Sales Masters Guild Mentor, Toby Acton, asks “What type of business owner are you?”.
In my experience, there are three types of business owner:
- There are those who do not have a clear vison of what they want their business to achieve for them
- Those who have a vision but do not have a structured plan to implement it
- Those who have a vision and a plan, but they do not have focus and they need someone to keep them on track towards achieving what they want to
Over the years of working with many different business owners from many different sectors, I have discovered that pretty much all of them fit into one of the above categories: no vision, no plan or no focus.
Yes, there are a few who do have vision, plan and focus but they are a rarity and generally, if they do have all of that, they are smart enough to recognise that they need a mentor to bounce ideas off, to look at what they are doing from an outside perspective and keep them on track to make sure that they are taking action.
I work with each of these different types of business owner in my monthly Mastermind Peer Groups, whether it is helping you develop a vision, put together a plan or get unbelievably focused to stay on track when implementing the plan.
It is important as business owners that we know ourselves. That we know what it is that we are trying to achieve through our business. We need to develop a crystal clear vision of what lifestyle we want to create for ourselves.
How many hours a day do we want to work, how many days per week, how many weeks of the month and how many months of the year? What do we want to do with our spare time? What quality time that we want to spend with our families? Where do we want to travel to? What material possessions do we want to reward ourselves with for our hard work? Where do we want to travel to? What benevolent, charitable or philanthropic work do we want to do with our time and resources?
Let’s face it, none of us start our own business simply so that we can have the most ornate headstone in the graveyard! But I often need to spend considerable time with many of my clients helping them to develop this clear vision of what they want to achieve through their business. Often it is not something that they can pin down straight away and it may take a few months to develop as they can be so “head-down” in their business trying to make money they have not actually focused on what they want the money for.
Importantly then, the vision that you need to develop is not just about money – it is about knowing what you want your life to look like. Only when that is firmly established do we work out what that lifestyle will cost you on a monthly or annual basis. And then we can start to reverse engineer your business and put together a plan to achieve it.
Reverse engineering simply means that we look at what you need to earn for the lifestyle that you want to lead in the hours that you want to work and then put in place a plan to build the business to give that lifestyle. We consider the different types of clients that you want to have and the average net profit from each of those types of client and work out how many of each type of client you need to provide yourself with that income. Business is just simple mathematics! We then develop a marketing strategy to ensure that you attract the right clients that are hungry to buy your services or products from you to give you that income stream.
When developing the plan and putting the objectives and milestones in place it is important not to be saying “How am I going to do this?” but instead, with just a small shift in linguistics, to be asking yourself “What specifically must I do to achieve this?”. “How” is, to my mind, very nebulous, but by putting an emphasis on yourself and on specific actions, it helps to develop a much more structured, driven and effective plan.
But even with a clear vision and a structured plan, many business owners find that they do not remain focused on achieving it. This can be for a number of reasons: for example, they can get easily distracted or they get bogged down in doing all the admin and “stuff” that comes with running a business, so they do not keep their focus on working strategically towards their end goal.
Often, as their business grows and they get busy their time gets taken up with delivering their service and they become reactive to the needs and demands of their business and their clients, rather than being proactive and developing their business towards their longer-term strategic plan. The dangers of this is that you can enter a cycle of feast and famine – when times are good there is no focus on ongoing client acquisition and market positioning so when the current work ends there is a decline in workload and subsequent revenue and profits.
A business mentor will help the entrepreneur to stay focused and on track, to not be distracted by things that are not going to serve them and their business most profitably and to avoid the pitfalls of getting so busy doing “stuff” or serving clients that there is not enough focus on moving the business forward in the direction dictated by the plan to create the vision that you set out to achieve.
Accountability through a monthly Mastermind Peer Group is a huge part of this. As I have said in a previous blog, with my mentoring groups the accountability is not just to myself, it is to the others in the group and, most importantly, accountability to themselves. It helps people to develop outcome-driven habits that lead to greater revenue and growth in profits as they traverse from where they are now to where they want to be, towards the lifestyle that they envision, in accordance with the strategic, action centric plan that we have established.
By having a mentor to keep them on track and focused they get to where they want to go much faster, avoiding the pitfalls and the “school of hard knocks” and learn more efficient, more elegant ways to do things. And, as mentioned previously, it is not normally about great quantum changes, it is generally just about little nudges, small 1- or 2-degree changes, to keep them pointed in the right direction and ensure that they are keeping to the plan and developing the business that they want to.
So, ask yourself, where are you within those three categories?
- Do you have a crystal clear vision of what you want your business to do for you and your lifestyle?
- Do you have a plan of action based on reverse engineering the success that you want into a structured business approach?
- Are you 100% focused on implementing that plan and staying on track to ensure that you achieve it in the shortest possible time so that you can really enjoy the fruits of your labours?
You can find out more about Toby and book onto any of his Mastermind Peer Groups from booking page or his Sales Masters Guild Mentor page.
Toby Acton is a Sales Masters Guild Personal Business Mentor.
For more than two decades, Toby has been running his own businesses, with interests in a variety of diverse sectors including IT, market research and property. He has also mentored and trained many hundreds of people on how to build their networking marketing businesses and to develop their personal brand.