The Importance of a Team

Did you ever play the classic NES game “Ice Hockey?”

It was back before the developers had to think of creative names for the games…the baseball game was called “Baseball”, the ice hockey game was called, you guessed it, “Ice Hockey.”

The game was very simple.  You pick your country, and you pick the body types of guys you wanted on your 4-man team.

There were 3 sizes: Skinny, Average, and Fat (my classifications).

Each body type had its specialties and drawbacks.

The skinny dude was lightning fast.  He could skate circles around the competition.  But, alas, if he touched an Average or Fat guy he would go flying across the ice.  Speed over Power.

The Average dude was, well…average.  Not the fastest, not the slowest, and not the most powerful.  If he collided with Skinny he would send him spinning, but if he crossed paths with the Fat Man it was over.

The Fat player was slow and methodical.  He’d lumber around the ice trying to steal the puck from the competition and when he was open he had a pretty hard shot.  The trick was getting him open with the faster guys buzzing around him like hornets.

The Dream Team

Let’s examine a few different lineups in this classic game.

1.) The Killer Bees

4 Skinny Guys.  They are going to be lightning-quick, pestering players and picking off passes.  They will constantly be getting knocked down by bigger players and their shots aren’t as strong.

Achilles Heel: Too weak to make a difference.

2.) The Average Joes

4 Average Players.  Not hot, or cold.  Lukewarm.  While this lineup is typically better than the Killer Bees, there are no standout players to rise to the occasion in different game situations.

Achilles Heel:  One size does not fit all.

3.) The Beefeaters

4 Fat Guys.  This lineup strikes fear into the hearts of their weaker, more feeble opponents.  That is, until you realize the Beefeaters are ultimately too slow to keep up and be competitive.

Achilles Heel: Too slow to get open and too many turnovers to win the game.

4.) The Dream Team

I spent many a sick-day from school playing this game (and have since turned my kiddos onto it on the Wii U as downloadable content).

Though it was possible to win with a foursome of the same type of player, it was waaaay easier to win with a more balanced approach.

1 Beefeater, 1 Killer Bee, 1 Average Joe, and 1 Wild Card (the 4th player is almost inconsequential at this point).

Why?

Because you had balance.  You had players looking out for each other.  If you needed some great offense or a speedy defense you had the squad that could pull it off.

Some peoples’ strengths covered their teammates’ weaknesses.

That is the key.

If you were the General Manager of an NBA team…

Would you want 5 Shaq’s as your starting lineup?

 

Shaq is one of the greatest of all time but could you imagine playing 5 starters that were 7′ tall and weighed 300+ pounds?

That squad would be dominant in the paint but would get destroyed by smaller, more nimble players like Steph Curry or Steve Nash.  They’d dribble circles around Shaq, spin around Shaq, break Shaq’s ankles, crossover Shaq and hit a stepback 3 over Shaq.

It wouldn’t be pretty.

Look at any team sport and you can see the trend.

A “typical” quarterback (if there is such a thing) is about 6’4″ and around 210-220 pounds.  Not traditionally the fastest or strongest man on the field (think Peyton Manning, Tony Romo, Tom Brady).

Cool, let’s get some super fast guys as receivers to get open so he can throw to them (Julio Jones, Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald).

And let’s get some 6’7″, 365 lb. beefeaters to block for him and keep him safe.

Throw in a couple of stocky, speedy 230 lb running backs and I think you’re going to be alright.

And when they score, send in the soccer player to boot the ball through the uprights.

What does your business look like?

If you are a solo-preneur then it’s probably a little lonely.  After a short conversation with many of the people I coach it becomes crystal clear: they  need to start adding team members to cover their blind spots.

Maybe you’re a great surgeon but you need a team of people helping you run the day-to-day operations of your practice.  Would you want another surgeon answering your phones or doing your accounting?  Of course not.

Or you’re a speaker that needs to hire an Exec. Asst. to help you deliver your talks, or a marketing person to help with the online marketing and lead-generation.

When you start out, you’re everything.  You’re the CJO (Chief Janitorial Officer), COPOO (Chief Office-Product-Ordering Officer), not to mention sales, marketing, HR, accounting, etc.

And don’t fall into the trap of thinking you can find someone just like you to do the other duties.  So many business owners are drawn to people like them.  Eventually you have someone you get along with that shares your same strengths.  This might sound fine and dandy until you realize they also share your same weaknesses.

The best working relationship I’ve ever had was with a guy that was the total polar opposite of me.  Seriously, every personality or strengths test we took showed a complete inversion of the results.  My top 5 strengths where his bottom 5 and vice versa.

We were unstoppable!

Pro Tip: As you grow your team, be certain to look for with those that have a different skill set than you.  Cover your weaknesses so you can double down on your strengths.

Here’s a simple practice that I encourage a lot of growing businesses as they try to make a big jump in their revenues:

  1. Log everything you do each day for 3-7 days (most don’t make it 7 days).
  2. Put a green circle next to the stuff that you LOVE.  Your magic; your secret sauce; what brings you to life and only you can provide.
  3. Put a yellow dot next to stuff you’re good at, but it doesn’t bring you joy and you’re not super-efficient with it.  You might need to delegate this in the future.
  4. Put a red dot next to stuff you need to stop doing.

The green dots are your new job description.  Outsource the rest.

It’s not fair to yourself, your company, or your customers for you to do things you’re not good at.

You don’t have to crumble under the pressure of keeping the books, doing all the copywriting, trying to figure out digital marketing, and whatever else keeps you up at night.

The truth is, once you know what your earning potential is per hour and the cost to replace that task, you’ll see your business in a whole new light.  Meaning if you make $100K per year that works out to just shy of $48/hour assuming 52 weeks per year and 40 hours per week.

Would you pay someone $48/hour to order office supplies, write copy, or design a graphic for your website?  NO.  So stop paying yourself $48/hour when it’s a $10/hour task.

Tips to Scale Your Team (and Your Business)

  1. Fiverr (www.fiverr.com) – This amazing website lets you hire people to do LOTS of stuff, almost all of them starting at $5.  My wife got a logo done for her event planning company for about $40 (after revisions) where I have personally spent thousands to get a logo done. I had a professional voiceover for a major video project for about $20.  I’ve used them for design work, video editing, copywriting, you name it.
  2. Upwork (upwork.com) – This site allows you to hire freelancers from all over the world.  Really the sky is the limit here and you can get a LOT done for a fraction of the cost of an in-office employee.
  3. Integrated Solutions – At my agency, Red Anchor Marketing, it’s critical that the project that we manage has all of the systems integrated.  We have years of experience working with VA’s (virtual assistants) and freelancers to see a project through to completion.  Our area of expertise is helping businesses get more customers using digital marketing.  So, find a team member you can trust, interview them and vet them and let them help you explode your business.

Don’t try to do it all by yourself, Shaq.  You need a team.

Prescription Without Diagnosis is Malpractice…

Have you ever heard the saying, “prescription without diagnosis is malpractice?”

I talk to a lot of business owners and they want a quick win.

“Tell me what I should do in my business make more money…I don’t care what it costs, I’ll do it today…”

Then they start foaming at the mouth and jumping up and down.  They get that hollow look in their eyes as they’re thinking of all the things they’ll do with their new revenue.

Simmer down, sir or madam, we need to examine your business and see what’s actually going on.

And this isn’t just business owners; everyone wants the easy button.

Have you ever seen a fitness product that touts the strain, length and duration of the actual workout?

Of course not, they sell you the dream of a short, quick easy solution.

You see some fitness model stroll across the TV screen and say something about “in only MINUTES per day” as she curtsies.

Yeah, minutes.  About 90-120 minutes and you’ll get results…

To truly get the results you need, it’s not about taking a magic pill or secret or hack to get lasting change.

Have you ever gone to the doctor and they prescribe you medicine within the first 15 seconds?

Or course not.  You sit down with the doctor and they want to know what’s going on.  They ask you how you feel, what your symptoms are, how your body reacts to different stresses and inputs.

As they interrogate you, they start to postulate what might be the root cause of your discomfort, then they lean in. They put their hands on you, look in your mouth, and gaze deeply into your ear canal.

The look, poke, prod, listen, ask questions, and observe.  They ask Siri what she thinks is wrong.

(Ok, kidding on that last one.)

Only after a thorough examination do they dare prescribe the remedy.  They rely on their in-depth questioning and observation and years of experience to tell you what’s going on.

They are doctors, not vending machines.

The Importance of a Diagnosis in Your Business

One of the first questions you should ask yourself is, “How am I getting customers?”

What I mean by that is, “what stages does someone go through to become a customer”?

If you don’t know, then now is a great time to pause and define it.

  • Do they find you online or offline?
  • How do they reach out to you?
  • Do they call you or order online?
  • Who is involved in the process?  How many people?  What can be automated?
  • Do they come into your storefront, medical practice etc?
  • What happens first, second, third, fourth, in your business?
  • Where do people drop off in your ideal process? Is it after filling out a form? Scheduling a consultation?
  • Do you have an upsell or downsell?
  • How much does it cost you to acquire a lead?

Once you know how you’re getting customers, you can start to diagnose the problem.

Let’s say you have 100 people schedule an in-office consultation and 0 of them show up.  I think we’ve identified a gap we can try to fill in your system.

Or you have 1,000 visitors to your landing page and only 3% are opting in to your offer.  Ok, now we’re getting somewhere.

You had 10,000 people go through your video training and 0 customers on the side.  OK.  Ouch, but OK, we can work on that.

Identify the process, assess the systems at each step (a person on your team or a piece of software), identify your metrics (I want to convert 40% of traffic to my landing page to my email list and then 10% of them to customers, etc), look for gaps…

And diagnose the problem.

Need more opt-ins?  Have a clear offer and great copy writing.

Want more clicks on your FB ad?  Choose a great image with compelling call to action.

Need more people to show up for their in-office consultation?  Send them a handwritten card and call them the day before their scheduled appointment.

Want more traffic to your site or offer?  Go to the traffic store (i.e. Facebook) and buy some off the shelves.

A List of Possible Bugs In Your System:

Here is a list of “bugs” that could be in your system:

  • Unclear offers
  • Poor copywriting
  • Incongruent offers
  • Poor branding
  • Weak call to action
  • Offer isn’t valuable enough
  • You don’t speak to your customers’ pain
  • Systems breakdown
  • Disparate systems that don’t communicate with each other
  • No follow through

The Biggest Bug of Them All

I often find that the biggest bug in the system is a lack of total clarity by you, the business owner.

You don’t know how you’re getting customers, you don’t know exactly how to talk to them at each stage and you don’t know how to move them from 1 stage to the next.

You don’t know why they’re falling out of your system (or maybe where they’re falling out).

In Conclusion:

Take a few minutes to clearly audit your business.  What steps are there, who is involved at each step, and how well are you doing on that step?

Want some help?  Comment below or message me on Facebook to let me know if you want help looking at your system.