One of the things I love about business is the fact that in many ways, it's the most complex game in the world.
And if you win at this game, you don't just get a badge or get to battle of the boss at the end.
You get financial freedom.
You get to do the work you love.
You get to work with amazing people and all the other things.
But in order to get there, there's a progression. There are different phases.
When I sat down to put together this framework I wanted to share to, it was based on the idea that if we were to take a financial planning firm right to the very most evolved format it possibly could be, you'd arrive at a place where you'd essentially built a "franchise in disguise".
A business that can be picked up, dropped in another state or even a different country and replicate previous successes.
It's ready to have multiple locations. It's usually a business that has a brand and has often built its own systems. They usually have the ability to build their own superstars...
... but to get there, it doesn't happen in one leap.
There are certain phases businesses need to go through.
The most important thing when a business launches is to become VIABLE.
Viable is about revenue, and to have enough of it to cover all costs you need:
- A really good offer
- A strong new client engagement process that converts,
- A good personal network, as that's where most of those early leads will come from,
- To track your pipeline and make sure you know what's going on.
- To follow the opportunity to get to a point where you say: "Whew! Now we got something"
This next switch is key and it's what I call The Profit Phase.
It's where you go from not just having a viable business, but having a STABLE business with sustainable margin.
- Typically at that point, that's when you start to look at your niche focus.
- We've got a basic service model, but how do we foster this retention?
- You really start to embrace outsourcing. Not only because it's very cost-efficient, but also because the quality of people you'll get at that point is going to be higher.
- You want to hire that executive assistant or VA or someone who's going to help you manage the email, manage the diary, just a really basic CRM or workflow, all that sort of stuff.
- It starts you down this path of starting to think about systemization.
If you've reached this point, you will have a business that is profitable BUT you've got a decision to make.
If you've got a lifestyle business that you are really happy with - you're happy to have something that generates you an income, and maybe it'll have a value residual value 0- then you may want to stop there.
If that's your goal, then possibly trying to go through these next phases of growth might not be worth it because the dangerous middle is a place you want to go into and get out as quickly as possible.
Let's assume you make a decision you want to push through. Your next phase in the goal, as you entered the dangerous middle is to focus on systems, because that's what makes your practice GROWABLE.
You do that usually by:
- having a look at your role and what you're going to hand off over time.
- working out how to do that handoff
- building a systems blueprint so you know all the systems you need to build.
- setting up your online operations manual
- implementing your shared inbox and starting to template communications
- working out how to batch your time
- developing an onboarding process for staff members
- doubling down on your marketing.
If you get the basics in place, you're ready to bring in your team so you have a team that is LEADABLE, which is about
- putting in place the operating system.
- managing workflow the right way and not how most businesses do.
- bringing in visual tools to create consistency in the way you talk about your proposition, what you do, your process, your service offer.
- nailing hiring and onboarding so you're getting the right people you're not making costly mistakes.
- committing to regular planning, mentoring and training as a team.
If you do this really well, you hit a breakthrough we call it the hands-off mode where your practice becomes RELIABLE.
You notice growth accelerating despite the fact you're actually stepping back as a leader, involved in less, doing less. The business is on a upward curve.
- Metrics become really important.
- You start to specialise in certain roles, a marketing manager or a training manager.
- You start to look at recruitment as being a longer-term play.
- You're investing in people at a level.
Soon enough, as your growth is accelerating even further, it becomes about SCALABILITY and brand and IP become your next focus.
- You can build your own technology.
- Compliance automation starts to become real.
- You are perfectly placed to buy other businesses and transfer your systems and processes across to improve them.
If you get that far and you get there, you're in the top 1% of businesses.
So what's the point of sharing this?
There are two really important things that this helps me as a coach and will hopefully help you.
The first thing to do is identify where you're at, work out what to focus on to get from where you are now to your next phase of growth.
The second is that it's important to look back, to ask yourself the question about whether you have the elements in place from earlier phases in order to continue your journey. I've seen businesses progress along their journey missing one or two key elements and sooner or later it holds them back ike a parachute dragging in the sea
Hopefully, the Journey to Leveraged has helped you to get some clarity on your own journey.
In my coaching, I've found it gives us the ability to understand:
- where you are now and where you're headed.
- the things to focus on in order to make the leap to the next level, and
- what may have been missed or skipped that we may want to make a note to revisit.
PS. If you'd like to work through a Journey To Leverage session with me, to identify all of those things we mentioned above and work together to identify how to approach your most important next step, fill in this quick form and I'll come right back to you.