But I Don’t Wanna! Growth is MORE than What YOU Would Do.

But I Don’t Wanna!
Growth is MORE than What YOU Would Do.
By Talmar Anderson

When considering what is best for your business, are you careful to only accept projects or opportunities that YOU would like to complete? Of course! We all want to work with clients we like. And we want to only work on projects we enjoy (after all, this is not about changing your foundational income source.). As a solopreneur this is especially true as it is likely that you will be working long hours doing those very things to deliver on your own. However, if your business has (or is building) a team, how well does turning down diversification or expansion opportunities serve your company? Because a growing company is the one that builds a team AND acknowledges that other staff may enjoy the VERY thing you would rather not even consider.

If you have built a strong staff, remember that their challenge and enjoyment from work may be based upon stimuli and environments that you would rather kick a puppy than deal with in your own work. As a business owner and manager, recognizing when opportunity for revenue growth meets with skill, preference and happy factors for your staff usually requires you to take your own personal preferences out of it.

I hear you. This could create chaos too. But that is why you get paid the big bucks! You must decide which opportunities and new offerings can be sustained outside the specific staff member you have right now. Will you be able to attract that skill set again? Does it enhance your team to have a member with the specific skill, preference, happy factors as this opportunity will present? It is important to give serious consideration here. If your clients and market are asking for it, they will look for it somewhere else. The risk is that the somewhere else may be a competitor that offers the additional service or product.

What are you limiting in your business when you assume everyone wants / thinks /does what you do? The possibilities of working not just from your own preferences is probably not entirely new to you. I find that most new business owners went through this when they learned to market the way the target audience preferred as opposed to how YOU liked to see marketing. Two different perspectives! You learned that it’s not about how you like to be marketed to but about how your target audience likes to receive their marketing!

I challenge you to be open to possibilities in structuring and growing your business outside of what would be comfortable for you. Your business likely has needs that you are not acting upon because of your perspective or past bad experiences. Your experiences may suggest it would be unpleasant.

Talmar’s Truth: The world is big, and you can attract someone that is different than you. Someone that will ENJOY what you do not enjoy enhancing your business’ success.

That is how a successful company can expand and scale. Growth doesn’t just mean more of the same. It can mean different types of projects, expanded locations, new products or complimentary services. These can all be considered with a new eye if the only thing holding you back is that YOU wouldn’t want to do it.

Structure the position and write the job description to be responsible and accountable for the piece. Understand how you can manage and evaluate performance for the new deliverable even if you never want top do it. If not currently a staff member then the next step is to write the employment ad to attract, with full transparency of the piece that would not be attractive to you, or people like you. Maybe even write a line that would rule you out if applying

  • “Road warriors need not apply.’
  • “This is not the same cubicle everyday type of position.”
  • “Boredom is not an issue in this fast moving, multi-tasking role. (Not for the person who loves to complete one project before moving onto the next!!)”

If we can attract staff with different skills, experiences and diverse definitions of an enjoyable position…well, NOW you are growing a team that can easily take on all kinds of challenges AND opportunities coming into your business. This is an integral part of scaling a business on purpose!

Now GO! Grow!

If you are looking for the answers to building YOUR dream team, Talmar It Up would love to work with you! Reach out NOW to TAnderson@TalmarItUp.com.

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Train? Yes. Teach? Not If You Are a Small Business In Growth!

Train? Yes. Teach? Not if you are a small business in growth!
Know the difference to hire for success.

By Talmar Anderson

When you know it is time for your business to hire, please ensure you are hiring the absolute best person to solve the issue that drives this need.  Do you need more people on phones? Find the best person with a track record for excellent customer service.  Need someone to help organize and coordinate the pieces of your clients’ deliverables?  Hire a project manager that has supervised people and deadlines in the past. DO NOT hire an intern that you can “train” to do it because “it is easy.” you say.

***sigh***

Let’s take this apart shall we.

“It’s easy.”

Consider that it is easy for YOU because you are experienced. Because you are driven to complete these tasks to get to the other needs of YOUR company.  Because you have been doing it for a while. And yes, because you are brilliant. You are a business owner and this requires a certain amount of smarts and initiative.  MOST employees will not possess both from day one. Easy is relative, my friend. And in this example, it is relative to experience. Many people consider skiing easy and you should probably know now…I am a professional bar stool ski-bunny.

“Hire an Intern’

When I hear this, I hear that you want to pay a low amount and do not feel you can pay the correct person for your company the value they deserve for their expertise or skillset. But, and I believe you know this deep in your heart of hearts, this costs your business money!  Interns are TEMPORARY help that are specifically there to LEARN! An intern is not about building, protecting or delivering for your clients and company.

An intern is there to gain experience for themselves.  They need to be consistently supervised, constantly redirected, given teaching moments to understand why or how to complete ALL tasks. If your company is in the space of allowing time to TEACH then you are probably not at a hiring trigger moment.  You are in a place where your company can design a “give back’ initiative program to cultivate future professionals and foster potential employment candidates for the future.  But they will want to be paid an accurate rate when they graduate! 

Oh ya, and now that they know how to do what you want them to do, it is time to start the entire hiring and teaching process all over because their internship ends.

“I can train them”.

This is the last piece to this heartbreaking comment that I hear far too frequently from small business that need to hire for growth.

Yes.  New employees need to be trained.  A new employee needs to learn the nuances of what makes your firm YOUR firm. They need to learn cultural norms like when lunch breaks occur and how an irate client is handled. They need to learn where the coffee is and how to answer the telephones.  Onboarding and training can create an instant bond, ease a fit into a new team and build employee confidence.

Please note, I did not write how to answer A phone. If you are explaining why, what, where and when to someone then you likely are TEACHING them. If your company is in a true need for a hire then teaching is not a benefit to your firm.  Hiring a person that you must teach most or all of the process and systems defeats the purpose of HIRING! New hires are to allow a business to become more efficient and lessen workloads of current staff / self.

Don’t get me wrong, an experienced project manager may not know the project management system your company uses but they MUST understand what a project management system is for and have experience using one successfully somewhere else.

Your marketing coordinator may not have used your exact email automation software but they must have experience in email campaigns and AN email automation system of some kind.

Otherwise your inexpensive new hire is costing their hourly rate AND yours!  That is not growth.  That is not looking out for the best interests of your company.

When the decision to hire finally comes to a head, most business owners go straight to consideration of the budget. I recommend considering first what we need, how that will benefit our company, how will it fit (who supervises) and what is the industry paying for these needs. In small business, bringing on those entry level (and thus lower dollar) hires create more chaos than in large corporations.

Large corporations have human resources departments. They have video tutorials for getting new staff up to speed on systems.  They have onboarding training programs that move employees from department to department and therefore only demands a little bit of a lot of people’s time…as opposed to the small business reality of defaulting responsibilities! (Who has time?  Could you show…..?)

Hiring requires a training period.  I swear by this for creating your dream team. However, to really find the team that will be with you on the path to success, they should bring the education and experience that enhances your company. You have decided to hire because your company has a need. Is that need really to spend time outside of the company’s current demands?

Hire to enhance and build your team. Teach after you have established your firm’s success. Recognize that these are not interchangeable processes.

Now GO! Grow!

If you are looking to set up Hiring Triggers, a new business or join The Influence Circle Mastermind, Talmar It Up would love to work with you! Reach out NOW to TAnderson@TalmarItUp.com.

Why Fight it? 4 Steps to Get Your Business Owner Mind Right!

Why Fight it? 4 Steps to Get Your Business Owner Mind Right!
By Talmar Anderson

What do you loooove to do? I mean makes you get geeked-out nerdy excited about details others would glaze over and check Facebook when discussed? Have you built a business doing that yet? Why not? Let’s discuss a couple of things if this is on your periphery.

First, nope. No, you do NOT have to be a business owner just because you are good at something.  There are risks and stress that employee based careers do not have to deal with on a regular basis. Even if you can fix a car’s engine block just by looking at  it or your bacon honey cupcakes are the world’s best. You DO NOT HAVE TO DO THIS. Even if you best friend, neighbor and your mother’s boss LOVES what you do.  Truthfully that does not mean they will pay for it!

However, if you are thinking that running your own business could set you up to have control of how you live, earn money and work in your life, then what is holding you back? Honestly, what you need to know to build and grow a business can be learned.  There are ways to mitigate risks and protect you and your family.

Are you hesitating because you see others struggling?  Those folks may be saying how busy or overwhelmed they feel.  They feel like they are not making the money they want and seem to have no joy in what they are doing. Blurg!  THAT does not seem attractive. What could you do differently to find success if you launch your company?

Here are 4 universal truths on how people sabotage the success of the business which I have observed. Male or female.  Experienced or newby. Service or products.  Today I am going to have you embrace these 4 before you even start! These are “MUSTS”, not optional, for business owners of successfully profitable companies.

  1. You MUST come to terms for charging a business fee for something you love and may even be…easy for you!
    • Pricing must be set up to reflect industry standards, combined with market demand (Are you a specialist with few competitors? FEES should be higher!) AND with consideration of a budget that covers the expenses to run your company. Because your talent or genius comes naturally or easily to you does NOT mean it has no value! Easy is GOOD!
  1. Pricing MUST be based on the VALUE TO YOUR MARKET!
    • You would not buy this service or product so you cannot assess how much you would personally choose to pay. YOU are not your target market. And before you let your neighbor, mother or Significant Other weigh in, be sure that they are in the demographics of your ideal market. Sample the people that actually would BUY and be sure to sell what THEY WANT.
  1. Start planning your hires NOW with Hiring Triggers!
    • If you are planning to be a business owner to have more freedom, you MUST build a company that is larger than just you and your singular efforts. Set out an organizational structure with the roles you will need in your company and the order that you would ideally like to have them come on. I suggest that you add vendors to this structure. Then assign milestones that will trigger the hiring. This helps beat the emotions and stress that come with uncertainty. Is this the right time to hire? How will this affect the cash flow? You can rest assured that it is part of your plan and keep moving forward.
  1. You MUST be comfortable selling your solution. Yep, YOU!
    • Yes, we can hire a business development employee eventually but you will be educating people on the solution your company provides AND asking for the business for the life of your company. That is what sales is about in reality! Inform a prospect, build the value and ask for the business. This is a MUST. No sales = no business. It does not have to be forced or icky. There are training, coaches and other places to help you improve and excel at this but you should prioritize this piece!

You thought I was going to say business plan, right?  Well I hope that was already part of your “to do” list.

If you are hearing the call of a new business, I say run to it. I do believe that we can build a business model and company that will let you succeed, have fun and earn the money that lets you live the life you dream about IF you can walk into these 4 steps and deal with them head on.  The sooner you do this in the business building process the sooner you get to do what you love every day! Why fight it?

Now GO! Grow!

If you are looking to set up Hiring Triggers, a new business or work on any of these steps, Talmar It Up would love to work with you! Reach out NOW to TAnderson@TalmarItUp.com.

Create Your Own Renewable Energy Source!

Create Your Own Source of Renewable Energy!
By Talmar Anderson
Talmar It Up, LLC

People ask me how I get my high energy and positive attitude all the time. I genuinely LOVE what I do. Creating the workflows, organizational structures and developing the “How” of any business is my happy factor.

My joy comes from helping people understand how their own business works, what options they have and how much control they actually do have over what can be done. This allows those people to go on and be profitable after me! Letting myself get excited for them, with them, even about them if they can’t see it yet is how I stay energized. What I do feeds my own personal energy bank.

Stepping into what makes me happy absolutely has led to my successes. I get excited to learn about different business and you can physically see the wheels turning in my brain while I jump out of my skin to give you insight and ideas on how to resolve issues or challenges in your company’s growth. Being in that moment of my personal joy is infectious. People talk about how they enjoy working with my company not just because of the results but because they can feel the genuine excitement for the possibilities in their future. This makes THEM excited.

Then they tell referrals that they know someone that can both offer solutions AND help connect them to the excitement of their own company growing. So I get to start all over with a new business client creating more process and developing organizational structures that can deliver on more dreams and happiness. And I don’t hide my joy.

That might be the secret. I literally mock myself because I KNOW most business owners don’t clap their hands with excitement about reviewing data on task completion times or metrics on referral sources. I get the humor and am in on my own nerd loving joke. I DO love the numbers (the Power is in the numbers my friends!).

Have you ever been with someone that is so excited by what they are talking about they make you care? From car mechanics to atttorneys, find a person that loves what they do and you will listen intently to details on how engine pistons work or why we should negotiate for the extra space. We listen because we want that energy and engagement for ourselves!

Reality check. My energy and positive attitude is NOT “on” all the time. Ask my loving (and mercifully patient) family! However, I find that making the choice to purposefully tap into the happy factor of why I do, what I do propels me into more situations where I can do MORE of what I do…do you follow my meaning?

What makes you happy? This is SELDOM something that will suck your energy dry or leave you feeling unfulfilled. If you are a business owner, you have every reason to tie your role around the actions that make you happy. This will energize you and allow you to continue to lead a team and grow a client base that wants to tap into your joy. Then you will have your own source of renewable energy!

I’d love to know what you personally get energized doing within your own business. Let me know!

Strategic Growth Starts with the Action of Hiring

Strategic Growth Starts with the Action of Hiring
By Talmar Anderson

Why DO you run off incessantly about hiring Talmar when we know you are a strategic business co-creator? Hiring is just a piece, right?” I talk about, write about and promote hiring strategies, process and best practices non-stop.

I do this because I watch you struggle. I watch you create your own chaos. I watch as you settle for good enough. Worse…I watch as you set yourself up for frustration, heartache and continued financial expense! 100% of successful business strategies include finding the right team. Please, let’s find a way to build a process and system that you can get behind and commit to spending time upon because it IS the singular piece that will ensure you love your business for a long, long time.

But first, we need to set reasonable hiring expectations with YOU by way of some Talmar’s Truths…

  • ​No. We will not find you a number 2 that will stay with you for the next 15 years.
  • ​No. We will not combine 3 part time needs into one full time underachiever with little to no chance of success in all, much less 2 different skill sets.
  • ​No. People do not leave a company for more money but they will choose to start with your company over money!
  • ​Yes! You must call all of those reference checks. (More on that in the next blog!)

“What if “they” do it wrong? What if they leave after I spend 3 months and money training “them”? What if “they” can’t do it as well as me? What if “they” take too much of my time asking questions and interrupting my work?”

I get that the human resource side represents all that we business owners fear…lack of control!

One more Talmar’s Truth. It is gonna happen. Staff and employees demonstrate a myriad of human complications. Planning to build and grow a sustaining and scaling business? Your company is sure to experience these situations. There are ways to manage each possibility but we ARE working with humans and these are the realities.

So let’s plan for people.

  • Let’s hire the best for each specific role within our company. We need to take the time and follow our internal hiring process. Not missing a step will help us weed out the good enough for the “Wow. What did we do before them?’ team.
  • Let’s plan to clearly lay out expectations for peak performance through documentation and communication. Draft operations manuals, employment advertisements, job descriptions, and 1-1 management schedules that build and protect our teams.
    • Ohhhh….You thought all those documents were to protect the company? Silly rabbits, those documents are to define how a staff member can be successful in your organization!
  • Let’s start recruiting as a part of a proactive plan based on your strategy. You need to know what HIRING TRIGGERSto watch for and take the stress out of the “when” question.

Make time to find the person before your company is drowning! Too often we put off this piece. It is the piece that we try to create short cuts around. The piece that gets pushed so far to the bottom of our to do pile that by the time we have a “MUST” driving our actions we take what we can get …***Sad trombone***. You deserve better and so does your company!

When you dream about your ideal company…did you really hire the first person that lived close enough and showered that day?

The right team gets “it”. They find satisfaction delivering on their responsibilities that rivals your satisfaction. They get excited for a new client because they are enjoying their work and feel supported by the company. They come to work knowing what needs to be done and offering possible improvements. Being surrounded by THESE kinds of people are what make rapid growth, impactful innovation and financial success a reality. Why would you hurry through or try to “fit in” the discovery and on boarding of the people with whom you will be spending your best days? This IS your dream team!

Now GO! Grow!

Talmar

P.S. Ready to create a change for you AND your company?  Check out this Free 5 part video series because it is time to Get Your SH*FT Together!

Structure IS Success.

Structure IS Success.
By Talmar Anderson

I know your eyes cross when I talk about developing processes with your own company.  When I say “Structure” your organization, you say “it is on my list”.  People! (Imagine me with a bullhorn standing on a desk like a small biz Norma Rae) Please understand, and I want you to lean in to get this, right her and right now, you need to know that building the structure of your organization is REQUIRED for success. You are shooting yourself, your clients, your reputation AND your staff in the foot by NOT prioritizing the time required to create an organizational structure for your business. It does not matter how small or how big your business is at this moment.

Do not get me wrong, if you have read my articles or know anything about Talmar it Up, you know that I 100% believe we can build a business model that is specific to you and your vision. You want less bureaucracy and that is why you started your company. IT CAN BE DONE and your business does not have to look exactly like everyone else’s business model. You will get to have the business life that you want once you have built an organization that is supported and functioning around that dream role.

Have you laid out the foundation for building to success? There are tools that successful companies use within a system specific to their industry that creates a repeatable process. Organizational Structure.

You don’t have time?

Well, then, I am glad you and Richard Branson have competing bank account balances. NOT THAT RICHARD BRANSON would do anything other than invest time, money and energy to ensure that his company has what it needs for success.  In fact, your company and his companies need the same thing…people.

  • You need people that want to work for your company.
  • You need people that understand what their role and responsibilities are within the company.
  • You need people to be able to deliver for clients consistently and in line with brand expectations.
  • You need people to feel that they receive the product or service they expected.
  • You need people to feel valued for their continued patronage and feedback for improvements.

And that is not all of it but it is a great starter list.  People will need to be engaged, valued, instructed, managed, communicated on how to perform successfully- employees and clients. Those people will be your star employees, your most loyal clients and your most avid supporter OR they will go somewhere else and your company will suffer and your business will become more demanding of your time, energy and money!

How do you build an organizational structure? One process at a time. Here are examples of some operational processes that could be used as tools for a profitable and growing company.

  • You need people that want to work for your company.
    • Tools Include:
      • Accessibility and empowerment programs
      • 1-1 meetings with Supervisors
      • A conflict resolution process
  • You need people that understand what their role and responsibilities are within the company.
    • Tools Include:
      • Job Descriptions
      • Project Accountability assignment
      • Staff management
  • You need people to be able to deliver for clients consistently and in line with brand expectations.
    • Tools Include:
      • Quality assurance process for the branding
      • Onboarding and job training
      • Documented repeatable process
      • Performance reviews
  • You need people to feel that they receive the product or service they expected.
    • Tools Include:
      • Sales communications setting the correct expectation
      • Contracts to engage and fulfill successfully
  • You need people to feel valued for their continued patronage and feedback for improvements.
    • Tools Include:
      • Customer engagement
      • Pre- and Post- deliverable feedback requests

You are already on the way to that growth. You have clients, staff coming on board and money coming in. The decision to look at your organization and regularly prioritize what YOUR business needs is the REAL shift to success. Now GO! Grow!

More questions? Are you on the Talmar It Up mailing list yet? Join now to be sure to directly receive insights, clarity and business operation answers. Or check it out in the latest blog post HERE.

Scalability. Nothing More but Nothing Less.

Scalability: Nothing More but Nothing Less.

By Talmar Anderson

Scaling a business.  Have you heard this phrase before?  Did you know that the process of scaling a business does NOT have to do with just growing your sales? Certainly, growing sales are a sign of a company that is scaling up, however, the process of a successfully growing company is one that planned for successI know, crazy, right?  We spend so much time worrying and figuring out how we will make it.  We project minimums needed to break even. We start from a place of trying to at least not lose our investments in our company. And sure enough, one of the things that can sink a company is when it all goes right!

This is one of my favorite pieces of planning and strategy. I LOVE it!  This is when we get to plan for everything working out as we intended. We start from imagining that our new marketing push and sales process are all hitting YES! Will we have enough people/ product/ time / resources to deliver on our dream goal of $1,000,000.00 in revenue? Our full strategic plan will seek to understanding what is working and how it is working throughout the whole company and each of its departments so that we can replicate the good. There are a lot of moving pieces to this growth plan for scaling but I want us to focus on one piece.

Today we are going to talk about the easiest piece to effect profitability in a positive way when scaling growth and creating strategic plans. Create an organizational structure that will profitably allow hiring to execute on delivering and maintaining your quality of deliverables. Huh? In other words, we need to make sure we hire the correct skill level for each task that is required to deliver for your customers. Nothing more but nothing less.

Here is the secret.  Assign work flows to the level of expert required for high quality of results. Moving away from client based staff assignments or project based workflows can seriously take your profitability to a new level. We need to look at “how” the sausage is made!

While reviewing your services and products, understand that strategy, highly technical work or out of the ordinary troubleshooting requires an experienced or specialized staff member.  These areas can be tracked to usually show a limited need.

Regular workflow and customer service can then be assigned to the 3 junior team members.  The decision to have a focused specialist dealing specifically with the troubleshooting may require a company to hire only 1 senior team member.  While more expensive for this piece, we can focus their workflow on the limited need of difficult and experience requiring work. Now we are paying high wages to one employee instead of high wages to four of them “in case” the project or client has a sophisticated need.

Consider this perspective to further convince you that your workflows need to be defined and measured. The expert level required for filing papers is not nothing.  They need to know how to alphabetize, how to stay engaged and pay attention with focus, as well as the patience to take the time to get pages in the folders neatly to allow for ease of accessibility.

Let this junior level position be handled efficiently and professionally by a person that can value these skill sets. This junior level position will cost the company less because the experience and education to gain this skill set is less intensive.  You are no longer paying expert level wages to have your client files organized, accessible and current.

Giving this filing work to a senior level person with advanced or specialized experience can often create a scenario that can cause further complications beyond overpaying for filing services. An expert can be unfocused when not applying their most current expertise and education.  Specialists will be looking over their shoulder toward the next challenge and, distracted, they likely are unable to alphabetize correctly on a consistent and reliable basis.  It is NOT their priority.

In fact, if you look at their job description, I am sure you will not even see “filing” on the list.  It falls under the “and other responsibilities as assigned”.  Meaning it was NOT enough of a priority for you to list it for this position and therefore not enough of a priority for the employee to value the time and focus to file correctly.

File correctly you say?  Yes. Front to back. Ease of reading (no backward pages). Chronological for each section. What about proper file tags? Are the folders large enough?  I highly doubt your senior level expert who has a juicy case on their desk is willing to stop and give the proper focus.

And THAT is where the snow ball starts.  Not assigning the right details correctly allows for the little things to pile up or be mistreated.  This creates stress and potential for mistakes (missing a client communication document that was filed under the wrong year) and can start headaches for you, your clients and your company’s reputation!

It is in the details that great customer service and rock star deliverables are created.  If you are in a growth period and have yet to sit down and organize your company into the roles required for growth AND the skill sets required to complete the different pieces, I’d love to chat with you. I want it all to go right AND I want your company to have smooth sailing into successful growth!