Five Ways to Differentiate Your Business in a Crowded Market

Five Ways to Differentiate Your Business in a Crowded Market

It’s a classic good news/bad news story. The good news is that you have competition. The bad news is that you have competition.

It’s good news because if you didn’t have any competition it would mean there’s not a very real/urgent problem that needs to be solved by a large number of people in your market space (which would be a very bad thing).

On the other hand, it’s bad news because with many competitors, prospects tend to see each option as a commodity play, which then drives down your pricing—unless you can differentiate your products and/or services from your competitors in such a way that those same prospects are willing to pay a premium for your business’ solutions (i.e. think most cell phone makers vs. Apple).

So, the question is, how can you differentiate your business in such a way that your prospects will perceive your products and/or services to be more valuable than your competitors and therefore the preferred option in your market space?

This is critical because if you want to scale your company fast, you need to the preferred option in your market space so it’s easy to drive demand while creating the margin necessary to fuel rapid growth.

To help you out on that journey, here are a few ideas to get you started.

I. Add Something To Your Offerings That Your Competitors Don’t (or Can’t)

One of the reasons why I’m such a fan of the subject of competitive advantage is because it’s a truly strategic question. The reason that matters is because strategy isn’t about what you’ve been, strategy is about who you want to be … and who you want to be may have nothing to do with who you’ve been.

In other words, just because you currently don’t offer anything that’s significantly different than your competitors doesn’t mean you have to remain there. You can, at a strategic level, decide to add something that hasn’t been a part of your past offering.

So, what should you add? Well, in order to make that decision you need to know two things well.

  1. What your competitors claim
  2. What your target market prospects urgently want

In other words, you can’t create a competitive advantage sitting alone in your office or talking with other members of your team. You actually have to do some research because you can’t differentiate your products and/or services if you don’t know what your competitors are offering/claiming (i.e. you could be going to market with the same offer/claim they are and not know it).

Likewise, if you don’t know what your ideal prospects urgently want, you could be differentiating on something they really don’t care about, which would technically be a differentiation, just not a competitive one since it won’t drive consumption.

The easiest way to do this is to create a competitive advantage spreadsheet. Write the names of your competitors on the left hand side and then list different categories along the top of each column (like guarantee, delivery, locations, features, etc.). Finally, fill in the columns with what each of your competitors claim on their websites or in their marketing materials.

Once you’re finished with that, you should be able to quickly find where some open space is. Then run that through your grid of urgent wants in your target market until you find something that could differentiate your business that your prospects care about and then figure out how to add that thing.

II. Subtract Something That Virtually Everyone In Your Market Offers

In every market, there are assumptions about how “everyone” should operate. The problem with that approach is that when everyone is operating on the same assumptions, everyone tends to look the same. So, while adding something can differentiate you, subtracting something may be the way for you to differentiate your business as well..

For example, in the banking world, everyone knows you’re supposed to open up a physical branch with tellers, safety deposit boxes and a big vault. However, Ally Bank (and others) have done quite well without any physical branches, tellers, safety deposit boxes and vaults (plus their lower cost basis allows them to do things their competitors can’t).

In fact, I think you’d often find that a lot of truly differentiated companies have done so by subtracting. Another classic example would be Cirque du Soleil. By subtracting three rings for one ring, or by subtracting live animals for costumed animals, etc. they were able to differentiate themselves, while demanding a premium price with a lower cost basis which then created the margin for them to fuel even more growth.

In other words, the future of your company might have more to do with subtraction than addition.

So, take that spreadsheet from above and look at what you and your competitors are offering/claiming then go back through it and ask, “If we subtracted this, would that help drive demand or not?”

You may lose some customers but you just might pick up more. Remember, not everyone wants complexity. Most people just want their solution to work. For example, Basecamp has differentiated itself because it’s not an overinflated complicated project management SaaS product. It’s simple and easy, which means it doesn’t offer everything that everyone thinks you should offer if your offering project management software. However, they’ve done quite well in spite of that. Clearly a lot of people like the simplicity of Basecamp.

III. Speed Your Offer Up

If there’s one thing that virtually everyone wants, it’s more time. If you can offer something faster than your competitors, you can almost always gain a significant competitive advantage. Most of us simply hate waiting. We love speed.

For example, I’ve told the story before about one of my clients, TruPlace (they offer virtual floor plan tours for listing agents and vacation rentals). When we were going through this process several years ago, we discovered that it took, on average 7-10 days from the time a listing agent placed a call until their tour was up online. This was true for all of their competitors. What I knew about their ideal customer (a listing agent) was they wanted to place a call to a vendor and have that tour up “yesterday.”

As we discussed it, it because clear, from a strategic viewpoint, that if we could get a tour done in 24 hours or less, that would be a huge competitive advantage (remember, in strategic thinking, a competitive advantage doesn’t have to be something that’s true of you today, just something you intend to make true of you). Once the decision was made to decrease the cycle time (i.e. increase the speed) from 7-10 days to 24 hours or less, the rest was simply problem solving. No one else was offering this kind of speed in their market space. Even better, no one could easily duplicate it. So, strategically, it was a great decision—and it differentiated them in a crowded market.

Virtually everyone loves a solution that either operates faster (e.g. why do you keep buying new computers) or is delivered faster (think, Amazon two-hour delivery).

So, as you look at your products and/or services, how can you speed up either the process or the delivery? If you can figure that out, you’ll definitely stand out in your crowded market.

IV. Raise Your Prices

In a crowded market space, the natural tendency is to move price downward. This makes complete sense. When you have MaDonalds, Burger King and Wendys all on the same block, it seems “obvious” you should be competitive towards their prices (i.e. play the commodity price game and offer a $1 menu).

However, that’s not your only option because price is more elastic than you think and, in every market, there are plenty of people who will pay a premium price if they perceive they’re getting more value from it.

For example, in the hamburger/cheeseburger world, Five Guys charges $6.89 for a cheeseburger (vs. $1 at McDonalds). Ruby Tuesdays charges $9.89. Cheesecake Factory charges $13.95. A high end restaurant will typically charge around $25 for a cheeseburger. And if you go to the Paris Las Vegas Casino, you can pay a whopping $777 for their glam burger (I know what you’re thinking. What do you get for $777? You get a Kobe beef burger with Maine lobster, imported brie cheese, cartelized onions, crispy pancetta and a bottle of Dom Perignon to wash it down—oh, and the “bragging rights” to tell everyone you know that you once ate a $777 burger when you were in Vegas).

So, don’t always rush to lower your prices. You can often stand out from the rest of your competitors simply by raising your prices (i.e. refuse to play the price wars game). For example, in my market, Jay Abraham, played this card well years ago by claiming to be “the worlds’s most expensive consultant.” That made him standout and he’s done quite well.

Note: just raising prices doesn’t work if people don’t perceive there’s more value for the differentiated price between what everyone is offering and what you’re offering. So, if you raise you prices, make sure you add more value to the price increase or you won’t get the demand increase you desire.

V. Spend More to Attract More

The final way to stand out from your competition in a crowded market is to simply outspend your competitors. In other words, to be omnipresent (i.e. to appear “everywhere.”).

The winner in most markets is rarely the best solution or the best provider, it’s usually the best marketed product and/or service.

Note: spending more money is not a guarantee for growth. There are plenty of companies that no longer exist even though they spent a lot of money on advertising. The problem was their solution. In other words, if what your offering doesn’t deliver exceptional results don’t use this strategy. It will simply bankrupt you.

However, if you do have a great solution that does offer your prospects the result that they want and they prefer your solution over your competitors, then fueling ATTENTION can be a great way to stand out from the crowd. Why? Because most businesses are under-marketed and one of the biggest issues that every company wrestles with in our day and age is … attention.

So, if you want to stand out from the crowd, and you have a great solution, spending more money on advertising so that your ideal prospects can’t avoid but pay attention to you because you’re omnipresent, spending more could be the right way for you to stand out in your target market.

So, as you take a look at your business today, which of these strategies do you think could help you stand out in your crowded market space?

  1. Add something to your offerings that your competitors don’t (or can’t)
  2. Subtract something that virtually everyone in your market offers
  3. Speed your offer up
  4. Raise your prices
  5. Spend more to attract more

Whichever one (or ones) you decide on, make sure you start implementing it (or them) today. Speed really does matter here if you want to dominate your market and build a more scalable business.

To your accelerated success!

Bruce

The Difference Between Positioning and Competitive Advantage (And Why It Matters)

The Difference Between Positioning and Competitive Advantage (And Why It Matters)

Do you ever get frustrated that your company isn’t gaining as much traction as you’d like in your market space?

From your perspective, you’re convinced that you have a better solution than your competitors and yet, it doesn’t seem like your marketplace sees that as clearly as you do.

In fact, the reality may be that your competitor’s products and/or services are “selling like hotcakes” while yours languish in relative obscurity (or are selling significantly less), even though their products/services are inferior to yours.

How can this be? Shouldn’t the better product/service be the preferred solution in your marketplace?

Intellectually this makes sense. In reality, it doesn’t. In general, the better marketed product will beat the better developed product all day long.

So, how can you begin to fight this unfortunate reality? Well, before you start ramping up your ad spend on intentionally marketing your products and/or services to a greater number of people, you’ll want to make sure you understand the difference between positioning and competitive advantage. Why? Because not understanding the difference can significantly impact the results of every one of your marketing efforts.

In other words, if you don’t get this distinction right, you could be wasting a lot of money and hindering your ability to gain more traction and leads in your marketplace.

So, what’s the difference? Well, here’s the difference.

I. Positioning is About Your Relative Place In You Market Space

Whenever you’re answering a question, it’s always helpful to define the terms (it never ceases to amaze me that so many people don’t do this). So, when you hear the word, positioning, what do you hear?

For example, when you hear of a race (let’s say, a NASCAR race) and the announcers are talking about positioning (e.g. car X is in the first position), what are they saying? They’re saying that relative to all of the other cars in this race, the position (i.e. the space) that this car holds is the first one in the first row, closest to the rail.

In other words, positioning isn’t about making a claim concerning the quality of an offer or if that offer is better than any other offer in that market space. Positioning is simply making a statement that this offer stands in this position in this market relative to every other offering.

For example, one of my first clients when I left pastoral ministry was a catering company. When we were working on his initial strategy we realized that there were a lot of catering companies focused on the low end (i.e. the price sensitive/cost cutting end), a few in the middle and a couple on the high end (i.e very gourmet). As we looked at that, we decided to create our own category, “the affordable gourmet” category. In other words, he created a space, relative to his competitors, as just below the gourmet caterers but above the middle priced caterers who were neither great nor bad. That was his position (which then informed all of his marketing efforts).

For example, who wouldn’t want to use the affordable gourmet as their caterer? Part of the power of this positioning choice was that it was a double positive (i.e. those who like affordable, not necessarily cheap, and those who like food that tastes great). He wasn’t going after those for whom money wasn’t an issue, he was going after those who watched their money but were willing to spend a little bit more to get great food that would delight their guests.

Another client who’s gotten this distinction down well was/is an attorney. When we first met, he described himself as a business attorney (i.e. I can do any commercial work for any business). Marketing yourself as a commercial attorney doesn’t move the market toward you since there are a lot of attorneys who do transactional work (like contracts and incorporation papers vs. commercial litigators who sue or defend).

As we wrestled with the work he did well, we focused on what he loved doing (and was good at), M&A work (mergers and acquisitions). This positioned him as something very different than just one of many who did general business legal transaction work. Later on, we refined this a little more as we focused even more closely on the work he really enjoyed doing, which is working on more complicated serial acquisitions work so he’s now positioned as the M&A guy for businesses that want to drive growth through serial acquisitions. That’s his position in the market.

Graphically, the positioning would breakdown like this from attorney > business attorney > transactional attorney > M&A attorney > Buy side M&A attorney for serial acquirers.

Note: this doesn’t mean he can’t do sell-side transactions (he can). Nor does it mean he can’t do incorporation work (he can). Nor does it mean he can’t do financing documents (he can). All positioning does is separate you out from the rest of the players in your market space and say, “this is the relative space we hold compared to the other players in our market.”

That said, this one strategic decision can and should radically impact all of your marketing efforts.

II. Competitive Advantage Is About Why You Vs. Your Competitors

Remember that positioning says nothing about the quality or the efficacy of your offering (i.e. how effective your solution is at solving the problem that ails your prospect).

However, competitive advantages say everything about those issues. Competitive advantages are the reasons why someone should select you and your company over every other option in your market space.

Note: in order to figure out what your competitive advantages are, you must, by definition, know what your competitors are doing/offering. This is a frequent problem for most small businesses. They tend to market something as a competitive advantage without observing the marketing of their competitors—and then they wonder why their marketing doesn’t seem to have much traction?

For example, virtual every bank on the planet markets that their competitive advantage is their customer service (raving fan service, exceptional service, white glove service, etc.). However, when everyone is saying the same thing, no one is saying anything. Whenever I see a bank marketing that their competitive advantage is their customer service I always think, “They clearly haven’t checked their competitors’ marketing lately, have they?”

In the case of my attorney client, when we wrestled with his competitive advantages we came up with the following list.

  1. He’s successfully completed over 300 M&A transactions (i.e. he’s not the typical business attorney who’s done a couple M&A transactions)
  2. Those 300+ transactions are worth over $3.5B worth of transactions (again, he’s not a new kid on the block)
  3. He offers his clients downtown expertise at suburban rates (30% less). Since he worked for years in a downtown D.C. firm, he brings that level of expertise to the table, but at a more affordable rate. On a decent sized deal, that can mean real money. For example, a $150K downtown M&A proposal, would be closer to $100K with him (yet, they’d still the same level of expertise). So, if someone really cares about saving money (in this case, $50K) while getting great expertise, my client would be their guy.

Do you see the difference now between positioning and competitive advantage?

With positioning, you’re simply staking out the ground you want to claim in your market space relative to everyone else. However, with your competitive advantages, you’re making the argument as to why someone should choose to use you and your company over every other option available. The difference is significant. 

More importantly, using both of these to drive your marketing will immediately improve all of your marketing efforts. 

  1. Your positioning will drive your targeting efforts
  2. Your competitive advantages will drive your copy
In other words, using the sample above, if you’ve decided you want to be the M&A guy for serial acquirers in your market, then you’re not going to focus your marketing efforts on just any business owner or CEO in your target market. You’re going to focus on those that want to drive growth through acquisitions (i.e. a much smaller number so you can invest more on fewer people to get better results). Then when you go to write your marketing copy, you’re going to highlight your competitive advantages as to why they should choose to use you so you can convert more of them.
 
That’s why this difference matters. Positioning will help you make sure you’re investing your marketing dollars and time more wisely on the right prospects (i.e. not wasting your money and/or money on people who won’t become customers/clients or who won’t be the right kind of customer/client). Whereas competitive advantages will help you close those right prospects faster.
 
In light of that, I have only two questions left for you before we’re done today.
  1. What position do you want to stake out for your company?
  2. What competitive advantages will help you close more of your ideal customers faster (i.e. what advantages will help more of your ideal prospects choose your company over any of your competitors in your target market faster)?
Once you answer those two questions, all you need to do is go back and use them to shape all of your marketing efforts and copy. Once you do, you’ll understand why this differentiation is so important to understand.
 

To your accelerated success!

Bruce

P.S. My attorney client mentioned above is Aaron Ghais. We recorded a Skype video call a few years ago on How to Prepare your Business for a Big Sale that you might be interested in (note: I did have a little bit more hair back them :-).

 

How to Immediately Improve Your Company Culture

How to Immediately Improve Your Company Culture

If you’ve grown your company past the first few employees, chances are you’ve wrestled with culture issues.

When it was just you and a handful of employees, your culture was you and you controlled it. However, as you’ve added employees, with fewer and fewer of them reporting directly to you, chances are culture has become a huge issue.

So, if you’d like to fix that problem fast so that you don’t have five or 37 different cultures functioning in your business, make sure you watch this week’s video, simply entitled,

How to Immediately Improve Your Company Culture (in five easy steps)

 

Remember, consistency is the key.

To your accelerated success!

Bruce

P.S. If you haven’t subscribed to my new YouTube Channel yet, make sure you do so today.

What To Do When Your Team Is Behind On Their Targets

What To Do When Your Team Is Behind On Their Targets

We’ve all been there. You created a set of targets (e.g. KPIs or key performance indicators) for your team. And halfway through the quarter or halfway through the year you already know (and they probably know, as well), they’re not going to hit their targets. What should you do?

If you’re like most business owners and entrepreneurs chances are you’re going to adjust the target down to something “more reasonable.” For example

  • Sally was supposed to generate $800K in revenue this year, but halfway through the year, she’s only at $200K, so let’s ratchet her goal down to $600K. That will still be a stretch but it’s “more attainable,” than keeping her goal at $800K.
  • MacKenzie was supposed to create 10 new systems for her area this month. We’re at week three and she’s only done two. So, let’s ratchet her goal down to six for this month so she can feel like she’s making progress.
  • Michael was supposed to generate 150 leads this quarter. We’re only three weeks away from the end of our quarter and Micheal is a good guy, but he’s only at 75 leads for the quarter. Let’s adjust his leads number down to 100 for the quarter so he’ll feel like this was a win.

The problem with this kind of process is that it backfires by creating a culture of non-accountability. When you consistently have people missing targets and there’s no consequence to not hitting their targets, even worse that their targets are adjusted downward so that they (the individual) feel good about not meeting their targets, you’re creating a dysfunctional workplace. In essence, you end up getting more people not meeting their targets quarter by quarter (the exact opposite of what you want).

So, what’s the better option? Instead of ratcheting down your targets, use the following strategy.

When it looks like your team is behind on their targets, don’t reduce their target, increase their activity.

That’s the better strategy. You don’t want to create a culture where it’s “okay” to not meet your KPIs, where you can simply carry over from month-to-month or quarter-to-quarter any targets that weren’t hit in a previous period. So, here’s a simple three step strategy to use when someone on your team is behind on their targets.

I. Increase Their Activity

Culture is created by what you enforce, not what you want or what you have written on a wall or in a policy manual. So, when it’s clear that someone isn’t going to hit their metric, don’t make your default, “Let’s reduce their production.” Make your default, “Okay, how are you going to increase your activity so you’ll hit your target?”

Note: you want to engage your employees in the process of increasing their activity, as opposed to simply telling them what to do. For example,

  • “Sally, it’s now July and, as you know, you’re only a quarter of the way to your revenue generation goal. So, how are you going to increase your activity over the next six months to generate that additional $600K?”
  • “I’m not sure I can do that.”
  • “Okay. How about we simply brainstorm together. What could you do? For example, how many leads do you have in your pipeline?”
  • “Not enough.”
  • “Well, to get to get to $600K in six months, how many leads do you think you’ll need?”
  • “Probably 100.”
  • “Alright, so how many calls would you need to make to hit that number? How many would you need to make each week to hit that number? How many are you currently making per week?”
  • “How many meetings would you need to take to hit that target?” “How many per week?” How many are you currently taking per week?
  • “How many networking functions? How many are you currently attending?”
  • “How many people are you asking for referrals every week?” “How many people do you think you need to ask per week to hit your goal?” Etc.
  • “Now, what if you were to increase your activity to the numbers you just told me, do you think you could you hit your $800K target?”

You get the idea. Too often we accept other people’s excuses for why they didn’t get something done that they agreed to get done at the start of the quarter or start of the year. Instead of accepting that as “reality.” Why not create a new reality? If you’re falling behind, increase your activity. Make that the standard, not reducing their targets.

So, who on your team do you need to have a crucial conversation with this week?

II. Reduce Your Reporting Cycle

One of the reasons why so many people get so far behind is because the accountability cycles they’re being held to are too far apart. For example, if someone has to report on their metrics once per quarter, they can get way behind (in their mind, they’re thinking, “I have thirteen weeks to get this done. No pressure to get started right away. I don’t have to give an answer until the end of the quarter”). On the other hand, if they have to give a report once per month, they’ll probably get less far behind because they can’t put off getting started as long as if they have 13 weeks.

Even better, if they have to report back once per week, they’ll probably fall even less far behind than once per month because they can’t push off getting started for a few weeks. And if they have to report back on their activity every day, they’ll probably fall less behind than if they have to report back once per week. It’s just the nature of  the human condition.

This is one of the reasons why, here at BizScalers Club, I’m such a huge fan of daily meetings. If someone (let’s call him, Joe) has to say, day after day, “I didn’t get X done (e.g. I didn’t hit my sales call quota yesterday or I didn’t get that part of the project done that Sally is waiting on, etc.)” there’s a much higher probability that Joe’s behavior will change sooner rather than later vs. if he had four weeks before he had to give account for his actions/production.

There’s no question about it. Daily accountability will get more done faster than just about anything else you can do in your business. So, give daily meetings a shot. And if you’re not willing to try daily yet, at least go to weekly accountability (and then slowly head toward daily).

The math on this is simple. The more you reduce your reporting cycle, the faster you’ll fix any lagging problems.

So, how can you reduce your reporting and accountability cycle this month?

III. Make Accountability Visible

Few things spur activity more than competition and not wanting to be publicly embarrassed. Way too many employees get away with underperformance because “no one knows” what they’re doing (or, more appropriately, what they’re not doing). It’s all a mystery.

On the other hand, what most sales teams have figured out is that a visual representation of their sales activity is a huge motivator for sales revenue. Who wants to be on the bottom? If you’re on the bottom of the sales board, you either work your way up or your way out (i.e. visual accountability helps weed out underperformers). Moreover, it also motivates your best people because a little competition gets them to increase their activity because they want to be in the top spot (or the top quartile).

Now, if visual accountability works for sales people, it can probably work for the rest of your team. For example, here at BizScalers, we’re huge fans of Sprint Boards (i.e. 30 Day Races). An easy way to use your 30-day race for visual accountability then is to give everyone on your team a different colored dot so visually, everyone can see at a glance, who’s responsible for which task.

For example, let’s say, my dot is bright green. If you’re looking at our Sprint Board and notice that a lot of the tasks I’m responsible for are either in the Doing or Done column, you’d probably think, “Bruce gets his stuff done.” If, on the other hand, most of my dots are still in the Hopper or the On Deck columns, you’d probably think, “Bruce, better get his act together. He’s holding the whole team back.”

Even better, if you hold your daily meeting in front of your Sprint Board, everyday there will be some accountability that each person is either getting their stuff done or not. This means that no one can hide (like they do in most businesses). Moreover, if someone is dragging, it’s pretty easy for you to say, “Hey Bruce, it seems like most of your tasks are in the Hopper still and we’re already into week two of this month, what’s up?”

So, what can you do this week to make accountability more visual in your business?

If you ever find your team is falling behind on their targets, pull out this post and remember these three simple principles.

  1. Increase their activity
  2. Reduce your reporting cycle
  3. Make accountability visible

The one thing you don’t want to do is reduce their target. You never want to create a culture where underperformance is rewarded because, in the end, you’ll simply get more underperformance and your employees won’t take their targets/KPIs/projects seriously (remember, what gets rewarded gets done).

So, don’t do it. Hold strong. Stick to your guns. And if, by chance, the metric/KPI/target was wrong, learn from it and fix it for the next quarter or year. Just don’t reduce it for this reporting period. You’ll be glad you didn’t.

To your accelerated success!

Bruce

The Four “Musts” of Scaling Any Business

The Four “Musts” of Scaling Any Business

Have you ever tried to solve a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle without a box top? If you have, then you know it’s pretty difficult.

Why? Because it’s hard to create something when you don’t know exactly what that something you’re supposed to create looks like.

Well, that same problem happens all the time with businesses when it comes to scaling. Most business owners and entrepreneurs know the word, scaling, but they don’t know exactly what it means. 

So, to alleviate that problem and gain absolute clarity on what building a scalable business looks like, watch this week’s video, simply entitled,

The Four Musts of Scaling Any Business


You’ll be glad you did!

To your accelerated success!

Bruce

P.S. If you’d like an image to help you remember the four musts, click on the following link or image for The Two Essential Frameworks to Scaling

 

 

5 Keys to Thinking Bigger About Your Business

5 Keys to Thinking Bigger About Your Business

How big is your dream for your business? And how big is your dream for this year?

When I ask most business owners and entrepreneurs this question, their answers are rarely very big. Typical answers go something like this …

  • I’d like to grow by maybe 10% this year (occasionally I’ll hear 15%)
  • I’d like to add one or two new staff members
  • If we can just hit the same numbers as last year, that would be awesome
  • If we could add ten new clients this year, that would be great

The problem with those statements is that they run smack dab into expectation theory. And what is expectation theory? Expectation theory states that, in general, what we expect is what we get.

It’s one of the inherent problems with goal setting. Not that goal setting is bad, but when you set a target to grow by 10%, you rarely grow by 20% or 50%—even though either of those could be viable options—if your expectations were set for them, but they’re not.

In other words, one of the biggest limiters to scaling any business is the expectation that you, the leader of your business have, as to what is possible for you and your business this year, as well as into the future.

So, if you want to build a more scalable business, one of the first places you’ll want to start is with your expectations of what you and your business are capable of achieving—and how fast you can achieve them. Once you adjust your thinking to thinking on a larger scale, you’ll be amazed at how much more will get done and at a much faster rate.

So, if you want to learn how to think bigger for your business, here are five keys to get you started on that journey.

I. Ask Bigger, More Empowering Questions

If you’ve been reading any of my content for any length of time you know that I frequently say that questions are the key to thinking. The way our brains have been wired is that questions trigger thoughts. So, if you want to think bigger, by definition, you need to ask bigger, more empowering questions.

But what do bigger, more empowering questions look like? Well, here are a few sample questions to get your brain engaged.

  • What if we could grow by 30% (or 50% or 100%) this year? What would that look like?
  • What if we were to expand our geographical footprint outside of our community/city and grow statewide (or regionally or nationally or globally)?
  • What if we were to become the national leader in our market? What would that look like?
  • What if we were to become a $100M company in the next five years. What would that look like?
  • What if we were to 10X our results in the next three years. What would that look like?
  • What if we were to become the most innovative company in our market space over the next three years. What would that look like?
  • What if we were to build 50 company stores over the next few years. What would that look like?

You get the idea. As Tony Robbins says so well.

The quality of your questions determines the quality of your answers.

In other words, ask a small question, get a small answer. Ask a bigger question, get a bigger answer.

So, if you want to scale your business faster, you might want to expand the kinds of questions you’re asking yourself. Ask bigger, more empowering questions and you’ll get bigger, more empowering answers.

II. Surround Yourself With Big Thinkers

There’s an educational theory known as social learning theory. The common phraseology describing this theory states, “You become like those with whom you spend the most time.” This is why most parents ride their kids to pick their friends carefully because we all know, that who we spend time with does influence the person we become.

Realizing this, it just makes sense that as adults, we ought to be just as intentional about choosing those with whom we’re going to spend our time. This principle works on multiple levels. For example,

  • Socially. You have a massive amount of control over with whom you spend your time. Why not decrease the amount of time you spend with small thinkers and intentionally increase the amount of time you spend with people who stimulate your brain and encourage you to dream bigger.
  • Intellectually. You choose what you put into your brain. You can either spend a lot of time reading the news or reading entertainment or reading biographies of successful entrepreneurs and risk takers. Choose wisely.
  • Meetings/Conferences.  When you go to conferences or meetings of seminars, there are always a wide range of people present. You can either spend your time with small thinkers (“Let’s go get smashed”) or with big thinkers (“Let’s go change the world”). It’s your choice.

Every day you choose with whom you’re going to spend your time, either in person or through the mediums of the printed page or the internet (text, video or audio). Why not choose wisely and choose to spend more time interacting with those who will inspire you to think bigger?

III. Expose Yourself to Big Thinking Experiences

As you know, reading is a powerful medium. However, experiencing something firsthand is even more powerful because it invokes even more of your senses. You know this to be true. Reading about a vacation spot and experiencing that vacation spot are two completely different experiences.

So, as you’re thinking about how to think bigger, what kinds of experiences would help you dream bigger? Here are a few ideas to get your brain started on this.

  • Nature. Who isn’t inspired to think bigger when they observe the size and majesty of the ocean or a mountain or a waterfall?
  • Bigger Businesses. It could be a company larger in your industry (let’s say you’re an ad agency so you’d tour a larger ad agency) or it could be a company outside your industry (for example, tour Zappos). Either way, your brain should be fully engaged and motivated by either or both of those experiences.
  • Great Hospitality. Who isn’t inspired eating a gourmet meal in a top tier restaurant or staying in a beautiful hotel or resort?
  • History. Standing in the place where great men and women have walked before, from a battlefield to a castle to a workshop to museum can inspire you to think bigger and to think about the legacy you want to leave behind.

Whichever option (or options) you choose, make sure you use those experiences to fuel your big thinking. Use them to ask bigger questions and you’ll be inspired to think bigger.

IV. Get to Know the Back Story

One of the reasons why so many of us have trouble thinking big is because we look at others who’ve experienced more success than we have and we use that to confirm that we don’t have what it takes to experience that same kind of massive success. Note: I’m not affirming that comparison is a good idea, I’m simply acknowledging that’s what most of us do.

The problem with this (besides playing the comparison game) is that our perceptions of those who are more successful are shaped by PR narratives that don’t tell the full back story. There’s almost always something that isn’t being reported in the press.

For example, back in my old pastoral days, I met with a former pastor at one of the largest churches in the country (now, 20,000+ people per week). When I was asking him about the early days, one of the stories he told me that “no one reports,” is that when the church was only running 300 people per week, a large church down the road split and 500 people from that other church came to his former church one weekend later—which not only more than doubled their attendance, it automatically gave them as massive cash infusion because the people who came were from the wealthiest church in town, which then allowed them to do a lot more faster than they ever could have done apart from that split.

The reason why I believe these kinds of back story factoids are so important to thinking bigger is because they reduce the perceptional difference in our minds between us and them. The success stories you or I hear about or read about in Inc. magazine or on a webinar or at a conference, all make the heroes of these stories sound like “gods” (i.e. small g gods). The reality is almost always far more different. They’re just people like you and me.

What makes this so powerful is that once you know the back story, all of a sudden you’ll start thinking, “Well, if they can do it, I can do it.” Exactly! You’ll stop limiting yourself and start unleashing your potential.

V. Refuse to Be Mired in the Past or Today

To be mired means to be stuck (originally used to describe being stuck in mud). Another one of the reasons why so many business owners and entrepreneurs struggle with thinking big is because their brains are stuck in the past or are overwhelmed by the present.

For those stuck in the past, it’s usually related to some kind of failure in the past.

  • I’ve tried growing fast in the past and it didn’t work
  • I tried launching a new product and it didn’t work
  • I tried opening a second location and it was a miserable failure
  • I’ve hired several sales people and they’ve all failed

For those stuck in the present, it’s usually related to their sense of overwhelm with all that currently needs to be done.

  • I have so much on my plate, I can’t imagine doing any more.
  • Everyone is overworked around here. We don’t have any extra capacity. We’re all tapped out. Why dream of more?
  • I got into this business to create more freedom for myself. I’ve created a prison. Why would I ever want more of this?

Either way, stuck-ness related to the past or the present, is a strong deterrent to thinking big. So, what can you do to turn that around?

Well, one idea is to schedule dreaming time (this fits perfectly with your weekly/monthly planning times). In dreaming time, you mentally turn off that part of your brain that wants to use the past or the present to shut down any growth initiatives and instead you consciously focus on what ifs and the future.

One of the ways I’ve done this over the years when I’ve felt overwhelmed by either the failure of the past or the sense of overwhelm with the present is to play the “Let’s close this down and restart it” game. In essence, I would mentally say, “Okay, I’ve failed. I’m closing this down and restarting it again. Based on what I have left, what can I start with?”

Note: the answer is always far more than what I actually started with. And since this is day 1 (and there is no baggage), “How big can I grow this company based on what I now know and what I have left over to restart with?” I’ve played this game hundreds of times over the past few decades and it always works. It gets me to leave the past behind and focus entirely on the future.

That said, whatever mental game you need to play to get your head out of the past and/or present, play it. Those two realities, the past and present, are really irrelevant to your future success, unless you let them be. So, don’t let them be. Use any positive experiences from the past to fuel your motivation and use any negative experiences to fuel your learning, but never let the past or present keep you mired in them. Use them to propel you and your business onto even greater success.

So, there you have it. Five keys to thinking bigger.

  1. Ask bigger, more empowering questions
  2. Surround yourself with big thinkers
  3. Expose yourself to big thinking experiences
  4. Get to know the back story
  5. Refuse to be mired in the past or today

Trust me, if you use these five ideas on a consistent basis, you’ll start thinking bigger about your business. And once you start thinking bigger about your business, you’ll be amazed at how much faster you’ll scale and how much more impact you and your company will have.

To your accelerated success!

Bruce

How to Hire Fast While Scaling

How to Hire Fast While Scaling

When you’re engaged in scaling your business, you quickly discover that you have to increase the capacity of your business to be able to handle the demand of more customers/clients/members/patients (or whatever nomenclature you use).

And while there are several options for doing this like outsourcing, technology and systematization, eventually you realize you have to hire more people on your team.

But the natural problem you have when you’re scaling your business is … you don’t have a lot of time to devote to hiring—which is very bad news. Why? Because the national average is that most business owners and entrepreneurs only have a 30% success rate in hiring great talent, which, as you know is not a great rate (in school, we call that failing). Even worse, when you’re rushed, the probability for hiring well rarely goes up, it normally goes down.

So, how can you turn that around and increase the probability that you’ll hire great talent while you’re scaling? Well, to discover that, you’ll want to watch this week’s video, simply entitled, How To Hire Fast While Scaling.

 

 

To your accelerated success!

Bruce

How to Create a Manifesto that Rocks for Your Business

How to Create a Manifesto that Rocks for Your Business

When you started your business, did you start it just to make money or did you start it for a bigger purpose (while looking for an opportunity to make some money in the process of fulfilling that purpose)?

My guess is that you chose the latter option (most of us do). In light of the high failure rate of new businesses, along with the amount of time it takes to launch a new business, along with the uncertainty and headaches of leading a business, most business owners and entrepreneurs could actually make more money working for someone else.

Note: depending on which study you’re looking at, the average business owner in America only makes between $50K and $75K/year.

So, when you started your business, why did you start your business? What was its purpose? What problem were you trying to solve? Were you trying to

  • Alleviate someone’s pain
  • Accelerate someone’s performance
  • Enhance someone’s health
  • Improve organizational efficiencies
  • Keep someone out of jail
  • Protect someone’s investments, etc.

What was your purpose?

For example, when I started Wired To Grow and now BizScalers Club, I did so for a number of reasons. One of them was to alleviate pain. Why? Because I remember what it was like back in 1989 when I started my former church (my first full-time company vs. Johnson Driveway Sealing which basically paid for my schooling). I started with two families that moved out from Chicago to a suburb of DC where we had no contacts, no place to meet and no ongoing source of funds. I raised some money but we blew through that in no time.

We were only taking in around $200/week in offerings and it was costing us $350/week just to rent the movie theater. Forget salaries. In fact, in the first twelve months of Seneca Creek’s history, I took home $3,000 for twelve months of eighty hour work weeks. It was total pain. Can you relate? And I’ve never forgotten that pain. As we grew to 100, then 200, then 400 then 800 then 1,000 people per week and beyond, at each juncture, there was a massive amount of pain that I had to endure as the person at the top of the organization that no one else had to deal with or experience to get through to that next level. I’ve never forgotten that pain either.

So when I left pastoral ministry, one of my commitments was to help alleviate some of that pain for other business leaders. During the years I was leading and growing Seneca Creek, I spent a lot of time looking for mentors and other leaders who knew things I didn’t know so I could get through the pain of the next level faster and less painlessly. Part of my mission was and is to alleviate some of that pain for others like you.

In other words, people like you and me, do what we do in a financially beneficial way for a reason beyond just money. While the money is good, it’s the purpose that drives us to make the sacrifices we make.

So, the question I have for you is, how can you communicate that purpose to enough other people so that they’ll drawn to you and your cause—as employees, as customers, as followers, and as fans/referrers?

Well one way to do that is to create a manifesto for your business—a rallying cry for others to join you and to be a part of what you’re attempting to do.

Note: if you’re wondering if a manifesto actually makes a difference you might want to think through some of the manifesto’s you’ve probably heard of—like the Declaration of Independence and The Communist Manifesto. Both of those worked out pretty well. Or more recent versions like the Agile Manifesto or the Mozilla Manifesto. Or how about the Crossfit Manifesto or the Apple Manifesto (Here’s to the crazy one’s …). In other words, yes, manifestos can make a difference.

So, here are five steps to help you create a manifesto that rocks for your business.

I. Connect With Your Why

If you’re going to write a manifesto for your business, you might as well start with you. What are some of the issues that matter to you? What are some of the personality traits of the people you connect with and want to be a part of your cause? Think through the kinds of people who motivate you and inspire you.

What kind of language then would you use to connect to that group of people? For example, when Apple says,

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently,”

Who does that sound like? Steve Jobs. And who does he want to connect with? People like him. I also love the last line of the manifesto, “Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

In my case, when I was writing my manifesto for BizScalers (which you can see at the end of this post), I wanted to connect with my why so I used language like,

  • We are growth-oriented, high-impact business owners and entrepreneurs who refuse to conform to what’s normal, ordinary or acceptable.
Why? Because I’m committed to helping business owners and entrepreneurs who want to grow, not maintain. That’s part of my purpose. I also don’t want to be surrounded by people who are content with ordinary or doing what “everyone” thinks they should be doing.
Likewise, I also wrote,
  • We love hiring people, making them better and paying them well

Why? Because I want to help put people back to work. One of the great joys of starting and leading a growing business is hiring people, and paying them well so that you can help take care of them and their families. You get to put food on their tables, help them buy a house and put their kids through school. You get to play a part in providing them with the resources necessary to go on vacations and plan for retirement, etc. So, I put this line in my manifesto because I only want to attract other business owners and entrepreneurs who want to hire people and take good care of them (vs. solopreneurs or other business leaders who don’t want to hire people).

So, as you think about your manifesto and your why, what language can you use to describe the kind of people you want to attract to your cause and business?

II. Give Your Group a Name

If you’re going to take the time to create a manifesto, why not give your group/community a name. Why? Because there’s great power in a name. For example, when you meet someone who goes to a Crossfit gym, they don’t just think of themselves as normal weekend warriors or people who go to a gym, they think of themselves as “Crossfitters.”

Back in my old pastoral days, I used to call the people of my church, “Creekers” (short for Seneca Creek). I could then say, “Creekers do X, Creekers don’t do Y.” If you have kids, you may do the same thing. In my family, when our kids were growing up I used to say things like, “Listen, you’re a Johnson and Johnson’s do X (for example, Johnsons persevere) and we don’t do Y (for example, Johnsons don’t quit).

In my most recent venture, I searched for a name that would connect with the purpose of this community (to help business owners and entrepreneurs build more scalable businesses) and eventually decided on the name BizScalers. Why? Because that’s what I want every member to do, to scale their current biz and then hopefully do it over and over again. Plus, it’s a term I created so it’s unique to us.

So, as you look at your customers/clients/members/users, what name can you give to your group?

III. Define What They Will and Won’t Do

As I just mentioned with my daughters, part of creating culture is defining both what’s inside the boundary and what’s outside the boundary. That’s how every group knows who’s part of their group.

Listen to the words of the Crossfit Manifesto. Listen to how they define who’s in (and by definition, who’s out). Note: WOD = Workout of the Day.

We go hard. We kill WODs daily. We hit chest to bar. We push plyo. We fight through. We eat paleo. We clean and jerk. We finish strong. We suck less than yesterday. We straight up snatch. We work through exhaustion. We get results. We are determined. We are resolute. We are achievers. We aren’t just fit. We are Crossfit.

As you read those words, you probably got a pretty clear picture of who’s in and who’s out.

In the case of BizScalers, I chose phrases like

  • We are risk-takes and value creators who live to make a difference
  • We are get it done leaders. Excuse making is not in our nature. Taking responsibility is.
  • We never settle or conform. We play all out.
  • We refuse to be bottlenecks.
  • We build businesses that scale—businesses that are designed and built to grow fast, hand that growth well and deliver consistent and predictable results for our customers. Etc.

Clearly, not every business owner and/or entrepreneur fits those criteria so they clearly define who’s in and who’s not (and by extension, what BizScalers do and don’t do).

So, as you look at your community that you want to grow, what words and/or phrases can you use to define who’s in and who’s not?

IV. Make it Aspirational

People want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. They want to know that their life matters and that the time they’re investing in what you’re doing matters as well. So, connect to something aspirational.

When Whole Foods decided it was time to communicate what they were about, they created a campaign to connect with their manifesto. Here’s the end result of their process.

 

When you finish watching that video, you feel inspired because it’s aspirational.

In the case of BizScalers, I chose to use aspirational phrases like

  • We are big thinkers and dreamers who believe that anything we set our minds to we can achieve.
  • We transform ideas into realities and move markets
  • We are BizScalers and we’re here to do it again and again, because our markets, our families, our communities and our nation require us to do so.

I knew my manifesto was right on when the first person I sent this to wrote back a few minutes later saying, “WOW. After reading that, I felt like running through a couple walls and then doing 100 pushups.” Bingo.

So, how can you make your manifesto aspirational? How can you connect what you’re doing to something bigger than any one individually?

V. Get it Designed

This last one is optional but I’m going to encourage you to go the extra mile and make it happen. Google, “Business Manifestos” and then click on the images tab and you’ll see tons of examples. I’m going to give you mine at the end of this post so you can see a good illustration of this idea played out. However, whatever you do, make sure your manifesto is designed in such a way that your target market will want to read it.

In my case, since I work with business owners and entrepreneurs, I wanted something that looked professional. You might want something more artsy or more playful or more Art Deco or more country or more sporty or more …. I also wanted to stay brand consistent in colors so I chose blues because they fit my brand (whereas you might prefer reds or greens or purples or a combination of colors).

There is no one right design option. Just find a few sample manifest designs you like. Find a graphic artist and then have them try to recreate what you’re looking for. If you’re at all like me, you’ll end up going through several iterations.That’s fine. Perfection is overrated. Just get your manifesto to a place where you don’t mind publicly distributing it broadly.

So, there you go. Five keys to creating a business manifesto.

  1. Connect with your why
  2. Give your group a name
  3. Define what they will and won’t do
  4. Make it aspirational
  5. Get it designed.

When you’re done, let me know what you’ve come up with. I’d love to see your result!

To your accelerated success!

Bruce

P.S. Here’s the BizScaler Manifesto I promised I’d show you. Note: If this resonates with you, make sure you join us at www.BizScalers.com

Click here for a 8 1/2″ x 11″ version of the BizScalers Manifesto

The Number One Secret to Scaling Fast

The Number One Secret to Scaling Fast

If you were to pick your number one secret to fast growth, what would your secret be? Would you choose something like

  • Marketing automation
  • Hiring a superstar sales team
  • Systematizing your entire business
  • Finding an outside source of capital to accelerate growth
  • Building a top-notch executive team
  • Developing a consistent and predictable marketing machine
  • Building a well-known brand
  • Engaging in more paid advertising
  • Moving toward recurring revenue
  • Finding an urgent need that wants to be solved
  • Or something else …

For me, I think the number one secret to fast growth should be related to the number one problem that hinders the growth of every single business on the planet … the person at the top of that business (in this case, you).

Now, that’s not meant to be personal. If you’ve heard me talk about this before you know I always say that being the person at the top of a business or organization is always a good news/bad news story. On the good news side, you are the primary driver of your business’ success, but on the bad news side, you are also its primary bottleneck.

It doesn’t matter what size your business is. This is always true. Your business could be $500K, $5M, $50M, $500M or $5B … the reality is it could be larger, except for you.

Why is this always true?

“Because no business or organization can consistently perform at a level beyond the capacity of its senior leader.”

If you current capacity is that you can lead a $2M/year business, that’s where you’ll stay stuck, until you grow your capacity to lead, let’s say a $5M/year company. Because you now know how to lead a $5M/year business, you’ll make the kinds of decisions necessary for your business to grow to $5M and then you’ll get stuck there until you develop the capacity to lead a $6 or $7 or $10M/year business.

This is why every year, businesses that aren’t growing, let their CEOs go. It’s also why, every year, sports teams that aren’t winning, let their head coaches go. Why? Because they know that to get to the next level, they need a leader who’s able to lead to that next level. Someone who has to capacity to function at that level before the rest of the organization.

If this is true (and it is), then it just seems to make sense that the number one secret to scaling any business fast should be solving the capacity problem of the person at the top (i.e. you), who’s the primary bottleneck for growth.

So, what can you do to change you so you can break through your current growth limitations? What can you do to increase your capacity in order that your business can scale faster this year? To help you get there, here are three ideas worth considering.

I. Put Learning Time On Your Calendar Every Day

Rick Warren is the pastor of one of the largest churches in the US, Saddleback Community Church (they average over 26,000 people per week. To put this in perspective, the average NBA game draws a little over 17,000). The church started with him and his wife, Kay. So, how does someone go from a “one man show” to leading a massive church using multiple sites and hundreds of staff? I heard him give the answer back in the early 90’s. He said,

“Years ago I stopped worrying about growing my church and instead focused on growing me. The more I grew me, the more our church grew.”

That’s the key. And it’s true for all great leaders of great companies. As Marshall Goldsmith said in his classic book, entitled, “What Got You Here Won’t Get Your There,” you can’t rely on what you know today to get you to the next level.

Basically, if you had the capacity to lead a larger company, your business would be larger now. But it can’t because you’re still leading the way you led before. You’re still thinking the way you thought before. You’re still working the same way you did before, etc. If you want to get to the next level, you have to grow your capacity to lead at that level.

Think about it. How did you think a college dropout and druggie (Steve Jobs) ended up growing the most profitable company on the planet? It wasn’t because he knew how to lead a multi-billion dollar a year company when he was a 20 year old college dropout. It’s because he committed himself to continuous learning.

The practical way any small business leader can do this is by putting their learning time on their calendar. Years ago, I remember hearing Tom Peters say, “You = Your Calendar.” As soon as he said that I thought, “He’s right.” What’s on your calendar reflects your priorities and what you do most will determine who you’ll become.

In other words, if you want to scale your business, you have to get bigger. And the way you get bigger is by calendarizing your learning. In essence, you have to make a commitment to continual learning—to forcing yourself to change how you think, act and feel so you can move from one set of limitations to the next (just at a higher level).

My top recommendation for doing this is to block out your learning time at the beginning of the week. Look at your calendar every Sunday evening (or first thing on Monday morning) and block in at least ONE HOUR PER DAY for learning (and one hour is a minimum, not a maximum).

You could pick the same time every day (e.g. 10:00 a.m. or 3:00 p.m. or 7:00 p.m. at night at home). Or if your schedule doesn’t allow a consistent time every day, block in at least one hour every day for learning. Plus, feel free to add more time on the weekends.

So, the key question for you right now is, when will you block out your one hour per day for the rest of this week?

Note: If you think this is outrageous standard or practice, here are a few reference points

  • Warren Buffett reads 500 pages per day
  • Mark Cuban reads 3 hours per day
  • Mark Zuckerberg reads 2 books per week
  • Bill Gates reads 50 books per year
  • The typical CEO of a Fortune 500 company reads 4-5 books per month

Looking at that list, it seems like there might be something to this practice of continual learning …

II. Shore Up Your Weaknesses

I know this cuts against the grain of a lot of leadership and management thinking these days but stick with me for a moment. If you want to sell a lot of books or get a lot of views on YouTube or TEDx, tell people what they already want to hear (i.e. run with your strengths). Who would want to argue with that? Do more of the stuff you love and don’t do the stuff you hate. That’s a great recipe for clicks and sales.

However, that is not how winning is done. You can’t just focus on strengths. Why? Because it’s not strengths that normally take businesses and leaders down, it’s weaknesses. For example,

  • The business leader who can sell all day long … but doesn’t understand cash flow
  • The business leader who knows every penny that’s spent … but doesn’t understand how to market well
  • The business leader who loves to cast vision and motivate people … but can’t execute on time and under budget
  • The business leader who knows how to build a great product … but doesn’t understand supply chain management
  • The business leader who can get stuff done … but leaves a trail of relational wreckage everywhere he walks

You see, it’s not strengths that usually hinder growth, it’s weaknesses. The best visual I can come up with for you is a wooden bucket with twelve slats of wood of varying heights in a circle latched together. Let’s say one slat is 6 inches tall and the remainder are at least 8-12 inches tall. What’s the capacity for how high the water can go in that bucket?

Despite the fact that 11 of the 12 slats are at least 8 inches high, the water will come gushing out of that bucket as soon as it reaches 6 inches. Why? Because capacity is limited not by strengths, but by weaknesses.

This is why every year when football teams go to the draft, they don’t say, “Hey, we’ve got a great quarterback and several receivers, let’s draft more of them.”  No, they say, “Since we already have a great quarterback and receiving core, where we’re in trouble is our linebacker and defensive back crew.. Let’s draft some of them.” In other words, they draft to their weaknesses, not to their strengths, because that’s how winning is done.

Winning is done when you run with your strength but you shore up your weaknesses.

The reason I’m focusing this point on shoring up weaknesses is because, by default, most of us will focus on our strengths. That’s a given. If you love leadership, you’re going to study more leadership. If you love marketing, you’re going to study more marketing. If you love finance, you’re going to study more finance … by default.

Which is why I always encourage business owners and entrepreneurs to be intentional about shoring up their weaknesses. Why? Because by nature, most of us will avoid dealing with what we’re not as good at and spend more time doing what we’re naturally good at.

However, as a business owner/entrepreneur, you can’t afford to do that if you want to build a great company. People on your team can be specialists. But as the person at the top of your business, you can’t do that. You have to be good at a lot of things. If you’re not, those things (those weaknesses) will hinder you and your company.

So, what areas do you have to be good at as the person at the top of your company? Well, here at Wired To Grow, we use a scale model to remind us of those areas

In essense, you need to be great at twelve different areas.

  • Strategy
  • Systems
  • Innovation
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Hiring
  • Management
  • Customer Service
  • Operations
  • Leadership
  • You (in terms of your growth and productivity)
  • Cash/money management

As you look at that list (or diagram), what do you think are your biggest weaknesses? And what can you do to shore them up?

Whatever you answers are, make sure that shoring up your weaknesses is a part of your learning plan for this coming year. Personally, I recommend focusing on shoring up one weakness per quarter. This way, by the end of a year, you should make significant progress on shoring up four areas that were weaknesses that now aren’t. When you add that to your natural desire to run with your strengths, you’ll be in a much better position to scale your business to the next level.

Note: please don’t mishear me. I’m not advocating that you focus all your attention on your weaknesses. That would not be a recipe for winning. Winning is done by running with your strengths while shoring up your weaknesses.

III. Join BizScalers

This may sound self-serving, but hang with me for a moment. If it’s true that your business is held back by your capacity and if it’s true that it’s your weaknesses that limit your capacity, then it would seem to make sense that the solution to scaling your business faster would be to find an educational resource that could help you increase your capacity by shoring up your weaknesses, while encouraging you to run with your strengths. If. that is true (and it is), then you should check out the new BizScalers Club

Having coached business owners and entrepreneurs for over a decade now, I’ve noticed some inherent problems with the current options for getting help in solving this capacity problem.

  1. Courses are helpful but they only focus on one sliver of your job (let’s say, leadership or marketing or sales or a subset of one of those, like using LinkedIn to generate sales).
  2. Most courses are usually 6-8 modules long and that’s it. They’re not updated. And there’s no way to interact with the creator or other course takers so if you have a problem six months or three years from now, you’re on your own.
  3. When it comes to coaching, the inherent problem with coaching is that it’s a reactive relationship. Your coach asks you, “What do you want to work on today?” And then you work on that. Few coaches have an intentional program that they’re leading you through to help you get to the next level. It’s reactive, not proactive.
  4. It’s rare to find a business coach who’s really good at all the different hats you have to wear. A sales coach tends to see everything as a sales problem. A leadership coach thinks everything is a leadership problem. A productivity coach thinks everything is a time management problem. A marketing coach thinks everything is a marketing problem. Etc. The problem with this scenario is that your job isn’t one dimensional.
  5. Finally, all of the above tends to get very expensive. Decent courses for business owners and entrepreneurs tend to cost between $997 and $1,997 per course and decent business coaches run between $500 to $2,500 per month (also known as $6,000 to $30,000 per year)

So to solve all of these problems, along with your primary growth problem (i.e. your capacity) and to do so at a very reasonable price point, I decided to create the BizScalers Club, a membership community which solves all of the above and then some. No longer will you have to try to find a new course every time you want to solve a problem or increase your capacity. You’ll just go to the BizScalers Club where you’ll be able to find the answer. I’ve already pre-loaded it with over 50 hours of video content (plus audio versions of that content) and I’m adding more every week.

Now, if you’re wondering, “What do I get if I become a member of BizScalers?” you’re going to love all that you get.

  1. Access to every core course currently available (over 50+ hours at launch). Plus, it’s not modulated so you can access anything and everything all on day one.
  2. A new training course every month with detailed, step-by-step instructions and frameworks
  3. A monthly live Q&A call (along with a vault of past Q&A calls, starting with my beta group) to ask questions, share wins, get material reviewed, etc.
  4. A private member’s only forum (that’s not on Facebook) to ask me and other members questions
  5. A huge vault of documents and templates (over 150 at launch) that you can download and use immediately
  6. Expert interviews on key business owner and entrepreneur topics
  7. Shorts – quick videos in response to member questions that I think everyone can benefit from
  8. Leadership Lessons from the Trenches – weekly inspiration for becoming a better leader
  9. Access to our campaigns and tests so you can learn from them and model them
  10. Accountability quads
  11. Member only discounts to future eventsPlus, you know we have some bonuses …
  12. Bonus #1: The Becoming Scalable Implementation Program (yes, the same one that currently retails for $1,997 comes included with your membership … and yes, that’s an outright bribe to get you to try the BizScalers Club)
  13. Bonus #2: Delegation Mastery
  14. Bonus #3: Personality Type Leadership
  15. Limited Bonus #4: For the next 50 members, I’ll gift two, one-on-one, 30-minute help calls with me.

How cool is that? And all at a very reasonable price point.

So, if you want to scale your business faster this year, why don’t you check out the brand new BizScalers Club and then join me and other business owners and entrepreneurs as we scale our businesses together!

www.BizScalers.com

You will not regret it. I guarantee it.

To your accelerated success!

Bruce

P.S. Remember, the sooner you increase your capacity, the faster your business will scale. So, don’t wait or waste time. Check out the new BizScalers Club right now and then join us today! You literally have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

5 Keys to Scaling Your Business Fast

5 Keys to Scaling Your Business Fast

Did you know that there are businesses that grow by over 250% per year … year after year?

Did you know that one simple tweak to your business model could completely change your business?

Did you know that one simple change in your marketing could completely change the growth trajectory of your business?

Did you know that there’s a lie you’ve been told for years about marketing that’s probably holding you back from scaling your business? And

Did you know that the single biggest hindrance to the growth of your business is completely within your control?

Well, if any of those questions interest you, make sure you register and join me live this Thursday, February 22nd at 12:00 p.m. EST for my new masterclass webinar, simply entitled

5 Keys to Scaling Your Business Fast

You’ll be glad you did!

To your accelerated success!

Bruce

P.S. You know this webinar will be packed with highly actionable and pragmatic ideas. So, why wait?

Register for the webinar now

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