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Business Intelligence
Show Notes

Business Intelligence Using KPIs (p246)

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Starting the conversation:

What business intelligence do you use to determine if you are using the right KPIs to achieve your growth goals?

Host: Jess Dewell
Guests: Casey Carroll, David Tash, Edwin Williams

What You Will Hear:

Take as much time as needed to ask the right question.

What a KPI, key performance indicator, is.

The metrics you need must align to the bigger strategy to align action to your priorities.

Know the ins-and-outs of your sales process.

Challenge your assumptions.

Stay focused, refocus, use tools too.

How much ambition is built into your goals, and are you ready to do whatever it takes?

Be open to change the question.

Remove blinders, fail forward, and embrace change.

Take responsibility to grow.

The truth can be scary, yet to be better we must face it.

Large pivots may be the hardest thing we ever face.

Work from your principles of business.

Tips to do the work.

It’s BOLD to ask the right questions, reflect regularly, and practice clarity.

Notable and Quotable:

Casey Carroll - p246 - Business Intelligence
David Tash - p246 - KPIs
Edwin Wiliams - p246 - KPIs
Jess Dewell - p246 - KPIs

Transcript

ANNOUNCER

Welcome, this is the BOLD Business podcast. We want to thank our listener supporters who keep this podcast ad-free. Find out more at RedDirection.com/listenersupported. Your business has many directions that can travel. The one true direction of your company creates the journey for you to move toward a new exciting level. We call this the red direction. In today’s program, we delve into one idea. This idea is for you to apply to the opportunities and challenges you face. The idea will support you as you work on ever present situations, including how to stay competitive in a changing market how to break through the business plateau, and how to anticipate the changing expectations of your stakeholders. This podcast will provoke ideas and will give you insights to be inspired. Jess Dewell is your guide, Jess brings you a 20-year track record of Business Excellence, where strategy and operations overlap. Your path comes from consistently working from this special place your unique true north. Now, here’s Jess.

Jess Dewell
I’m excited to share this information with you today. We’re talking about this concept of key performance indicators. And when we’re talking about key performance indicators, we’re thinking about things like asking the right questions, being able to reflect regularly and I strongly recommend the present retreat, as well as the ability to practice clarity because when you are tested if you’re not being tested right now, clarity will help navigate those tough situations. That’s right. We’re talking about the business intelligence and how to use it that we can collect from certain processes. And, by setting up specific measurements, those key performance indicators that can help us not only do our best right now, but also prepare for the future, and sometimes even just navigate through a messy, mucky mess. Appearing on this program is Casey Carroll, Edwin Williams, and David Tash. All three discussed this concept of metrics goal achievement and how it ties to their bigger strategy. And what we really have to think about is what we’ve learned and when we have to pivot. Because that’s the first thing. The first thing is ensuring that we don’t pivot too much, but that we also make change, preferably smaller adjustments to avoid bigger adjustments along the way. Edwin Williams has been on the program before he joined me as a technology startup founder and shared his plans his dreams with us in a past program. I strongly recommend that you look it up, we laughed a lot, and we had a really good time discussing what it meant to found a technology business. today. His company has taken a pivot, he is now founder of iteration 2.0 Zen Hammer. It’s a SasS platform for residential construction. And he co founded founders forge in Tennessee to help entrepreneurs find the resources they need to grow successfully in business. We’re going to jump right in and start talking about the most important thing. What is the right question?

Edwin Williams
One of the biggest things we learned from that was asking the question question asked the question and get the answer that you want, not necessarily that you want, you’ll get the answer that’s correct for the question you asked, but it may not be the correct question for what you’re trying to accomplish or what the market needs accomplish. And so you end up building a product or service that under other market conditions would work, but what’s going on is incorrect. So we learned by asking different questions, we came up with a totally different product in the same space but address the immediate needs of the contractors.

Jess Dewell
Ah, asking different questions. The thing that we must recognize are the market conditions with which we are working. And that concept of knowing what the market conditions are, may shift what metrics and KPIs specific to your business industry, as well as specific to your competitive marketplace. You’re positioning within the marketplace. Before we can really understand what a KPI is, and how do we use it in our business and what relevance we give to it at any point in time. We have to know what it is. Casey Carroll is the founder of action advertising agency. And he works with small and medium sized businesses nationwide to double or triple their profits through both innovative and exclusive advertising campaigns. Here’s what he defines a KPI as…

Casey Caroll
A KPI basically, is a measuring stick to determine whether you’re on the right track or not with a lot of other things. And the problem is a lot of people don’t understand how to read data, or they don’t understand how to measure their data against anything. Am I on the right track? Am I doing the right thing? So without having KPIs either written down or figuring out what your goal is before you start a process of some sort, if you have no idea what your goal is, if you don’t have an idea of like, this is what I’d like to accomplish with this. This is what define to be successful, this is what I defined to be measurable results that are within the range of what I deemed to be acceptable.

David Tash
I needed really reliable data in order to grow the company. And I’m proud to say that I’ve grown to businesses to seven figures, really because of the data.

Jess Dewell
That was David Tash. He helps businesses build sales systems. He’s a serial entrepreneur, as you just heard, who has achieved success by having processes for consistently engaging with your ideal prospects. Now, that’s a key piece. All right, so Casey was talking about what are our goals, and David is talking about the fact that we just need data and we need to be measuring it to know where we are going. Both of those things are incredibly important. And I would say right off the bat, we know there is no way to grow, intentionally, without using some sort of reflection mechanism. To have KPIs that are useful to you, you must have an overall strategy – the strategy of your business for the next quarter, and then the larger picture items, where do you want to be in the marketplace? What kind of impact do you want your business to have in the world? How do you want to be perceived by stakeholders inside your company and outside your company? Those strategic questions, set the framework for the goals that you want to achieve. And whether you like three month goals, or one year goals, or even building on that – five year goals and 10 year goals, great. Each set of goals moves you to or away from your strategy. So starting with strategy is incredibly important. Then choosing what the goals are, indicates what you need to measure to know you’re on the right track to get there. You’ve laid out the map, you’ve decided where you’re going and so to stay on course That’s where the data comes in. That’s what the opportunity is. And here’s Edwin that talks about what metrics to focus on.

Edwin Williams
Because if you focus on the wrong metrics, you can actually break your business. I remember reading about a company, their metric that they focused on was how many orders they could process in a day. That was the driving metric behind a lot of the processes. As a result, the quality of service dropped. Yes, they got more orders to the name that lasted only a short time before the customers were like, this company sucks, picked up went to another company, and they went out of business because people didn’t like the quality of service. You also have vanity metrics, if you’re not careful, metrics look good, but they don’t move you forward. And something that we’re paying attention to. We have total number of users, I’ve seen a couple pitches like this where it’s like are we have X amount of users, but then their active daily users, which is probably is a much more important metric is lower than looking at total number of users or if you have active daily users. If you’re a revenue driven, what’s that percentage of active daily users that are giving you revenue? How much? How do you increase that?

Jess Dewell
Questions clarify? What do you want to track? What is the reason for tracking? And how does tracking it move you towards your goal? Because tracking to track can easily get you off base. It’s like ending up on a treasure hunt, following what you think the map is saying, not what the map is actually presenting you along the way. And you end up someplace where you didn’t expect to be empty handed. And that’s the last thing we want to have in our business. So this kind of data specific to you, your business, and where you’re trying to go is incredibly important to be thoughtful about.

Edwin Williams
So knowing the metrics that push your business forward and avoiding metrics that hurt you business where for instance, yes, you can process my orders, what is the quality of service the same as it was before you reached an increased output? Because if it is, that’s great, but if you hurt your other business aspects, that’s why knowing your metrics is important.

Jess Dewell
One important metric will be the financial one. And really, I say the financial one, which is a series, isn’t it? It’s a series of metrics. And in small business and a medium sized business, we ended up using balance statements, profit and loss and cash flow statements. And one of the things that I had the pleasure of coming across recently was an article called, “Cash flow beats income statements”. Now that’s an interesting thing to consider. And depending on the stage of your business and depending on the state of certainty within your business and the state of certainty your customers are in will determine if cash flow and when cash flow beats income statements. The author is Andrew partner, he’s the CEO at Atlas precision consulting, and he talks about the importance of running your business for cash. He also talks about the important tough decisions that must be considered along the way, like customers, and payroll and employment. And of course, in all of those things, running the business for cash and the tough decisions you may face during times of uncertainty. It’s all about how do you support yourself and at the same time, support all the parties involved, your customers and your employees, yourself and your business. Now, one of the things that we can think about and it’s easy to tie metrics to is our sales funnel, and Casey is talking about next understanding matters. sales process.

Casey Caroll
A lot of businesses don’t understand their own sales process well enough. And so advertising and marketing is really an extension of having a very strong sales process. Without the process, your marketing and advertising isn’t going to move the needle positive. So it has to start first with the process. And in the process. Also, the one question you have to say is like, what are we trying to accomplish with our sales and marketing? Are we trying to sell more stuff? Or do we have private equity with a burn rate where that I can burn through a bunch of money, the cost per acquisition doesn’t matter if the cost per acquisition doesn’t matter, then in that scenario, KPI is always going to be very different.

Jess Dewell
Yes, the KPIs differ based off of what your objectives are. Some constraints could include the available budget, it could include the type of service, it could include the amount of hands on versus automation, it could include the actual resources that are internally available. So when we’re thinking about our sales pipeline, when we are thinking about what needs To make our company grow, a book comes to mind. And the book is called “Traction: Get a grip on your business” by Gino Wickman. And, I have to tell you, his process is incredibly interesting because he brings several ideas together to wrap around the metrics that you need for your business. There are six areas that he focuses on: vision, data, process, people, issues, and all those together are what will make traction. So if you would like to have a book that is easy to follow, easy to evaluate your existing process against. I recommend that you consider the expanded edition of traction because it will help you find assumptions that you may have built in. It may also help you find areas you’re starting to overlook, or just be comfortable knowing, instead of actively engaging with every part of your business

Jess Dewell
Speaking of assumptions, Edwin has something to say about that.

Edwin Williams
Our assumptions – we want in asking on what we thought we were trying to accomplish. For survey we were trying to get the contractors, more customers. Likewise, we’re trying to get the homeowners access to contractors, the contractors don’t need more customers. So they aren’t very motivated to use the service like that. Homeowners still are because they’re always looking for contractors. But the problem we found was the homeowners would post a job and they would have to wait three to six months, and nobody wants to wait that long where the contractors were like we have more customers than we can handle help us manage those customers. So that’s what made us change the direction on going from more lead services customer management to a pocket office for subcontractors,

Jess Dewell
incorporating the data that we get when we ask questions, we’ve got to be prepared for whatever the answer is, just like Edwin was sharing, the feedback that they got had nothing to do with getting more business. And that’s the problem they thought they were solving: helping companies get more business. Really, those companies needed help getting the business managed and staying connected to those customers. Well, guess what? Because the question was asked, and because Edwin and his team are willing and open to really hear the implications of what the feedback may be suggesting, allowed them to shape new questions.

15:36
That’s how we ended up changing direction.

Jess Dewell
It’s bold to change direction. It’s incredibly important to think about whether it’s a tiny adjustment or a gigantic pivot. small adjustments along the way, are what allow us to stay on course, allow us to actually put a plan into motion and stick with it a while. To get enough data, to know how close we are to our goal, and what to shift. I know in this world of instant gratification, there is something, there is something to be said for the need to get results. And if we don’t get immediate results, we try something else. And if we don’t get immediate results, we try something else. Well, everything takes time. And in this world of instant gratification, and the stress of waiting for results, all of that combined together can take us off track can move too fast, can leave something that was actually working to collect dust because we didn’t give it a chance. This is where reflection comes in, and staying on track and getting enough data is incredibly important. David Tash talks about focus and what to prioritize, to let things play out according to the plan that you put in place.

David Tash
Until you’re at the seven figure Mark until you’ve been said a million dollars. Your only goal is to get your business to a million dollars. Oh, and my mentor told me that. And I was trying to do all these fancy things and like, Hey, we need to come up with like a brand strategy. You got a million dollars, no, get $10 million. Like, hey, we need to get a podcast out there and do all this stuff. He’s like, are you reading my nose? I’m like, no. All right, get to a million dollars. All right, I get the picture.

Jess Dewell
David has a great mentor, refocus, refocus. And in their case, that million dollar mark is the one that allows other things to happen. That allows different resources to become available that allows the ability and the change of attention to detail, and what attention to detail, will actually move you forward. Because in any part of our business, pipeline, our sales pipeline is incredibly important. If we are not building it, sustaining it, fortifying it, it will wither away, even when we reach that million dollar mark. Now, for those of you out there that regularly listen that have businesses that are at 5 million, or 25 million, and I know some of you out there are even businesses that are closer to 75 to 100 million dollars, guess what, this still applies to you? Any new idea > Can you get that new idea to add a million dollars, and if not, and you know, it’s the right way to go. Keep trying keep iterating It is a great, unique metric that could be used all kinds of different ways. Now, in addition to being focused, here’s the plan to get to the goal. And in the end, here’s the goal. And we might have to change our plan a little (we don’t have to start from scratch) usually, we might have to change our plan a little to get to the goal, to stay on course, to move forward and to see the results to refine and To get better at what we are doing, we can break it down into super granular action. Now for those of you out there that are founder sellers still, and that have small, intimate sales teams, David goes on to talk about the importance of understanding the metrics just around the process of selling.

David Tash
the role. All the things I thought were fun and unique into how we get to the seven figure mark and come up with a simple system to get that we know how much our base product is worth, like how much each sale is worth. And then you have to say, Okay, well how many sales I need to do in a year to get to seven figures. Let’s say hypothetically, your service is $1,000. Well, you get to seven figures, 1 million divided by 1000. Okay, so that’s 1000 sales in a year. That’s 12 months in a year. Okay, divide that by 12 got to do 83 sales in a month, and then there’s four weeks in a month you don’t Divide that by four. So that’s 20 per week. And then there’s five days in a week, five business days. Some people do six days, but I recommend five to keep your sanity.

Jess Dewell
Whatever your choice, you know that it’s going to take work, dedicated work. Now, one of the things that David gifted to all of us is a worksheet. And we’ll have a link to that worksheet in the show notes. Because he took the time to really think about here are the metrics that we have so that we can get to the sales goals that we want for the revenue that we’d like to drive for our business. And he thought that it would be something that we could all benefit from, and so he shared a blank copy with us. So thank you, David.

ANNOUNCER
You were listening to the ad-free listener supported BOLD Business Podcast. We will return to the show soon. Right now, Jess is going to tell you about why we are ad-free and listener supported.

Jess Dewell
I’d like to take a few minutes and tell you why we do not run ads on the BOLD Business Podcast. We’ve chosen to rely solely on you, our listeners for support. If you’re listening to this, you probably already know what I care about most. I care about the space between you and me, and you and your colleagues. And I care about the work that you do together and the impact that it makes for your business and for your community. The work I do comes from a deep curiosity about what makes businesses work, what makes high functioning teams and what elements truly shape success. I’ve seen firsthand how information can help people make better decisions and change their results. curating and presenting this information, though, is not easy. The vast amount of information out there and the overwhelming amount of stuff that demands our attention and time, makes finding useful information, firsthand experience that is actually inspiring that can help you with the big problems that you’re grappling with, it’s really hard. We do the due diligence for you.

I am fortunate to have a great team to help me research and to share this information. One example is the preparation that it’s done for each program. We choose a question to explore, we look for people with the relevant information and experience. We do research for what the current trends are. And then we put it all together into a well produced program. And then we repeat, and then we repeat. The production of the show notes and supporting information is also comprehensive. This shows in the positive response that we’ve received. People like to see our notable and quotables they like to see the links that we have to the transcripts, and they like to have links and research to resources and we bet I bet you do too.

ANNOUNCER
So far, we’ve talked about how we put into the production of the BOLD Business Podcast and why Jess feels it is so important to be ad-free and listener supported. And now let’s return to the BOLD Business Podcast.

Casey Caroll
All goals have to be smart goals sizable, measurable, attainable, realistic, time based, if you don’t have smart goals that you’re trying to hit as a business, if I’m trying to grow from 3% to 11%, that’s pretty ambitious. And the only way you could ever do something like that is if you completely change how you approach every part of the sales process. I talk a lot about sales process, because I think a lot of people look at marketing and advertising as if it’s a silo where advertising and marketing will then produce leads, or they’ll produce whatever and then the sales team will then on its own accord sell differently. But the reality is, they’re both actually in one big ecosystem that if you don’t treat your marketing, advertising and sales process as a holistic wheel – where there’s a continuity amongst all different components of that process, or those parts that that have their own individual requirements, that growth goal.

Jess Dewell
Yeah, what Casey said, How ambitious Do you want to be? And are the goals that you’re setting, Not only are they smart, and are they realistic, are they too much of a stretch goal? Is your stretch goal, actually your BEHAG goal. And I’m going back to Jim Collins there, the big, audacious, hairy goal. So understanding what those are really important, because when we’re talking about how KPIs provide us data, and that data allows us to do some reflection and assessment and planning in our Present Retreats, that means we have now the ability to know and analyze through this pause: Are we on track? Are we on track with our strategy? Is this reinforcing what we want and keeping us aligned with our strategic plan at this time. So we got to get real: real real. I mean, how real can you get hold up that mirror? Think long and hard, do more than just put a number on a paper that makes you feel good because it’s conservative enough, do more than put a number on the paper because it’s your big, big dream? Find out what’s possible and what’s possible and use that range to move things forward. Because it’s only by understanding that range from the low side to the high side of where the team is going, and where the effort and the priorities must be to get to where you want to go. That’s how we’ll be ready to face change.

Edwin Williams
We realized the question needed to change, actually, when we were about to call it quits.

Jess Dewell
Oh, I’m telling you, if you’re that far in the pipeline, it takes a lot of guts. Edwin and his team buckled down and said we have work to do and we’re willing to find it. And they made a change after a long hard look at what they were doing, and what they were assuming, and what they needed to do differently to grow a successful business.

Edwin Williams
So If you remember, in our last interview, we wrote them basically at a breaking point, the contract has come to us said don’t quit. We were close. And they actually were the ones who changed the question for us. We know what you’re trying to do, but this is what we need. And that’s how the question changed was more on their end telling us we were asking the wrong question. Our assumptions maybe have blocked us from hearing the correct answer before. And then when we hit that bottom point, it was like, Oh, it’s been sitting here in our face this whole time, but other people watching also notice the same thing where they were like, maybe you should angle this. And so we’ve had the contractors and other observers, basically saying, This is the path we’re gonna go. And so, that’s how we got to the question.

Jess Dewell
When we finally find it, what’s been staring us in the face that we have refused to look at, that’s when we can really use every ounce of our experience. What we can see, what we can touch, what we can hear, what we can dream – and look at what is and regroup, pull out that map, make adjustments to the legend, if needed, understand what resources are around, check in with yourself, how much stamina do you have? Take a deep breath. And then keep going, keep going on the course corrected path, which is a different direction, and usually a better direction.

David Tash
I think just being honest with yourself, and don’t take it too seriously, obviously, it’s your business, your passion is eventually you just couple things the right way it grows and gets stronger than it supports you for the rest of your life. As long as you fail forward. As long as you’re trying things. You’re going to see what really works for you.

Casey Caroll
You got to be willing to change and everything that I’ve been doing now in the last eight months has been very different from everything I’ve done before that point because you have to approach it differently. If you want to solve that problem.

Jess Dewell
Change, change change. Edwin talked about it. Then you heard David talk about it. And Casey also talked about it. three separate interviews, all pointing the same direction. This is something that is worth mentioning right here. Facing change, the way we face change is to get clear, to get so clear in what our strategy is that we understand how our values show up and inform the strategy so we know what goals to make and actions to take. Our vision informs the strategy because we’re making lasting impact in the world, maybe for the whole world, or our customers or ourselves and the mission, what is being done to facilitate value and an exchange of money. In the end, everybody is solving a problem for somebody else. And everybody is doing something that can benefit another person and it is this great big wheel, nah, maybe not even a wheel, maybe tapestry of all these different things woven together. Now I have to say, we have three very different business models from Edwin, David and Casey. And I know you’re listening and you may fit into one of those business models, but you also may be in a different space. So, understanding your business model will help you understand what to measure. Edwin shares a quote that he goes back to time and again:

Edwin Williams
I actually have a quote that’s attributed to Peter Drucker, but no one can confirm he actually said it. “What gets measured gets managed.” I think that’s one of the biggest mistakes I made with preserver two was not knowing my returns on certain things. And so actually, I signed up for a CRM that I’m importing everything in so I can know.

Jess Dewell
I’m telling you, we think we know things, but we don’t. We think we’re measuring the things we need, and we’re not. We might even Have the data hidden in plain sight, we just don’t know how to get to it. So go back to what assumptions you have put in place, and consider are they still appropriate assumptions? Or have the assumptions changed? Or has the data that has been collected is actually pointing to something else to be explored? The thing is, we are thoughtful about choosing key performance indicators. Because we actually want to see what the data says, not just collect it. And not just to collect it and not look at it. But to actually use it.

Casey Caroll
Every single one of them need to be able to produce a higher amount of dollars in return for every bit of input, more output that you get in return for something else. And so the KPIs need to support that overarching goal, and having the right KPIs is crucial because if it can’t really tangibly be tied towards either future revenue or current revenue, that doesn’t really matter as much. I look at KPIs layered. Depending on where they are in the sales process are the top of funnel, middle funnel, bottom of funnel are the only awareness stage intent or conversion, know, like trust, whatever you want to call it. For those three made missing segments, there’s going to be individual KPIs for each of them.

Jess Dewell
Oh, okay. Are you ready for those? Are you collecting those? Are you willing to look at those metrics? And, it goes back to the bigger goal. What is your objective? And what are the constraints? And how do they shape what metrics -what indicators- are important for you to track to fortify your sales funnel? So thank you, Casey, for digging into that. One of the things I shared about Edwin is that he had been a guest on the show before he was technology founder telling us and sharing with us what it was like so that many of us could remember and some of us that are out there who have never been in a startup can learn and understand what that was like. And then the inevitable came, the runway ran out, the cash dried up the problem that All of this time, energy and effort and money was put into wasn’t the right product. And then what happens? Edwin had to make a choice. He had to make a choice to stop or go. You heard earlier in the program, the people he was serving -the contractors- were like, Hey, we actually need you. But we need you to do something different for us. Had he not listened to that he would be in a totally different place today. He felt like he had to jump. To jump forward and into something brand new quickly, to support the people that were telling him. Yes, we have this problem. And yes, we want you to help us solve that problem.

Edwin Williams
I feel like I did that jump. It was hard. I knew I had to do it because there was nothing else. Going on that path was a dead end. But I’m gonna say yes. And one of the things that’s also helped us, we took that step we did the pivot, and then it’s also helped me.

Jess Dewell
it has helped Edwin he went on to say In our conversation, that the ability to focus, the ability to recognize his own limitations. And that made me reflect what were my limitations? When I started? What am I limitations today? And just being curious for a minute about that? What are the limitations that are holding you back? Do I need different skills? Do I need to look at different data points? Am I allowing assumptions in, and not recognizing they’re my assumptions? Are the actions that I’m taking tie to the priorities that we have set to get to our strategic plan? And, am I clear enough to my team? Am I clear enough in my team that they understand and they can embody all of the things that need to be embodied and understand why we’re doing certain things, collecting data about certain things, and what that data is telling us And then also making sure that the culture that I have is completely set up to allow for them to be part of the feedback loop: Hey, this doesn’t make sense, or Hey, I see a new trend, or, hey, there’s an opportunity here. How does it fit in? Can we figure that out together? Those are the types of things that I want and need and expect from my team to ensure that we are maximizing the value we give and fully being present – and all in- to the actions that we take for the business that we do. And, David touches on this too. Here’s what he says about sharing vision:

David Tash
100% It’s a business the people that you’re bringing in, they’re sharing your vision, and they’re emotionally charged and invested in it just like you are and especially small businesses. We all know that a turn of the economy some things can happen where you’re heavily at risk. So there’s a lot of emotion involved, so having some data having proof to say here: Look where the numbers are trending. But right now for our company, typically around like 56% show up rate, which means people that booked to speak with our sales representatives, they’re shown up 56% of the time, which in our space, the average is around 50. So we’re six points up, I’m okay with that. But the last week, the last two weeks because we have Christmas holidays and New Year’s, it’s just not all the way down to 28%.

Jess Dewell
Okay, that’s a big drop a 56% rate to a 28% rate.

David Tash
We’re spending resources to get people on our calendar. So that freaked me out.

Jess Dewell
It would freak me out too! The thing is I like I really like what David says next.

David Tash
And I have to separate that because of my kids Christmas after me so Christmas is special for them. Then my wife in New Year’s makes one New Year’s, especially for her. In the back of my mind. I’m worried about our show up ratio being 28%. But luckily this Monday, which at the time of this recording, it went back up to 41%. So today’s Tuesday, we’re expected to creep back up to our normal percentage. But it’s something that a business owner, it’s crucial for ourselves that someone’s keep an eye on

Jess Dewell
Aha! Dips and changes in our businesses. They could be cyclical, but they also could be surprising. And the sooner we can find the changes in business, the blips, if you will, like what David just described. The sooner we know how to put a response plan in place. And when we have data that we can look at, that we can be patterning over time, we can find out is it new, or has this happened before and decide how to go forward from there owning it is an incredibly important part. I mean, Infusionsoft said that 56% of small and medium enterprise executives dislike financials. They found that in one of their surveys. Well guess what, there are other things that these small and medium enterprise executives also dislike. I know my list is probably different than your list. The thing is, if I don’t do it, and if you don’t do it, who will? Whose responsibility is that? It’s, nobody’s – it’s ours, the buck stops with us, we have to accept responsibility. Which means we must take precautions and build processes that actually build us up and help us out, so that we can remove as much emotion by having good data. So that when our emotion shows up in different scenarios, we have something to help us curb that out. Now, here’s the thing. You also need somebody to talk to. So I’m just gonna do a quick: “hey, call me if you need something.” I have office hours available that you can book. Let’s talk through something because it’s better to have that opportunity to just spend a few minutes with somebody if you don’t have your own mentor. If you don’t have your own board of directors, your private equity advisors…Something, somebody for you to call on that you can say: Look, I don’t know how to do this, and this is why you’re here. And this is why I pay you or a mentor that you can say, Look, I’m really struggling with this. Have you ever experienced this before? What did you do, and be able to take it, whatever relationship you have that use it in times of stress, because it is easier to pass the buck. And it is easier to not take responsibility. That also makes it easier for business to fail. And that’s the opposite of what we want. So we’re gonna take the harder path. We’re going to do it thoughtfully with our eyes wide open, and use what we can to make it as fun as possible as we face each of the challenges that shows up for us. Casey has something to say about passing the buck.

Casey Caroll
The real problem is this. Not all businesses are really ready to grow or they’re really ready to To change how they approach certain things. Now, if you do have a goal, and there’s other ways that you can hit a goal, but you still want to say, Hey, I think maybe maybe there’s an easier way to go about this, I’ve done some of this advertising before in this scenario. I know that we’ve got broken sales process related issues. In fact, just just to let you know, I’ve done the math on determining if I decrease my cost per lead, sometimes by 50% versus improving all the other sales metrics and KPIs for those rates (improving the overall value per sale with either the front or back f&i income or whatever) and also on top of that, asking for referrals actively, etc. Like all of that can actually have a much larger impact on that sales process, then decreasing the cost per lead even by 50 bucks. It is a giant equation.

Jess Dewell
Are you asking the right questions? That’s what Casey just described, recognizing that there’s more than one way to get to the end goal, and the right path for you is only going to happen and become known when you ask the right questions. But sometimes it’s scary.

David Tash
A lot of people are scared of the truth. It’s like things are going okay. We rather just sit here and be comfortable in the fact that things are okay. Data is not gonna lie to you it’s either gonna be bad good or okay or right and then in the middle. The fact you take the time to do it, it’s being bold is being courageous, dare to be great, so to speak there to see what’s working well and what’s not working well because we all have things that were attached to him the company in the business, and we might like doing it but credos principle, right 20% of what you do give you 80% of the results, data is gonna give you that 20% and then once you got it, take action on it, use it to be a better business be a better version of yourself.

Edwin Williams
The information and knowledge I’ve gained, I find is too valuable not to do it. And it’s one of those things where it’s like, looking back at Perserbid, it’s like, okay, here’s all the mistakes that I made. Here’s all the things I wish I had, how was that hammer, can I not make those mistakes and to take advantage of the new resources I now have access to by participating in the pre accelerators. Like it takes a village and we’re currently in Square One Startup School, which is also in Atlanta.

Jess Dewell
Even Edwin’s talking about it, use the resources. Now he has gone the accelerator route as a startup, his team is primed and ready and learning as much as they can as quick as they can and getting results and traction to keep moving forward to build that runway to increase that line of sight, because they have something to build from. That’s all KPIs are. Building upon something with which we can extend our vision.

ANNOUNCER
It’s time to take another brief break from our program earlier Jess shared about what goes into each podcast and why it is so important to be ad free and listener supported. But why? Why should you consider becoming a supporting listener? Jess has that answer.

Jess Dewell
As a supporter, you receive full access to expanded show notes including formatted transcripts, links to all the resources, full uncut interviews with each guest By the way, which also have their own transcripts. And email notifications of new resources as they become available to you as a supporter. Supporters also receive exclusive access to a platform where you can ask your specific business questions to me. And you will receive a link to the bold business supporter podcast, which does not have a support call out any other content that we decided to publish in that channel as a value add, as well as access to carefully cultivated playlists that focus on key business and leadership topics. The BOLD Business Podcast is a resource that helps you and will remain free to you and to all. I do hope you find enough value in the podcast itself. And the additional exclusive benefits are worth it to become a supporter at a level that reflects its worth to you as an investment to your personal and your professional growth. The value you receive from our podcast is how we fund the necessary work and continue This work.

ANNOUNCER
And now let’s return to the BOLD Business Podcast for the rest of the show.

Jess Dewell
We look up from the map that we’ve made. And we look out to all of the possibility. And then we can see what’s actually happening and what is possible to happen…and bring those together to line up with your strategy. The work that you want to be doing, the work you know, is the right work for the market. And I have to tell you, change is hard, especially big change, especially re-organizational change. And, you know, Edwin shares a little bit about that, even with all the advice even with everything else.

Edwin Williams
Pivots are hard. We basically started from scratch with a new stack and a new development team. It was from the ground up from also learning from our servers. When you build something people will find out how to break it in ways you’ve never thought. So one of the things with Zen Hammer is simplicity. We wanted to make it so that if you messed up, it would take you to the next thing you would fall into the next system. And that’s something that was one of the big focuses, moving forward is make it so that, yeah, people are going to find ways to break it. It always happens. But make it so that somebody can pick it up and use it without having to spend an hour two hours or three hours of their day. Because one thing that, especially in this market right now, contractors are busy, and they don’t want to take too much time out of their day to use a new platform to learn to use a new platform. So simplicity, simplicity. Simplicity is like one of the big things that we’re trying to do.

Jess Dewell
That’s a principle of their business. Impacts the output, it impacts their relationship, it impacts the way they’re able to receive information and feedback from the outside world. It’s how they are collecting. So what are your principles of business? What are the Things that you’re trying to ensure happen for your customers, for your employees, for the sustainability of your business? It’s from those principles of business, that you will also be able to determine if the KPIs that you have, those key performance indicators, are what you need right now…and, if they’ve ever been right at all, and that’s a hard question to ask, is the business that I’ve built built on four KPIs, and we’ve just been lucky? Well, no, I’ll bet they were right at one time because they got you to where you are. Making a blatant assumption that they’re the same metrics, the same indicators that you will use going forward into the next stage of your business is a gross oversight. Don’t make that mistake. That’s really what this program is all about. Know where you’re at, know what the opportunity could be and when it’s time to dig a little deeper, because time is precious. We don’t have a lot of time. And in the grand scheme of things, it’s easy to overlook metrics altogether. It’s easy to keep what was originally set up for ease, yet that stagnation is the thing. It’s like baggage. It’s like every time you walk by and you get to a different landmark on your, on your hike on your journey that you’ve for the map you’ve been following. You pick up a rock, you get down that path, there’s a lot of rocks in your pack. And that gets really, really heavy. So being able to let go of the rocks, and let go of things that aren’t necessary anymore, and welcome in and keep the things that are necessary create space to see, hear, feel experience differently. So what are you going to do about it? Here’s a tip from David:

David Tash
How many conversations do I need to have? And if you’re only by yourself, what I would do is I would really take a line and my calendar and say, Hey, I’m going to dedicate three hours a day per sales, and then the other is gonna be fulfillment. Or if you need four hours or two hours based on what your numbers are. And again, your numbers don’t lie, right? You’re going to look at your numbers and say it takes me four Five conversations took me three conversations or it takes me 15 conversations, whatever it is, be honest with yourself, and based your time off of your own numbers. The key is consistency, consistency is boring. And as entrepreneurs, we innately like to do new things and try the flashy new toy, but consistency and being boring and doing the same thing over and over again is how your business is gonna have success.

Edwin Williams
What we did was we divided it into four quarters and then broke those four quarters out of like, what are the monthly goals, the quarterly goals? So first quarter, what are my first quarter goals? What are my second quarter goals? What are my third quarter goals that feed into my yearly 1000 users? I went back to each quarter and there’s three months in each quarter. So what are my monthly goals in each quarter to reach those quarterly goals? Then I went back for each month and put weekly goals to feed into the monthly goals and then finally get on to your daily activities. What do you have to do every day? wt goals, weekly goals.

Jess Dewell
Edwin also talked about a tip for focus, the thing is there’s going to be work to do. And we only have a certain number of hours in the day. And we get to choose how many of those hours we spend in this role, developing ourselves and developing our business, and how many hours that we’re developing ourselves in relationship to other things, or developing ourselves so that we can bring ourselves more fully to our business. Regardless of all of that, a plan is necessary following through on that plan, developing the skills to actually get to each one of those stages that David and Edwin talked about is incredibly important. incredibly important because you set the precedent, people will follow your lead. If you’re in meetings all day, they’ll be in meetings all day. Well, meetings are the least productive thing that you can do in a business, interacting with clients, creating deliverables serving the clients and adding value To your company through revenue, that’s what keeps the business going forward meetings, help brainstorm or remove obstacles or check in networking and other events out in the world the same thing as meeting. That’s all they are their meetings in disguise. So as awesome as being out having one on one meetings, unless you know, it’s a full on sales call, it’s a meeting. And keep that in mind how you’re using your time, because time is what you have. Another thing to consider when you want to grow now is your willingness to grow. And Casey shares a story of one of his clients,

Casey Caroll
this client was also willing to change willing to grow. The way that holes work in the automotive world is basically like they’ll rank you against other competitors that are in the same geographic area, same size, same like local primary market areas about the same number of people type stuff, and they stack rank you and that be going higher in the pool gives you additional bragging rights, gives you additional resources gives you additional Co-Op funds and all this sort of stuff here additional incentives and rebates. It’s an additional money that you get from the manufacturer, if you get hired in that pool.

Jess Dewell
That’s the setup for what comes next for this story.

Casey Caroll
So one of the dealerships we’re working with for you know, they’ve been in business for five years, and working with traditional media, TV, print, radio, all that sort of stuff they were struggling to ever get past to third place in the pool. Aha, the problem, KC was hired to solve that problem. Most of the time they were they kind of hovered between fifth and third place. And so with the same budget that they were spending on TV, print radio, where all those costs were starting to rise, they still weren’t really getting a lot of additional benefits or returns in the process. When we started running Facebook ads at the same time with my process. They went from third place in the pool to first place in the pool for the very first time ever, within five months. And they actually had stopped all the money they were spending on TV. They took that money away and actually put it into Facebook and Google AdWords and that scenario,

Jess Dewell
that was a chance, something that they thought was tried and true. A way that they had always done things to set it aside, because they wanted to get a different result. Scary and necessary.

Casey Caroll
The businesses that are willing to change to hit a certain goal they wanted to hit first place in that pool, it was so important to them to first place in that pool for the first time. And they were sick and tired of never being able to hit that because of that necessity where it was almost a need to grow versus they want to grow. Ah, what do you need to do to get the change started? What do you need to do to face the challenges you have right now? Good questions that come up. As we’re listening to Casey’s story, I need to do this. Well, now I’m willing to look at how I approach things differently. Now. I’m willing to instead of seeing billboards of my face that don’t necessarily give me a positive return on investment, and then I’m going to your run very targeted campaigns to very specific people. Then honing that strategy over time and making it better and better better through things like I’ll find events. And all of a sudden now our cost per acquisition is going down and the amount of profit that we’re generating is going up. And it’s because you’re dealing with a client that wants to change

Jess Dewell
their need and desire to change was so great. They were willing to step out of everything that they knew the assumptions they had always worked with, and try something different. That’s learning that’s bold, that is navigating into and through a place that has never been for them before. Here is another tip to keep learning and be bold.

David Tash
A second set of eyes on it because we care so much. We’re so passionate, sometimes, we can take a little miniscule of data, something that’s micro and then make changes that have a macro effect. Sometimes just have to let things play out and control your urges to tweak things and build things. Just give it a week.

Casey Caroll
As much as I’d love to say that. I am Like, oh, yeah, I am this perfect wizard that tells you everything you’re supposed to do and then listens to my own advice. No, I’m not great at it necessarily for my own business now, am I changing? Yes. You know, and there’s a lot of things I’ve been implementing recently, really making my CRM system more robust. My follow up process is getting better. I’ve got new content producing on a regular basis.

Jess Dewell
Yeah, what David just said, and what Casey is sharing now, little things, little things like stop and wait, said David. And other little things like, here are the priorities that I have for the actions that I take. It doesn’t matter that they seem small, until you do it for a while and see the results that we get that come back, you don’t know if it is small or big, or something completely different.

Casey Caroll
Like little things like that, that eventually do move the needle. But when it comes down to my clients, I really focus a lot more energy on my clients almost more so than my own, like business growth, which is a problem sometimes.

Jess Dewell
Yeah, that’s a problem. I’m so glad he fessed up and shared that because I think you do that. I know I do that sometimes. And we have to catch ourselves. And KPIs. tying back to our goals, tying back to the strategic vision that we have. And what we want for our company. And the change that we expect to make for the mission of our company has to be looked at too, because we can all be better. And we can all forget about it sometimes, as long as we come back around and keep looking at it, and keep doing better. KPIs measure our action, the results of our action. So what can you take from that action and apply it tomorrow? What can you take from the action you did today, and recognize what baggage you have that you could leave behind? Just want to

David Tash
make sure that you take action like you got gems from just today, I contributed to a couple in there myself, but you’re the end user, the end user and no one’s just gonna give you things in this world of this life, right. So you take the first half, you got to knowledge now you have Apply to notes.

Jess Dewell
Yep, apply that knowledge and apply that knowledge.

Edwin Williams
Going back. I wish I’d known that before when the big mistakes a lot of startups, especially on the like, we’re now purely business to business. Like I’ve seen enterprise software is, user interfaces get too complex. And so you’ll have like a new app, it can do a lot. It’s a great app, but it’s too complicated. And that complication overwhelms the user either use like a small subset of it, or they just put it down and find something simpler, like going to Google tasks and using that instead of your app.

Jess Dewell
Oh, whether that’s for your end user, or inside your own company, even for yourself, simplicity matters. That thought that we put into it. We put a lot of thought into our strategy. And from that strategy, we put even more thought into the goals that we want, and there’s basis for those goals. And there’s reasons for those goals. And then we set up these key metric these key performance indicators, KPIs and other metrics so that we know that we’re taking the action and prioritizing the actions to move towards our goal to ensure we’re on task with our strategy. It’s a complete circle, or a four word and then a backward. And here’s the thing. All that work must be simplified into clear, concise concepts, which is why going back to what we were talking about today, from the very beginning, we’ve been talking about asking the right questions throughout, we’ve been talking about reflecting regularly throughout and tips to do both of those things. And then practice clarity, talk about it, share it, get a second set of eyes on it, because business is messy, and challenges come up, and things are gonna happen that we must face. And when we can, when we are ready to face them. That’s great. Because we have everything in place that showed us that it might be coming, and when we’re practicing that, and we’re practicing that, and we know it and it’s the Great part when the not great part, the unexpected, crazy appears the unexpected bombshell you never thought could happen in a million years shows up in your business, all that practice all that clarity of and asking the right questions and reflecting regularly give you a great basis to take one step forward at a time to navigate your way through because you’ve done the work and you’re continuing to do the work to keep yourself on the right path.

ANNOUNCER
The BOLD Business Podcast is brought to you by Red Rirection. Jess dug into one idea in this program. Her goal is to ignite your creativity and spark different thinking with the presented material. How you apply this to your current priorities is up to you. We want to know what actions you take. Use #BOLDBusinessPodcast and add your voice to this important conversation. Jess Dewell can bring the missing voice back into your company with you. Jess will solidify it Companies true north your unique Red Direction provided you are ready to work with Jesss, email her at [email protected] Special thanks to the Scott Treatment for technical production.

Visit reddirection.com. Remember, preparedness and the right perspective.

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