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Defining and planning the key areas of your business

This second episode ties with the previous one about Beginning with the End in Mind. After being able to have an end goal in mind, it’s now a good time for business owners to define which areas of their business do they need to build a system for.

Edward emphasizes how much he favors simplicity in terms of building out systems for his business.

This for me is a very important insight because most business owners have this tendency to over-complicate systems which can be disruptive to the development of everything.

“Systems stand for ‘save yourself time energy and money’.”

Coincidence or not, this acronym given by Ed is astoundingly fitting when you think of what the true value of systems really is.

Systems are the foundation and building blocks of your business. They help structure the flow and growth of most areas in your business.

If you’re intersted in learning more about this, check out part 2 of this Strategic Planning series with my good friend Edward Plant.

Full Transcription

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TRANSCRIPTION PREVIEW

Matt Jones: [00:00:01] Hello and welcome back to Tool Box Talks on The Site Shed podcast. My name is Matt Jones and you are joining us today for part two of the series that we have titled strategic planning done right. I’m joined by my co-host Edward plant from the Institute of Couples in Business. Ed, welcome.

Ed Plant: [00:00:19] Hi mate, good to be back again.

Matt Jones: [00:00:22] Ed, so in the first episode we were talking about beginning with the end in mind. Of course we put a bit of a spin on this relevant to family related organizational structures so that might be working with your partner or perhaps you’re working with a family member like your father or something like that. Pretty relevant to the trades you see that quite a lot. It was great episode actually we spoke about a lot of things and you gave us a brilliant framework for the the street plan which was basically a three year vision broken down into a 12 month plan broken down into three month goals and then two weekly actions for you guys out there that missed that. Make sure you go back and check that one out because as always we structure these series in a way that the following episodes will lead in to the previous. Ed, a background on you. You spent 17 years in the military so you are a Planning Wizard. Obviously now you run the Institute for couples in business which is a brilliant training program that helps people basically helps businesses achieve their goals. So very more than qualified to speak on this topic but with your experience then of course you’re a member of the Facebook community which is also very valuable so thank you for being a part of that.

Ed Plant: [00:01:42] My pleasure. My pleasure.

Matt Jones: [00:01:44] So made in this episode we’re going to dive into The defining and planning the key areas of your business which of course tie into what we spoke about in the previous episode which was beginning with the end in mind just before I suppose we off line we had a bit of a chat about something that we probably should have or maybe covered off on then but certainly we can cover often now which is when you’re talking about laying out that road map and that plan that strategy who to involve in it and then how to I suppose make that relevant to the members of the team and so on and so forth. I know I’ve certainly worked in organisations before where the objective and the goal was about helping the boss by his next boat which for me I could not give a toss so

Ed Plant: [00:02:37] Yeah. There’s not many people in the world that want to work harder so that somebody else can make more money.

Matt Jones: [00:02:42] Right.

Ed Plant: [00:02:43] It’s a real hard pitch.

Matt Jones: [00:02:44] Yeah yeah. So and that was just I mean I was amazed you know with the amount of well that was the message that was kind of being conveyed at that point. I certainly don’t think case fell apart pretty quickly. It actually it kind of made me resentful in a way I know that’s pretty common or not or if that’s just me being choleric but yeah I’m interested to see. I mean so what’s your take on that. I mean we spoke about it off line but I’d really like to get just to clear that up for the listeners out there because we’ve gone and created these these street maps or these plans as you know as you call it for the for the three year goal the 12 month goal the three month goal the weekly actions or that kind of stuff. But then you know when you’re talking about that on a macro level of course effectively you can’t build an empire on your own so you know you need a team to buy into it and of course you want your team to buy into it. Then you’ve got to make it you’ve got to structure it in a way that they’re going to actually want to be a part of it.

Ed Plant: [00:03:45] Yeah totally. And we talked about this a lot in the book that we’ve released the leadership and how to get by in and motivate players.

Matt Jones: [00:03:55] Just quickly on that leadership that’s available on Amazon.

Ed Plant: [00:04:00] Yeah absolutely.

Matt Jones: [00:04:01] Okay so I’ll put a link to that as well initially.

Ed Plant: [00:04:04] Yeah. Brilliant. And what we did in the first session was talk about the street plan and what we really did was look at the vision and the goals in this session we’re going to have a look at the project and how to get better clarity on the right projects to make sure you’re moving in the right direction in terms of team (inaudible) I’ll just share how we do it and it’s a pretty good solution and we do this with a lot of the couples and businesses that we work with who have good teams. I get really clear on our vision all my life and I do and we plan out our vision of where we’re going. And the vision in this sense is not just the picture that we want. It’s the it’s the result that we want to have any impact. And I know when I’ve recruited people and I’ve talked about the impact we want to have. They’ve bought into it and I love it and as a result we take money off the table. So it no longer becomes a discussion about how much am I going to get paid. They go. I love the impact you guys are going to create throughout the Gulf Coast Queensland Australia the world and I’d be honoured to be a part of that. So we get really clear on that vision

Matt Jones: [00:05:20] So just

Ed Plant: [00:05:20] And then

Matt Jones: [00:05:21] Just quickly add when you’re talking about that vision we’re talking about the three year top left quadrant right.

Ed Plant: [00:05:28] A little bit in our case it’s so yes and no we’re not talking about telling telling the team that vision specifically because that vision can be quite personal and it can be about owning your office space

Matt Jones: [00:05:43] Right.

Ed Plant: [00:05:43] Owning vehicles and it’s a lot more

Matt Jones: [00:05:46] Right

Ed Plant: [00:05:46] Like a lot of that is

Matt Jones: [00:05:47] Financially driven.

Ed Plant: [00:05:49] For and a lot of that is how am I going to get more money to make my family’s life amazing. And the team won’t resonate with that for our vision in the Institute for couple of business. We want to be the leading advocacy and support organization for any couple in business throughout the world and we want to change their lives so that they have a ripple effect through their community which makes their their lives better their staffs lives better and their communities lives better.

Matt Jones: [00:06:19] Okay.

Ed Plant: [00:06:19] And if we can do that will will make the world a better place.

Matt Jones: [00:06:23] So you and Rebecca have one for yourselves and then you and the team have one for the team.

Ed Plant: [00:06:28] We have a we have a Institute for couples and business vision which is more like a traditional company vision statement

Matt Jones: [00:06:35] Right.

Ed Plant: [00:06:36] When we’re talking vision in the street plan we’re talking about the end in mind for that for the business owners. So a bit confusing to use as a vision but

Matt Jones: [00:06:50] So let’s dive into how you make that relatable.

Ed Plant: [00:06:53] Yeah, and then we go then from there we’ll talk about a little bit about the 12 month goals that the business has and then I’ll hand it over to them to come up with their 12 month goals of what they want to achieve inside the business and what they want to achieve personally because I want to know how I can help them have a better life and if I know that team happy driving towards things that they really want both personally and in business they’ll stay with us longer they’ll perform better and there’ll be a great asset.

Matt Jones: [00:07:24] So what does that framework look like and I ask you this because I’m going through this recently myself like I’ve never really I’ve never really myself been overly driven by money like it’s not really a big factor for me but I know that I like to help people achieve their goals and I want to be able to use my business as a way that they can do that. So it’s very relevant to where I’m at at the moment as well. Selfishly

Ed Plant: [00:07:45] Yeah. So what’s the framework for doing that with the staff.

Matt Jones: [00:07:50] Well yeah I mean how do you go about I suppose. How do you go about getting that. How do you lay it out. How do you map it out. What is it look like once it’s once you’ve collaborated with them and you’ve got it in front of you.

Ed Plant: [00:08:02] Yeah. So we’re now moving in to a staff support and how we do that on the bigger picture

Matt Jones: [00:08:09] Okay

Ed Plant: [00:08:11] And we have a thing called a plan on a page. So you’re getting a bit of a picture that I like things simple and if I can do it on a page I’ll do it on a page and in that plan on a page. We talk about what they want to achieve what they want their role to be what jobs they like doing what jobs they don’t like doing what their strengths are how they think they’re going what they need to improve and we do this with all new staff members to get them aligned and we do it with the regular we do it regularly with all our team members as well.

Matt Jones: [00:08:45] Yeah right

Ed Plant: [00:08:46] So once we’ve got that we’ve got then boltin to being invested in the direction we can also tweak it so we can go like, well listen I know you want to work with X type of customers but that’s not on our radar for the next 12 months. So we then have a discussion about it so instead of them thinking that they’re going to do something and never happening. We can say listen what we need to get done first is this. Are you okay with that. And then if we switch back to planning now inside that planning cycle we need them to be clear on their what their driving to every 12 months. And so the reason I have done this is when I was a when I was a sea captain I was sent over to Papua New Guinea to work for two years with the Papua New Guinea Defence Force to help the engineering planning and help them do reconstruction inside the country to help them improve the roads infrastructure and provide stability. When I was there the I was there with a senior captain and a major and the senior captain had been had a few really bad reports by one boss that had it pretty much affected his career for the next five to six years and the Major took me aside and said, hey Ed this has happened to Garth. What I I don’t want that to happen to you. So what I want you to do is work out what you want to achieve in the next 12 months two years in your posting and then I’ll recalibrate that and we’ll touch base every six months to make sure you’re on track and if you’re on track you’ll get the report that will set you up for the rest of your career.

Matt Jones: [00:10:34] that’s leadership.

Ed Plant: [00:10:36] And I went that’s amazing, but then what I did with that. So I got two years of great reports and achieved amazing things. The next job I went into I sat down with my boss and I said hey boss what do you need from me for me to get this type of report. And we worked it out and then what happened is I touch base at six months and I said, boss am I ontrack? And he said, yes or no. And over the next five years at the end of the 12 months I’d have bosses that come in and said, hey Ed here’s your report. Hi boss this isn’t what we talked about

Matt Jones: [00:11:11] Yeah right

Ed Plant: [00:11:12] Go well that’s what I think you did and I said well we agreed that if I did all this you’d give me this report and at the six month mark I checked in and you said I was on track so I haven’t been given any guidance to say that I needed to change improve or do something differently. So I don’t think we’re really talking the same language here what are we going to do about it.

Matt Jones: [00:11:33] Go. And so what would happen as a result of

Ed Plant: [00:11:36] The bosses is happy but be stunned because particularly the army like they tell people what to do and people

Matt Jones: [00:11:44] Yeah

Ed Plant: [00:11:44] Jump. And I was a subordinate going high

Matt Jones: [00:11:48] Hang on mate.

Ed Plant: [00:11:48] This is what we did. This isn’t what we agreed on

Matt Jones: [00:11:51] Yeah.

Ed Plant: [00:11:51] And they’d go okay what are we going to do about this and I said, well that would work it out. But they didn’t have a leg to stand on because I’d I’d communicated with them on position them and I got the know I deserved reports I got it. So I had done the work but I also positioned myself to make sure that they delivered on it.

Matt Jones: [00:12:11] Yeah right. I like it.

Ed Plant: [00:12:13] Because what. And so that’s why I do this with businesses now. So instead of your staff member having to leave that you it and position to be in a spot of power and the way I look at it is if your staff are delivering you growth and getting your best customers or helping you up sell or whatever it is Then hell reward them.

Matt Jones: [00:12:36] Yeah.

Ed Plant: [00:12:36] It’s amazing.

Matt Jones: [00:12:37] Yeah.

Ed Plant: [00:12:39] And that’s part of this process. So in the planning process we then sit down and they go through their goals and then we break down their projects that they need to focus on in the next 90 days

Matt Jones: [00:12:49] Yeah.

Ed Plant: [00:12:49] For them to work on.

Matt Jones: [00:12:51] I love it. It’s great. Okay. So.

Ed Plant: [00:12:56] And then using the street plan because after the project’s bit which is the three months there’s the weekly actions which is the three weekly actions I can check in and go What are your three actions this week. At any stage any time and I can tell me and I’ll have a look and I’ll go well that doesn’t really feel like a huge movement or something that’s going to be valuable to your projects. Why don’t we do this as well. And I go yeah. Good. Great idea. And they move slow

Matt Jones: [00:13:22] Ed, how do you structure that when you’ve got team members where their job is effectively to deliver the same the same product though it’s like okay I just need you need to be doing this every week so that we can get this product delivered or this service offered like this is basically your job you don’t need to complicate it much more than that.

Ed Plant: [00:13:43] Yeah totally and and for some you may not need to go into this detail

Matt Jones: [00:13:51] Right.

Ed Plant: [00:13:52] If they’re so some probably more so for those guys. There’s still things I think that I can improve every week and I’d be looking at those improvements being the things that I need to work on.

Matt Jones: [00:14:06] Yeah. A lot of listeners out there they’d be like well okay I’ve got a team of plumbers and I need them to make sure that they’re you know they you know obviously they are showing up the job on time making sure they don’t get callbacks like all that kind of shit like it’s more or less the same sort of thing.

Ed Plant: [00:14:21] Yeah totally. So every so what I’d be looking at is setting a theme for either a quarter or a month and just getting their weekly actions to be around that same

Matt Jones: [00:14:33] Okay.

Ed Plant: [00:14:34] So for example you could identify that you’re getting a lot of customer callbacks. So the theme for the month would be customer engagement.

Matt Jones: [00:14:45] Right.

Ed Plant: [00:14:46] So what actions do they need to do on a weekly basis that are going to improve and reduce the number of callbacks.

Matt Jones: [00:14:52] Yeah okay

Ed Plant: [00:14:53] Is it making sure they take their shoes off every time they go into the house. Is it cleaning up all the crap that’s fallen down around the toll of just having those like Real Simple things that they focus on.

Matt Jones: [00:15:06] Are there certain. We’re talking about defining and planning the key areas of your business. So one of the questions that I have to you are what typically are key areas and then what are some of the what are some of the areas that business owners will often think are other key areas but in reality they’re just massive distractions.

Ed Plant: [00:15:32] Yeah I guess we’re talking back up at the business level.

Matt Jones: [00:15:35] Yeah. So I’m jumping all over shoppy.

Ed Plant: [00:15:38] No no no that’s fine. I mean I just need to be clear because the answer is a little bit different depending on the level we talk about.

Matt Jones: [00:15:46] Well I

Ed Plant: [00:15:46] So

Matt Jones: [00:15:46] Mean it doesn’t have to be back at the business owner. We can we can keep I mean it’s relevant I suppose to

Ed Plant: [00:15:50] It’ll probably fly down through and if I talk about the business side or in terms of relevance for what are the key areas of their business. We’ve got nine key pillars that we focus on working with every business

Matt Jones: [00:16:02] Okay.

Ed Plant: [00:16:04] And day based on the subheadings of planning balance and leadership. So inside those I think everybody can work hard and achieve more but who wants to sign up for a 80 hour week every week for the next 10 years. So how do we get that how do we create the plan to deliver lifestyle and balance and lead the change in the business. So below those there’s a heap of different pillars so one of them is I’ll just go off the top of my head what jumps to my systems is one. So how are you going to introduce systems and systems stand for save yourself time energy and money.

Matt Jones: [00:16:51] I can’t believe I’ve never heard that.

Ed Plant: [00:16:54] So every time you introduce a system it will save yourself time energy and money

Matt Jones: [00:17:00] I love it

Ed Plant: [00:17:01] Which is also

Matt Jones: [00:17:01] (Laughs)

Ed Plant: [00:17:01] Fundamental. Fundamentally I’m a bit of a lazy person so if I can do it do it the easy way. I’m all in for that. So systems is one the other one is finding time. So I reckon all of the tradies that are listening are. Crazy busy. And

Matt Jones: [00:17:21] Yep they are

Ed Plant: [00:17:22] They can keep doing it that way or they can work out how to change it and do it differently.

Matt Jones: [00:17:28] Tying into that without interrupting you too much sorry but like a lot of the complaints that they have are around. Well you I’m busy because I can’t find people to do the job bright like everyone’s idiots like you is no one out there that’s good at doing what they do you know that’s a constant arguing but I think it sort of ties into what you said earlier where and I’ve heard this from a number of people that I’ve had on the show as well that do it very well. What we’re talking about retaining staff and getting building a great team like if you can associate that to where they want to go. Then you give them a instead of a job offer them a career path. As cliché as that sounds. You know that really can be the defining difference between you know building a team of people that are committed to the end goal and building a team of, porkchops

Ed Plant: [00:18:23] Absolutely and it is critical at the recruitment phase and the staff transformation phase so regardless so if you’re recruiting there’s a blueprint for how to do it. If you’ve got staff already you need to take them under a transformation to get them from however they’re doing it today to get them being a players and being better and some staff won’t like

Matt Jones: [00:18:47] Right.

Ed Plant: [00:18:47] That and some staff will leave on that journey

Matt Jones: [00:18:50] Yeah.

Ed Plant: [00:18:50] But they’re better off out of your boat or out of your ship than in it because it is going to drag it down.

Matt Jones: [00:18:57] I want to. One of my clients colleagues listens to the podcast. Roscoe. He had a similar situation with a he had a really really really good build rather was part of his team but the builder just did not want to fall into that teen culture than the direction they were heading didn’t want to buy in so he had to make a pretty tough decision in letting that guy go even though he’s extremely good at what he did he said from a organisational perspective it was kind of becoming cancerous.

Ed Plant: [00:19:23] Yeah absolutely. And they are and and particularly high performers that are amazing at what they can do inside their area of expertise. They’re hard to let go because they’re so good at what they do but the toxic influence across the team far outweighs one person being amazing.

Matt Jones: [00:19:42] It’s actually not that uncommon to hear that story in the trades like you get guys that have well I’ve been a carpenter for 25 years and I’m on the ducks nights whatever. I don’t really care about the rest of the team or do my own thing. It’s not an uncommon scenario to be honest

Ed Plant: [00:19:58] Yeah totally. And we’ve worked with lawyers that have had it

Matt Jones: [00:20:02] Right.

Ed Plant: [00:20:02] Across the board.

Matt Jones: [00:20:04] Right.

Ed Plant: [00:20:04] And so when we talk about you touched on getting people into the business on it and yet you say I don’t know to start the scenario of I don’t have any time because I can’t find the person to do the job. I work in it so it’s a real challenge at this level because there’s so many it’s hard to find the right person but people use it as an excuse not to find the right person. And we did for example that comes to mind is we’ve got amazing clients that when we started working with them they were thirty thousand dollar amount electrical company. It was in a time when the mines were stealing tradings to go and do stuff and pay huge amounts of money.

Matt Jones: [00:20:49] Right

Ed Plant: [00:20:50] So it was really tough to get good employees but we took them on a recruitment journey. That at the end of it when the guy got the job offer the electrician he said. I’ve never been through a process up to this point that is like this and I’ve worked for big companies throughout Australia and I’ve never been I’ve never been taken and looked after this well and understood and been kept across it and at the moment I can see where you guys are going and I want to be part of that.

Matt Jones: [00:21:26] You know what

Ed Plant: [00:21:27] And he took he took a pay cut to do that job.

Matt Jones: [00:21:31] You’ve a third guest on the show. That’s that’s. That’s that. And it’s so powerful because so many of the clients and community members out there they have an issue of where you know oh how do we overcome this bad or you know we’ve put all this money into trying this star someone comes along and offers an extra few bucks an hour. They jumped ship and you’re the third person that’s effectively said well if you can you know offer them a career path and lay out a future for them and show them where they could potentially be if they stay with you all that kind of stuff. That will then that will eliminate that issue of somebody going, oh well I can get actually three dollars an hour over here so I’ll see you later. So I think that’s very powerful.

Ed Plant: [00:22:13] Yeah totally. And money’s only a deciding factor for your staff if you make it a deciding factor. And so everybody positions it talks about money get it off the table

Matt Jones: [00:22:25] Yeah

Ed Plant: [00:22:25] Who cares about three dollars an hour

Matt Jones: [00:22:27] Exactly.

Ed Plant: [00:22:28] And at the end of the day if they’re worth it pay them that but if they’re not don’t and I mean this company that I’m talking about now the electricians they’re now turning over 300000 a month.

Matt Jones: [00:22:41] Right.

Ed Plant: [00:22:42] So they’ve had phenomenal growth

Matt Jones: [00:22:43] Slight improvement.

Ed Plant: [00:22:46] And this guy’s invested in it and he’s seeing the rewards for it and he’s got he’s got a team that he runs and he’s

Matt Jones: [00:22:52] Yeah.

Ed Plant: [00:22:52] He’s loving it.

Matt Jones: [00:22:53] Yeah.

Ed Plant: [00:22:54] So yeah and particularly for those businesses that aren’t at the like. We’re not a big business. We’re turning over 20,000 a month. How do we get people that want that a big business can get and it’s having that plan for

Matt Jones: [00:23:09] So when I said I ask you before you know what are some of the key areas that typically would be noise or distraction. It sounds to me like money is one of them.

Ed Plant: [00:23:22] Yeah yeah yeah. And so inside the other areas of the nine key areas one of them is team and so how you train retain and recruit

Matt Jones: [00:23:33] Yeah

Ed Plant: [00:23:34] Amazing team players.

Matt Jones: [00:23:36] Yeah.

Ed Plant: [00:23:36] And if you don’t get that part of the puzzle right you’ll struggle and you’ll lose time and you’ll be caught. The departed that that and it’s probably more of a mindset rather than a pill. It’s around the business and if you look at people’s goals to make 100000 dollars for me or 300000 dollars for the business or whatever that number is if that’s the goal that your training the staff to go get your making it about money

Matt Jones: [00:24:07] Right.

Ed Plant: [00:24:09] Like if the if that tape was in the agenda that you’re putting on the table then the KPI is an agenda that they’re going to play the game by.

Matt Jones: [00:24:16] Well that’s interesting isn’t it because when you talk about KPI eyes actually this is a bit of a segway but let’s definitely dive into this because, when you’re talking about setting KPI what should that look like if it’s not financially driven.

Ed Plant: [00:24:30] I don’t think it. I’m not saying it shouldn’t be financially driven there should definitely be financial KPI in there because the bottom line is business is about money. You’re all there to make money and to grow and the more money the business makes the better resources the guys have the better jobs they get the better their life is. So they need to be in there but they need to be balanced across the cross-section of different KPI says

Matt Jones: [00:25:00] Because I see very often there’s a fundamental issue across the board to be honest it’s certainly not vertical or specific or industry specific but I see there’s a fundamental disconnect between that goal setting and KPI stage where people are they’re not tracking the right things and it’s one of the things that I mean I’m sure we’re going to dive into this when we talk about execution and the next episode but you know tracking the right metrics which to, to a lot of people might not look like what they should be like those key metrics should not necessarily be you know turnover how much you up sold on the job like that kind of thing it should be more about the you know the granular things that can lead into that end result. So you know how many leads are you getting how many. What’s your conversion rate look like on those leads. How can you improve. Have you improved your conversion rate like those sort of things.

Ed Plant: [00:25:59] Yeah totally. And for me and then for team it’s really hard to get clear KPI’s and a lot of businesses struggle with it because it is easier to go how many jobs did you do this week and that it’s also what are some of the important things you want customers to give amazing feedback so the feedback could be a KPI the time on job. Why did you do it in the allocated time.

Matt Jones: [00:26:25] Yeah.

Ed Plant: [00:26:25] The

Matt Jones: [00:26:25] Okay.

Ed Plant: [00:26:26] The follow up work did you put it all into the online system so that we don’t have to chase you for paperwork.

Matt Jones: [00:26:34] Yeah right.

Ed Plant: [00:26:35] So KPI is that like

Matt Jones: [00:26:37] Feedback.

Ed Plant: [00:26:38] Their performance better and your life easier.

Matt Jones: [00:26:42] Yeah. Yeah I know one of our one of my colleagues he does a really good job of like making his technician like just super accountable to that to all the projects they go to. So you know if I go and clear of like a job it’s up to him to make sure that he’s building the right relationship with the client it’s up to him to make sure that you know he’s getting excellent feedback from the customer who is which is followed up on by the manager. If there’s any callbacks that technician always goes back and they always go back to the job and fix it themselves like it’s it really makes them accountable.

Ed Plant: [00:27:19] Yeah

Matt Jones: [00:27:20] And I think

Ed Plant: [00:27:20] Absolutely, and I think people thrive under a responsibility.

Matt Jones: [00:27:26] Right you know it’s funny. Well it’s funny it’s apparent for sure especially in the emergency service areas like say emergency plumbers or allege of extrusions or whatever it might be. There seems to be an I don’t know if it’s right or wrong. I mean obviously it works from a business point of view but I question how well it works from like a team morale or lack of the company dynamic where you’ve got certain technicians which will go out to the call out and they will sell the job and they will like they’re paid. Basically their job is to up sell and squeeze as much money out of the client as possible and then they basically leave and someone comes in and does the job. And I don’t know about that. It obviously works from a turnover perspective but I’ve just never really it’s never really resonated well with me from a from a company morale point of view.

Ed Plant: [00:28:19] In terms of?

Matt Jones: [00:28:20] Well I just feel like oh okay well you know somebody has gone out there and they’ve sold this job because effectively I couldn’t do it and I know I’m no good at doing that sort of thing so I’ll just go out there and go and then you know that that person will get commissions on sale or what they sell will that kind of stuff and I don’t know if you like is a bit of a is that there’s a lot of gray there.

Ed Plant: [00:28:40] Yeah and I think a lot of problems come from it and it sounds like the problems stem in this example from guys that turn up just to do the work aren’t being valued for the work they’re doing.

Matt Jones: [00:28:52] Well maybe they are being I mean maybe that’s you know we value you because you’re so good at doing this doing the job but you know effectively we’re saying you suck at selling it. So we’re not going to give you a crack at it you know.

Ed Plant: [00:29:04] Yeah and for some people though they don’t want to crack at it.

Matt Jones: [00:29:08] Right. Yeah yeah I guess.

Ed Plant: [00:29:10] They hate it.

Matt Jones: [00:29:10] Yeah. Yeah.

Ed Plant: [00:29:11] They’d prefer get in and do it. Some people want it. What I think the problem problems guys run into is the sales guys thinking that they’re amazing because they’re getting all this work

Matt Jones: [00:29:24] Yes.

Ed Plant: [00:29:25] And they become rock stars and a commission basis means that they can earn a lot more and they get this sort of I’m an amazing asset to the business complex and

Matt Jones: [00:29:37] I’ve seen that so many times.

Ed Plant: [00:29:39] And that’s really toxic.

Matt Jones: [00:29:41] Mhmm..

Ed Plant: [00:29:42] And it’s not good for the whole team but it also isn’t good from the sales rep and the sales people have likes natural sales people are really high. Go talk the talk and I think they’re really good

Matt Jones: [00:29:56] Yeah

Ed Plant: [00:29:56] Which is really important in a salesperson

Matt Jones: [00:29:58] Yeah

Ed Plant: [00:29:58] But it can be a real negative impact on the team.

Matt Jones: [00:30:02] Yeah interesting. So in the last episode you left this awesome framework for what it would be. Would you call it the street map.

Ed Plant: [00:30:14] Street plan, yeah.

Matt Jones: [00:30:15] Have you got anything that you can like in closing off this episode that you can leave with these listeners in terms of defining planning the key areas of the business.

Ed Plant: [00:30:27] Yeah and we’ve started to touch on some of the nine that we use as our guide of the nine key areas that we need businesses to get right in their growth path. What I would recommend at this stage from the industry plan we’ve looked at vision and goals and really getting your projects right is important. And so what I would do is ask yourself the question of what do all the projects or pillars that I need to achieve that need to be really strong for me to achieve this 12 month goal.

Matt Jones: [00:31:01] Can I just just on that we’re not talking about just for the listeners out there we’re not talking about an actual, like physical project like building this home as a project we’re talking about

Ed Plant: [00:31:10] No.

Matt Jones: [00:31:11] Okay.

Ed Plant: [00:31:12] So if we if we look at it as the your business is building and your goal is the roof so what we need to make sure that roof is strong and you achieve the goal. It needs pillars holding up the roof and those pillars need to be really strong. So those those pillars are going to make your goal happen. And I’d do a brain jump on what all of us. So they could be marketing they could be systemization they could be admen they could be recruitment they could be team performance they could be operational delivery whatever they are and they become projects or pillars inside your goals that you need to achieve over the next 12 months.

Matt Jones: [00:31:57] Yeah gotcha.

Ed Plant: [00:31:59] And then from those projects you want to create. And then inside each of those projects you really want to create another plan on how you’re going to achieve those projects. Then what we do is we go okay in this quarter and this 90 day block I’m going to choose three projects to work on to get to move me further ahead. Now there will be some that are happening in the background and need to be chipped away at and are continually worked on. But what we’re talking about is your focus on three projects. Now the reason for this is in the army we work on you can only ever command three to five things at a time. As soon as it becomes more than five it becomes too complex and you lose control and in the army people die.

Matt Jones: [00:32:49] Yeah.

Ed Plant: [00:32:50] So you don’t do that so you just span of command is only ever three to five things and for your business that’s where you need to be. You need to be doing those. You need to have focus on three to five

Matt Jones: [00:33:02] Is complexity the issue or is it really dilution?

Ed Plant: [00:33:08] Explain that a little bit more.

Matt Jones: [00:33:09] Well I mean like would you say adding more tasks makes it more complex or would you say it just it just means that the critical ones are being diluted and you’re not focusing enough attention on them.

Ed Plant: [00:33:20] It’s probably a bit of both I think we humans have an awesome ability to overcomplicate things which makes things harder. And

Matt Jones: [00:33:31] You might

Ed Plant: [00:33:31] We can over analyse

Matt Jones: [00:33:32] I don’t think

Ed Plant: [00:33:37] And the

Matt Jones: [00:33:40] Well my wife shaking your head at me.

Ed Plant: [00:33:42] She’s saying you do?

Matt Jones: [00:33:43] Yeah she’s like you’re a dickhead mate.

Ed Plant: [00:33:45] All right. And so yes we can overcomplicate them but also by overcomplicating them we do mean that there’s too many things to do. And as a result our impact is less and it’s a little maths. If you look at it if you’ve got three things to do you can do them really well if you’ve got 20 things to do. You’re going to spend one twentieth of your time on each which means you’re not going to be able to do it as well.

Matt Jones: [00:34:14] Yeah. All right let’s wrap this one up. Thank you again for your time. That was the second episode of the strategic planning done right series that one was called Defining and Planning the Key Areas of your Business. That was stemming from the first episode which was Beginning with the End in Mind. You’ve been listening to myself, Matt Jones and Edward Plant from the Institute of Couples in Business. You can get hold of Edward at the institute. Sorry at www.instituteforcouplesinbusiness.com I believe that the show notes it’s also got a Facebook close Facebook community which I’ll link to actually time once again we’re going to come back in a minute or so and next week and we’re going to talk a little bit about execution and how that will trump any plan

Ed Plant: [00:35:03] Loving it. I love the execution bit so looking forward to that conversation.

Matt Jones: [00:35:08] Really. All right, that’s a wrap.

Ed Plant: [00:35:10] Awesome. Cheers, Matt.

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Matt Jones
Founder at The Site Shed
I'm the facilitator here at The Site Shed. My passion lies in doing anything that helps trade based organisations grow. My other company, Tradie Web Guys, helps tradespeople stand out online, while The Site Shed is all about education and resources.
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