Building a Money Making Foundation

What is one of the best ways to grow your customer base? Many people believe that it begins with massive efforts in lead generation to a cold market. Not so.

It’s been proven that it is best to begin with your current customer base. Who values what you do? Even if it’s just a handful of happy clients, start with them. Why do they love you? What are their needs? Where do they hang out – online or locally?

Go there and find more of them. Make it easy for people like them to pick you, keep choosing you, and to share about you with others.

This is how you build a solid foundation for sales. And this is what we love helping build for our clients.

Don Dalrymple

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Money is flowing every day. Deals are made. People pull out their credit cards continuously  to buy what they want.

We don’t have to create demand as much as we need to sell things that people want to buy and make it easy for them to do so.

If you are so impatient and frenzied to get the next sale and have to continually hustle without creating a selling machine, where will you ultimately be in six months? Still hustling and struggling to get the next deal?

If you are so busy that you make it hard on yourself, it’s because you undervalued or ignored the need to build a solid money-making foundation to your business process.

Maybe you have a few sales already. Great! You could step back and learn a few things to build a foundation that could drive continuous sales. Here are some key strategies to…

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Building the Boring Business

Many people think “boring” is bad.

But there are several things we do every day that really are considered boring: grooming, driving, washing dishes, etc. Sure, you can find ways to make them interesting, but as tasks, they are just meant to make other opportunities possible.

We can think of a well-run business like that. If it is “boring” – meaning that it’s cash-flowing easily, no drama, no headaches, no stress – it can free you up for other opportunities. Things that are exciting and important to you in life like creative projects, loved ones, adventure and travel.

This article highlights a few different ideas to help you take stock and move towards having that streamlined “boring” business:

– How do materials, information and talent flow?
– Do you have strong leadership?
– How do you manage client relationships?
– Do you have systems that help grow a continuous pipeline and nurture creative innovation?
– Do you have a knowledge base that team members can easily reference?

What would you do if you had a boring business? (hint: many of our clients have one and so have started more!)

Don Dalrymple

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I enjoy drama, action and suspense when I watch a movie to relax and let my mind and emotions wander. However, I don’t find heroics and craziness entertaining or useful in business. In fact, my goal with entrepreneurs and business owners is to build a boring business based on systems, processes and execution that produces consistent cash flow.

That sounds reasonable, but often it goes against the programming and nature of the owner operators that believe charisma and heroics has won the day. I get it. We like superheroes and long to be one.

Emergencies pop up and uncertainty continually deals a hand here and there. When I see volatility or repeatable drama, then my conclusion is that something foundational is not working.

If you ever have gone on factory tours of large manufacturers of cars, electronics or packaged goods, you don’t see chaos and frenetic energy. You see systems that…

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What Executive Productivity Hinges On

How many dashboards or lists are important to manage for your business? For many professionals, it becomes overwhelming to manage them all well. And yet, most of them are vital to effectively growing your businesses. We tend to grow what we are focused on.

What if you set up a simple system for yourself each morning to make sure you gave attention to the lists that were most important? It could become almost like brushing your teeth or taking a vitamin as a habit.

This simple habit could move the needle forward in relationships, projects, marketing, and management, placing the next step in someone else’s court.

With intentionality and creativity you may find ways to consolidate your lists or move through them with ease and speed, moving through those with greatest priority to those with less. This would free up yourself for new opportunities throughout the day. And you wouldn’t feel bogged down by slodging along through these lists the entire day or stressed from ignoring them.

Don Dalrymple

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As work relentlessly gets democratized, it’s hard for people to get formal training that was once consolidated within large industrial companies. The internet does continually grow with knowledge and content and this should suffice to educate everyone. But it’s hard to make sense of all the information or put it into strategies that make an impact.

Knowledge work demands that we move information and make decisions quickly. While everyone is not officially titled as an executive, we have to make decisions efficiently.

There’s a lot written on creating big visions, mission statements and developing strategies. But there is something even more foundational that should be part of any good executive’s daily ritual. It is a critical daily habit that allows for extreme leverage across projects. It is the habit of list management.

Managing Across Your Lists

Think about how many logins you have. You have a login for your email…

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Make Good Deals So We Don’t Hate Each Other

Deal-making is inherent to all businesses.

You make deals every step of the way – with your software providers, landlord, vendors, customers, partners – just to name a few.

Every relationship offers you the opportunity to “win” or “lose.” Ideally, everybody wins. But getting to that ideal is tricky, requiring masterful skill and clarity.

Here are a few things to keep in mind in order to make sure you set up good agreements that benefit both yourself and the others involved, in order to enjoy long-term success.

Don Dalrymple

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I have always said,

“Good agreements make for great relationships. Bad agreements make for bad relationships.”

And having done many deals over many years, I can see where I have had a profitable and fun relationship when there are explicit expectations. And when there has been innuendo or ambiguity, relationships suffer because there is not a good agreement.

There are a lot of reasons bad deals happen. Sometimes it’s out of laziness on one or both parties. Other times, goodwill. I have made many of the mistakes and I am not one to keep repeating a script that doesn’t work. I want great relationships and have a lot of fun at it. Sure, there’s opportunities for making money, but I also enjoy people and life. Life’s too short to miss the fun.

So, if you’re like me and want to avoid the mess of unmet expectations or resentments that follow…

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Fooled by the Law of Diminishing Returns

Is more always better?

We all know the answer to that. But the trickier question is, “WHEN is more actually not better?” As our businesses grow, it’s easy to get pulled into adopting more systems, adding in more headcount, scheduling more events, developing more products.

At what point do these things start to have a diminishing return in revenue? Don offers a few key questions to ask yourself when you are considering doing more.

Don Dalrymple

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At some point, the effort and cost are not worth it anymore. The Law of Diminishing Returns kicks in when building a business or even building a life. More investment of your time, money and attention may initially have high returns, but then at some point, the rewards taper.

Will more efficiency make a large impact on your revenue?

How many more relationships start to become a liability to manage rather than pure enjoyment?

Does more money create more happiness after a certain point? They say $75K is that point of diminishing return from research studies.

Sometimes, I can’t find the motivation to do more. Perhaps, that law of diminishing return is instinctive and I’m only responding. Or experience simply shows me that more does not equal better. In fact, more may mean cost.

I see it with business owners that add more headcount and find more headaches or layers of management…

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