Once upon a time I owned and operated a small Porsche-only repair boutique.
During year 3 I decided I wanted to ramp things.
I wanted more money in my pocket.
I wanted more time so I could spend less than 70 hours a week working in my business.
I wanted a steady stream of customers so I wouldn’t have to worry about how I was going to pay my bills every month.
I decided to hire some experts to help me. Experts in the automotive realm, experts who advertised that they helped automotive shops grow their businesses. I would be sitting through some lectures and then I would get my chance to sit down with some experts and get my brain filled with new ideas.
Collecting financial information, metrics, and data on my business, I was ready and prepared for meeting with the experts. I was excited!
When I got in front of these guys, they reviewed my information and data. I had already sent in some preliminary stuff and, well, they actually remembered me from the stuff I’d sent in.
“Oh, yeah, I remember going through your information…”
“And…” I said, waiting for the big revelation.
“Well, everything looks good, you are doing great!” Said the experts.
“So…” I waited anxiously.
“Well, based on your numbers, based on your shop size, well… your profit ratio is above industry standard.” He said all this while not really looking at me.
Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore, I said, “Well, what are you going to do for me? How can I do better?”
“We don’t think we can help you…” I was floored by his comment.
He continued, “See, you are already way above where anyone else here is and you’re doing great, so there isn’t much we can do to help you.”
I was stunned. Speechless. And, disappointed.
Well, then I was angry. I had paid these guys money to help me and they couldn’t. Worse than that, they didn’t even try.
As you can imagine, that wasn’t going to work for me.
I spent the next year refining everything I was doing. I worked my asslet off trying to find ways to improve my profit margin. I lowered expenses, changed my tracking methods, reworked my marketing strategy, I worked it… hard. Every single aspect of my business got attention.
The end result was a framework, a system. Something I could use every single day to assess my business and where I was at in it. That framework became what I now call the Balance Driven Business Triad.
Born out of sheer stubbornness, I wanted to make sure that I could replicate what I was doing and I wanted to make sure that no one, with aspirations of growing their business, would be told: “There’s nothing you can do to get better.”
Because, the truth is, you can always get better!
I wasn’t about to let some short-sighted “expert” tell me to simply settle.
Today, I use the Triad every day. It’s simple, easy to understand and clear.
In its most basic form, it is a triangle. Each side of the triangle represents a key area of a business: Marketing, Money, Management.
When a business is in balance, each side of the triangle is equal, and that is the goal.
A balanced business is a business ready and poised for growth.
The key action is to spend time and attention on each quadrant of the triad. That means balanced attention of all aspects of your business.
When we feel overwhelmed, out of sorts, and frustrated in our businesses, it means something is out of balance.
Let’s look at what many call the “Oprah Effect”. So, the Oprah Effect happens when a product or service gets mentioned by Oprah. It started with Oprah’s Favorite Things on her talk show. Oprah would say, “This is my favorite tea.” And fans would flock to buy the tea.
Well websites would go down, businesses would sell out of stuff, production couldn’t keep up with demand and some businesses suffered.
You would, at first, assume that the Oprah Effect would be an awesome thing, but for many businesses it was a terrible thing.
The question becomes, what would you do if Oprah listed your product or service as one of her favorite things? Could you handle it?
That’s one of the things the Triad is designed for – assessment. If you are working to keep your business in balance, if you’ve spent an equal amount of time working on all aspects of your business, then you’ll know the answer to that question.
Better than that, you would know exactly what you needed to do to be ready to handle it and whether or not you’d even want to.
When we fail to balance our attention to all aspects of our business, the business falls out of balance.
If we spend 70% of our time on marketing efforts, which is something that many of the current gurus will tell you that you need to do, you’ll spend only 30% of your time divided between money and management efforts.
If your marketing efforts of 70% are successful, you might land a really big project or contract. The problem is that you now have this awesome opportunity but you start to spend some of that left over time looking at your money segment and find that you don’t have the money to buy the supplies you need to complete the project. And, even if you did have enough money, you don’t have enough people or equipment to complete the project.
What now? You really need the project but how are you going to get it done? Do you take it and hope for the best?
When you say “yes” in the above scenario, you become stressed and overwhelmed. Suddenly you are scrambling, mistakes happen, things get missed, quality goes down… and, in the end you break even.
No profit. You’ve spent all that time and energy without any money in your pocket.
This is a common theme.
If you want to grow – whatever that means to you – then you need to have a streamlined business, you need to know exactly what your business is capable of and what you need to do when more projects come in.
That’s what the Balance Driven Business Triad is designed to help you with.
Balance the focus on your business and you’ll have a business that is ready to grow.
Growth means different things to different people but whatever aspect of your business you want to grow, you must be ready for it, not just waiting for it to happen.
A balanced business can handle everything that comes at it.
If you’re ready to step it up and balance your business, then join me for an upcoming workshop or contact me for a private consult.
I’m looking forward to see what you and your business are capable of!