Business Planning & Top 3 Tips to Increase the Value of Your Company
Hi, my name is max and today, we will talk about business. Planning and tips to increase the value of your company. Our guest is Graham Hogan who is the, CEO, with. 20. Years experience in. Both. Small, and large companies are. Covering most aspects, of business from, sales marketing. As well as business planning he has a passion for helping entrepreneurs. Like. You achieve. The success they seek and has. Been providing, business. Coaching for many years, if, you want to learn other business tips then subscribe to this show now. Welcome. To the show of business owners how they brought to you by easy break hotel into it. That's. Pretty good thank you three, years out is the. And. We, obviously wanting, people to think about where they want to be in three, years time because, a lot of people don't do anything about their future I just let it happen absolutely. And. People. Begin. Their. Day how do you have any system, I do. Love. Doing crosswords. And things of that so the first thing eat the paper have a cup of coffee and do the crossword test, to get my brain Korean. Usually. I'll try and go to the gym fairly, early in the morning or at. Least at lunchtime because. I find energy is really important, from, physical fitness, key. Part of keeping the brain functioning, as well percent. Gram. When, and why. Let's. Be really. Clear on a couple of things if you want to have success you actually have to provide success, for others and one. Of those in particular is, the customer, if you, want to be successful your, customers, have to be successful, and what they get from you and also, your team planning. Is really important, if you are aiming to, put. Some structure, to what you do a lot. Of businesses, were, just tend to let things happen but, customers. Love consistent. And you, have to deliver that and a frigate. Whatever you're offering at a high level of service in a regular way and unfortunately. That takes planning, most. Business, owners would. Find planning, dull. Through a description, and I'd rather do something that gave them a buzz and. The interesting thing is success. Gives them a buzz but. The conundrum. There is success requires some. Planning so. Business, owners really need to think about what, they want to achieve and then put a structure in place to have that happen through a decent, business plan and then, the execution that follows on from that to be frank. I. Hate planning because. It's daunting, and it's like, I can when I think about business planning I think at 50.
Pages Document. The. Plan or the plan I end up with is a two-page, document you, can make it a one page but the font would be so small you probably wouldn't read it anyway and, you're divided, into two sections with, one section being the pre-work to, get your thinking right and then, the second, page is really the actions you're going to do over the next, three. Years, that's. The thinking, about what you want to do is really important, and the. Part of the planning process I, work through is to get people to do. Some preparatory. Work and to think about where they are now before. They start thinking about the future and for, example a really good way of starting. That off as asking sort of three quick questions, describe. Your last. Twelve months and two to three words you know that sort of gut feel reaction. Or, like I bit, dissapointing, or where hey we did really well or maybe. Like my school reports, could have done better and then you ask people, to write down the three things they spend most of their time on last last, year and then tech the things they. Really loved doing or, are the best at doing and if. There's no text that also signals. What. The issue is with where, they are so the, planning process is very much aimed at getting some thinking about why people should pick you you. Have to offer something, that's different. To everyone else. Without difference adds value that, isn't just a process of doing the best at it but being the best at everything because you can't be there's, always something underneath something better than you but an answer being really clear on the on what problem you're trying to solve, who, has that problem, and why. Is that problem, important, to them as one chunk of work and then, secondly, why, is your solution to that problem I'm going to be different. Add more value than someone, else and then last, but really, importantly why, is solving. That problem important. To you because, if it's just about making money you'll, eventually gonna fail it's got to be more than that you've got to have some bigger reason, to do what, you want to do so the planning process if I'm doing it for a company, with 10, 15 people that you maybe you've got five, or six key people involved it's, probably a day off site only and then. You get a business plan and and then the execution is, what really makes the difference third, day is basically, scanning. A lot of things about where the business is at and what it needs to do to BC to particularly, achieve success, for. Other people so you can achieve success for yourself, Graham, should. You involve. Any, of your star and if though at what point and who should be involved good question, max, there's, a really great expression, which I heard of sometimes. During last year which is have. The team plan, the fight so, they don't fight the plan and that's, really, sums up why you need to get your team involved, depending, on the size of the business but, if you're if you're a one-man, band you are the team so that's pretty you're, heavily involved in the first instance, but, if you've got a spouse. That's obviously, needs to know about your business could, you've spent a lot of time on it they need to know a little bit about it you, can't have key suppliers, as well who can provide a significant, input to your business even, they've I made may be contractors. That you use as well so having, them somehow involved, but for a team of 15. To 20 people you've probably got three, or four key. Personnel. Someone running operations, someone running so some of someone, running the finances, and they, all should be better at doing those, jobs that newer otherwise, you've employed the wrong people but, you have have to have them involved. Thing that surprises me with a lot of business owners as they think they know it all when, effect their team have a really good understanding of, what's not working in the business and what. Could we better say you've got to involve them and they're, key people very, much in the early stage of that planning process they should be there on the planning done and then post that you involve the team and the communication. Process as soon as you've got a structure and really, clear on that for yourselves because, you want, them to be engaged and we're heading if, they're not engage they're going to slow you down they're going to act, as a bit of a blockage and you need to have them on board and contributing, as best they can in our company, I remember. That I was at some point a bit ashamed, to. Ask advice from our. Staff, because I was thinking like I should lead them I should, actually know tell them instruct, them but, it's then I realized, that as you said they.
Know. If. They've been for. A while within your team they are your team so they should be involved and I know a lot of things in some cases more than you because that's, what they specialize in. Input. From your team is vital. And it's really interesting sometimes they. Know what. They should be doing and. Processes. May prevent them from doing that and they, can start questioning through. That process of, engagement why. Are you doing some of the stuff and it could be they just don't understand, and therefore explaining, it removes. That barrier for, them or you, change a process so it's more effective so how do you can, you do it yourself or, should you. Without. Being biased and that I think you need to have an assist someone to help you through that but you can do it yourself and, if you've got a good process the, key thing is taking, the time and, most. Businesses, are so, busy doing the busy doesn't us they forget about running the business and that needs to pause and reflect is, really important, the, value of having someone from outsiders, if you've, got a team there there's no agenda, from the owner directing. Things the, facilitator. Can. Actually help you, your, team contribute. And put, aside some of those biases, that every business has or. If you know that someone's got a hearty annual they always keep on coming up about you can pack that to one side as a facilitator, that also external. View is really important, because sometimes. Businesses. Get so wrapped up in their own good. Nature of intention, of doing things that they forget what's real and what, they think is important, and even. If you're not a customer or know the industry very well you can least question, it and have it explored, a little bit because you're an outsider the other aspect, that's the planning process, the key thing and I'll talk about it, now. There's a really great quote from Thomas, Edison that, I'll just read it to make sure you know right having. A vision for what you want is not enough a vision. Without execution, is. An hallucination. So. The execution is the really hard but to do and that's what business has really struggled, with they, get so busy doing the doing they forget the pause and look and have a check if you've, got someone, coming on a regular, basis a fortnightly, to check in and support provide support, it's, amazing, what gets done because that person is turning up in the, past I know people have said oh gosh Graham's coming, on Tuesday we better get done what we said we're going to do before he turns up sort. Of like homework and, that. Gets things progressed if it's just, the business what. Will happen is they'll just Oh put, it off till tomorrow put, it off till tomorrow and, nothing ever gets done so they're stopping. And pausing is, really important, and that's worth a third party providing. Input was, experience can actually help as well. In. My situation realized. That in. Some areas, I need to be accountable, to some because, you. Know not not many people can do, it on their own in my company, I have a business partner and we. Can keep, things in check in other situations if. People, run, their company by themselves, it's good to have a third, party. There's. Another element running a business is really hard, work and it's, a pretty lonely lonely. Process, sometimes. Business. Owners need someone where they can go and either. To where they're finding things really frustrating, and they, want to get that off their chest to make them feel better about having a big, moan or whatever it may be they, can't do that and so it's a business that seems to be feeling destructive, the other times they.
Just Having someone to go and chat through some things just to get their thinking right that's, also can be very hard inside a business where, you're doing it by yourself because, people can take it as a as a you know rather than a discussion, about something they can take it as being, we're doing that and that's. Not what you're intending so, the value of the third party discussion, outside is really important if you have just joined us I'm talking, to Graham who is a. Specialist. In business planning and if you want to learn other business, tips make sure you subscribe to this show. Using. The business plan increased. The business value or you. Know improved, the business what was the, example good, good question we've got one business at the moment we're working with and they have a problem. And they're very specialized, area any, dependency. Is on. That. Small. Sector. And they want to diversify but, they're finding it very difficult to. Diversify. Quickly. They. Through, our discussions, one of the things we did was put our prices up and as. A result they've they've, put, profit wind but. By. A. Bit. Eighty percent I think it was just. Because we will. Work through they can't do the revenue gain quickly, by, adding, a lot of new products and with a very limited market they. Are working through the price increase and adding working. It with their margins, should be they're. Able to have. Dropped volume, by about two, percent I think that they've gained six, percent, in revenue and their six percent transpired. To be another. 150k on the bottom line so, to speak so gone, from about a 4%, return to. About a 10%, return on sales just. Through doing that sort of thing so and. They were very reluctant to do to, do that but when you take them through the process. It's. Easy news ends up not being that bigger a bigger challenge that's, that's just one example. Another. One with a sale where the sales team. Process. Was really poor, they. Didn't have a pipeline. Measurement. Process, and just, starting to measure that and putting accountability. On back under people to, do to do the lead generation rather than just waiting for the sale certainly. Significantly, changed the way that their business was developing. Its leads and. Again, a very tough market so, it's. Just the value of sitting down and working at the key things you need to do and, then putting some measures around them can make a major difference, Graham.
How Do you increase, the, prices, especially. When you have so, many competitors. Nowadays, yeah, that's a good. One it's really really hard to do that it's, always good to do small price increases, regularly. Rather than wait a long. Time this company hadn't put his prices up in four years so and. Therefore some. Of the products they had a the, prom for it was a raw material that wind up forty percent in. Seven. Months after going up forty percent in three, months before that so they, had to make an adjustment with, a bond product so we forced them to take the or convince. Them rather than force them to take the decision, to do, everything and small. Protes more price increases, are really important, but. And a bit depends on the competitive, nature that, you're in so I know, you've got a freight forwarding business which is really challenging. And what imagine price-wise to, do much with but, it's just a small percentage of is each time people. Don't notice or two or three percents but then notice the ten percents and just. Making small adjustments I there it can be that, doesn't get noticed as much I'm, actually curious. How. Do you charge. I. Mean you don't have to give an exact number. But do try to pay our, monthly. People. Have various ways of doing it and by the way I work. As I have a flat. Monthly fee and it, depends on how many times you're coming in to visit or how long you're spending with, people better, and. So. The on the planning day would depend on the size of the company a, planning. Day because it's not just the day for, myself would be the pre-work, and. There'd be about a three thousand dollar investment and then. For, me if I was working as their company every fortnight would be $1,500, a month and, you stay as long as you're adding very because if I don't add very then nothing's. Being done to the company. But. I've got also I do some work with some small, businesses, and I've got a recession, coming up with for. Businesses, and doing. Them as a group session and we'll do that in half a day and that's, a lot less that's sort, of under $1,000, if you're doing that. Group. Group type session for there one man being type of business so it depends a little bit of courses. For courses and I've, got another business so I've spent two half days a week with it, so therefore that changes, the, price as well but it's usually a flat rate not. An hourly rate because. Sometimes. You do a lot of extra work because that's what's needed and the customers, could have the very rented and. They'd be deal on that and sometimes it may be a little bit quicker but. It's usually from my perspective I like to add more very than I'm the. Time I'm spending does, it include a cup of coffee. Coffee. Couple. Places a find. The right coffee shop and it's, a great place to do business, Graham what. Things, what, are the common mistakes when say. If a person decided, to do it on on his own he, is a do-it-yourself man. Or a woman and what, are the common mistakes that, people do. That, can, stop it and will. Improve their planning I think. Go. Back to the, key to. Key key, elements that are probably big mistakes, or. Three you the first one is not. Thinking about success, for your customers, and that's. Not about doing, everything your customer, wants because a customer will want you to break up see but. It's having those conversations with, them to understand, what you can vary. You can add to them to, make their business do better because, if you do that they'll stay with you and they'll want to pay you a fair price for it too so, thinking. In terms of the customer, is really important, and then, thinking in terms of how the team can contribute, to that as a tutor. These are two big things those. Things will drive you do that really well those, things will drive your internal, systems to make sure you're doing things properly and regularly which. Sort, of forces you to become smart, in that area and the. Other big mistake, a lot of people take, is they just don't take the time to stop and pause and reflect, well. As. What, are the meters of God are they showing me stuff are. The. Things. Changed, in the market that I need to adapt what I'm doing is, what I'm doing just not getting the results, I need to think about doing something differently that. Pause is really the, key thing and, I'll give you a really good example most.
Business. People would, have either played, a sport in music, or something like that and and. When they were doing that they'd go to practice two days a week rain hail sleet. Snow type, stuff they'll, go for runs three times four times a week to get fit for the sport they're playing, well. If they're playing music they go to the lessons. And they'll practice a few times just to, do their thing on the weekend to make them feel good but, there won't take two, hours off and a fortnight, to, stop and pause and think about their business and the. Parallel which is obviously, happy to do it for hobby but they can't do it for the thing that's, probably the most important, part in their. Life. Apart. For your relationships, which. Usually suffer if the business isn't doing well anyway so, and people are just got to take that time to, pause it's a discipline, they've got to get into it's. Tuesday afternoon or, whatever it may be they. Choose two hours every fortnight to stop and just have. A good think about where things we're at and look at it and that's where I think having a third party coming, along and provide. That discipline, of meeting on one hand and then, having the person have a conversations, with to, help that reflection process is really key. You. Obviously, have a luxury. Of. Accessing. Two. Great, minds. Of. Different. Entrepreneurs, you work with different business, owners what's. Trending. In. 2019. What are they doing that you, know make them grow. They. Could. Wish the same, as the phrase a solid, as, they slowly definitely, the thing that they're struggling with the most is staff. Finding. Good team, is a real challenge so often. Growth comes, from having good people on board that's, proving, difficult for. Them as. A whole just getting the right people and and having, the risk having the team stay engaged I think. The other element is that people, are looking for is is, using. Social. So the social. Media is a key, part. Of every business, figuring. Out how to use it depending. On the market you're in as is, the challenge and I think the smart entrepreneurs, are finding ways of doing that, but, whether it be using LinkedIn, we have been using facebook. Depending. On the, audience you're after and I. Think that's really key the use of social media is that's probably the thing I've learned the most and the, last 12. To 15 months that, I hadn't, thought of as being as important before as it as it really is. And. It's. So, affordable compared, to. Print. Media, and other TV, ads and I, think, it's you, can practice. It's. Just the challenge of social media is execution. Of that you. Can spend a lot of time doing a lot of silly stuff and finding. An expert you, can give you some guidance and that area is also quite challenging, I, think, there are a lot of people out there who. Have a view of how they how social media can work. But.
It's The expertise, around that. Like I met with Richard Conway, who's the guy who developed. Pure. SEO. And. He's written a book about how. Our search engine optimization. Can make a major difference to your business and catching. Up with people like that who. Have thought. Through how to approach, using. Some, social. Media wide. Range. Of tools to, be more effective in your business, that's. The sort of people you need to be alongside, a hundred, percent agree with you Graham and you. Have to know, the right people you know you have to work. With specialists. Otherwise. You're just gonna waste, so much money, yeah. Very much and then the hard thing is depending, on the business you're in finding, the right channel it's. Not Facebook for us um and it's not LinkedIn for others and it's not Instagram. Or whatever, the other things. That usually younger. People chase, not people of my Calot here and, I know too much about but. Just, finding, the right tool and the right mechanism, to get your message across and then, there's people who can do smart. Things with, know that all the algorithms. That those fancy. Tools have to, make you more, effective just. Learning that stuff is the key presenter I'd, like to ask. Questions. Joss, can. You tell us what's been your, best personal, purchase, this, year good. Okay. I haven't, used it yet I bought, tickets to the Pink Floyd Experience coming. To. And, doing a tour of New Zealand I've been, a Pink Floyd friend for four, years and I'm taking my son along, with me so he's a bit of an likes, a bit of music stuff so it's, gonna be my big, purchase, so far this year just to have that two things about that one is I don't go to concerts very often so that's, a big thing for me and secondly just to go back and enjoy. The music and step right out of what, everything else I do and enjoy, that moment what's been. Decided. To do some webinars in terms of learning how to do I've, been in business planning Eleni how to use, this. Fancy technology. And. I was really, struggling with how, to do, that so I ended up choosing a company called magpie media to, help me and they were just so easy it made it and made a new, new initiative, for me very easy to to, partake, in and focus on my delivery, rather, than all the other mechanical, stuff around making, webinars, work so that was my best purchase, for the year so far definitely, a quick.
Question. What have. You changed your mind about this, year I know the answer could be wrong. I. Think. The big thing is. Media. Needing, to find the right people to help you through that are very complicated means. Of communication. Way, back in the day was you know TV radio there's a through three, radio stations you have to choose from and then they got really really complicated, well it's the same thing with that what the, interweb, world, out, there how you use it, and finding the right people to guide you that's the the, biggest learning I've made I just got to find that channel. Those. Guidance. People and, it's for me it's not about like to have people teach. Me on the way through so, you want to learn so. That you someone's guiding you and I use the expression previous. Business where as I getting a safari, guide you, don't want to do the same so far even else has done but you want them to know how, to cross a river we had to be safe in a particular place so that's, the sort of expert you're looking for because your journey is different or everyone else's it's your journey. With. Your Graham. So. Their website, is dubbed up three. Years out calm, and. On one of the participants. In their business you. Can email me at Graham GRA. E m e ed, three, years out comm, and that's the the, numeral three. Or. You can ring me on my cell phone Oh 2-1, to, 4303. Thirty-six happy, to have a coffee with someone to explore what, their challenges. In their business are and how planning. Maybe off to assist that happy. To do that and, the Oakland area or we. Can always do a Skype use that technology, again to, communicate, on or if you're outside of your Canaria and if you didn't have a chance to write. This all down I'll, make sure we have that in the notes and I, appreciate your time Graham and, again. Thank you max appreciate the opportunity, and good luck even out there with your business opportunities, and what they want to achieve go, well. You.