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The Best 10-Minute Guide for an Awesome 2021 Post-Pandemic Business

The ultimate advice on how the most successful entrepreneurs operate their businesses to overcome adversity and create a launching pad for success.

By: Tomas Gomez – Founder of TheIncFramework.com

Tip #1

Create Alignment Like An Olympic Synchronized Swimming Team.

How? First, respond the following questions:

1.

What does your business do? Meaning, what is the reason for its existence?

2.

What is the business really good at? What does the business do best?

3.

What are its weaknesses? What could your business do better?

4.

What are the characteristics of a leader (boss) who motivates people?

5.

What is the best way to recognize people for a job well done?

Then ask your team the same questions and see how their responses compare to yours.

Everyone in your organization needs to know exactly why the company exists and what it is trying to accomplish. Having an aligned team pushing in the same direction will multiply the force and speed at which you will achieve your company’s goals (this is not an idea, it is physics!).

Understanding what motivates your team and how to recognize a job well done will generate greater leadership credibility and respect, which is critical for your team to follow your lead.

Now, if you and your team are aligned, is that the direction you should be going?

Customer needs are changing! So let’s ask a few of your recent customers the following:

1.

Why did you choose us?

2.

Will you come to us again? Why?

3.

Describe what would make your visit a spectacular experience.

In questions 1 and 2 you will find out if your customers are noticing what YOU think you are really good at … or if there is something else you should be looking at.

Your customer’s answer to question 3 needs to become your reason for existence. Make every effort to provide what they see as a “spectacular experience”; a great review and testimonial will sell your product more efficiently than your best salesperson.

“The secret of getting ahead, is getting started.”

– Mark Twain

“The secret of getting ahead, is getting started.”

– Mark Twain

Download the ready-to-use questionnaires by visiting Chapter 1 of our free online business course at www.theincframework.com

If you have any questions about this topic, you can contact me at [email protected]

Tip #2

Team Commitment Like Spartans From The Movie “300”.

Your team is your most precious resource. Studies have shown that an engaged team is at least 20% more productive than the average. An inspired team’s performance has no limits.

You have to clarify the following for everyone in the organization:

1.

Am I doing what I’m supposed to be doing?

2.

How do I know if I’m doing it right?

3.

Who else works in this company? What do they do?

4.

Do I have a future here? How do I get promoted or get a raise?

5.

Is the company doing ok? Is my job safe?

We all want to be part of something meaningful. Our team members want a work environment where they can express themselves and be listened to; this makes them feel valued. They also need to be appropriately rewarded for a job well done, and it will inspire them to keep performing at their best.

Roles and responsibilities need to be clearly defined to prevent misunderstandings, but more importantly, employees learn to respect and value what others do as well.

Get to know them! As people, not just employees.

People want to work for someone who cares about their well-being, takes an interest in their personal life, and treats them with respect. People leave their boss, not their job.

Word spreads quickly about companies with an awesome work environment. A company with a good HR reputation becomes a magnet for great talent.

“The successful warrior is the average man with laser-like focus.”

– Bruce Lee

“The successful warrior is the average man with laser-like focus.”

– Bruce Lee

Download Job Description formats and Employee Performance Evaluation tools, visit Chapter 2 of our free online business course at www.theincframework.com

If you have any questions about this topic, you can contact me at [email protected]

Tip #3

It Is not You, It’s Me. Only Customers Will Decide If Your Product Innovations Will Sell.

According to Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen, more than 30,000 new consumer products are launched each year, and 80 percent of them fail.

If you want a sustainable business, your products and services have to solve your customers’ problems and needs – and those will continuously change. So you need to keep your products fresh and updated.

But we are not talking about creating new stuff just to call yourself an innovator. Strategic innovation means creating something of greater value for your customers than what already exists.

There is no magic formula, but there is a methodology you can follow to reduce the risk and increase the success rates for new products. In simple terms, the process of launching a new product has a front end, a middle, and a back end.

1.

The front end is market research – listening to the customer’s needs and uses.

2.

The middle part is creating and testing the new product to ensure it does what it is supposed to. This is when the creative or technical experts are heavily involved.

3.

The back end is launching the product into the market. A key element of success!

“If you’re alive, you’re a creative person.”

– Elizabeth Gilbert

The new offering needs to be cool and functional, but also profitable! So make sure of the following:

1.

Every dollar invested in product improvements needs to be recovered in one year max. Unless it is a national historic landmark, almost everything becomes obsolete in a year or two (caused by fierce competition).

2.

If you have a product that is profitable and is selling, don’t mess with it. Make only small adjustments or refreshers. Maybe update the packaging, some new colors, or things that do not interfere with the core need is trying to solve.

3.

As soon as you see a declining sales trend, start planning for significant improvements to your product. Have three new product ideas ready for every mature selling product you have.

4.

A new and better product does not need to replace the current one. You can make the new version more expensive, add a new name or differentiator, and keep selling the older version at a lower price until it is no longer profitable (sounds familiar, Apple?).

Do your homework; guide your creative impulses, and avoid trial and error!

“If you’re alive, you’re a creative person.”

– Elizabeth Gilbert

Download the cheat-sheet of the most used innovation methodology in the world, visit Chapter 3 of our free online business course at www.theincframework.com

If you have any questions about this topic, you can contact me at [email protected]

Tip #4

Are We There Yet?

How important is the concept of measurement in our lives? Think of all the things we measure: our blood pressure, game scores, our driving speed, cooking temperatures. This is necessary because it is an objective way to ensure that we are moving towards our goals; it keeps us safe. Everything else can be subject to our perceptions and beliefs.

A dial, a clock, a flashing light, or a thermometer are also examples of communication tools. A metric – or its fancy name Key Performance Indicator (KPI) – helps us measure our business’s performance and signal us when we need to take action.

The challenge comes when it is time to decide what KPIs you want for your business.

1.

You can measure anything, but not all KPIs are directly affecting your business success.

2.

Too many KPIs and your team will lose interest and waste too much time maintaining them.

3.

Just a few, and you will only cover a part of your operation and lose track of the rest of the critical things.

For example, one of the most popular metrics for a business is revenue – and yes, it is essential. But revenue is a consequence, the effect of:

  • · Marketing and sales efforts,
  • · The effect of product quality and customer reviews,
  • · The result of your customer service and post-sale activities such as customer retention programs.

Remember when we talked about your customer’s spectacular experience?

Find out exactly what are the main variables making that experience so special and monitor that. Create signals that yell at you when you need to take action – for good things (rewards), or bad ones (screw-ups requiring corrections).

And last, please keep in mind that whatever you decide to measure is what your team will focus their energy on. A reward associated with KPIs is a very powerful driver.

“Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”

– Will Rogers

“Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”

– Will Rogers

Get a list of great KPIs for your business; visit Chapter 4 of our free online business course at www.theincframework.com

If you have any questions about this topic, you can contact me at [email protected]

Tip #5

Hello? Where Is Everybody?

Everyone is online, and your business needs to be there too. Now is not the time to stop your marketing and social media efforts! Yes, times are tough, but if you don’t keep a presence in your customer’s minds, it will fade away, and it won’t be easy to get them back.

In an online world, creating a sale (revenue) works like a funnel:

In an online world, creating a sale (revenue) works like a funnel:

Social media creates your first contact. You publish a post or short message – if that captures the interest of your intended audience, they will click on the post (engage), and that will take them to,

A landing page, which functions as the cover of your website. A place where your product or service will be explained, focusing on its advantages and improving your customers’ life by solving their problems and needs. At this point, you will ask your audience to acquire your product – referred to as a “call to action.” If your audience wants your solution, they will click on it, and that will take them to,

The checkout page. Here’s where you will register, choose delivery options, look into terms and conditions and warranty, and make payments.

A few important things about the funneling process.

Social media is about connecting at an emotional and intellectual level. Each platform, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc., has its unique purpose, and its users are seeking a specific experience when visiting one or the other. You have to adjust your message (copy) to each platform to resonate with that audience.

One common mistake is that companies think they have to be everywhere to make sales; there is no point in spending time and money where your target audience is not present. Take your time and define to the smallest detail who your perfect customer is (also called your “avatar”) and find out where it hangs out in the internet world,

Marketing and Sales are often seen as one, but these are two different efforts:

“You can worry about the competition…or you can focus on what’s ahead of you and drive fast.”

– Jack Dorsey

Learn how to communicate with marketing experts to create the best program for your business; visit Chapter 5 of our free online business course at www.theincframework.com

If you have any questions about this topic, you can contact me at [email protected]

Tip #6

Like the Bee Gees Song, Staying Alive!

We need oxygen to live; your business needs cash flow. If you don’t pay the bills, you can’t go on. Let me explain; there are three basic financial statements you need for any business or organization handling money:

1.

Balance Sheet

For all your company resources (assets), you either owe them (liabilities), or you own them (shareholders’ equity). Your total resources need to be equal to = what you owe + what you own. It needs to balance, so that is why the name.

2.

Income Statement (P&L)

This piece of paper will show you how much money (revenue) you receive from all your sales, minus all the expenses you had to pay to make that sale (materials, payroll, rent, taxes, etc.). The result is your profit (or your loss).

3.

Important Note:

Your revenue (sales) is not necessarily cash you received as your customers might pay you later (IOU or credit). Your expenses are not necessarily paid already (cash spent) as your vendors might have given you some time to do so (financing), or you used a credit card.

4.

Statement of Cash Flow

Based on the note above, this report will show you how much cash you receive and how much cash you actually spent. You can receive cash from your product sales, or from some equipment you sold, or interest from your savings account. You can spend cash to pay for materials, payroll, supplies, or even a downpayment or pay interest on your loans.

So here’s what we need to know.

Companies get in financial trouble because they confuse being profitable with having cash available. These are two very different things.

The net profit you see on your Income Statement is NOT money in the bank. So you can have a big profit number for the month – in paper - and no money in the bank.

Manage your daily business finances with your statement of cash flow and make sure you don’t run out of cash; and review the other two statements (BS, P&L) at least once a month to adjust your strategy.

And last, here is the key to creating a healthy cash flow:

1.

Receive cash from your customers faster than paying your vendors. Ex, Collect your Accounts Receivable in less than 15 days and pay your Accounts Payable in 30-45 days.

2.

Maintain as little inventory as possible, as this means having money staged.

“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”

– Joshua J. Marine

“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”

– Joshua J. Marine

Learn more about financials, including the importance of financial ratios; visit Chapter 6 of our free online business course at www.theincframework.com

If you have any questions about this topic, you can contact me at [email protected]

Tip #7

You And What Army?

As consumers, we are reaching the point where we expect nothing less than perfection. As providers, we have to deliver it.
Business is a race, and if we don’t continuously improve every aspect of our operation, someone that is doing this will carry the checkered flag. This is not a question of personality; this a methodology that needs to be learned, practiced, and maintained.
The central concept is simple, focus on the elimination of waste. There are different types of waste, but lets consider the basic ones:

If every team member in your company is trained to identify waste and systematically eliminate it in everything they do, the results will be astonishing. Your team will become far more efficient and achieve lots more with the same resources. For example, daily activities can be reduced from 45 minutes to 5 minutes; more complex tasks from 3 days to 8 hours. I am not exaggerating; I have done it for 20 years!

This will gain you time, and time is what every business leader lacks. The more time you have, the more you can spend it making more improvements and looking for new business opportunities – in simple terms, you will have time to think and plan for awesomeness.

The concept of Continuous Improvement (CI) is known formally as Lean Six Sigma. It was made popular in 1991 with the publication of the book The Machine That Changed the World (1991) based on the authors’ observations at Toyota Motor Corporation.

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.”

- Vince Lombardi

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.”

- Vince Lombardi

You can learn the CI methodology in a super practical way by visiting Chapter 7 of our free online business course at www.theincframework.com

If you have any questions about this topic, you can contact me at [email protected]

Tip #8

Hitting The Restart Button

While it is true that many companies had to change course and adapt due to the pandemic, many others are still waiting for these challenging times to pass. Understandably, many of us are overwhelmed by the news and so many world-ending scenarios. Making the necessary business adjustments take time and money, and in this case, the latter is a challenge.

Still, the government is offering some loans, and we can look for other sources of capital to invest in our road to recovery – the goal here is to consider a few things when deciding what’s next for our business.

“Strength shows not only in the ability to persist, but in the ability to start over.”

- F. Scott Fitzgerald

1.

Read as much as you can about how your industry has been affected. When in crisis mode, government rules and regulations can change, for better or worse. Do not make any assumptions.

2.

Learn what others in similar businesses are doing to adapt. New technologies have emerged to help with new problems. Do not experiment by trial and error as money is scarce – it is time to be creative and push forward with what we have available – McGyver style.

3.

As reviewed in point 1, consider what your business is really good at (or was) as these talents and abilities can be used at other business opportunities. For example:

4.

Over the years, you have developed an internal “call center” or a team answering customer calls and providing excellent customer service. Many businesses don’t know where to start to create a call center so you can expand your capacity and offer this service to other companies.

5.

You design and manufacture consumer products and have a few genius engineers and technicians. You can offer engineering services to other non-competing small companies and share these talents to utilize your capacity 100% and as a new source of revenue.

6.

It is time to consider all options, selling, or mergers included. You can align your company to become of interest to larger corporations where your business can be a strategic piece to access or expand their customer base. Other companies might have the missing component you need to catapult your new product idea.

It is time to make decisions.

“Strength shows not only in the ability to persist, but in the ability to start over.”

- F. Scott Fitzgerald

Think about other great possibilities to reemerge stronger by visiting Chapter 8 of our free online business course at www.theincframework.com

If you have any questions about this topic, you can contact me at [email protected]