Marty Park gives business owners and entrepreneurs 20 pieces of actionable advice on how to handle the CODID-19 pandemic to continue to profit and persevere during this difficult time.
Marty offers some practical tips and advice for business owners and entrepreneurs to connect, adapt operations, survive and even thrive during this difficult time.
It is true in all aspects of our work and life ... consistency is the key. Frequency is the next most important to make strides and impact. Finally, or in third place, becomes quality.
For someone who loves quality in everything, this prevailing order was tough to accept until I started to apply this insight to many different projects and areas of life:
Physical Health – people who maintain great physiques and fit bodies don’t always have great workouts. They don’t always get to the gym every day. But, consistent exercise is part of their life and habits. They often talk say things like, my workout was terrible today but at least I went. This really summarizes the idea that consistency of showing up and putting in an effort, any effort, is the key to their performance and results. It is not a fast metabolism or some miracle workout routine that is a higher quality.
Sales – Not every sales call, not every presentation, can be your absolute best. It is known that most salespeople don’t follow-up more than 1 or 2 times before going silent and moving on to the next opportunity. Great sales people consistently make the extra follow-up calls and efforts. They make the extra new business call each day or have a weekly target. They consistently do slightly more than their counter-parts. The quality of a conversation doesn’t always need to be scripted and perfected for it to be real, effective and successful. It is their goal of consistent actions and efforts that produce big sales outcomes.
Team – It is the consistent actions, communication and approach you take to your team that creates the culture and relationships. It is not the one time Xmas bonus you paid, the pay raise last year or the time at the company BBQ you talked to someone about their pet snake. It is the ongoing consistent work you do that creates team among your people. Frequency of communication and efforts in relationships is also key. Quality of every conversation and every team message is of lesser importance when people consistently know you care and are interested.
What efforts are you consistently doing each week? Where is your consistent focus?
Knowing the answers to these two questions will tell you why you’re getting results in some places and not in others.
The shift to consistent effort doesn’t need to suddenly be 90 minutes a day spent on sales activity. It doesn’t require 30 minutes a day talking to each of your people in-depth. Great shifts in results comes with a daily focus of 5-15 minutes to start. Begin making changes to your consistent routine with time allotments that you can handle calendar-wise as well as emotionally. Then watch the changes.
Changes won’t come on day one but they will appear sooner than you expect. Like playing piano for 15 minutes a day, within weeks and months, your skills will improve exponentially. Focus on the consistency of your efforts above all else for incredible results in 2020.
Consistency. Frequency. Quality.
This time of year there is no shortage of messages about how your 2020 is going to be even better. And why shouldn’t it?! You deserve to have a new year that is even better for you and your business.
The plans most people make for any new year – for them and for their companies – often focus solely on the concept of “more”.
You can hear them: In 2020, we need to focus on more sales. We need more customer retention. I need more meetings with people. We need more team events and more focus on culture. Like the personal list of more workouts, more healthy meals and more reading ... the MORE epidemic is easy to be infected by.
More works. Yes, focusing on more will get you just that. The challenge becomes the level to which you want to improve and change. Rarely can we create the time to do twice as much of anything to create a massive change. We can do incrementally more but this undermines our results and undermines our desire and motivation for big change.
What are you going to do Differently in 2020?
It is through different, that we create the opportunity for massive change, significant change and outstanding results.
People asked me, when and how, I completed a 65,000 word book. I tried doing more in my week. I tried cramming more into my regular schedule and pressuring myself to get creative in windows of 30 minutes. It failed. I finally said, I need to create a different time window to write where I am free of distraction, creative, energized and focused. I started to ask why it needed to be during my work week. I discovered that early Sunday mornings I was refreshed from Saturday off, keen to write and not bothered by business or family obligations. My writing window became 4am to 8am on Sunday. This is a different approach that cost me sleep but gave me energy because of the progression on the book. Radical? Perhaps, but different enough to be effective.
Don’t ask your team what they are going to do more of. Ask what they are going to do differently in 2020. For them to have breakout results, it means doing their work and thinking about their contribution, differently.
Look at each of the areas of your work and your life that you want dramatically different outcomes in. Now inquire within yourself, what can I do, what will I do, differently to get those results, experiences and outcomes?
Look to the unconventional approaches to your 2020 plan. Figure out what is stopping most people from succeeding and change your approach to be unique. Make it different.
Need a planning tool to help you think differently about 2020? Download our Holiday Workbook.
Make 2020 great, and different, so your business and personal results are transformative.
Today I sent 56 emails, I liked 15 stories and posts on IG. I commented on 4 LinkedIn articles and posts, I responded to two DM’s and I posted one story on all my channels.
Wait, did I connect with anyone?
Let’s get clear in our work about where we are filling the voids with false connection and where we are really making human connection. Sorry, but you liking my post or giving me the thumbs up to an article isn’t connection. Your personalized responses or comments (and I do mean personalized, not the form responses that social platforms now offer) start to make some electronic inroads.
What about a phone call, a Zoom call or, wait for it... a face-to-face meeting? How often in a week are you recognizing that the most traction comes from actual connection with other humans? If business is people ... then doesn’t more people connection make for more business?
From hand written thank you-s, to personalized gifts, to a phone call just to see how you’re doing; the actions that really make connection are less and less practiced. The ability to stand out simply by focusing on what drives connection is now at a pinnacle!
Start now by recognizing what prospects, customers, vendors and stakeholders need to connect with you. Remember that you are creating a community as much as you’re pursuing transactions and sales.
During this holiday season, it is the ideal time to focus on actual connection with people. Fill your day with meeting people in person. Fill it with live calls without an agenda. Even a compelling voicemail is still impacting. Fill it with ideas and opportunities to present to others – you know, a “hey I was thinking about this idea for you” kind of approach.
Hey, for sure, keep ‘liking’, clicking and commenting online ... but recognize that it is the table steaks of business today. Everyone can, and does, do that. To stand out, get back to making connection with people. Be interested in them. Ask how you can help them. Determine what value you can add to them or their business. Contribution is connection.
Get conscious about how you spend time to connect and stop just scrolling through the feed. Be aware of the time you’re wasting and get committed to reaching out to people with meaning and purpose.
True connection is what matters to people. Ask your kids. True connection is what drives success in business and life. Commit now to making a connection, or re-connection, with a person today. Every day.
Watch how a renewed commitment to human connection in your business approach dramatically transforms your results in 2020.
Business is a complex and dynamic collection of decisions and actions. It is interdependent departments jostling for attention. It is a rush of energy as the day starts and an exhale of exhaustion as the day ends. A business and its pieces move fast and run into struggles continuously as the company grows and adapts.
With all the moving pieces of finance, marketing, sales, operations, delivery, HR and administration it becomes a lot to track and organize.
How do you do it? What’s your system?
Too often good solid business owners and entrepreneurs don’t have a real system for running their company. They move from decision to decision with their best ideas and insights but without a broader mental model of their business and what they are trying to build.
What does every business need? Structure. Not just the structure of set hours, a fixed location or a website address. A structure to use as a blueprint for growth. A structure for measuring the performance and output of the business.
This structure needs to come in the form of a framework. A model, or a way to think about all of the intricate, interconnected pieces of the business. Most people structure a business in the traditional silos or segments of sales, marketing, finance, operations, admin and HR.
These silos compartmentalize the business nicely but does it really give us a way to think about the business as a whole? Does it give us any tools to consider how to improve in each area or how to grow the business overall? In my opinion, it doesn’t–and that is a significant gap for the entrepreneur.
A framework is also critical for your management and team. The use of framework in the business means that everyone uses a common language. As you reference an idea, people can put it into the framework and know how it fits. Much like knowing the general grouping of contents of the cupboards in a kitchen, when an action is discussed the team can quickly know what business cupboard to look in.
So what is a framework?
A framework is simply the naming and identification of pieces of the business as well as their relationships or progressions.
With our clients, we identify and work on 3 key points:
With these reference points, everyone in a business can be thinking about, discussing and understanding the way the business runs AND where to look for improvements in the company.
Sales can just be about ‘sell more’. Marketing can’t just be about ‘advertise more’. People can’t just be about ‘work harder’. The inputs and variables that create the results of the company have to be known and managed. A framework makes that possible.
How do you develop a framework?
Frankly, it is often easier to adopt one that already exists. There are many models to explain a business, just be sure to adopt framework that focuses on improvement and the levers you can influence to get dramatically different results. The time to create your own is not something most entrepreneurs have time to develop and prove out.
Unsure of where to start? We can share our models with you and give you that starting point. Otherwise, look online and ask other entrepreneurs what they use (and what results they get).
A good framework allows operations to run more effectively. It also paves the way for growth and performance in a company; as every participant knows the ways they can positively impact the business day to day. They’ll understand how the small steps taken roll up into the master framework of business success.