Several years ago I attended a five day Guerilla Business School in Los Angeles, put on by a training organization called Peak Potentials. The schools are taught by successful businessmen and woman who have made millions or even billions in their businesses. Their goal in teaching these seminars is to educate others to be able to achieve similar results to improve their lives and their employees and then have money to also donate to help others and other causes in the world!
Following are nine key take-aways that will improve my business and that of our agency consulting clients:
- Owners should work “ON” their business, not “IN” their business. Most entrepreneurs come from the trenches and then stay there when they open their own business. They do not start with management skills initially and have to learn from the school of hard knocks. People open up their firm when they think they can do it better than their bosses, and then continue to work “in” and not “on” their business.
Unfortunately, they are not able to grow and manage their firms, as they don’t have the pieces in place to delegate the working “in” their business to others. Read Michael Gerber’s book the “E Myth” and now a new one that is “E Myth Revised’ for more great information on the subject.
- Surround Oneself with Successful People and Mentors. People are who they associate with. Be a part of a great Mastermind group for your own learning and support. Thomas Edison and Harry Firestone were part of Henry Ford’s mastermind group.
Oak & Associates has a group of high-performing larger insurance agencies meeting quarterly, that are strategically placed, so they don’t compete with each other. If interested, let us know.
- Invest in the business versus the owners spending the profits. Owners need to set their firm up for maximum sales price for their retirement, making their firm more valuable. This can be a sale internally to others or a third party sale. If profits are not invested back in to make the firm bigger and better, the owners are selling the firm to themselves now, and won’t command a higher price tag later.
- Spend 60% of time on marketing and sales, not administration or operations. Most people spend less than 20% of their time on new business and sales and 60% of their time on administrative items. Simply said, if you aren’t growing, you won’t have anything to administrate, correct?
- Build the Right Team for new Business Growth.
High-performing firms have owners who work hard on bringing in the best people and essentially replace themselves long before retirement. That is working smart. It also shows confidence!
- Inspire People in the Firm through Communicating the Firm’s Goals/Mission. Employees need to know what the firm’s goals and mission are. Then they can help the agency get there. High-performing firms often even share their financial statements monthly and the budget, so managers know how the firm is doing. What a concept! If bonuses are based on individual’s efforts, there will more likely be more growth and happier people working toward the firm’s goals and mission when they are aware of what they are.
- Be a good listener, especially to what customers want and need. Do the firm’s products meet the needs of the customers, their why? Most firms sell what they have to others versus listening to what the customers need and desire and then finding or creating that product.
- Outsource what can be versus having to hire and increase fixed payroll. In this way, if the business revenues go up or down, owners have flexibility and don’t get into financial trouble. Today there are fewer good people looking for work since Covid, so commissioned sales and outsourcing is working well for many growing firms.
- Do not be afraid to take risk by taking action. We learn much more from our mistakes in life and in our business. Look at how many times many of the greats in business started and failed, Charles Schwab of US Steel, Donald Trump, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs and now ElonMusk. A great strategy is to consider being ready, firing and then aiming. Too many people strategize down to the last detail on what they might do with their lives or business and miss the opportunities and learning, because they never take the action. The perfect plan or strategy does not exist.
These tips when successfully implemented will change the face of the agency and make it and the people employed a formidable force to compete with.