A Growing Business With Jeff Chastain

051 – The 4 Areas That Drive Profits In A Growing Business With Jeff Chastain

E-Commerce Secrets To Scale is a marketing and entrepreneurship podcast that revolves around hearing the stories and strategies of successful entrepreneurs and e-commerce professionals to uncover scaling secrets that will impact your online store.

Listen To This Episode:

CONNECT WITH JEFF:

Tanner:

This week on the show, Jeff Chastain with Admentus joins me to discuss the four areas that drive profits in our growing business. Jeff is a business transformation coach, and this interview is actually one of my favorites on this show so far. There’s a ton of value in this episode, and it’s really just a great discussion about how to scale a business. So stick around.

Welcome to the show Jeff, Im really excited to have you go ahead and introduce yourself to the audience.

Jeff:

Hey, thank you for the opportunity for having me out. Yeah, I would say my name is Jeff Chastain out of the Dallas area and business transformation coach with Admentus just enjoy, always talking business stories and entrepreneurial kind of stories about how we can grow and scale businesses.

Technology just magnifies whatever’s underneath it.

Tanner:

Awesome, man. So how did your career get started and how did it end up transitioning into consulting?

Jeff:

Oh, it’s been quite a journey actually, but it’s multiple transitions kind of a thing that I didn’t actually start out with the entrepreneurial kind of spirit myself. I was always the one that hated selling the, whatever it was, the candy bars or whatever in school, kind of a thing that just was never my style, I always hated that kind of thing. And ended up once we got through school going into corporate America, just okay. That was kind of, my upbringing was always corporate job. Stay there, It’s nice and secure retire there kind of a thing. And I made it, I think maybe six or seven years before I just, okay, Corporate America is not for me, too much politics, too much red tape, too much, too slow and everything. So actually made the transition at that point onto my own doing consulting work, but doing it in the technology space.

So effectively a fractional CTO long before that fractional kind of idea of concept, et cetera, took off like it does today, but then fast forward, quite a bit. Made a transition again to say, okay, consulting to coaching because I kept running as technology kept running into, or working with clients that honestly were looking at technology to solve issues, solve challenges in the business. And one of the stories I always love pointing out just cause it ties back real well is had one case of a CEO come to me saying, Hey, we need to want to implement this new CRM system. Which of course he found out about on the golf course with his other CEO buddy. That’s saying, yeah, our sales are down. His buddy said, yeah, we’ve tried this new CRM. It’s working real well for us. Once you try this. So, he came to me, went through all the implementation, the discovery, all the training, everything that goes into a major system like that.

And then of course he comes back after the fact unhappy that his sales numbers didn’t increase. Like you didn’t have a sales process. All you did was slap technology on top of a broken business process here. And to me, technology just magnifies whatever’s underneath it. So you’ve got a great system. You’ve got a great process. Technology is going to make it more efficient or vice versa. So after too many times of that, that kind of stirred the catalyst to say, okay, there’s gotta be a better way to address some of these issues here. Let’s see if we can work on the underlying layer and work on some of those business systems, those business processes, et cetera, before you go about spending and wasting the money on technology at that point, because it’s not necessarily going to give you what you need.

So that was kind of the last pivot to say, okay, let’s focus on the business coaching side here, help especially smaller businesses from a systemization standpoint because it’s, to me, it’s really my belief that you’re never going to be able to gain the business vision, the business goals, even your personal goals there without systemizing the business at that point. If you don’t systemize them effectively, all you’ve done is create yourself a job there that you’re going to be running on the hamster wheel for the foreseeable future there. Burning yourself out and just getting worn out.

Building a business is a long game.

Tanner:

Yeah. And I completely agree with that. You have to have a working solid system before you can implement technology because technology just makes it faster and easier to scale. It doesn’t fix any problems, right. It just helps you save costs and become more efficient, more organized.

So Jeff, what would you attribute your success to over the years?

Jeff:

A lot of it from an entrepreneurial kind of standpoint I’ve found over the years was just honestly persistence. That it’s very rarely does anything happen overnight. You’ve got to keep focusing on it and really focusing on the longer term gain or the longer term game there. Just because you look at marketing, you look at anything like that. Nothing happens overnight. It’s a long-term something you go into, whatever it is, networking, social media, pick your whatever. It’s nothing’s going to turn around overnight. And I even work with companies on that from a systemization stand point, it’s like, okay, as a coach, I’m coming into here to help. I like using the analogy of riding a bicycle. You’re not going to pick up the bicycle the first day automatically be all right. And as a coach, I’m going to be the one sitting here holding onto the back of the bicycle seat, helping you guide you, train you, teach you for awhile here with the eventual goal that you’re going to run it on your own.

I don’t want to still be sitting here in 20 years holding on the back of this bicycle, but it’s really that kind of idea that, okay, this is going to take some time what they say with the saying Rome wasn’t built in a day kind of a thing there that it really takes some time to get that stuff rolling. And having that kind of a longer-term game in mind is, can be challenging there because especially smaller sized businesses, we’re always tight on the payroll and tight on the finances usually. And you’re looking for as much quick wins, but the reality is building a business is a long game. At that point. You’re not, you’re not going to do it overnight.

Tanner:

Yeah, absolutely. And you know, that happens a lot with companies, you know, try a new marketing channel or something like that. Like, all right, it’s been two months and we haven’t made a million dollars yet. We should probably stop. Right.

Jeff:

It’s that or you keep trying new things. That’s what I see a lot with especially first time entrepreneurs is it almost seems like a lot of throwing darts. So we’re going to try this. Okay. It didn’t work real quick. Let’s go try this. Let’s go try this. And you end up honestly wasting so much resources there just because you didn’t pick a strategy and stick with it for very long.

Tanner:

Yeah. And it’s almost like checking the box at that point. Okay. I’ve tried Facebook. Okay. I’ve tried Instagram. I’ve tried SEO. I’ve tried all of these things but you didn’t invest, what was required of you to get what you wanted out of that. And, and I see that all the time.

So Jeff, as a business coach, I mean, what are some of the things that are holding owners back and what can they do to break through the ceiling?

Jeff:

Well it’s the thing pretty much holding them back honestly, is typically themselves. That it’s always interesting, especially with entrepreneurial kind of types that they go into business with an idea, with a passion, with an expertise. So they may be a lawyer. They may be an accountant. They may be a program or software, whatever, but what you don’t necessarily realize getting into business once you kind of get beyond that initial startup phase to say, okay, yeah, I’ve got my product, my service out there, somebody willing to pay for it. There’s a lot more that goes into business. There’s sales, there’s marketing. There’s actually delivering the product service consistently. There’s the finance side. Hopefully you’re getting paid for it and collecting money, kind of a thing. There’s a lot more that goes into that. And it’s that early stage, especially where the entrepreneur is sitting there still trying to wear all the hats saying one, I can’t afford to hand it off, whatever the excuse is kind of a thing, but they’re still trying to wear all those hats. And it really is a limiting factor that in some respects, yeah, you do kind of have to do it very early on, but the sooner you can start delegating the sooner you can start handing that off, that’s really where you’re going to start looking at growth and scale. And the longer you try to hang on to all those, that’s really the biggest challenge right there that I find with entrepreneurs. For sure.

How do we build the foundation in your business to scale it successfully.

Tanner:

Yeah. I completely agree with that. And I’ve seen that myself, you know, in the beginning, of course you have to wear all the hats and you have to figure it out. But for me, a pivotal point in my business was when I finally just threw my hands up. Okay. I’m hiring a web designer and started offloading all my work onto the web designer that freed up all my time to focus on operations and sales and all the important things that I needed to be working on. So that’s an excellent point.

So Jeff, the topic for today is the four areas that drive profits and a growing business. And I know you have a lot to talk about this stuff. Let’s start with what those four areas are.

Jeff:

Yeah. The, well, it really, it’s four areas of practically of any business. And to me, it’s systematizing and building up each of those four areas is what drives profitability. And that’s obviously what we’re really looking for. That’s to me, that’s the biggest financial driver, honestly, in a lot of ways, I don’t care about revenues because you can have a $200 million revenue company that has very little profit margin versus a $50 million revenue company, that’s got a much higher profit margin and one’s much more fun to work with for sure. But yeah, it’s four different areas. I look at people than purpose, then a playbook and then your performance all driving that profitability of the company there. So the more you can look at those four ideas and build those four up, build the strength in those four ideas is what really drives that profitability up.

Therefore giving you the money or the options at that point to, to scale whether that’s reinvesting back into the company, whether it’s new markets, new products, more people, whatever the case may be. That’s kinda, it’s interesting that I, whenever I hear people talking about it, we’re going to scale the business. What scale typically mean, or what they typically mean is more of something. Whether it’s, like I said, more people, were going to hire more people. We’re going to bring in more customers, we’re going to sell more products. And what that all does is just pile more and more onto whatever your business foundation is. And if you don’t have that solid foundation, it’s like we’re going to build a foundation and build a one story house. Well, nevermind we went floors two and floors three on it, but the foundation was never built for floor two and flour three.

And what you end up doing is just piling so much stuff on top of it, that the whole thing collapses, it’s a house of cards at that point. So you’ve got to be able to go into it and really build that foundation to say, Hey, even if we’re not building floor two and floor three today, we know that’s in the longer term plan. And we’re going to build the foundation to be able to support that and grow that foundation over time. And that’s really what we’re looking at from a systemization standpoint is, okay, how do we build the foundation in your business to scale it successfully at that point, rather than just building the house of cards that there’s going to be a storm coming in and knock it over at some point.

You really want everybody on the team truly bought in first.

Tanner:

Yeah. I mean, you definitely, you need to be thinking ahead of yourself and what you’re trying to build. Definitely. And starting those systems early is the best way to do that. You know, for me, I was ready for employees way before I even needed one. And I felt like a lot of entrepreneurs don’t do it that way. They’re more reactive and they don’t really plan ahead. Let’s go through each of those four areas starting with people.

Jeff:

Yeah. The people side is it actually ties back to like a Jim Collins kind of idea of saying right people and right seats. And it goes exactly to what you’re talking about, about saying, okay, what point do we hire? Who do we hire? Things like that especially in the early days, kind of a thing. A lot of times you gravitate towards the friends and family kind of a thing. You gravitate more towards skills to say, Hey, I need the web designer, or, Hey, I need the account. And if you’re truly outsourcing and not necessarily hiring, then that’s probably that’s possibly okay at that point that, okay, we need somebody to manage books and manage the accounting because I can’t do that. And we do need to get paid. That’s one thing. But when you start looking at the true hiring where you’re really making a lot more investment at that point in the person and in the business, because you’re looking at a longer term outlook, you’re looking at all the overhead, the benefits, the payroll, and that kind of stuff there.

So it’s really a matter of making sure you’ve got the right people, fit your culture, fit that they’re exhibiting, okay, they’re going to be out in front of the customer potentially. Or at the very least, they’re always going to be out there marketing. Cause they’re going to, maybe one of these days be back in person at the grocery store or something like that, talking about their job. But so you want them to have that right culture mentality to fit with your company that, okay, if you’re going to be a green energy company or whatever, you want them bought into that mission, into that goal, even to the point of saying, if they’re not working for your company in that mission, they would be doing something else, another company, another project, or whatever, with that same mission. You really want everybody on the team truly bought in first.

Skills can always be taught. Culture and stuff like that really can’t.

And then we’ll figure out the skills because skills can always be taught. Culture and stuff like that really can’t. But it’s the idea of trying to figure out, okay, right people that follow the culture, put them in the right seats that match their skillset or that match where they’re going to be trained because you don’t want again, and I actually, I see it in companies that are growing over time that you’ll have brought in again, the friend or whatever that yeah, we can handle the books right now. And once the company starts growing, what you really need is a full-time expert accountant right here. And it’s like, okay, how do we tell the friend, yeah, you could handle books at the basic level. You’re not really an accountant and we need to step up or move on kind of a thing there it’s those kind of people challenges that you see a lot right there with earlier stage businesses.

And then it’s really fitting the culture. That side to that I see a lot of it, especially with sales that you’ve got that rockstar salesperson out there, kind of the analogy of I can sell ice to Eskimos and the third. They can sell anything and everything. The challenge is though they’re over promising that okay yeah, we can deliver that next week. Of course. And then, well, you’ve gotta call the customer back as the leader, the CEO now and say, yeah, we’re actually back ordered the next three weeks, it’s going to take longer. So you’re kind of having to go up and go behind and clean up after the salesperson. They, yeah, they’re selling anything and everything, but they’re making it a lot harder for the rest of your business to run efficiently. So it’s those kind of ideas of saying, okay, we really got to be strategic in who we hire, where we’re thinking about hiring, why we’re hiring, even to the point of going all the way back to the early days.

Like I said, I’m figuring out which hats to take off, being strategic and knowing, okay. As that entrepreneur, which hats are you good at? Which hats do you enjoy doing, which hats drive revenue versus which hats are you wearing that are not any of those that it’s the administrative work or it’s the website work or the accounting work or whatever. When you’re a lawyer that’s, everything’s tied around billable hours and being in front of a client or being in the courtroom yet you’re handling invoicing and stuff like that, administrative. That’s something you need to hand off or figure out how to hand off faster so that you can reinvest that time back into more revenue generating activities. And looking at it from a strategic standpoint that way to say, okay, that needs to be my first hire is an accountant person, a bookkeeper, or maybe my first hire needs to be somebody on marketing that can handle all the social media and that side, just because I’m an introvert and that just drains my energy right there. Whatever the case may be.

I was talking to a business owner just actually earlier today. And we were talking to the same thing. It’s like, okay, I know I need to start hiring. I don’t know where I need to start. It’s like well, and he was asking me, okay, what’s the right answer, marketing and sales or admin work or whatever. It’s like there is no right answer. The right answer is up to you individually to figure out, okay, where’s your good fit? What do you draw energy off of? And what are you productive from a revenue generating standpoint on. Those are the parts that you need to keep at least for the foreseeable future. Work on getting rid of

all the rest.

It’s up to you as the business owner to set that direction, set that vision, and that needs to be incorporated into your hiring process.

Tanner:

Yeah. I mean, you gotta look at what you like to do, what you hate to do for sure. But really I think the question you need to ask yourself is what am I best at andwhere are my weaknesses, right? And you should hire for those weaknesses because what your best at is what’s going to propel your business way farther forward. And I totally agree with you about the culture fit because that’s everything. I mean, if you truly want to scale and be efficient and have that solid foundation that we talked about, everyone needs to be on the ship heading towards the same destination. And it’s up to you as the business owner to set that direction, set that vision, and that needs to be incorporated into your hiring process.

Jeff:

Yeah. It’s always interesting. Cause we see the job descriptions or whatever out on the different job boards and it’s just a laundry list of skills. It’s like, okay, well, where’s the culture side of this because that’s really what you should be hiring for first. I’ve actually seen some case studies down where the job boards are actually losing traction basically to say that because companies are saying, okay, we want to hire a, again, a green energy company. We want to hire somebody technology driven. That’s a CTO for our green energy company. We’re not going to go out to monster or dice or pick your board kind of thing. We’re going to go over to the forums that talk about green energy, where people participate and people talk over there and we’re going to post out there because those people either know, or might already be on that kind of forum. We’re already narrowing down that cultural pool to know that, okay, we’re fishing in the right pond instead of fishing globally here for a skill set.

Tanner:

That’s interesting that you say that. And in fact, you know, we’re a really small company, but every job posting that I’ve put out has the list of personality traits that we’re looking for is just as long, if not longer than the list of skills that we’re looking for. And I can’t stress enough how important that is because you know, your interview questions when you’re interviewing these people, every question that you ask should be tied to culture more than skills. Right?

Jeff:

Definitely. Yeah.

Making sure that everybody’s a hundred percent on board understanding what that mission is, what that plan is, what that purpose is there for the company and what we’re doing there.

Tanner:

So, let’s move on to purpose. What recommendations do you have for business owners to make sure that their purpose is clearly shared among the entire team?

Jeff:

Well, the first thing honestly, is just having it defined. Do they really even know what it is? So I look at purpose as being combination of multiple things of having, okay, what is our core values again, kind of who are we, who’s our culture having that defined out. Because again, that flows back into the people side that, okay, if you don’t know what your culture is, you’ve got one, no matter what, it just may not be defined. It may be driving itself and you probably don’t want that in the longterm. But still do you have, what is your culture? And then turning that again into, okay. Now how does that dovetail in or pair with our overall mission, our overall strategy, as a company to say, okay, where are we even going? Because your team, and I ran into this early days in corporate America, kind of a thing where I was in a desk, in a role, kind of a thing there and I didn’t understand the, I couldn’t see how, what I was working on today fit into the bigger picture of the company or even the division at that point. Cause it was a huge company. And that’s where you tend to lose more people. It’s okay, how am I making a difference? I’m just here for a paycheck. Whereas again, if they understand what the overall objective is for the company, what the mission is and see, okay, our 15 year, I use mountain climbing analogies a lot, but our 15 year pinnacle at the top of the mountain here that we’re trying to go climb and reach. I can tell, okay, backing it back down. What our three to five-year milestones are what our goals are for this year. And I know that this project I’m working on right now is a key to reaching that our one year goal for this, this year kind of a thing.

So it puts a lot more ownership into the team at that point. So they really understand, okay, what I’m doing really does matter. It really does fit into the overall mission, value, purpose, et cetera of the company here. And it just it’s that clarity for them to sit there and understand from the CEO all the way down the trench, all the way down the train there. I coached business owners and larger companies with leadership team. Everything’s like, they need to be at the very least in front of the entire company on a quarterly basis saying, okay, here’s what our next quarter plan is. Here’s what our next year objectives is. Making sure that everybody’s a hundred percent on board understanding what that mission is, what that plan is, what that purpose is there for the company and what we’re doing there. And the more you can get them bought in, then it goes back to again, having that, that right culture, that right people they’re going to gravitate towards whatever your mission is. And they’re going to attract at that point, more people that are bought into that as well, if they really feel bought into that. But if you don’t have a purpose, if you don’t have a strategy there, to me, that’s saying, Hey, we’re just going to go get in the car and go for a drive without having any kind of destination or anything in mind. It’s like, you’re never gonna make it there.

Tanner:

Yeah. It’s like driving across the country with no map. Right. And not to mention, if you have a clear direction, you’ll be able to easily weed out the people that shouldn’t be there. Don’t fit into that culture. But like you mentioned, showing them that what they’re doing has an impact will also make it so they’re in it for the long haul and they’re not going to leave.

Jeff:

It really emphasizes going beyond just the paycheck. Cause you don’t want employees there that are just there for the paycheck, because especially in a smaller company, when you can’t afford top dollar kind of a thing there, there’s always going to be somebody else potentially to offer them a bigger paycheck. So you want them really to be bought into that purpose, that mission, that vision for your company. So that they’ll stick around for longer than that. That they’re there for a bigger vision. They’re there for something that they believe in, not just for the paycheck.

Build your business as if you were going to turn around and franchise it tomorrow.

Tanner:

Yeah, absolutely. So, let’s get into playbook. And when you say playbook, are you basically referring to documented processes?

Jeff:

It’s documented processes, but it’s more of just saying the way we do business or the way we conduct business. So if you think about, anytime I’m talking with a group or whatever, always put out the difference in a franchise business versus the entrepreneurial business. So you say, Hey, you put a McDonald’s franchise on one corner of the intersection, you put Jake’s burger house on the other corner of the intersection, kind of a thing. 90% chance McDonald’s is going to be the one to outlive it. Even though most of us that have been in Mcdonald’s kind of a thing, especially with kids, know it’s not exactly high-end dining. The jakes burger house, may be fancy craft burgers, et cetera. But what you’ll find there more times than not is that you go in the first time, it’s a great experience.. The wait staff’s real happy. You get, your order comes out Just fine, exactly like you ordered it kind of a thing. Then you come back the second time and this time it’s not, the service is not quite there. They set the bar and hey, we’re not quite delivering anymore kind of a thing. And after a couple of times of that, it falls off the list. Whereas if you go to McDonald’s again, it’s necessarily great, but I know exactly what I’m going to get every single time going in there. I know exactly how that big Mac is going to be put together. And the other piece to that is it kind of sounds bad from a people perspective, but it really doesn’t matter who’s on the cooking line at that day, making that big Mac. It’s still coming out the same way and your business has got to be able to deliver whatever your product, your service, that same way, such that when that hopefully repeat customers comes back, If they order blue widgets this time and they get the exact same blue widgets they got last time kind of a thing. There’s not variances in product or color or whatever else.

There’s an expectation to the level of service that we deliver. And that’s really where the playbook comes in. So yes, in a lot of ways it is documented processes. Having those systems in place, such that honestly, you can go take a vacation or somebody calls in sick or somebody leaves kind of a thing there, you can very easily plug somebody else into that role and say, Hey, here is the systems. Here’s how it’s approached to go implement that. And it goes back all the way to what we originally started of saying you’ve got 40 or 50 hats on as an entrepreneur. That’s where I find a lot of people really struggle with the delegation to say, Hey, I’m going to take off this hat and hand it to you.

Except I don’t really have a documented playbook, a documented system for this task. I just kind of give you some general rough ideas. And then somehow I expect you to do it exactly like I would have done it, even though there was no system to hand off there. So that’s where I find a lot of people struggling to say, okay, how do we go about identifying which systems, how to document these, move them on, et cetera. But it’s really the more you can document that the more you can systemize it. I actually tell people, it’s like what we want to do is build your business as if you were going to turn around and franchise it tomorrow. Because even if you’re not going to franchise, when it goes time to exi,t to sell whatever, that’s where the value is going to be. If that, I remember talking with an entrepreneur as well and said, yea, we we’re expecting, we weren’t trying to sell it but we had somebody come in and pitch us to come buy the business. And then they wanted to say, Hey, where’s all your documented processes. Where’s all your process procedure manual. He’s like, well, I can kind of write it down. I’ve got it all in my head here. And it’s like, at that point, you just start seeing dollar signs falling off the number. There is just the zeros falling off. It’s just you lose all the value at that point because the businesses is you and the businesses in your head.

Tanner:

Yeah, And the, at that point, you know, the owner is such an important part of the business. They can never exit, you know? And when they, like you said, when you try to pawn something off to someone and you don’t have a process for it, and they don’t do it as good as you that’s what creates the issue with business owners, holding on to all the hats and never letting go of them.

Jeff:

It is. And it turns into a lot of times, a lot of turnover on the people, because you sit there as the owner and look at that person while they’re incompetent, they can’t do it as well as I can. And they, on the other flip side, they’re frustrated, well, this guy’s not giving me the resources I need and, or he’s micro managing and et cetera. So you ended up wasting again, a ton of resources on turnover with people at that point as well. .

Tanner:

Yeah, absolutely. I definitely have some experience working at companies like that. So

Jeff:

Yeah. And really I look at, I don’t think most people or most managers want to come out and say, Hey, I’m going to be the micromanager. I want to sit in your back pocket all the time. I think most of them just feel like they almost have to, again, because they don’t have visibility into what you’re doing right there. They don’t know if you’re doing it right. Kind of a thing. And to me, that’s where it all comes back to saying, okay, you’ve got to have clarity in your organization. You’ve got to have the transparency. You got to have the numbers, the metrics, et cetera, exposed. In order to get those, you’ve got to have processes and playbooks to say, okay, is this process, is this playbook being executed correctly? If so, I don’t need to get in there and micromanage that because I’m seeing the results, the numbers, whatever, come out the other side of this machine. And everything’s great. Why would I want to waste my time getting in there?

You have documented processes, but if it’s not being executed on, in an efficient manner, then you’re still not gonna get any profits at that point.

Tanner:

Yeah. And I think that’s a good point. So, lastly, we have performance you know, how do you ensure that everything is getting done in a productive and efficient manner?

Jeff:

And it, to me, that’s the, really the ultimate key or the ultimate measure to this because you can have great people. You can have all your vision and your purpose, et cetera. And to find out you have documented processes, but if it’s not being executed on, in an efficient manner, then you’re still not gonna get any profits at that point. At that point, it’s still just a dream that, okay, we laid a lot of groundwork here, but we’re still not getting anything done. But the performance side to me is not necessarily just getting things done. It’s okay. How do we manage that? How do we get the visibility into that? The way I describe it as saying, okay, as a business leader, business owner or leader, either one, you should be able to go out, sit on a beach somewhere, no laptop, no phone. The waiter basically brings you a piece of paper. And you can tell from that piece of paper with 15 numbers on it or so, okay. Is the business right now on track or off track? I shouldn’t have to go do a bunch of meetings. I shouldn’t have to go talk to a bunch of people, drop in on people. I should be able to see a scoreboard, a dashboard, whatever you want to call it. But this set of effectively stoplights, red, green, or yellow. Okay. Is there an issue somewhere? Hopefully, green everything’s good. Yellow says, okay. There’s something here we need to watch. Maybe it’s just a, a blip on the radar, but I can also see trends to say, okay, has this been yellow for a while? Did it just turn yellow this time? Kind of a thing versus red. Obviously we’ve got a major fire somewhere.

We’ve got to fix that. But that gives you again, going back to the micromanagement side, I can tell exactly what’s working and what’s not working now. And I can know exactly. Okay, where do I need to focus, put my energy rather than running around chasing each and everything just trying to get a status report on it and not knowing what’s going on. Cause that’s really what drives owners and drives managers kind of crazy at that point. But just the key is really having those right numbers in place. And it’s an ongoing evolution kind of a thing with those scorecards typically, because you want as many of those numbers to be on the leading side, leading indicators to say, okay, I can tell right now if our incoming lead flow and our marketing systems is off from where it was a month or two ago in two months, three months just knowing my business then, okay, we’re going to have a problem with sales.

And we’re going to have a problem with operations, kind of a thing. Which then down the road, obviously it turns into a problem with finance, but I can see it early enough because I’m tracking the right numbers to know that, okay, the lead funnel is the issue. Let’s go look there, fix that now, rather than waiting till the end of the quarter. And all of a sudden we didn’t meet numbers and why in the world didn’t we need numbers kind of a thing there. You need, too many times I’ll see, we’ll put our numbers around the number of products delivered, the amount of revenue we collected. It’s like, while, that’s good to know, that’s a lagging indicator. By the time that number’s dropped, it’s too late to fix I at that point. You’ve got a major course correct at that point and try to figure things out going forward, but you’re already in a hole. Now you’re, now you got to start digging out rather than we can figure out, Hey, wait a minute. Something’s not looking right earlier on in the pipeline.

Tanner:

Yeah. I Really love that. That’s a really great way to measure how everything’s going. And like you said, be proactive rather than reactive and you know, kind of nip it in the bud before it becomes an actual problem. So, Jeff, what would you say your secrets to scale are?

Jeff:

Well it’s, really to me, it’s clarity in the first place that you’ve truly got to understand what’s going on before you can do anything. You’ve got to have a clear picture to it and then it’s really systemizing. It’s honestly, as basic as that. That, okay, we’ve got to build up that foundation of business. We’ve got to put the systems in place. And if you can start building that playbook, start filling out what your culture is, kind of a thing. Then as you keep adding on the levels to the house, you’ve got that foundation there. But without that foundation, again, it goes back to where we started. You’re, you’re building a house of cards at that point. It’s the, I think it’s biblical parable. They’re talking about house on the sand versus house onthe rocks. It all matters on that foundation because we’ve just seen it. Major worldwide pandemic. Obviously hadn’t seen this one before in our lifetime, but even still financial recessions, tech bubble bursting kind of a thing. Something comes along, it seems like ever four or five years kind of a thing. At least it’s going to hit business and it’s like, okay, are you situated to survive that? And to be able to move forward with that. And I guarantee you, the businesses that were, had that foundation set, had the underlying structure, the underlying systems in place, we’re able to see and react much faster to this pandemic than the ones that had the lagging indicators at that point, that didn’t necessarily know what was going on until it hit them. And at that point we’re out of money and we’re hoping for some bailout that is months and months away just for the efficiency of government.

You’re never going to be able to truly reach your vision with the business. You’re never going to be able to truly reach your personal vision … if you don’t systematize.

Tanner:

Yeah. I completely agree. And I think that’s a really great answer. I think you are going to have a really hard time scaling any business without processes, for sure. So Jeff, I really want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Is there anything that I have not asked you that you think might benefit the audience?

Jeff:

Well, not necessarily really. It’s I would say enjoy the conversation is always kind of a thing there, but to me, that’s, I always lean back on that just saying, Hey, you’re never going to be able to truly reach your vision with the business. You’re never going to build truly reach your personal vision at that point, your personal values, if you don’t systematize and it’s not, none of it’s rocket science, but it’s just a matter of, okay, how do I put the pieces together? How do I put it together? And it comes across as self-serving and I try not to make it be, but it’s interesting with all the business owners that I talk to, I’ve got a podcasts as well. And all the business owners I interview on there, the point at which their business really took off was when they brought in outside resources, brought in a coach, brought in a, even a board of directors or participate in a peer group, something like that.

Because especially the early days on, as an entrepreneur, you almost get blinders on to say, okay, this is my knowledge, my expertise. This is the path we’re going on. And having somebody outside of that, that if nothing else, just ask the dumb question of why are you doing things that way? Explain to me what this is, kind of causes you to stop and step back and think, well, okay, I don’t necessarily know why, or maybe this is the way we’ve always done things. And that to me, that’s the worst phrase ever. If I hear that one, it’s like, okay, we’ve got an immediate problem with that. If that’s the only reason for it is because we’ve always done things that way, yeah, we need to reevaluate that for sure.

Tanner:

Yeah, no question about that. So, Jeff, what’s a great way for anyone listening t to get in contact with you.

Jeff:

The website is just, Admentus, A D M E N T U S.com. So all the resources and everything are there. Our podcast is Building to Scale. So very similar kind of thing here, but we just, again, talking entrepreneurs stories. I always look at it and say, there’s no true expert out there. That there’s always going to be somebody that’s a step or two behind you, kind of a thing. And any expertise, any story you can share right that is probably going to help somebody else a few steps behind. We’re all about telling stories and sharing expertise there, so glad to have anybody over there as well.

Tanner:

Yeah. That’s awesome, man. Yeah, I’ve really enjoyed the conversation. We’ll make sure to link up your podcast and your website in the show notes. And thank you again, Jeff.

Jeff:

Thank you.

sTAY cONNECTED
get notified when new episodes are published

© 2022 Ranksey, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Free Download

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE HIRING A WEB DESIGN AGENCY

Free Download

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE HIRING A WEB DESIGN AGENCY

Learn everything you need to know to prevent making a costly mistake. Fill out the form below and we’ll email you the 19 page PDF!