Renegade Entrepreneurs of the Pacific Northwest, Episode #3: Business Goals

Business Goals in the New Year

In this episode you will learn three important questions for your business goals in the New Year:

  • Why Goal Setting is important to your personal life and business?
  • What is a Business Plan and why every business should have one?
  • What is the process in creating a Comprehensive Marketing Plan?

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Show Transcript:

Keith Eneix: 00:06

Hey I’m Keith Eneix and this is Jesse and we’re excited to talk to you guys today. We The Renegade Entrepreneurs of the Pacific Northwest and we’re excited to help your small business grow. And today we have some pretty cool topics we want to cover that is totally relevant to you growing your business for this New Year hitting some goals and your business getting to that next level. And we’re really excited. Hey I just want to ask you, Jesse, how was your New Year’s? How you doing?

Jesse Stoddard: 00:32

It was excellent. Yeah. Thank you Keith, really good and low key just the way I like it. Not too crazy.

Keith Eneix: 00:44

We’ll getting started for the New Year know it’s a little bit it depends on your business if your home service business out there. You know this is kind of the slower part of the year and you’re just getting going and it’s actually really good time to think about those goals because when it’s busy season hopefully you set a good foundation for the year hopefully you know how many trucks you need and how many people you need to hire you know before all that happens. So but setting goals is very important. And before you can set goals though you kind of need to know what the overall strategy is. Yes. And one of the things that you’ve just recently done actually with a lawyer client is you’ve been putting a marketing strategy in place and Jesse could you talk about that and why and how does that help them?

Jesse Stoddard: 01:35

Yeah. Have they done this before?  Yes so this is a big one for me because it’s one of the main things that I do now and my you know as my career has gone it seems to be focusing more and more on strategy and planning as opposed to executing a specific lead generation tactic or effort or go get new leads is pretty much what every business owner says to all of us. It is a marketing type of work. But what I found is that you know when you start out a business people talk about having a business plan. And some people have a lot of people never really do or they have one but it’s mental or it’s on a napkin somewhere like it. But what I found is that everyone knows that they need one but they typically only think about it when they need to go to a bank or an investor.

Jesse Stoddard: 02:24

So most business plans are written for, “I’m trying to sell my idea to investors” or “I’m trying to sell, trying to pitch my idea to some sort of a venture capital or a shark tank situation”. And that’s why you write a business plan. And so a lot of people. First of all avoid it altogether, unless they’re doing that, which is a huge mistake because would you build a house without a blueprint? If you had no idea what the houses would look like, would you just start throwing up two by fours without the foundation in place? No I’d be ridiculous but yet small business owners are doing it every single day. And I think partly it is because the entrepreneurial spirit tends to be an activator type of personality somebody that get stuff done.

Jesse Stoddard: 03:06

And without getting stuff done they would you know fail before take off and I think a lot of times what will happen is a business owner you know,  when I was in business in multiple different businesses I remember this problem with partners was everybody was excited about one idea but they had a different take on what that what that idea really was. And they come at it from a different angle or even if you’re a solopreneur and you’re on your own you start out with one thing and the business changes by the time you’re in it for a year. Yeah it’s a different business. And the problem with that is that that you can’t overcome that just with hard work anymore. You have to do with ideas and strategy.

Jesse Stoddard: 03:43

So back to your question the marketing planning process has to start with understanding why you even need one. So I mentioned business plan will the most important part of the whole business plan is how to get customers how to acquire and keep customers. That’s the most important part. Otherwise there isn’t any reason to have the business plan because you can have a great section on how you’re going to do your accounting and if you never get any customers it was pointless. So what I focused on was the marketing plan part of the business plan which then became its own thing. Write a Marketing Plan that’s 42 pages long.  And so people think well what they thought it was going to be one paragraph in the business plan is 42 page plan. So the process is getting together with a business owner.

Jesse Stoddard: 04:26

Now could a business owner do this themselves? Maybe they could buy a bunch of books on it. They could go get some software programs. Theoretically it is possible. And I think you should. If you are running a business out there you need a marketing plan or a business plan with a marketing plan inside of it no matter what. And so that is the key is understanding you need it so that you know what you’re doing, when you’re doing it ,and how much you’re going to spend to do it right. Those are the key. So you know that’s the process is meeting with a client. It’s first of all convincing them that they need one right. They can’t just spend more money on that advertising. Well why are you spending money on that advertising how much money should be spent on that and what is that the best one for you to be doing right now.

Jesse Stoddard: 05:16

And those are all thoughts that need to go into it in order to grow your business and your business marketing changes as you grow. So you have to build that into the plan and then you have to review it at least once a year, if not every quarter. And so all of that has to go and has to be in play before we could even sit down start writing it.

Keith Eneix: 05:35

When you talk about the review side of those. The nice thing about going through that long process. The 42 page document is you can’t go back and just take that back out again the next year or the quarter. And you can just revise that a little bit. You don’t have to necessarily do all of it right. Exact. Going through that process myself we went through that last year for the first time and our document was about that size and it was it was interesting because beforehand I thought I kind of knew what we wanted. But then after going through that it built out the context of the reason why we actually wanted to niche down on our services, niche down to the type of client that we wanted to serve. And beforehand it was just a little bit like I think we serve everybody but then honing that end really made me understand oh actually there’s a good solid reason why we want a niche down and it wasn’t as scary as before.

Keith Eneix: 06:36

It provided Clarity Yeah it sure did. It sure did and it was it was a no brainer. You know when to say that a no brainer to a niche to our most successful clients after we did that analysis work.

Keith Eneix: 06:48

So that’s that’s been a huge benefit of going through that process.

Jesse Stoddard: 06:54

And another thing I’ll comment on what you just said which was perfect seeing that clarity and that refinement and that narrowing down. Yeah really what a marketing plan forces the business owner to do is to rethink not only their business but their whole life. Right. You have to decide well what right what business are you in. What do you really want out of it? What are you doing and that for you is focus on trying to figure out where or how is what’s the best way for us to go about getting that goal. Well then you have to ask the question well who’s my best customer which is what you did. I think well that’s a good customer. But what about all these other people that we could be getting. And then. But the marketing and the business plan says no that’s not really what you want because if you follow that rabbit trail over here it’s going to lead you to a path you don’t go. Right.

Keith Eneix: 07:41

So one of the things that just was mind blowing for me that you asked me “Keith who would you be willing to work for for free?” I was just shocked. I was like, “What? Well nobody”, I answered. But then you took me through a process of understanding how actually you would be willing to work for a certain client for free because the long term benefit was absolutely there. Right. Where a long sales cycle long engagement type in a company because we provide marketing services long term and if you’re a short term like a one close sale type business you maybe come out a little bit different. Maybe it’s why do we offer this type of customer a coupon. You don’t offer everybody a coupon but you offer a certain customer a coupon something along those lines. But that really helps clarify for me who the best customer was because I had to really think through that.

Jesse Stoddard: 08:44

Oh yeah. Who would I be willing to work for for free. Right right. And another operative question that that piggybacks on that one is how would you behave in your business or what would you do if you knew you could only get paid after the result happened for the client . So in other words the client wants a certain result from you. What if you could only get paid after they got the result. How would that change what you do? How would that change your customer service? How would that change your process? How would that change who you would work for? So that’s where the work for free has a disclaimer  because you don’t obviously can’t work for free forever but you could give a free bonus a free trial a free this or a free that  or even if you don’t offer anything free. But the mentality is I’m willing to go the extra mile because I know in the long run this is going to win for your business.

Jesse Stoddard: 09:39

You can’t do that with everybody you can only do that with the right people so that you’re correct it’s just the other half of it is if they could only get the result first then you got paid. Then what would you do differently? That’s a big question.

Keith Eneix: 09:56

So making sure you have your plan in place. Huge for your business. Huge for the New Year and making sure you have the right goals now going on the goals,  goals is something where you have marketing goals. But I’m not just talking about the marketing goals there’s broader goals to there’s your personal goals. If depending upon your company, if you have partners, if it’s just you. There’s what we think of as quarterly or 90 day plan goals and then that can of course be broken down to shorter goal periods or shorter sprints if you want to call it that. But these 90 day goals with you and your employees are huge and one of the things that we adhere to use what’s called the Rockefeller Habits. It’s a great book out there by Verne Harnish, I highly suggest you take a look at that.

Keith Eneix: 10:42

But basically what the idea there is is literally using J.D. Rockefeller’s habits and making sure that you’re developing your business with the right org methodology. And one of the things he talks about in there is creating what’s called a major miner rocks. So a lot of times we can get just bogged down with,  “I have 100 things I need to do over the next 90 days”, and actually those aren’t really the most important things in your business. There might be three to five things in there that would make a huge difference for you and for your employees. For instance maybe one of those rocks that you have is just being a mentor as in a management position. You being a mentor and making sure that your employees have 90 day plans in place is going to make a huge difference for your business.

Keith Eneix: 11:33

So that could be maybe a major rock for you. Maybe for one of your employees. You know it’s more on the service side they have to get a certain amount of work done with customer that you know maybe levels being at a certain level something like that.

Keith Eneix: 11:49

But in the Rockefeller Habits you have three things. It’s called get, keep, and grow. Get is new sales, keep is keeping those sales, and growing those sales. And so you’ll have goals that you create, 90 day period or 30 day sprint and so on and so forth that relate to that get, keep, grow.

Keith Eneix: 12:08

So you have people that are going to have more rocks weighted on getting, more rocks for some, going to be on keeping, and then more rocks on the growing side. And so just making sure that people understand exactly and get, keep, grow where they are in their organization is going to be huge to you getting to that next level with the overall goals of your business. So anyway that’s kind of a little bit of where adhere to as far as the Rockefeller Habits and goals and such. But I don’t know Jesse what do you think about that and how do you come out on the goals side?

Jesse Stoddard: 12:42

I like that a lot. It’s a really smart way to go. I think the challenge for a lot of business owners, for me too, is figuring out what those things are. That’s the million dollar question?

Jesse Stoddard: 13:04

I think one of them needs to be, ” What business am I in?”.  There’s a lot of examples of that where you may start one thing and you end up in another. You notice a better opportunity somewhere as you go. And perfect example is somebody that starts a small business and then ends up getting into information marketing teaching others, you know  I use the dentist analogy before. .

Jesse Stoddard: 13:22

You know I started out as a dentist and eventually I learned how to perfect all my systems and I began writing books and creating courses on how to run a great dental practice. Well then that information business far eclipses the dental business. Pretty soon he’s in a different business and that’s great. But thinking that through is the challenge or maybe wants to just have 20 dental offices. Right but figuring out where you’re going. I think a lot of small business owners, they end up like Cheers where they really just want to open up their little retail establishment ,their little bar and they want customers to come in and they want to schmooze with them and then they want to you know turn off the lights at 5:00 and go home and they don’t really have a business they want a job.

Jesse Stoddard: 14:07

So I think deciding what kind of business you want to be should be one of those rocks. And then also figuring out another one that I would choose is who is my customer.  And then talked about that already,  not just a “Who is a customer, but who is the ideal target market perfect customer?’, and then trying to focus my marketing and sales efforts around finding that. So those would be two of the rocks I would pick.

Keith Eneix: 14:31

One of the things that I’ve noticed in just the journey of the young entrepreneur into more mature entrepreneur is this understanding especially if you’re under a million dollars a year though there’s definitely a switch that happens where you’ll hear a lot of business owners say, “Hey I rely on referrals underneath a million.” I just do referral marketing and that’s it and, or not even referral marketing. I just do referrals and that’s it. Well that works for a little bit but I just want to stress that that’s not a controlled what’s called pipeline. Pipeline is the amount of leads that are coming through that you’re closing into sales that you can predict. So the problem is as you grow and you hire more people you’ve got sales guys now that are motivated by commission. Well if there’s not a controlled  pipeline and you know they’re not getting a commission, well now there’s a problem because they’re not making enough money.

Keith Eneix: 15:31

And so you start to feel this need to get more control of that. So part of that get, keep, grow. I really like the fact that it starts that way with the Rockefeller Habits. Get is the most important in your business, sales is the most important. Sometimes we can think, “Oh actually it’s our service.”  Service is important but even if you have O.K. service and you have just an awesome sale system you can work through your service issues. But if you have an amazing service and no sales you’re going to die. The lights are not staying on. So really keeping focused on the marketing and the sales side to make sure that you’re controlling that pipeline as your business is growing.

Keith Eneix: 16:17 Get .

That is the most important thing. And so whenever you’re making goals for your business really make sure that, “First we’re going to start with get.” We’ve got our goals but are we are we getting? Do we have the right people in place, the right training in place, the goals in place to improve our marketing and our sales systems. And then from there the keeping, and the growing. We are all usually are pretty good at the at this service side. Usually that’s why we started business because we were like, “Oh we like that service!’,  but I just want to do a business kind of own my own job. But then it’s the sales and the marketing side that’s a little bit weaker, so, get, keep growing.

Jesse Stoddard: 16:55

Another reason to have a plan because a lot of that is discipline. Yes you can have the idea, ” Here’s how I’m going to do that”, but what’s going to keep you on task.  So the plan does that because if as long I’m using the plan and revisiting the plan because it should be a living document not something you file away in a cabinet somewhere and never look at it again but that helps because then you’re forced to actually consistently take the actions necessary to do what I just described. Which takes consistency. You can’t just one shot and be done for the year. You have to be building and developing that process right.

Keith Eneix: 17:29

Yeah and that’s part of the Rockefeller Habits. That get, keep, grow is one of the mantras. But then there’s also this gathering data, understanding where you’re going through the marketing plan, and then this thing called getting into rhythm and getting into rhythm is taking that plan and putting it into action. And that is huge. I mean just to be able to understand a bit of business often you know not even entry level yet in your business if you think about entry being an entry level business and then being a competitive business. Competitive meaning, now competitors are struggling, like you’re  your power in the area then dominating them. So at the very top you’re just absolutely dominating competitors. You’re not even at really entry level unless you have the capability to create a plan and then to follow and get into rhythm with that plan with your team.

Keith Eneix: 18:24

So that is huge now. Now you’re just the foundation. So that’s just the beginning and the success opportunity outside of that is is huge. So because you can keep that rhythm to be able to control that rhythm in the planning process is a huge step up which kind of brings us actually to the next thing is how you’re a disruptive company. How do you be disruptive? Well if you’re going back right and you’re creating the plans you’re getting into the rhythm while you kind of disrupt the marketplace around you.

Jesse Stoddard: 18:56

One major problem with all small businesses we all are subject to this as we tend to do the same thing that everybody else is doing and which is by definition average and then we expect above average results.

Jesse Stoddard: 19:13 So if you’re plumber and all the other plumbers in the industry all advertise a certain way in a certain media saying the same thing. How are you ever going to stand out? By definition you’re going to get average results at best. You may get below average because of luck or other factors.

Jesse Stoddard: 19:33

Disruptive is not a negative thing. First of all disruption means change and change is inevitable and when you’re riding the front end of the wave of change. So disrupting it means doing something that is going to get noticed, it’s going to change, or it’s going to ride the wave of change in order for you to benefit from in terms of earning more income for your business. So that example of that plumber would be the plumber who all of the plumbers are in the coupon book that comes to the houses and you decide to be the one plumber that has these crazy radio commercials and we actually hear it. There’s a couple examples here TV commercials and the other plumbers are afraid to do it because it’s too expensive and it doesn’t work. The one plumber that’s doing it is making ten times the income of everybody else who then now can afford to run more TV ads including his competition out of it would be a form of disruption.

Jesse Stoddard: 20:21

Another form of disruption could be not advertising related or marketing it could be related to how the services provide. It could be Domino’s Pizza USP 30 minutes or less. You know and the idea of you know hot fresh pizza at 30 minutes guaranteed was disrupted in the industry at the time because first of all nobody ever had the guts to promise it. Second of all is they never promised good pizza. Hot fresh and and it was mostly college students that were smoking a substance that made them hungry. So they targeted a very specific target market in the beginning it literally was that college student who had the munchies late at night who wanted hot fresh and wanted it fast.

Jesse Stoddard: 21:08

Mostly they wanted speed, so their USP speech that was disruptive in that industry. And it changed the face of all of it actually and now everybody tries to copy it. So it could be a marketing technique. It could be how the products delivered which couples with the marketing and so those are all examples of disruption. And we can do it too. And I think that’s the point here is that with the planning process and the Rockefeller Habits, like you said just by nature of doing that and being disruptive.  Their competitors probably aren’t.

Keith Eneix: 21:42

Well you know let’s just say for our listeners out there they want to get started with how to do this and how could they do that with you Jesse. How could they do that?

Jesse Stoddard: 21:50

So to get to the next level. Well yes I do that as part of my services. I’m not not cheap.  But so it is something that you have to think about. And I do consultations with folks to find out if it’s a good fit but mostly what I recommend everybody do regardless of whether you have someone else help you ,or whether you try to do it on your own is you first have to figure out what your personal goals are. And that’s something that we often don’t even consider when writing a business plan or marketing plan because if your personal goals are not aligned with what your business will provide you will fail. I’ve seen some brilliant business plans written by people that hated their business. And then they don’t execute the plan. So if you truly do love what you do or at least you love the freedom and money that it provides you that’s enough to motivate you whatever it is that’s going to motivate you.

Jesse Stoddard: 22:40

I think first you have to determine number one what do you want to get out of your business because it changes your business. If you want to if you want something out of it that it can provide you might want to think about a different business or changing your business now so that’s step one. Step two is once you figured out what it is you want,  reverse engineer it, “How could that business provide it  and what would the business have to look like.?’ This is all stuff you can do just on your own. You get at least a vague idea . You may not have all the details but you could vaguely figure that out.

Jesse Stoddard: 23:12

And then if you if you notice that there’s a need in the marketplace that’s not being met ,that your business could meet and may be different from what it currently is doing, then  if that matches up with what you want and how you see it getting you what you want and then that’s where you start. Another thing that I would recommend too is be very careful if you already run a business. Yeah I find that people that don’t have a business yet who are willing to write a plan often are the type of people that are analytical but not entrepreneurial enough to activate and get it started again. So they write brilliant plan. They never do yeah. And then on the other side of that personality spectrum you have the Duer sales guy executer, you know the Wolf of Wall Street.

Jesse Stoddard: 24:00

Who just make it work but has no idea what’s going to happen. And I think you have to have a balance of the two. You have to have planning and the execution coming together. And that’s really tough for those “get it done people” But it’s also tough for the analytical people who are going to get into analysis paralysis. So I think you need to know who you are before you get into this and decide what your strengths and weaknesses are. If you’re a doer and you hate reading and writing and planning and thinking ,get some help. If you’re an analyzer, then you may still need a little bit of help to get yourself to execute. Or find people that will execute or get you to execute. Yes I do help with the coaching side on that on that as well but I think you have to determine all those things first.

Jesse Stoddard: 24:48

Those are key right. And then you get into the structure of the plan on and I’m not going to go in all of that. But just things that people might want to think about just in high level is, you need to have a vision. You need to have your mission statement ,you need to have all that fluffy soft stuff ,but it shouldn’t be fluffy and soft. If it has a razor sharp pointed statements about what you want to do then it no longer feels like a puff piece for the media. It’s not supposed to be that it’s for you. And then you also need to have your numbers you need to know your numbers.

Jesse Stoddard: 25:18

You need to know who your customer is. You need to have it written out. You need to have that person at persona and you call it or the avatar, the target market, you have to have them describe, if you have multiples you need to have them described. And then you have to have ideas for how you’re going to get there through digital means through offline means through PR. Nobody thinks about PR that’s a part of a working plan. Are you going to get PR and then figuring out your budget and figuring out your brand and figuring out, do you need a re-branding? Do you need a new logo? Probably the least important but sometimes it’s a concern. New videos or new website. So just think in general again what’s your personal goal and what the business needs to look like to achieve that goal.

Jesse Stoddard: 26:04

And then what it is that your business,  what business you’re really in and who that ideal target market is and work from there rather than the other way around with crunching numbers and doing a bunch of detail work that doesn’t matter. And after you figure that out then you can figure out which are the best digital marketing channels, what are the best offline channels. What are the best PR methods that you’re going to use to help boost and bolster your business plan. More of an answer than you want.

Keith Eneix: 26:34

That’s great for you guys we do it for local. We do have our end of the month meeting, Renegade Entrepreneurs of the Pacific Northwest meeting and,  there Jesse does hit a topic and he covers that as well as there’s a hotseat sharing opportunity there. So if you have questions and just kind of work on our marketing, it’s totally does not cost your normal fee.  And we have guys like Keith there too who lend incredible expertise and it is truly more of a mastermind.

Keith Eneix: 27:07

It’s the mastermind. Yes absolutely. So I do want to put that out there for you guys. Jesse you’re also taking this content putting it on your Web site for people to read and consume. And I do want to also point out to you guys do check out that book by Verne Harnish,  “Mastering the Rockefeller Habits”. I think I’ve mentioned it maybe before but I’ve really impactful book for me and he kind of has some nice stem notables that you can go through and create that sort of master plan for your business. And I do want to point out too it is comprehensive. So you might not need every aspect of that for your business but there’s probably some really good things that you can take away from that.

Jesse Stoddard: 27:45

I have a book recommendation since you mentioned your topic get a book recommendations. If I talk about I should so I came up with it. The Ultimate Marketing Plan by Dan Kennedy is a really good different way of looking at marketing planning. It is disruptive in its nature with our themes. You know among the many books.

Jesse Stoddard: 28:06

And then of course there’s the Duct Tape Marketing which has a really good philosophy on writing marketing plans as well. The E-Myth, although it’s not about marketing planning it’s about treating your business as if you were going to franchise it even though you don’t plan on it. So I think that three books would be perfect for what we talked about.

Keith Eneix: 28:23

Well thanks guys for joining in and we’ll see you next time. And you guys keep on working hard growing that business and we’re going to keep on thinking about how we can get you guys more information more tools to help you do that better. See you guys next time.

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