Recruit, Recruit, Recruit!

Recruit, Recruit, Recruit!

I have mentioned the coming talent crisis and how to hire. However, talking to clients and others, many are seeing a huge uptick in business during the first quarter of Q1, not only compared to Q4 2020 but compared to Q1 2020. As a result, these companies are in a rush to hire to meet this surge in demand. What amazes me is how many are so unprepared.

All business owners know that they and their team need to be selling continuously. As Estée Lauder put it, “I have never worked a day in my life without selling. If I believe in something, I sell it, and I sell it hard.” While many small and midsized companies seek to live up to this statement, they fail to see recruiting through the same lens.

Continual recruiting is key to the survival of a company, and it is not something that is left to chance and a time when you have a position to fill. Doing so often results, to paraphrase Barry Deutsch, “When looking for basketball talent, you get to pick the tallest pigmy.”

All companies need to be continuously recruiting. By that, I don’t mean hiring, but recruiting. It’s building a pipeline of people that you would hire if you needed someone to fill a position, or someone you would hire regardless of the position if they were available.

Recruiting doesn’t just fall on HR and the CEO, but the entire organization. To succeed, as Jim Collins says, you need “The right people in the right seats doing the right things.” Well, where do you get the right people? Here are some suggestions.

Develop your recruiting flywheel

In Good to Great, Jim Collins refers to the Flywheel Effect concept as:

“No matter how dramatic the end result, good-to-great transformations never happen in one fell swoop. In building a great company or social sector enterprise, there is no single defining action, no grand program, no one killer innovation, no solitary lucky break, no miracle moment. Rather, the process resembles relentlessly pushing a giant, heavy flywheel, turn upon turn, building momentum until a point of breakthrough, and beyond.”

I think organizations with great hiring abilities have developed a hiring flywheel where they have a process and pursue the process relentlessly until it operates with its own momentum. At that point, all others look at the organization and wonder how it does it and what is the magical change. There isn’t any, just a continual pushing for the flywheel process.

A Strategic HR person

Many organizations have a Human Resources manager. However, that role is typically a person how manages payroll, benefits, and compliance. They sit “under” Finance and ensure that employees get paid, get their benefits, and are in compliance with a myriad of rules. This role is crucial whether you have internally or outsource it.

However, few companies have a “Strategic” Human Resources person who sits in the “C” Suite. This person needs to ensure that the organization’s resources are aligned with its strategy. As the organization moves through its 13-Week plans and 3HAG, they know when additional talent is going to be needed. Hence, they are ahead of the curve, ensure that the requisite talent is hired, assimilated into the culture, and onboarded in time for their needs.

Backfilling as fast as you can when in growth mode is difficult, as everyone in the company is too stretched thin. New employee hiring decisions are often made with the thought process, “Let’s just hire someone to fill this need; if it doesn’t work out, we can get someone else.” Such a process is time-wasting and very expensive. Also, new employees are thrown into the tumult without proper onboarding, an understanding of what is expected, and an understanding of the culture. They’re thrown in because the organization needs bodies, and this can all be done later. Still, it never is, and the good employees leave.

Talent folder

Everyone on the Leadership Team must have a Talent folder. It should contain the names of anyone they have met that they believe would be a great addition to the team. They need to follow these people on LinkedIn and make sure they know where they are, what they are doing, and most importantly, keep in touch. When a position in the organization opens up, that member of the leadership team can reach out to them to see if they would be interested in joining the company. The leadership team should review their collective talent folders in each quarterly meeting. They look at the next 13-Week Sprint and the resource limitations they face, either through insufficient resources or talent.

Ask Employees for Referrals

All industries are incestuous; everyone knows people in the industry in similar roles because they all attend the same conferences, often previously worked for the same companies, or did some training together. It must be part of your culture to get your employees to nominate great people they meet as potential hires. By emphasizing behaviors and culture, your employees will know what types of people would fit. There is no better recruiting tool than a very happy and excited employee working to attract you to their firm. These people should be vetted and added to someone’s Talent Folder. If an employee nomination is hired, reward your employee. However, it is best if they are not involved in the hiring process beyond the nomination, and the nominees have to remain for a period of time.

Ask Customers and Suppliers for Talent

Your customers and suppliers know you, your company, your vision, and your culture. Ask them for people that they think would be a good fit. Especially if there is a position that you want to fill, and they know more specifically what you are looking for. If they like working with you and believe in what you stand for, they are far more likely to refer someone to you than if the opposite is true. However, this requires a great relationship with your customers and supplies. You don’t just want to ask when you need someone, but you need to make it reciprocal as well.

Check your reputation on GlassDoor

It might be easy to dismiss negative statements from unhappy employees; however, like client reviews, statements on GlassDoor matter. All prospective employees now look at GlassDoor to see how you rank and what people say about you. If there are negative statements that make the organization look bad, you can expect many “A” players to wonder if it is worth applying for your position or moving on to an organization with a better reputation. You can expect questions from GlassDoor statements to be raised in interviews, at least from “A” players. Thus, it is in your interest to ensure that you work to maintain a good profile like you would from your clients.

Have Employee Testimonials on Your Website

Most organizations have a link on their website about job openings or career inquiries. However, few have employee testimonials that reinforce the company’s culture, commitment to its employees, and great stories of how it has helped its employees achieve their goals. These testimonials can do more to recruit people who are aligned with the organization than some CEO/owner statement as it shows how the organization is “Walking the Talk.”

Good luck developing your flywheel and attracting the talent you need. If you need help, reach out, we are here to help our clients succeed.

 

Copyright © 2021, Marc A. Borrelli

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We All Need Clarity

We All Need Clarity

In discussions with many clients this week, the common theme that I heard was exhaustion and depression. As I have said before, thanks to COVID, we are all tired. However, our personal situations amplify the stress that we all suffer from because of COVID. In some cases, it may be a spouse losing a job, homeschooling multiple children while trying to do your work, or worries about elderly parents.

Regardless, the stress is coming at us from all sides. I recommended that my clients spend time talking to their direct reports, employees, clients, and suppliers and asking how they are doing. Not just asking, but actively listening to hear what is going on in their lives. Things like this make a difference.

Besides, a repetitive theme is “Clarity,” e.g., what is your strategy in a single sentence. However, regardless of our intentions, the corporate playbooks come out periodically, messing everything up. I have recently heard companies ignoring such advice and reverting to keeping all information secret and locked up.

Now I am not talking about profits or trade secrets, but rather things like strategy, brand promise, employee development, and bonus calculations. This lack of clarity causes confusion and more stress. However, it is also giving rise to another issue, the loss of “A” employees.

My recent blog on the coming talent crunch pointed out a shortage of “A” players. As see from my clients and others, as we are starting to emerge from COVID, demand is increasing. Many are scrambling to fill positions to meet that demand. As a result, for “A” players, the call is out that you are needed, and the market will reward you!

If your organization is focused on obscurity over clarity, whether intentionally or not, your “A” players are vulnerable. It reminds me of my many years in M&A when a selling owner or CEO would concoct stories to cover the buyers’ due diligence. In every case, the “A” players would realize what was going on. In the best cases, they would be in the CEO’s office that same day asking, “Are we being sold?” However, in the worst cases, they would start the discussions around the proverbial water cooler. Nature abhors a vacuum, and it never ceases to amaze me the stories that people can come up with when they don’t know what is happening. Regardless, the net effect of uncertainty with the future leads all your “A” players to get their resumes out and start looking. Only the “C” players stay because they have no options.

Regardless of how your business is doing right now, you need your “A” players to survive and thrive. If you are left with your “C” players, you might as well start looking for a buyer or considering some other form of exit.

So, consider your “A” players. They need to know the strategy, brand promise, and core purpose of the organization, their career development and options, and their expected compensation and how it is calculated. Why?

Strategy

If they don’t know the strategy, they cannot execute it. As David Marquet put it in, Turn the Ship Around, “Push the decision making to where the information is.” The information is at the front lines, not in the board room. The more your employees know about the strategy and the clearer it is, they can make the correct decisions as market conditions change. And market conditions are changing rapidly at the moment.

Core Values and Brand Promise

COVID has brought home how precarious life is. So, people during this time of lockdowns and death are questioning the meaning in their lives. They are now looking at the organizations that employ them and asking if their values align. A recent Harvard Business Review article put it that Core Values are no longer a nice thing to have but a core part of the strategy. So, if you cannot articulate your core values and brand promise clearly to your employees, they will determine it on their own, and it may be very different from what you proclaim. Self-determined values are based on the behaviors they see rather than what is claimed. In that case, you may lose those employees who would support the values and brand promise you aspire to rather than what you live.

Career Development

As mentioned above, COVID has brought home fragility. Many are questioning if they want to do “X” for the rest of the career. Thus, a vital part of any employee review at this time is understanding what they seek for their future. It may no longer be promotion and leadership, but more time with family or new experiences in other divisions or markets. Understanding your employees’ desires and working with them to realize their desires while meeting the organization’s needs is more likely to retain them than ignoring them.

Their compensation and its calculation

Your “A” employees are getting calls from headhunters and recruiters because there is a talent crunch. If not, they soon will be. While the vast majority of employees don’t leave because of compensation, as a result of COVID, many bonuses or pay raises were deferred, changed, or ignored. Many organizations face cash flow issues and are in no position to provide employee bonuses or raises but explaining that is key. Others thrived during COVID, and many of their employees have stepped up well above expectations.

In some cases, those employees don’t understand how their financial rewards correlate to their efforts and believe they were short-changed. Those employees are more likely to take a headhunters’ call. Therefore, explaining the situation, explaining the policies, pay, and bonuses are calculations will help dramatically.

With greater clarity, you will more likely realize your strategy and keep your “A” players, enabling you to thrive. Obfuscation will only lead to tears.

 

Copyright (c) 2021, Marc A. Borrelli

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Not Another **** Meeting

Not Another **** Meeting

As I have mentioned before, we are all tied of Zoom, and the meetings seem never-ending. However, with COVID, I hear from many people that they are tired of Zoom meetings and actual meetings. As someone recently said, “We are having more meetings now than ever, and everyone is tired of meetings.”

It easy to suffer meeting fatigue, especially at times like this. So how do you reduce meeting fatigue? I think there are several ways.

 

Do you need a meeting?

It is too easy to have meetings today, especially with Zoom and our lack of social interaction. However, just because it is easy doesn’t mean that it has to happen. Undoubtedly everyone has seen those mugs and memes – “I survived another meeting that could have been an email.” So before calling a meeting, determine several things:

  • What is the purpose of the meeting?
  • What is the expected outcome of the meeting?
  • How needs to attend?
  • How long should it be?

If you cannot easily articulate the first two, then you don’t need a meeting. If you can, “Who needs to attend?” should be easy to determine. Keep it limited to only those who need to attend because making it large and wasting people’s time will reinforce “death by meeting.”

Finally, as Leonard Bernstein put it so well, “To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time.” Keep the meeting short, which keeps pressure on everyone to get its purpose accomplished within the time because no one needs another session.

 

A Meeting Agenda

Having determined that a meeting is necessary, put together a meeting agenda with time allocation. As Bernstein’s quote above states, you need “a PLAN.” Your agenda is the PLAN. So, lay out all the parts you want to cover in the meeting, the estimated time for each item, and the takeaways. Not the specific outcomes, but that there will be an agreed date, action item, responsibility.

Once you prepare the schedule, share it with the invitees, so they understand the expectations and determine if they need to attend. For example, an agenda could look like the following.

Item Outcome Time
1 Introductions & Purpose 5 minutes
2 Update on project status – Just each step’s status
  • On Schedule
  • Of Concern
  • Behind Schedule
5 – 10 minutes
3 Review of those items “Of Concern” and “Behind Schedule.” Action Items, To-Do List 45 minutes
4 Review of meeting outcome and schedule of next meeting if needed Confirmation of Who, What, and When 5 minutes

The above agenda provides expectations of the meeting’s purpose, the expected outcomes, and how long the session will last. Without results, the meeting becomes a discussion with no solutions. I remember leaving a board meeting once where I was only an adviser, saying I would never attend another because, to paraphrase Samuel Beckett, “Nothing happens. Nobody commits; nobody is held accountable. It’s awful.”

 

Meeting Rhythms

Now just because we are suffering meeting fatigue doesn’t mean we don’t need meetings. For meetings to have value, they need a rhythm that is a continuous circle of meetings. Each session has a specific purpose, outcome, and time allocation. As Verne Harnish put it, “Goals without routines are wishes; routines without goals are aimless.” If you follow Rockefeller Habits, the 7 Attributes of Agile Leadership™, which I use, or EOS™, meeting rhythms will not be new.

However, whatever meeting rhythm you have, the key is to ensure the relevant data, financial, KPIs, etc. is circulated to all members prior to the meeting. Spending a large portion of the meeting receiving the data through PowerPoint presentations has a number of effects:

  1. It is just a huge waste of time. We can all read faster than we speak.
  2. Attendees tend to check out and so miss key pieces of information that may be presented.
  3. Giving people time to review and process the information will lead to better discussions.
  4. It increases “Death by PowerPoint,” and an aversion to meetings.

The ideal Meeting Rhythms for a company are below.

Daily Huddle

The Daily Huddle is a daily alignment meeting that lasts 10 or 15 minutes—done standing. All employees attend, and anyone not present should call in. If this seems complicated, remember General Stanley McChrystal, while in Iraq as Commander of JSOC from 2003 to 2008, did a daily huddle involving 50 people. However, he soon realized that the huddles needed to change to adjust to battlefield conditions, so they were expanded to include 7,500 people and run for 90 minutes.

The purpose is to synchronize activities across the organization and provide a daily forum for activity updates and scheduling. Each team member should contribute. However, it is paramount for the leader (CEO) to make sure it is too valuable to miss.

Sample Agenda:
  • Headlines: Good news (personal and business). The aim is to make the attendees relaxed and build camaraderie.
  • News: Any news from the previous day relevant to the entire team. Align on the Number One Priority for today
  • KPIs: Review yesterday’s numbers and each persons’ progress regarding their stated Critical Numbers and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
  • Issues: Any issues employees have encountered preventing them from moving forward on the Number One Priority for the day.
  • Rocks: The most crucial task each team member is committed to accomplishing that day. The statement starts with: “Today I will commit to accomplishing…”

Weekly Meeting

The Weekly Meeting ensures the weekly execution of Quarterly Rocks’ sub priorities. This meeting should be 60 to 90 minutes.

Participants should prepare to discuss results, KPIs, accomplishments, Rock updates, and their respective Priorities for the upcoming week. The meeting is not to solve significant strategic issues but to resolve most minor matters relevant to the monthly or quarterly plan and problems from the Daily Huddle.

Maintain focused discipline on the time frame and make every minute count. Reward and recognize good performance

Sample Agenda
  • News: Wins both personal and business
  • CEO Update: On the prior week or week ahead. Making the meeting “a not to be missed!”
  • KPIs: Did the team have a good week or a bad week? How is the team performing on Critical Numbers? How is overall performance?
  • Department-level Quarterly Rocks Review: Is the team on track or off-track for the quarterly goals? What Priorities are going well? What Priorities require fixing? Completed and open assignments?
  • Customer/Employee headlines: What are customers saying? What are employees saying?
  • IDS: Identity, Discuss, and Solve important tactical or implementation level issues. Use collective intelligence. Action Items and the “To Do” List. Who What When (WWW)
  • Close: One Phrase by each attendee summing up the meeting.

Monthly Meeting

The monthly meeting is the foundation of strategic execution. The discussion should start with a strategic training topic as part of the management team’s continual education. Frontline, middle and senior manager should attend, and the organization should use it as an opportunity to transfer leadership DNA.

This meeting is a place to discuss significant issues, which will have a long-term impact on the business. As these issues require more time for participants to brainstorm, debate, present ideas, and actively engage with each other to achieve the optimal long-term solution, the meeting should only be one or two topics identified in advance.

This meeting undertakes a review of the prior month’s financial results and the Rock’s execution status, so it should occur as soon as the monthly financials are available.

Sample Agenda
  • News. Good personal news.
  • Monthly strategic training topic(s)
  • Wins and Misses. Successes and Misses from the prior and current month relating to the achievement of monthly and quarterly business goals.
  • Review of Financial Statements: Monthly focus on Income Statement, Cash Position, and Working Capital.
  • KPIs: Executive report out on Critical Numbers, Metrics, Lead Measures and KPI’s.
  • Quarterly Rocks Review: On track? What is going well? What needs fixing? Where do you need help? Are there processes and inter-departmental flows that need improving?
  • Customer/Employee headlines
  • IDS
  • Close

The Quarterly Meeting

The Quarterly meeting is a time for leadership to assess a variety of strategic issues. The update and execution of The One Page Strategic Plan drive the agenda. Other topics for discussion and resolution are the team’s interpersonal performance, specific elements of the company’s strategy, top-tier and bottom-tier employees, morale, client success and satisfaction, competitive threats, and industry trends. Focus on the four key areas: People, Strategy, Execution, and Cash.

This meeting focuses on executing the subsequent 13-week “Sprint” toward the next waypoint on your company’s 3HAG. The duration of the session is typically half to a full day, depending on company need. It should occur as soon as the quarterly financial results are available.

Sample Agenda
  • Team Exercise or Icebreaker
  • Prior 13 Week Sprint Assessment: Revise incomplete priorities. Review the attainments for the quarter against critical criteria.
  • Financial Performance: CFO Report
  • Next 13 Week Sprint Plan: Review of 1 Year Goals, 1 or 2 Critical Numbers-Upcoming Year & Quarter, Key Company Rocks, Key Metrics/Lead Indicators
  • One Phrase Close

The Annual Strategic Planning Retreat

The annual strategic planning retreat is somewhat similar to the quarterly meeting; however, it is more strategic in scope. Assess the prior annual plan, current realities tested, and formulate a new long-range strategic plan. The yearly retreat focuses on the core ideologies, the BHAG, the development of 3–5-year strategic thrusts that will meaningfully differentiate the company.

The meeting’s duration is typically a whole day to two days, depending on company need, and is held offsite.

There is no need for the plan here as that can be a separate topic; however, in the end, communication of the outcomes to all employees need to be determined. The meeting rhythms should be set annually at the retreat, with the times and dates of all the meetings planned and circulated to everyone that will attend.

1-2-1s

All managers should have weekly 1-2-1s with their direct reports. These meetings should be an hour and the discussion focused on:

  • How is the employee doing?
  • Issues they are facing?
  • Issues that the manager sees?
  • KPIs and objectives for the quarter and year.

It is best if the agenda is agreed upon beforehand to prepare both the manager and direct report. If both know the topics for discussion, the outcome will be more fruitful, and if not, neither may have the requisite information at hand, making the discussion meaningless. Also, this weekly 1-2-1s are providing continuous feedback to the direct report and allowing for incremental improvements. Thus, at the time of the quarterly, or annual, review, there are no surprises, and no one has to recall what has happened over the last year.

If all those meetings seem overwhelming, I think on reflection it should reduce the number of overall meetings make the remaining ones more effective. Hopefully, with this guide your meetings can be more fruitful and engaging, resulting in better outcomes for the organization, the employees, and the managers.

 

(c) Copyright 2021, Marc A. Borrelli

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Is Your Company Scalable?

Is Your Company Scalable?

I guess the first question is, “Why should it be?”

If you can scale your company, it provides you with FREEDOM. If you don’t, you get stuck in the “Owner’s Trap,” where you do everything yourself. Eventually, in the Owner’s Trap, revenues flatten, and profits fall because the owner is spread too thin. So, how does scaling provide you with Freedom?

Provided you scale correctly, growing your business provides you with Wealth, and Wealth is correlated with “No!” Your ability to say “No” gives you FREEDOM because you get more:

TIME – You get out of the Owner’s Trap. You have the ability to say No, you get to choose when you want to work, so you have more time to spend with family and friends.

MONEY – With more money, you can say no to more things, and you have money to spend on things that matter to you.

 OPTIONS – With more Wealth, you have a much better BATNA (“best alternative to a negotiated agreement”), which increases your poker hand. Your choices concerning your business increase so that you can:

  • Keep it and be effectively a coupon clipper.
  • Pass it on to your children or employees
  • Become a Non-Executive Chairman and leave the day to day running to your President or CEO.

As we can see, through scaling, you increase Wealth, which provides you with more Freedom and Options.

So if we want to scale, how can we determine if we can? To scale effectively, we have to change our Mindset and ensure our products meet the TVR requirement.

Mindset

Our Mindset needs to be that we “want to sell a few things to many people, rather than many things to a few people.” Many business owners aim to sell a few things, but they are not strategically dependent and have different consumers. Such a strategy is limiting, and they are not adhering to the Mindset. 

Strategically dependent services mean the consumer who purchases A is also likely to buy B, and both A and B meet the same “Job to be Done.” The late Clayton Christensen said that when consumers purchase a product or service, they are essentially “hiring” it to help do a job. If it does a good job, they will rehire it, if not they will fire it. Here as Christensen noted, “Job” is shorthand for what an individual seeks to accomplish in a given “circumstance.” The circumstances are more important than customer characteristics, product attributes, new technologies, or trends.

In Know Your Customers’ “Jobs to Be Done,” Christensen et al. discussed a construction company that was selling condominiums aimed at couples looking to downsize or divorced single parents. The units had high-end finishes providing a sense of luxury. However, although they had much traffic from prospective clients, they were not selling. The company made changes based on focus groups, but still, sales didn’t budge. A consultant decided to look at what differentiated a serious buyer from a tire kicker.

The data didn’t provide a clear demographic or psychographic profile of the new-home buyers, even though all were downsizers. However, from discussions with buyers and tire kickers, the issue of the “dining room table” raised its head. The condos had no formal dining room and just a breakfast bar. However, what they heard was many people saying, “When I figure out what to do with my dining room table, I will move.” The consultant realized that every family event is spent around the dining room table, from homework to birthdays, to holidays. Thus, giving up the dining room table asked buyers to give up something with profound meaning in their lives. So, the decision about whether or not to buy a high-end condo revolved around this one piece of furniture. The company realized that they were not in the business of building condo, but “in the business of moving lives!”

With this understanding of the Job to be done, the company:

  • Changed the layout of the condos to allow for a dining room table,
  • Provided moving services,
  • Two years’ worth of storage, and
  • A sorting room within the condo development where new owners could take their time making decisions about what to discard.

With all these changes, the company raised the condos’ prices to cover the moving cost and storage, and in 2007 when industry sales were off by 49%, they saw their business grow by 25%.

The condo’s strategic dependent service was not a second home or special finishes but moving-related items. Therefore, understanding the “Job to be Done” helps decide on much more effective strategic dependent services.

TVR

The TVR requirement for all services is that it is:

  • Teachable. Others can do it so that you don’t have to do everything. If you look at the entire process from sales to production, if there is any step that only you, the CEO, or business owner can do, you are in the “Owner’s Trap.”
  • Valuable to the consumer – A Need, not a Want! If you are meeting a want, your products and services are easily substituted or given up when bad.
  • Repeatable. Consumers need it regularly.

There is one other item, that is not technically are part of TVR but needs to be kept in mind, what is the market size. If you are providing services for. a very small market, then no matter how effectively you can scale, your growth is limited by the number of competitors.

Some of you will note that I said, “Services,” and you ask about selling “Products.” Unfortunately, all products become commodities. Once that happens, you are in a race to the bottom in terms of price. Suppose you want to maintain product differentiation. In that case, you need to wrap your product in a service that has a TVR model. For example, the iPhone is a product, but it is also a service. Apple provides an environment where apps and your data is safe, so it demands a much greater price for its phones, generating a considerable margin for the company. Google’s Android phones are a commodity, and the prices are much lower. The only way to stop falling prices is to increase the available options. Of course, this irrelevant to Google as it is only providing the operating system, so the more phones (commodities) its operating system is on, the better.

In the condo story above, they had moved from selling condos (a product) to providing life moving (a service), and thus it could not be commoditized. To reiterate, if you sell Products, figure out a way to wrap a service around it so that you can defend your position and make it comply with the TVR model.

However, the TVR model does pose an internal contradiction. “Things that are teachable are often not valuable, and things that are valuable are often not teachable.”

If what you do is not teachable, then your work depends on those who know-how, limiting its scalability. The challenge is to (a) make it teachable so that more people can do the work, or (b) offer a different scalable service based on the core service. A company I know builds unique websites using its platform. They have done this to ensure that once a feature is improved, it is automatically available on all the sites that use its platform. However, because of the intricacies of its platform, it does something very valuable but not teachable. It is developing a scaled-down version that anyone can use, offered at a lower price, but with many of its platform features. Thus, it is producing something teachable and valuable.

Another example is Cook’s Warehouse in Atlanta, which provides kitchen appliances and wares. They compete with many other companies from Williams Sonoma to Target. Cook’s Warehouse has wrapped a service around its products by offering cooking classes. In these classes, chefs cook with you and teach you how to use many of Cook’s Warehouse’s products. As a result, customers develop an appreciation for the service, see the stores as a place of education, and are more likely to increase in-store purchases while attending a cooking class.

The other part of the TVR is that it has to be repeatable. We want customers to purchase it continuously. To use a simple example, wedding photographers do valuable work, but it is not that repeatable. Most of us get married once, or in some cases, twice, but rarely more. Also, there are usually several years between the events, so a customer is not a repeat customer. With my above example of the web design company, they sell their lower-end customers a monthly subscription to use their platform, meeting the repeatable requirement.

Some service providers will say what they do, is teachable and repeatable but do not have much value. In that case, look at your service offering and see if there is a way you can turn into a Rundle – a repeatable bundle. Creating a Rundle of your various offerings in ways that provide value to your customer is a possible solution. For example, an accounting firm providing tax returns for small businesses is teachable but not that valuable – you can get any other accounting to do it. However, suppose the accounting firm were to bundle – tax returns, bookkeeping, payroll, and business financial planning into a rundle with a fixed monthly payment. In that case, it is now offering something that not many others are and has value.

Suppose you cannot make a rundle of your services. In that case, unfortunately, you are in the commodity business. You can expect your competition to be internet-based, e.g., TurboTax, or available from service providers on Upwork or Fiverr.

So, examine your offering portfolio and ask the following questions:

  • Is there a service we can wrap around a product to differentiate it?
  • Are our services strategically dependent and meeting the same “Job to be Done?”
  • Are our services teachable so that others can do them?
  • Are our services a “Need” of the customer and not a “Want?”
  • Are our services demanded repeatedly?

If you can answer these questions in the affirmative, then you can build a scalable business and achieve business freedom.

 

Copyright (c) 2021, Marc A. Borrelli

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