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Newsletter – September 2019

Hi everyone, and welcome to the September edition of our GBC newsletter.

In this edition we will be looking at the following:

  1. When would you like to sell your business?
  2. How to get customers lining up to deal with you.
  3. What do winners do to capitalise on a downturn?

1. When would you like to sell your business?

The fact is that most people go into business to make money and plenty of it, after all they do take all of the risks and therefore obtain the benefits.

Many dream of building up a business and selling it to a larger company or even a competitor. Although this will probably deliver a big cheque and remove the stress from your life, it won’t give you ongoing revenue or expose you to the upside of a business you might have put years into. Most people ignore the fact their business provides them with the cash flow to do all the other things they would like to do. Things like, invest in property, take holidays, shower their family with gifts etc.

Mike O’Hagan, chairman of national removalist firm MiniMovers,  specialist in small local moves, has taken a different approach. He has purposely avoided selling out and has instead retained full control of his business without having to work in it. What an awesome strategy and one we adhere to. You can find out how to do that at our upcoming Global Business Camp event on the Gold Coast.

Mike started Mini Movers with a ute and $200 and it now generates $30 million a year in revenue. He says: “I started the business 24 years ago because I wanted not to work, and to earn lots of money and choose how I spend my time. I saw a fundamental need in the market for a company to offer a small moving service and I found a way to address that need, but I’ve never moved a stick of furniture. From day one I’ve worked on the business not in it”.

People in business constantly grapple with – do I sell my business or do I not sell my business?

In most cases your business can be your largest asset. So do you sell or not? If you do not sell you must make it work so you do not have to.

“I had a clear vision of one day being able to turn up at the AGM, collect my dividend cheque and leave,” explains Mike. “Now compare that to every other small removalist out there. No disrespect but all they have in mind is to have one truck and to make some form of income. Not a great one at that.”

Although he may not have physically lifted boxes, Mike has worked in every other part of the business. As he says: “I started with sales, then systematised the process and got someone else to do it for me. I went to work on to the operational side of the business and did the same thing. Then I did the same thing with marketing and management. The idea is to let the business outgrow your own skills and then hire great people to replace you who know more than you do.”

UK study highlighted:

A fully systemised business is worth up to 86.7% more than an unsystemised one.

According to Mike once the business got to a certain size he found people to put into a board to manage the business and make sure the CEO stays on track. He says: “Initially I put technical experts on the board but that didn’t work; you need people with business experience. What I’ve done in a nutshell is extracted myself from the business by corporatising it. It is hard to let go – but I have someone on the board who can referee when discussions between me and the CEO get a little heated.”

It’s a fascinating approach: instead of selling out to a large firm Mike has managed to continue to grow his business and retain 100 percent control of it, giving him a fabulous income and the freedom to do pretty much whatever he likes.

This is brilliant as we work through all these things over the 3 days at the Global Business Camp (GBC).  If you would like to achieve a similar outcome as Mike then you should seriously consider investing the time and money and come along to the next GBC. Trust me, it will be the best investment you will ever make in your business. 

2. How to get customers lining up to use your services or buy your products

Here is a great example of how to have customers, clients and patients wanting to deal with you. This has been taken to the next level by Stew Leonard’s Dairy in the USA.

Customers love hearing the story behind the business from whom they buy.

Customers want to know the story behind the brand. Stew Leonard’s Dairy in the United States are in the Guinness Book of Records for the highest dollar sales per square metre, so obviously they know what works. Google Videos of Stew Leonard’s Dairy, you will find many short videos how Stew works. It is all about personalising and the relationship. Trust me this works. People buy because of people more than they buy a product or a service. ‘It is a proven fact that – Relationships work’

A great product, relevant message and standout service aside, customers want to see a face to instil trust and transparency in the business. They want to know the people they’re investing their time and hard earned money into, someone who cares and with whom the buck stops.

When you think of Stew’s you think of the people who work there and how they love what they do and sell.

This simple strategy makes you stand out from the competition. Trust me, even the slightest difference makes us stand out from our competitors. Be different and win.

Here are 4 great ways to put a friendly face to your business.

  1. Put your picture on the website

Put a face to your brand, your face. Let people get to know the person behind the business so they empathise with you.

  1. Showcase your team at every opportunity

Don’t stop at getting your face out there, put team members forward too. Businesses today are more reliant on personal relationships than ever, so the more people your brand is associated with the better. Newsletters, blogs, social media, industry events…take team members with you and spread your message. Take every opportunity. Build your business with this as part of your strategy.

  1. Talk to customers

Engage with customers on social media, questionnaires, feedback forms, team advisory boards etc and at every opportunity in the course of business. Again, it’s all about getting them to know you and what you’re about. Nothing makes or breaks a brand like personal experience.

  1. Step outside the business

Don’t limit your ‘face’ to within the business either. Get in the mix with industry groups, chat forums and networking events. It doesn’t have to be a drain on your time, just do what you can accommodate and do it well. Being proactive in the industry outside your business speaks volumes for what goes on within it.

These days you have to advertise approximately 14 times before people will ask for more information, 15 years ago it was only 4 times. Customer engagement has become more challenging. So get out there and put a face behind your brand. It’s one of the cheapest, easiest and most effective points of differentiation available. Just ask the million dollar marketing team at the Fresh Food People.

3 .What do winners do to capitalise on a downturn?

It is important to realise that 80% of the success of a business is the psychology of the leader”.

A Bain & Company study has found that twice as many businesses went from middle of the pack to industry leaders during a recession than during stable economic times. Further, companies such as Dell, Apple, Disney, Fortune, GE, CNN, IBM, Vodafone, Fed Ex etc all started in really bad times. This study highlights that instead of feeling bad or down about the economy, small businesses should instead be embracing this as an opportunity to excel.

Digging further into their findings we identified three stages of a downturn that each drew two very different reactions from businesses. The three stages of a downturn identified were:

  1. Storm clouds brewing – The first signs of trouble.
  2. Battling the elements – Sales slump as things take a turn for the worse.
  3. Clear skies on the horizon – Customers come back.

What separates the companies that strengthen through a downturn is how they react to each stage. First, the losers. According to Bain’s study, companies that respond to each stage intuitively struggle through slow-downs and come out the other side at the back of the pack.

The intuitive response to each stage is as follows.

  1. They express confidence that their industry or sector is safe from the coming turmoil – don’t want to alarm employees, the market or themselves. They diversify the business to hedge their bets.
  2. They start slashing costs, reducing staff numbers, service quality and cut all growth spending.
  3. They’re forced to buy their way back into the good books of customers and employees as business picks up again.

Winners, on the other hand, react counter-intuitively. This approach sees them strengthen their core business through the downturn and opportunistically expand. They react like this.

  1. They objectively analyse what’s coming and share contingency plans with their team. They reinforce the core business and play to their strengths. They plan and act.
  2. Instead of slashing staff and cutting quality, they partner with employees and customers because they’re all in this together. They also look to bolster their core business with bargain acquisitions. The opportunities are out there.
  3. They make a smooth transition into higher levels of growth as customers return. There’s no need to frantically ramp up to meet a rising market because the capacity is already there.

It’s by no means an easy process to weather the storm of a downturn, but by facing it head on and focusing on what you do best your business will be in a much better position to ride it out. Remember these are studied results from real market research.

So if you can, maintain momentum, a long-term view and go against the grain – history says it will see you at the front of the pack when the dust settles.

As Napoleon Hill put it: “Opportunity often comes in disguise in the form of misfortune or temporary defeat”

Awesome advice and something we should all be considering in our businesses. One of the key criteria for businesses that push through tougher time is that they ensure they ‘add value’. More value than their competitors. This will help you dominate an industry.

If you would like to know what winning businesses do, seriously consider investing the time and money and come along to the next GBC. The event has a 100% money back guarantee. 

Find out more and register at https://globalbusinesscamps.com.au/camp-information/. Join us on the 23 – 25 March 2020 Global Business Camp at the Hilton Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast.

Please feel free to pass the GBC newsletters to anyone you feel may get value from it. Also, if you know of anyone that we can help please do not hesitate to refer us to them. We know that “birds of a feather flock together”.

We truly value the relationship we have and we will do all we can to assist you to reach your dreams and goals.

Cheers for now from the Global Business Camps Team