Execution will Trump Any Plan
In the final episode of this series on Strategic Planning, Ed Plant joins me as we discuss why execution will trump any plan. In the world of business, owners always get encouraged to make the most rigorous planning and preparations.
Although this is partially helpful, it also is important to not forget about the actual execution of what you’re planning for.
Being able to execute your plan correctly plays the most crucial role in the growth of your business. It is when you think of execution that you are also able to make adjustments to your plans accordingly.
“It’s good to put a job in that you go out and do with the guys once a month or quarter.”
The Strategic Planning series has been a total treat to conduct with Ed. If you’ve missed out on one of the episodes, it would be helpful to watch those as every series is systematically tied up with one another.
Matt Jones: [00:00:01] Hello listeners and welcome back to part three of these strategic planning done right series that I’m conducting with my co-host Mr. Edward Plant. Edward, welcome back.
Ed Plant: [00:00:12] Hey Matt, great to speak to you again.
Matt Jones: [00:00:14] Edward are you from the Institute for Couples in Business. The website is instituteforcouplesinbusiness.com you have been joining us on this series so that we can get a little bit granular when it comes to strategy planning goal setting blah blah blah. The first episode we spoke about Beginning with the End in Mind where we cut it off on a lot of I suppose the thought process behind you know setting goals and having it having an end goal that you’re working towards which I know over the years has been a bit of a battle I suppose for me and probably a lot of our listeners out there when you’re trying to bring a wish into reality. But then in the following episode we sort of spoke about how to define and plan the carers of your business which then of course help you set milestones and help you pave a bit of a roadmap towards getting towards that end goal whether that’s an exit strategy or an acquisition or whatever it might be in this episode which is the final one we can wrap up with this one it’s it’s we’ve called it execution both trump any plan and I mean that’s certainly been my experience you know you can have the best plan on the planet unless you’re ready to pull the trigger and get some action done.
Matt Jones: [00:01:36] It’s all for nothing. So thank you for joining us back on the show for this third and final episode. The first two were brilliant. And if listeners out there for you it did not happen to catch those. It would probably serve you best to go back and listen to them before you listen to this one because as always we’ve designed this series in a way that the previous episodes always stem in to the previous one so go check them out. All the links will be available on the show notes so head across to the show notes for this episode and you’ll be able to see the previous episodes there as well. Likewise you’ll also be able to get hold of Edward if you so wish. Through the links that we’ve put on there. And if you any questions by all means just reply to wherever you see this come through. So Edward let’s dive into part 3
Ed Plant: [00:02:26] Definitely and I was having a bit of a chuckle at the way when you were talking about the first two episodes and we did planning strategic planning and looking at all that planning blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah was a technical term to insert all the problems or requirements you had in terms of planning
Matt Jones: [00:02:45] Exactly.
Ed Plant: [00:02:46] (Laughs)
Matt Jones: [00:02:48] I look at in my experience it’s always been it’s almost been like a bit of a cliché comment that you hear being thrown around the inverted commas business coaching world you know you got to start with the end in mind you’ve got to have your
Ed Plant: [00:03:03] It’s like
Matt Jones: [00:03:03] Exit strategy in place and all on this shit.
Ed Plant: [00:03:04] You’ve got to work on the business instead of in the business.
Matt Jones: [00:03:07] God damn if I hear that again
Ed Plant: [00:03:08] Yeah it’s so frustrating and there’s a fair bit of sense behind it but it’s just over used in a bit of a catchcry, that nobody actually knows what it means.
Matt Jones: [00:03:19] Well I mean that’s exactly right. The backbone of it is actually extremely relevant but I think it just gets used so often and so out of context these days that it just becomes so diluted in its in its meaning that I think people today sort of thing. Okay great. Here we go again. Let me guess work. Not in the business end
Ed Plant: [00:03:39] Yeah
Matt Jones: [00:03:40] But
Ed Plant: [00:03:40] Totally. And I sort of go well why can’t you do both.
Matt Jones: [00:03:45] Right
Ed Plant: [00:03:46] And we’ve worked with a lot of tradies and you try to focus that loved doing what they’re doing
Matt Jones: [00:03:52] Yeah
Ed Plant: [00:03:52] And they try and build this business where they don’t get to do any of it and it’s like why would you do that.
Matt Jones: [00:03:56] Yeah yeah.
Ed Plant: [00:03:57] Why would you become an administrator. You’re awful at it.
Matt Jones: [00:04:01] There’s a really good point and I’ve had obviously loads of clients give the same feedback and I’ve had loads of business coaches you know harp on about how to get out of a business but then I’d speak to you know what our a lot of our customers a lot of our clients are you know they’re there you know we talk about you know implementing systems and processes and freeing up or removing them from areas of their business which is not productive work. What it comes down to very often is removing them from the admin stuff which they suck at and people have this you know this mindset of well you know if I’m if I’m going to be successful in my business then I need to be the guy in the office you know calling the shots which is a complete fallacy. When you look at the reality of the skill set that most of us as tradespeople have you know your time is very often best spent on site leaving the guys you know maybe not necessarily whacking the nails in but certainly being on site and being that. You know representing that side of the business.
Ed Plant: [00:05:07] Well I completely agree
Matt Jones: [00:05:07] And we live
Ed Plant: [00:05:09] When it’s
Matt Jones: [00:05:10] Yeah
Ed Plant: [00:05:10] So when I was in the army. I had always think I was 23 years old. I had a engineering troop based in Darwin 30 blokes the average age was 32. So most of them were my seniors by 15 years and we had plumbers carpenters planned operators dog handlers truck drivers you name it we had all of them. They had a wealth of experience and I would like I wasn’t the guy that was going to come in and tell them how to do the things I needed to lead them and achieve missions with them and whatever it was but I would once a month go down and just do shit jobs with them whether it was cleaning a truck changing oil on a thing or walking around and just chatting to the guys not because because the office didn’t need me but also it was that keeping current with them the working with them and just getting dirty with them and showing them that while I’m the boss I can get in and do it with you as well. And the weight of that simple action one for some months was powerful and for tradies out there I think it’s the same it’s you love doing that job put a job in once a month or once a quarter that you go out and do with the guys
Matt Jones: [00:06:34] Do you know what else was interesting and an experience that I had a couple of years ago with a client and Kudo’s to him for I suppose being responsive actually to be honest with you. Most of the most of our clients colleagues they are pretty upfront in this in that sense of well. I know that I’m probably when it come. I mean I’m great I am out on the site. I’m great at doing all this sort of stuff and great training my team that kind of thing but I had a (inaudible) and a couple of years ago and he basically came to me and he said look I’ve got a real problem here goes this is my business I’ve been running it for 10 years 15 years or whatever it was and I want to grow the business. But the problem in the business and the reason why is not growing is because I’m leading it. And he said I really need to put in place a CEO who can who has an idea how to grow the business so I can keep focusing on you know training my team and manage and doing those side of things and I was like, that’s pretty brave thing to come out and say after that long business is like wanting to put someone in that can lead the organisation.
Ed Plant: [00:07:39] You know and in the last podcast we talked about the nine key areas of the business that we work with with every client on how to grow their business where they want it. And one of those areas for us is working in what we call your genius. So in business there’s hundreds of things that need to be done. The reality is most people will be incompetent at about 60 percent of them. They’ll then be competent at about 30 percent of them. They’ll then be good at another five to 10 percent and then there’ll be two or three things that are absolutely amazing at and
Matt Jones: [00:08:18] Yeah
Ed Plant: [00:08:18] I think business is about getting rid of that other 97 percent and focusing in on those three things that you do amazing and it doesn’t matter what they are. They could be being on the job side it could be training the guys it could be generating business it could be interacting with your top clients it could be creating systems it could be managing it all it could be getting out of it and setting everyone else up to do it whatever it is it is. If you can focus on those three things and get rid of everything else your business will be better off your life will be better off and everything goes well.
Matt Jones: [00:08:55] I think there is such a such like a disconnect out there when people think oh okay I need to build and grow the business so that I can get off the tools and all that sort of stuff which is fine if that’s what you want to do if you don’t want to be the guy on the tools and you want to work towards that then by all means but don’t. I mean I just want to quantify out there for the listeners. That doesn’t necessarily have to be you like if that’s what you’re good at and that’s what you like doing and so many of our clients love doing that like that’s their thinking and it and why wouldn’t it be they spent their whole career building up to you know becoming an expert on (inaudible) you know being the master of running the projects and that kind of thing. You don’t have to feel like well great. What’s the next stage gonna be stuck in an office all day like it’s certainly not the case and now with the landscape that we live in from a technology point of view. So many of those office managerial tasks can be outsourced either locally or abroad. It really you really don’t need to for the better part have that whole office sort of mindset structure that you know we may have had 15 years ago.
Ed Plant: [00:10:06] Yeah completely and I think this cycles back to the catchcry start with the end in mind and it and it instead of paying lip service get really deep into that and go Well what is the next step for me that I want
Matt Jones: [00:10:20] Yeah
Ed Plant: [00:10:20] To I want to be out of the business do I want to be leading the business dawn to be managing the business. Do I want to be in doing it with the guys and running the jobs do I want to be. What’s my role in all of that
Matt Jones: [00:10:32] Yeah.
Ed Plant: [00:10:32] And where do I want it to be and get really clear on that and then build it.
Matt Jones: [00:10:36] Yeah it’s a good point. So we’re talking about execution here we’ve been through the process of you know starting with the end in mind and like having clarity around what that might look like for you. We’ve spoken about defining and planning the care of your business and you gave us a really good framework there which the listeners are going to be able to get hold of in the show notes because there’s a little competition we’ve got going there where if you guys can fill out the street map that ads left behind. We have posted in the Facebook community and it’s going to give you a little was that a copy of a book and a
Ed Plant: [00:11:13] We’ll do a
Matt Jones: [00:11:13] It help you refine the map or something on it.
Ed Plant: [00:11:16] Yeah. A quick get on and how to enhance what you’ve done and take it to the next level.
Matt Jones: [00:11:23] Yeah, right.
Ed Plant: [00:11:24] And I think this gets to the heart of what we’ve covered so far in the implementation and I was sitting down with a couple of business owners two days ago and one of them was saying these are the five things I need to do and this is the first one I need to do. And what happens in businesses is you you’re in your business you’re working and you see something and you think that’s the right next step in the right way to do it. But you’re limited by the knowledge that you have and it’s sort of the day that the dog keeps doing the same tricks over and over again. And that’s what business owners keep doing they keep doing it the same way over and over again which gives them pretty much the same results.
Matt Jones: [00:12:05] Would you call that innovating or evolving?
Ed Plant: [00:12:11] I think it’s evolving. It doesn’t need to be innovating because it doesn’t need to be new it just it just needs to be a different way. And I think doing things differently is really powerful.
Matt Jones: [00:12:23] I know recently and actually I should make an introduction to you for the guy I had on the show recently. Nils Vesco who’s an innovation specialist for business but he is amazing this guy some of the ways that you can come up with. I mean we’re not we’re not talking about innovation I suppose at the moment we kind of are because in order to evolve you need to innovate certain things right like you’re changing
Ed Plant: [00:12:47] And I suppose fundamentally innovation is doing something new for you
Matt Jones: [00:12:51] Right.
Ed Plant: [00:12:51] Yes
Matt Jones: [00:12:53] Yeah.
Ed Plant: [00:12:53] So you need to innovate for your business. It doesn’t mean you need to create a world first something
Matt Jones: [00:12:58] Right exactly
Ed Plant: [00:12:59] To start or in a different
Matt Jones: [00:13:01] Yeah exactly right. And I think that’s a big big paradigm shift as well for business owners across the board not necessarily in the trades I mean we had a fellow on the show a little while back who is quite an active member in our Facebook community and he had a really innovative way to market his business and it was really interesting the way that he got in front of potential customers. Dave Davies His name is in the community but he’s really he basically was able to 10x his business in the space of six months by doing something that was a little bit out of the outside of the box and it is fascinating. I mean and to be fair I like it I may be a little bit of a segway from what we’re talking about when we talk about executing you know execution will trump any plan but at the same note it’s quite relevant as well because he put a strategy together that would help him I suppose differentiate himself from his other competitors out there. And when he executed that strategy 10 axed his business in the space of six months. I mean that’s pretty powerful
Ed Plant: [00:14:02] Yeah. Totally totally. And he did that by doing something new
Matt Jones: [00:14:07] Right
Ed Plant: [00:14:07] By analyzing it and working
Matt Jones: [00:14:09] Right.
Ed Plant: [00:14:09] It out. So what I think most business owners do is they crack on with a plan but they end up doing the wrong things at the wrong time. So their intent is good. They’ve done planning. And they’ve selected. What is quite possibly Not the best option.
Matt Jones: [00:14:26] Well I mean I’m I think
Ed Plant: [00:14:27] And so there’s
Matt Jones: [00:14:29] No go on
Ed Plant: [00:14:30] Yeah this guy that we’re sitting with a couple of days ago he had five things he wanted to do. He chose one and the reality of that one he chose it was going to keep him in a cycle of being reactive and crazy busy. So I just said why don’t we reap segway that one for a week or a month until you get this one right. And the one we were talking about was getting him out of reactive. So every single day he was drawn from pillar to post And most of his projects were staying. His important projects. Were staying not done. Because he was consumed by reacting to everyone else.
Matt Jones: [00:15:05] Man isn’t that amazing. So yesterday after we recorded our podcast in the morning I was consulting with a client of mine. It’s actually leadership and it is his office in Sydney and spending a day in the office there. Why when we left he said oh you know how he got feedback. What do you think that went. I said, mate that everything’s fine except for the fact you when you’re in that office just a killing it like so much stress as a result of him being there and everything’s reactive, oh God we need to do this real quick and everyone sort of drops everything and like you realise firsthand how how unproductive being reactive can be.
Ed Plant: [00:15:47] And it becomes following that bright shiny object.
Matt Jones: [00:15:49] Yes.
Ed Plant: [00:15:50] And the problem when you’ve got a team is everybody follows the leader. So if the leader is doing it everybody else is reactive they’re dropping things picking up going with what he says now and then he changes it and they’re following it again. And so the big point of this was by him getting. He could have gone down a rabbit warren and worked on the automation of his business which is the next thing he needs to do but he would have gone and done that and probably not succeeded very well because he was reactive and had no time for it and probably built really bad systems based around how he was doing it now because he was reacting all the time. But by getting the reactivity gone he’ll create rhythm and stability and comfort. His team will rise and his team will be able to take over a lot of what he needed to get done
Matt Jones: [00:16:40] So
Ed Plant: [00:16:40] But it’s that in the implementation it’s that it’s that ability to really make sure you’re doing the right thing. That’s key and that can fast track your results so quickly.
Matt Jones: [00:16:50] It’s tricky sometimes isn’t it when you’re in business and like things do pop up which are important but perhaps not urgent but regardless they still need to get done before they become urgent. You got to like well you there’s sort of a fine fine line to walk there in the sense of well I know I need to get it done like it’s pretty important but I also need to get this done because this is important and there’s only
Ed Plant: [00:17:19] By having
Matt Jones: [00:17:20] I’m only have so much a resource
Ed Plant: [00:17:23] Totally how many tradies would drop everything to go and do a site inspection to quote a job and then take weeks to get the quote through
Matt Jones: [00:17:32] Right.
Ed Plant: [00:17:33] Or get to a new job site or drop everything to go to a new inspection and not invoice for the jobs that they’re still doing.
Matt Jones: [00:17:42] Yeah yeah.
Ed Plant: [00:17:43] I there’s this this kilter of drop everything for something and leave all these other important things out money in the banks really important.
Matt Jones: [00:17:53] Yeah no you’re right there’s definitely definitely things in that space which need priority and don’t get it but to be fair I think a lot of the guys and especially the community now that we’ve got a lot of these guys are getting quite quite on top of that. I find that’s when we started the group off. You know there were a lot of conversations around that and over the last few months I’ve seen those conversations diminish quite a lot. So I’m thinking that.
Ed Plant: [00:18:18] Just fantastic.
Matt Jones: [00:18:19] Yeah I’m thinking that the guys are sort of and to be honest with you. A lot of that specific task or we talk about quoting an invoicing and that kind of thing a lot of that the guys in the group have adopted recommended apps and solutions that have been put forward by other community members. Will we use this and it helps us achieve this and now we don’t chase any debt because it’s all paid. It’s all paid on completion of people like well what am I people posting left right and center. I mean I’ve adopted this app and it’s just it’s it’s all my business. Is a lot of that sort of ties back to what we were saying about technology you know like there are a lot of tasks within a business today that if you don’t get exposure to new ways of doing things innovating and evolving your business then chances are you’ll be doing things that are archaic and you know an unproductive in ways that you can really make a massive dent in your bottom line by implementing some tools that can free you up for your team up and reduce a massive amount of time.
Ed Plant: [00:19:29] Yeah totally absolutely. I think time is one of those markets. It’s the only currency in the world that we can’t replace. So we can replace money we can replace team we can replace cars whatever it is but you can’t get time back.
Matt Jones: [00:19:44] So when we’re talking about execution and execution will trump any plan how does that framework look for you. What’s the what’s the way that you make sure that things are being executed on time? You know in order of priority regularly.
Ed Plant: [00:20:03] Yeah. So this stems from a couple of this stems from me attending a lot of training over my life personal development business development and the list goes on and there’s just a statistic in the industry that 83 percent of people that attend a training event will take an amazing amount of notes have a heap of things that they could implement. And will do nothing with them.
Matt Jones: [00:20:31] It’s crazy I mean
Ed Plant: [00:20:32] It’s
Matt Jones: [00:20:32] I’ll be
Ed Plant: [00:20:32] The
Matt Jones: [00:20:32] Guilty that.
Ed Plant: [00:20:33] It’s the put the book on the shelf when you get back to the office and then three weeks later I can’t even find the book because it snowed under with other stuff and you haven’t looked at it.
Matt Jones: [00:20:41] Did you also know that 76 percent of statistics are made up
Ed Plant: [00:20:45] I did. I normally I normally have it at about 78 percent but (Laughs)
Matt Jones: [00:20:53] Sorry, dad joke.
Ed Plant: [00:20:54] (Laughs) Yeah, totally. So that number’s high regardless of what it is and it’ll change. Podcasts do podcasts but so a lot of people get a lot of information but don’t do anything with it. And that’s where planning falls down. And so it’s really refining in to. To a couple of steps that I would recommend to make sure that your execution. It is high class.
Matt Jones: [00:21:21] Well maybe we could even use that example that you gave then as as as as a framework so you know somebody is listening to a podcast or there attended event and they’re jotting down all these notes. So what it. What’s the framework from an execution point of view that you would recommend to people when they’ve when they’re in that position they’re like right now I’ve got these amazing notes either I stick this in my folder and shove it in my top drawer or never look at it again or I start implementing something.
Ed Plant: [00:21:50] Yeah, totally. So the first the first point to really acknowledge and get their head round is that a half fast plan executed really well is better than a full plan not executed
Matt Jones: [00:22:07] Yeah, yeah.
Ed Plant: [00:22:08] And it’s it sounds awful but you’re better off with an idea that you run with then a detailed plan with no execution. I’m not saying jump on an idea and just start implementing but we need to get that 80 percent plained solution and implementing it straight away. So that’s the first component that the focus needs to be a balance between good planning and great implementation.
Matt Jones: [00:22:36] I suppose the question I would start with in relation to the example that we’re currently using is this. If you’ve got a notebook three four A4 pages full of notes how do you define which of those action points are. Critical to or which should be implemented first
Ed Plant: [00:22:58] Yeah
Matt Jones: [00:22:59] Because then
Ed Plant: [00:22:59] So
Matt Jones: [00:22:59] That sort of take goes back to what we were saying about you know being busy in the business being busy being busy and not actually working on what’s critical. How do you define what’s critical
Ed Plant: [00:23:10] Yeah, totally. So we’ve got a mission success criteria that we go through and I’ll come to that in a in a second and I can walk through that framework which will be really helpful for the guys. So the next one is then you’ll have a list of 100 things to do. You’ve taken a heap of notes go through it any every intensive we run. We have the action pages and the notes pages but then we also have a top 3 action action top 3 actions. Page. Per session. So two day intensives are broken down to eight sessions. So at the end of it there’ll be 24 points that are game changers for those businesses. So from this podcast I’d be going through it if people are taking notes. It would be going through and going okay what are the top three things that I need to do or take away or change as a result of listening to marinade and just highlight those three.
Matt Jones: [00:24:17] And the reality is as well guys like it will very likely involve yourself. I would imagine a lot of these scenarios like swallowing your pride and making that realisation that okay well yeah I’m doing all my account reconciliation at the moment and I completely suck at it. So I’ve got to get myself out of that rock.
Ed Plant: [00:24:38] Yeah definitely and there’s I think businesses you need to suck it up and do it until you can get to the next step where you get someone else in and it’s that continually stepping and upskilling. But even if you get a bookkeeper and it doesn’t divulge the responsibility you have
Matt Jones: [00:24:53] Right.
Ed Plant: [00:24:53] To hold them accountable.
Matt Jones: [00:24:54] Right right right. And in that scenario would you. I mean so we’re going in all the way here. But in order to hold people accountable in my experience the best to do that is project management. How do you how do you structure that.
Ed Plant: [00:25:11] Yeah totally and it depends on the size of the project the regularity of it but we have reporting schedules that happen with every project that we create. And start reporting schedule is based on the level of trust I have of the person’s performance. And the outcome and how important the outcome is to the frequency
Matt Jones: [00:25:35] Because I try whatever I do now with any of my team I. I’ve tried really hard to make sure that there is aetailed project management workspace built out for whatever task or whatever thing that whatever they’re trying to deliver which then say the project manager if you guys aren’t familiar it’s who does what when. And then the system is sort of how to do it. So most of our project most of our projects they will have may be made up of a series of tasks or different deliverables and each of those deliverables may have a you know a system tied to it that shows them how to deliver that task.
Ed Plant: [00:26:16] Yeah totally. And the only addition I put into that is really in every project that we have I have a why in there, so why is this important
Matt Jones: [00:26:25] Yes
Ed Plant: [00:26:26] And I do why is it important to the business. Why is it important to me and why is it important to you and what that does is increases the buy in and they can see the big picture of how it’s fitting in. So it’s not just them. It’s not just them with a task that they need to plod through. There’s an impact for them and the team and what we’re going to achieve.
Matt Jones: [00:26:46] And the ongoing argument that I get with in relation to this sort of stuff is yeah that’s all great but I don’t have the time to set that stuff up which is in a sense true but in a sense false because what the paradigm there is if you set this thing up once and you ideally you shouldn’t have to go back there and address it again until the time when you need to improve it modify it whatever but it does save a ridiculous amount of time and if you’re doing it the right way it will help you deliver a consistent result on whatever that project might be for you all for your team and that’s really important.
Ed Plant: [00:27:26] Yeah I agree. I get really frustrated when people use not having enough time as an excuse because people can make time for stuff and they do all the time they’re just using that as an excuse not to change. And the reality is keep doing it the way you’re doing it and keep getting the results you’re getting.
Matt Jones: [00:27:42] Yeah.
Ed Plant: [00:27:43] Like keep staying busy keep staying not having that money that you want keep not having holidays every year keep not picking the kids up from school keep doing that. But if you want to change, you need to change.
Matt Jones: [00:27:58] So for me like execution like project management plays a significant role in execution and to be honest I don’t I know for a fact I wouldn’t be able to deliver on half of the things that we do if we didn’t have good project management in place. What does that correlate into the trades?
Ed Plant: [00:28:18] Absolutely, correlates into a business
Matt Jones: [00:28:21] Right.
Ed Plant: [00:28:22] Project management started in the trades like a construction job
Matt Jones: [00:28:29] Mhmm..
Ed Plant: [00:28:29] Is a project management job and every trade is in is in that world. So yeah definitely and I think the the reason project management helps is it breaks complicated tasks down to simple steps
Matt Jones: [00:28:46] Right.
Ed Plant: [00:28:47] And that’s all we’re talking about. We’re going okay we need to increase revenue by 10 grand a month. Okay how are we going to do it. Well we’re going to do these three core things and inside those we’re going to do these 10 tasks. Okay now I can chip away at Task 1 instead of having 10 grand how we’re going to do that. It’s okay I need to contact five new customers whatever it is
Matt Jones: [00:29:15] Yeah. Gotcha. Yeah it’s interesting and I suppose as well for listeners out there you typically start with that in you know with the result of the task so you know as, Ed just said then okay we would make 10 grand a month so that would be the finishing point and then the project is made up or the management or the execution is made up of a series of deliverables that will help you get to their milestones if you want to call it that and you can hold yourself you can hold your team accountable to those milestones throughout that process so basically take it off as you go kind of scenario.
Ed Plant: [00:29:50] Yeah. Totally, totally.
Matt Jones: [00:29:54] Okay, cool. So
Ed Plant: [00:29:55] We’ve covered changing the mindset the change taking many tasks down into a few that you’re going to focus on, and those those will probably become projects and then looking at how your project managed them to success. The next critical one I would suggest is getting somebody else to help how you’re going to implement and project manage that project. So I know that when I talk to a business owner I make a couple of changes that my life easier makes the project happen faster and more successfully. And that’s the benefit of a coach or a third person to do it now often a lot of people out there it’s not a go and get a business coach but it’s a go and find somebody that you can say hey I’m thinking about doing this and this is how I was going to do it. What do you think. And get that third person if you can get a coach on board do it. If not find somebody that can brainstorm and throw ideas and questions at you just to help you make it better in your business.
Matt Jones: [00:31:03] Man it’s one of those um I mean you probably see it even more than I do but it just seems like every bastard wants to call themselves a business coach today.
Ed Plant: [00:31:11] Yeah totally and I hate it and I don’t. I’m not a business coach. I don’t do that
Matt Jones: [00:31:17] I think the reality is for a lot of us that are in professional services any way you kind of to a degree fly that flag within you know your offering. However I certainly would never want to bracket myself as a business coach because I just feel like they’re are a dime a dozen and I don’t. Even a lot of these programs out there you know I feel like it’s so much a case of you know one person professing to be the greatest at everything you know well I can show you how to do everything from finance right through to sales and marketing right through right to onboarding and no like really make sure you’re not the greatest person on the planet at all of these things otherwise you wouldn’t be selling your shitty program to you know a thousand bucks in my
Ed Plant: [00:32:03] And it just it just defies logic.
Matt Jones: [00:32:05] Right.
Ed Plant: [00:32:06] Nobody is that good at everything.
Matt Jones: [00:32:07] Right, right.
Ed Plant: [00:32:08] Like Richard Branson isn’t. He gets other people in to do it all
Matt Jones: [00:32:12] Well that’s exactly right and this and this goes back I suppose to that story I was talking about about my client that was looking for another CEO I mean Richard Branson has CEOs in place for all of his businesses you know. He can sit there and you know he’s sitting out on Necker Island on his jet ski. There’s a what I have to worry about all this other stuff.
Ed Plant: [00:32:32] Totally, totally.
Matt Jones: [00:32:34] Yeah it’s it’s very it’s very interesting like I’ve always found when we’re tying back to what you just said then about you know getting help or running ideas off people I would probably quantify that or clarify a bit deeper and say run run ideas to the right people
Ed Plant: [00:32:50] Yeah, absolute.
Matt Jones: [00:32:52] The most the worst advice is free advice very often and you know there’s there’s a lot of people out there that are willing to give you free advice and by all means you can take good advice from people I mean our Facebook community is built up of you know the global business owners that have had experience with certain things and I’d be far more inclined to take advice from somebody who has been down a path that I want to go down and hear what they have to say as opposed to somebody that’s a good business card on their business coach or on their business card.
Ed Plant: [00:33:22] Totally and so in that case like your mom might not be the best person
Matt Jones: [00:33:27] Do you know my mom? That’s crazy. (Laughs)
Ed Plant: [00:33:33] No mom jokes please.
Matt Jones: [00:33:34] Yeah. So um yeah. And I found that that’s been a big battle actually and you know you’d like to be honest with you. Like I’m I’ve been struggling with that as you know as a business owner looking for the right help from the right people I’ve got. I struggle with that today to find people that can help but I’ve I’ve learnt over the years that you know you’ve kind of got to be more granular with what the areas that you want to help with. And I’ve found that’s made a big difference for me.
Ed Plant: [00:34:06] I was going to say the best advice I’ve got for that is the problem people have is they go in wanting
Matt Jones: [00:34:12] The magic pill.
Ed Plant: [00:34:12] Not sure what they want or
Matt Jones: [00:34:14] Yeah.
Ed Plant: [00:34:14] They want too much. From one which it
Matt Jones: [00:34:17] Yeah.
Ed Plant: [00:34:18] And whatever that which it is whether it’s software to help with quoting or it’s a mentor or a coach or somebody to support them grow their business and so the problems happen when they’re not clear. When they want too much and when the person they’re talking to is trying to do too much. And so they don’t just cause confusion and not getting the results and you don’t you go to somebody and they start doing something and you realise it’s the long something and it just spins. So by getting into that real boat by people being really clear on where they’re going and what they want out of it and where their weaknesses are helps them go how am I going to fix these weaknesses.
Matt Jones: [00:35:07] And one thing that I’ve learnt and I’ve said this many times on this show and I will happily throw my hand up to say that I am not the best person to be running the finance side of the business. It just does something that I just cannot I find extremely hard to get excited about. But I will say that as a starting point for a people out there that are thinking okay well you know let’s talk about things that I need to get good at. From the beginning I would say numbers is the most important thing and you know having an understanding of cash flow and you know sales that are coming in sales that are to be coming in you know what your expenses are and all that kind of stuff. Like that really does help you strategize and dictate a roadmap in order to help out all areas of the business grow that could be bringing staff in and it could be adding services it could be increasing your prices or whatever it is but having an understanding of those numbers is so important.
Ed Plant: [00:36:13] It’s essential and if you look at it the reason most people who are in business to make money there’ll be a heap of other things behind it. But at the end of the day you’re not driving a business to go broke.
Matt Jones: [00:36:27] Yeah.
Ed Plant: [00:36:27] You drive a business to make more money to help your family to send your kids to school to go on the holidays you want to create more freedom for yourself. So it’s the number one reason you’re in the business you’re in. Therefore You need to give it the attention it deserves.
Matt Jones: [00:36:43] So I would say in even I mean it don’t get me wrong I’m not an accountant but you know for all the listeners out there I think this is relevant advice to anybody at the very very base level employs some sort of cloud bookkeeping program India business because it will just give you such a clear overview and like a good or bad. Mind you I might add like it’s not always it’s not always rainbows and unicorns when you look at things like oh magical we like it sometimes it’s pretty you know looking truth
Ed Plant: [00:37:16] Yeah.
Matt Jones: [00:37:16] Head on but that’s the idea and I’ve just found for myself and my clients you know implementing a program like zero accounting or quick books or Amway or whatever the hell you want it doesn’t matter what use days is as long as you’ve got something there that can give you a visual on your expenses and what’s coming in then that is a very powerful tool.
Ed Plant: [00:37:37] Great and I think if the numbers aren’t good people avoid him. But the reality is this the numbers are still going to be there just because you hide and ignore them doesn’t change them.
Matt Jones: [00:37:46] And I did that for years.
Ed Plant: [00:37:47] So you might as well step up, face it like a big boy and
Matt Jones: [00:37:52] Exactly.
Ed Plant: [00:37:53] Tackle it.
Matt Jones: [00:37:54] And I think when you tie that you know you know that having that visual tie that into somebody that can help you improve it then that’s when it starts getting powerful. So yeah I think we’re kind of on the same page there.
Ed Plant: [00:38:10] Totally. And so the next step in execution that trumps planning is really about taking weekly action. So quite often projects that are going to really impact your business are not things that have a deadline on or need to be done every single day.
Matt Jones: [00:38:32] Okay, example?
Ed Plant: [00:38:33] But oh well for example systemization of the business going to make everybody’s life easier but does it change your life today if you don’t do it for another week. No. So it’s really easy to push off and put off and not do anything for in every and any week any month any quarter and suddenly you’re three months down the track and you’re looking back going those systems it’s still be really helpful. So so therefore taking it so it’s really easy to not take actions. Once you’re clear on those three projects that we’ve agreed on for the next 90 days taking weekly actions on those is critical in your success.
Matt Jones: [00:39:17] I like what you said before as well about just just removing the time excuse from your repertoire because at the end of the day that is complete bullshit like those sort of things you need to make time for. And that’s part of business. If that means taking Friday afternoon off or whatever to go and review those things create a system check your numbers then that’s still business you’re still working you’re just not swinging hammers.
Ed Plant: [00:39:43] Yeah. And if we’ve gone through the process properly we’ve identified what’s the most important goals for you to achieve. Now we’ve worked out what the projects are that you need to achieve those goals those goals. So therefore it’s actually really concludes and tied in and it’s really important for you to take these actions.
Matt Jones: [00:40:03] Mhmm..
Ed Plant: [00:40:04] So even if that means you turning the TV off at seven thirty eight o’clock and doing 45 minutes or an hour on these projects then you need to do it. Or if it’s getting up at half an hour earlier to get him started at the beginning of the day before you get on site then you need to do it and it’s taking those actions.
Matt Jones: [00:40:23] I figures well you’ll find that they’re kind of fuel each other like if you in that scenario where you know you don’t understand Matt, like I can’t take half a day off work because if I do the job site will just turn to Pandemonium and if that’s the case then that’s all you. As a result of the fact that you don’t have the simple to begin with so it’s like chicken or the egg you know but you know the only way it’s going
Ed Plant: [00:40:48] Totally. And for those people
Matt Jones: [00:40:49] To get better is if you address it.
Ed Plant: [00:40:51] And for those people I’d say that’s fine. So stop trying to take off a huge amount of time. I’ll give you on the job site and you need to be there duck off for half an hour.
Matt Jones: [00:41:01] Or sit in the lunch shed even and do it.
Ed Plant: [00:41:03] Yes sit in the car and do something. I have a laptop or get mobile or do do that thing the guys if the guys are going to cause problems within half an hour. Of you leaving. You in trouble.
Matt Jones: [00:41:17] Right
Ed Plant: [00:41:18] Your business is really struggling and there’s a lot of problems so you need to. So that means systemization is probably the solution. You need to be doing a team and
Matt Jones: [00:41:26] Training.
Ed Plant: [00:41:26] Getting them on track
Matt Jones: [00:41:27] Yeah
Ed Plant: [00:41:28] To create that freedom but you need to be spending time on it.
Matt Jones: [00:41:31] Yeah yeah. Okay. Is there another step?
Ed Plant: [00:41:34] So the last one is lead the change. So this change is going to ripple throughout your business. If it’s only you at the moment then you need to lead the change for yourself. But if you’ve got a team you need to lead the change from the top. And. By them by you taking weekly actions to the important things the team are going to get behind you as well and they need to lift and be doing the same thing as well. Don’t work in isolation. Get the team working towards the change for you but you need to lead it. And it’s sort of the saying if it’s going to be it’s up to me. Stop blaming other people, stop waiting for other people, get in and get it done for you.
Matt Jones: [00:42:13] Yeah. I mean in my experience when that sort of action takes place from the top it has a very powerful effect on the rest of the organization like people and sort of see the change and in most cases they’ll want to buy into it. And if not maybe they’re not the right fit.
Ed Plant: [00:42:33] Yeah. I remember when I was in Iraq and there’s a lot there’s a leading from the front is is a has its benefits but it always has its disadvantages. And I’m not saying you should always lead from the front but you need to lead to change. And I remember when I was in Iraq our division commander who had something like 10000 people under his command in the province we were in. He went out one day and got stuck in the middle of a firefight and there was like video footage of him with his 9 millimeter pistol sticking it up over these APC armored personnel carriers firing back at these people that had AK-47 and mortars and stuff like that and it was like this dude’s crazy but so so awesome that he’s out there leading, been doing in the middle of a firefight and taking control of it and he was yelling to the platoon commander to go do this. And it was just inspiring and and he was he was in the middle of it leading the charge.
Matt Jones: [00:43:34] Yeah. Well, and that’s a big thing isn’t it like you see it all the time. Is not so much about telling people what to do it’s showing them another cliché comment but super relevant
Ed Plant: [00:43:48] Yeah.
Matt Jones: [00:43:48] Don’t tell me, you show me.
Ed Plant: [00:43:50] That’s right. Do as I say not as I do.
Matt Jones: [00:43:53] All right mate well um what do you reckon, is that pretty much wrap this up set up?
Ed Plant: [00:43:57] Yeah. So the the major things to do for the implementation is just get implementing. But to do it you’re going to have to change your mindset distill down the many tasks to the few that need your attention get good project management into it which ties back into the planning really nicely get a third person support to make sure that you’re doing the right things At the right time. Take weekly actions and lead the change.
Matt Jones: [00:44:24] And the other thing you can do guys as well and we’re talking about third third party people you know third party intervention and that kind of thing. And one thing that I’ve done in the past and if you’re only going on the path of getting a business coach inverted commas that’s fine but man don’t have to be a business coach you could be somebody that’s got similar results to what you want. It could be it could be a colleague within a similar industry or maybe you’re a plumber and there are sparkie and they’ve got great results and you want to see how they don’t done. These people are very often more than happy to help but people want to help. I know I’ve worked in some massive organisations you know plumbing companies and almost on a weekly basis there would be other plumbers come in to come to have a meeting with the director at the time and he was so open and generous about helping people achieve what he’s achieved. You know price correctly because at the end of the day you’ve got to think of it like you know from an industry perspective if you’ve got if you can help your competition or colleagues improve and grow a better business then it only really in a day helps the industry as a whole and that’s especially relevant with things like you know pricing for example you know if you can help a competitor increase the prices so they’re similar to yours but that’s only going to help you. So you know it’s going to reduce things like undercutting so you don’t have to get caught up in the hole you know I need to find the right business coach go and go and speak to somebody that’s done what you want to do and see how they did it.
Ed Plant: [00:45:52] Just get help and it’s even reaching out and you’re the group the amazing group you’ve got man. And it’s finding somebody that’s talking about something that you’ve got a problem with and go and might I’ve seen you given advice on this can I have a 20 minute chat to talk to you about my situation.
Matt Jones: [00:46:07] Yeah
Ed Plant: [00:46:07] I’d love some help.
Matt Jones: [00:46:08] And that’s that’s that’s exactly right. I mean there’s a lot of qualified people in that community. I mean you know we recently did a podcast with a mate of mine Darren who’s got a kitchen building company now. He’s currently living in Turkey on his yacht. He’s taken two years off the business and it’s still running and people are. How the hell can you do that you run a kitchen you’re a builder effectively and he’s done it through systems and processes and now people are forever.
Ed Plant: [00:46:33] And having the right time
Matt Jones: [00:46:35] Yeah and people ask him how have you done this and so now he’s messaging me saying, well man you know what I’m getting a lot of people ask me you know I’ve done this. What do you reckon should I start teaching people Wyler’s or why wouldn’t you like. There’s very few people from a coaching perspective that have that can say that they’ve done that. You know like people can tell you how to do things but it’s not necessarily based off results they’ve got themselves and that sort of ties back to what we were saying before it about finding relevant by people that are experts at certain things. It’s not necessarily somebody who’s going to going to be the expert at everything. In my experience anyway.
Ed Plant: [00:47:13] Yeah, totally. And the example is we run a lunch every six weeks for business leaders business owners that are doing whatever they’re doing to come round and sit and just chat to other business owners get help.
Matt Jones: [00:47:27] Yeah, right.
Ed Plant: [00:47:27] And everyone we bring in a business leader who’s doing amazing in their world. And we got a guy called Steve Scanlon who’s an ex-rugby league player who started his own business five years ago. He was in huge amount of debt I think you got up to half a million dollars in debt and was really struggling to get out of it. And he has an approach to his life that if I can help someone, it’s wrong of me not to do. So he started changing that debt around and Geoff Horne was
Matt Jones: [00:48:03] Australian boxer.
Ed Plant: [00:48:04] Yeah, strollin’ legend worldwide champion. He was he was working at a time and he needed a thousand dollars to go over to New Zealand to fight and they were doing. There was some lunch or something to try and raise some money for him and Steve just went. I love this guy. I love this guy’s passion. I’m going to do what I can to help him. He ended up sponsoring him coveted the coveted over got a heap of his guys from the business to fly over and they’ve been in Jeff Horne’s corner ever since.
Matt Jones: [00:48:37] Yeah, well.
Ed Plant: [00:48:37] So just after we went to the states to fight in Vegas he was touching base with Steve and Steve it helped get him over there again. Now now just what five million bucks a year or whatever it is and these he’s flying but it’s that Steve Scanlan has this approach of if I can help someone, it’s wrong of me not to. And so yesterday, his business is 45 million a year in one arm and he’s got another two arms that are doing some amazing things as well. So he is running a big business. He’s busy.
Matt Jones: [00:49:06] Yep
Ed Plant: [00:49:07] He’s got a lot on
Matt Jones: [00:49:07] Yep
Ed Plant: [00:49:08] Yesterday.
Matt Jones: [00:49:08] Yep.
Ed Plant: [00:49:08] He drove down from Brisbane to the Gold Coast. Sit down with 15 business owners have lunch. Help them and just be so generous.
Matt Jones: [00:49:17] Yeah.
Ed Plant: [00:49:19] So it’s just an excuse if you don’t have time.
Matt Jones: [00:49:21] Yeah, exactly. All right well mate thank you very much for your time this has been a brilliant series. So for the listeners out there that was the third part of the strategic planning done right series. You have been listening to myself, Matt Jones and Edward Plant from the Institute of Couples in Business, if you want to get hold of Edward. You can head across to the show notes where there’ll be links to his business website which is Institute for couples in business dot com. Also a couple of links to some of the social channels a there’s a close Facebook community which you can jump in and this Instagram handles or things like that. Edward also we are going to run a bit of a competition with the what we call the street map, that you spoke about their framework.
Ed Plant: [00:50:13] Get a business, plan your part.
Matt Jones: [00:50:15] So guys, when was that part one. It must be in part one we spoke about. Yeah. So when the first episode comes out guys there will be a framework that you can get ahold of through the show notes. Download that and we’re going to run a bit of a competition in the Facebook group there where you can fill yours out. And Edward is going to help you refine it. We’ll probably do that through Facebook Live or something like that. And then there’s also a book there as well. So there’ll be a link to Edward’s book on the show notes. Was that book called again?
Ed Plant: [00:50:48] Went Amazon, number one best seller around the world and this’ called Lead the Ship. And one of my we talk about genius in the podcast and one of my strengths is really helping people lead their business better. So I’ve done a truck taken soldiers round the world and the book is all about how to lead the ship for your business to get better results from your team create a sustainable growth culture and your business and get your (inaudible) performing.
Matt Jones: [00:51:18] By the time this goes live, I will endeavor to have read that book. So I’m looking forward to it.
Ed Plant: [00:51:24] So it allows you a couple of questions
Matt Jones: [00:51:27] All right, fantastic. Well mate thank you again for your time. Much appreciated. You’re a busy man. So
Ed Plant: [00:51:33] It’s been a pleasure. Matt, thank you.
Matt Jones: [00:51:34] Thanks for being a part of the community as well. Very much appreciate your contribution there.
Ed Plant: [00:51:40] Yeah, my pleasure. It’s a bit like um Steve, if I can help please reach out. I’d love to.
Matt Jones: [00:51:44] Yeah, fantastic. All right, well that is a wrap.
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