Driving Business Growth Through Strong Leadership [UPDATED]

6 Powerful Leadership Principles to Bring Out the Best in Your People

leadershipAs a business growth coach I am often asked the question, “What’s your advice on achieving fast business growth?”

My one line response, “Never try to do it alone.”

Whether you are the CEO or a key manager, the quickest road to fast business growth is through having a team of committed people. Strong development is what will allow you to laser focus on your core areas of competencies and not fall into the trap of wearing too many hats, which will only slow you down. (more…)

Overcoming Employee Resistance to Change, Part 1 – 8 Simple Strategies to Creating Successful Change

The challenge of overcoming employee resistance is a hurdle both small and large business owners face.As your business grows, it has to adapt to changing circumstances. Trends and tastes change, and new challenges emerge; and it’s the most flexible, adaptive businesses that survive. This evolutionary process can be painful – especially when your employees are resistant to change.

From my experience, balancing the needs of the business, and the desires of its employees, is the most common problem facing small business owners and their managers. Implementing structural change in a business has become a dreaded necessity – but it needn’t be.

Here are 8 surefire strategies to overcoming employee resistance; the most effective, efficient and productive ways to create successful change in your business.

#1. Check your attitude.

Addressing your own attitude might sound contrarian, when it’s clearly the employees who have a stubborn attitude – but as a business owner or manager, you have to first put on the mindset that the “buck stops here”.

There’s no need to be a “barker”or a “dictator”if it doesn’t suit your personality – but if employees are resisting change, their lack of cooperation is probably because you’re letting people walk all over you. Check your attitude:

abc   Are you catering to their needs?

abc   Are you caving in to their resistances?

abc   Are you managing conflict, or are you avoiding conflict?

#2. Commit to being the leader.  

If people aren’t listening to you, they’re not following you. People follow leaders.

Eleanore Roosevelt so famously said, “If you have to tell people you’re a lady; you’re not a lady.The same applies to management. If you have to tell your people to listen to you, you’re not a leader — or at least, you’re not acting like a leader.

Overcoming employee resistance starts with committing to be a strong leader.  I often discover that managers and business owners who struggle with overcoming employee resistance hold misconceptions of what a leader is. A leader is not a dictator. A leader is not barker. A leader does not need to strong arm or threaten their people to do what you need them to do.

Reframe your definition of a leader as being more of a coach. If you were the new Head Coach of a football team and you needed to develop a group of underdogs into a championship level team, ask yourself:

abc   Have you cast an exciting, clear vision of where your company (team) is going?

abc   Are you raising the bar on their effort, performance and work ethic?

abc   Are you holding each team player accountable to follow through – or are you letting them slack?

#3. Have clear player POSITIONS.  

One of the biggest hindrances to overcoming employee resistance to change is that employees were never given clear expectations to begin with.

abc   What exactly was each person hired for?

abc   What position are they playing on your team?

If they’re hired to play wide receiver, then clearly define the role of a wide receiver. Don’t confuse and frustrate your players by having them play linebacker, quarterback, defense and wide receiver all in the same game.

People’s reactions are always based on their expectations. If you’re constantly throwing new changes to their job function it’s understandable that employees would grow increasingly frustrated. After all, they’re trying to hit a constantly moving target.

Employees end up thinking “Hey, this is not what I signed up for!–and their motivation plummets.

In order to mitigate that:

#4. Have clear player EXPECTATIONS.  

If you want to stop the reaction of resistance, start by setting clear player expectations.

abc   Do you have a written job description for each player?

abc   Is the language crystal clear in objective terms rather than subjective and open to interpretation?

abc   Does it define performance that meets expectations, falls below expectations or exceeds expectations?

#5. Dont pass the buck

If you don’t have written job descriptions, avoid the temptation to allow people to define their own roles or write their own job descriptions.

Having your employees write their own job description is only valuable as a barometer to assess their expectations of their role within the business; and how they align with your expectations.

I do not recommend taking this approach to let your players write their own player positions and expectations for you. That’s your job. These are decisions that should be made by you.

Ok, now that you’ve read this far, you’re ready to dive into

Part 2 – Overcoming Employee Resistance to Change.

In Part 2, let me share three more tips and techniques for creating successful change in your business; and even explore how you can benefit from them in all areas of your life!

#6. Hold firm expectations.

Once you set your expectations, you need to hold firm to them.People can tell whether you’re firm or fake. They can smell that fear a mile away. Overcoming employee resistance to change will only continue to be a challenge if managers continue to waver on setting clear, firm expectations.

abc   What are the non-negotiable expectations you have for each employee?

abc   What is the language you use to communicate those expectations?

abc   What is the tone you project? What does your non-verbal communication say?

#7. Build relationships.

Overcoming employee resistance to change doesn’t come from focusing on their behavior; but from focusing on your relationship.

Employee resistance occurs when there’s no respect.

There’s no respect because there is no trust.

There’s no trust because there’s no relationship.

There’s no relationship because there is no consistent one-on-one time.

Remember that: relationships are NOT built in groups. Relationships are built one-on-one

abc   How often do you schedule one-on-one time with each of your direct reports?

abc   Do you critique your employees more than you appreciate them?

#8. Find out their WHATand their WHY.

As business owners and managers, we all want a team of players who are highly self-motivated. Self-motivated people are naturally self absorbed. But, in this case, being self absorbed is not a bad thing.

If you want your people to care about what you care about (growing the company), then you need to first care about what they care about.

Why? Because creating success is about creating a win-win situation for everyone.

When you’re struggling with overcoming employee resistance, remember:

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

abc   How much do you know about each employee?

abc   Have you ever asked what motivates them?

abc   Have you ever asked what their goals are, in both their professional and personal lives?

abc   Have you ever asked why? What would achieving that goal allow them to do, be or have, that they don’t have right now?

Benefiting from these skills in all areas of your life

These same strategies for overcoming employee resistance to change can be applied to our personal lives as well.  These leadership skills, coaching skills and management skills are also lasting life skills that you’ll benefit from in all types of relationships.

As a parent, I want to raise my three kids to be highly self-motivated people. Like most parents, I want my kids to dream big and reach their full potential.

Despite this, I started noticing that I was nagging my son, Thomas, to get out there and practice his soccer drills. I was annoyed that I was investing time and money into his soccer training, but he was RESISTING the advice of his coach.

I decided to apply these same strategies at home. When he was around 12 years old, I sat down with my son and asked him: ‘What’s your dream?’

His answer – to become a professional soccer player. 

We talked about his why, and defined what would that allow him to achieve his desires in life. Then, all I had to do was show him what separates the extraordinary soccer players from the less extraordinary soccer players.

We defined what the extraordinary soccer players did to get there —(exceeding expectations)

We defined what lesser soccer players did —(meeting expectations)

We defined what failed soccer players did —(below expectations)

‘Thanks for believing in me

My son Thomas will soon be turning 15, and I’m happy to report that I haven’t had to nag him since that conversation when he was 12. In fact, I truly admire how highly self-motivated he has become. The snow or rain does not stop him from running outside or practicing his shots on net.  He is not only disciplined in his cross training routine at home, he’s also surprisingly disciplined in choosing what he eats as an athlete.

The best part as a parent was the day my son took me aside and said, “Mom, thanks for believing in me.  Wow! I can last on those 6 words for the next 6 years!

As a business owner or manager, it’s the same thing. When you have an employee who takes the time to say, “Thanks coach, for believing in me.” – that’s the kind of stuff that fuels your tank for many more years to come.

Not only do these strategies help you in overcoming employee resistance to change; they can benefit all areas of your life. Instituting these 8 starter strategies also nurtures fierce loyalty among your employees – creating motivated, productive players that will go over and beyond their call of duty.

QUESTION: What is your biggest challenge when it comes to overcoming employee resistance? Please share your comments in the box below.

You can also download my handy cheat sheet on
Creating High Performing Teams Here.

 

© Copyright 2022

How to Motivate Your Sales Force

Even though most job descriptions for sales roles typically say that the candidate most be “self motivated”, as a business owner you’ve probably realized by now it is wishful thinking that merely hiring “self motivated” people will by itself, lead to creating high performing sales teams. Remember to keep your sales force motivated

Whether you have just one or two sales representatives or you have several dozen, either you as the business owner, or your sales manager (if you have one) need to play a vital role in keeping your sales force highly motivated.

Holding regular, effective sales meetings with your team is one way of keeping your team highly motivated. The key word here is “effective”. So, how does one make sure your sales meeting is effective?

This was the question asked recently but one of my email subscribers:

Q: “I have a team of 11 sales reps who have all been working for me for the past 5-10 yrs. I know I should be holding regular meetings with them, but I’m stuck on what to talk about each week.” ~ Bob Kelly from Austin, Texas

A: Bob, you are absolutely correct on having regular meetings with your team. Regular sales meetings is an essential key to grow your business. Every member of your team is expected to be better each day. I have come up a meeting structure for you which you can use to help motivate your sales force. I have used this same method myself in planning 1,000+ sales meetings I’ve delivered over the years.

Part I: KEEP YOU SALES FORCE MOTIVATED BY RECOGNITION

Whether you’re have a team of 11 people, 80 or just 4 sales people, it sets a positive tone and energy to kick off your sales meeting with sincere recognition. Find something to recognize in some or all of your meeting attendees. In addition to verbally recognizing people it’s important to add visuals. People like to see their names in writing. It can be as simple as writing congratulation messages on poster boards and plastering them throughout your conference room or as formal as having a new name engraved each week or month on a sales award plaque.

You can reinforce that recognition in bi-weekly emails to your sales team as well as including it in the printed version of your sales meeting agenda.

Recognition is especially addicting for sales people, so make sure you apply generously to your team. When you recognize positive behavior you attract more of that same positive behavior.

Avoid falling into the trap of negative thinking like — “why should I recognize them for just doing their job?” Because when you take that philosophy you will likely end up going many weeks without giving any recognition at all.

As a mother, anytime my husband or kids tell me I made a great dinner it not only makes me feel appreciated (even though it’s my job to feed them) it also motivates me to make an even better dinner the next meal.

Making your sales people feel appreciated goes a long way.

RELATED VIDEO CONTENT:

Part II: KEEP YOUR SALES FORCE MOTIVATED BY INFORMATION

This is the housekeeping tid-bits — FYI kind of stuff you want everyone to be aware of and note in their calendars, project folders, etc.

This part of the sales meeting is for you to share things like:

  • Here are two new marketing resources now available to you.
  • Here are upcoming deadlines in our company…
  • Reminders… etc

Part III: KEEP YOUR SALES FORCE MOTIVATED BY INSTRUCTIONS

Never undermine the importance of ongoing training. Sometimes I hear from some grow your business that they don’t need to train their top sales people because they’ve been doing their jobs for 10 years, and they know what they’re doing.

I emphatically disagree!

That’s like expecting pro football players to skip the training camp and send them right into the kickoff game – bad idea! Spend 30-45 min during your weekly sales team meetings to help your people improve one specific skill they use and need, so they can better perform in their jobs. Trust me, even for your seasoned sales reps you’ll never run out of drill-for-skill content.

Part IV: KEEP YOUR SALES FORCE MOTIVATED BY INSPIRATION

It’s often more effective for your people to be inspired by the milestones achieved by their own colleagues than just being talked at the entire meeting by their boss.

You want to leverage the fact that sales attracts people who tend to have a competitive spirit, so inviting the week’s top performer to teach their peers is a powerful motivation for both for the person teaching and for their peers taking notes.

The person teaching ends up feeling like they now have a reputation they need to keep. And, their peers end up thinking — “hey, if they can do it, so can I” or “I can do even better than that”. By doing so people will see this as friendly competition, keeps your sales force motivated to hone their skills further.

So, invite one of your sales leaders to share for 5-15 minutes on how they achieved ______.

Examples:

How I got 85% of my leads to return my calls this week.
How I got 200% more referrals this month.
How I got all the decision makers to attend the 1st presentation meeting.
How I have my best sales month ever.

Inspiration appeals to their competitive spirit. It raises the bar and provides proof that it can be done. Click To Tweet.

 

Part V: SALES FORCE MOTIVATED ENFORCEMENT

This is the fifth and final part of your sales meeting. You, as their boss/sales manager make a big impact in keeping your sales force motivated or de-motivating your sales team. We see this happening all the time in sports. A football team won’t play their best if they’re constantly barked at by a dictatorship style coach or by a coach who appears hands off and indifferent.

They have to want to excel. Even the people who insisted they were self-motivated will still perform far better with a deliberate dose of motivational words from you each week as their leader keeps your sales force motivated.

While instruction gets their head in the game; motivation gets their heart in the game. Click To Tweet

 

I always like to see a weekly sales meeting end with a motivation piece with what I call a wind up talk.

People don’t really get passionate about the products and services you sell as a company (sorry to break that news to you!)

But, what they do get passionate about resonating with why you do what you do. They rally around what you believe as a company, but more importantly, that you believe in them.

People inherently, want to be great and do great things. Your motivational wind up talk should serve to helping them become the champions they have the potential to be.

As Vince Lombardi so famously said: “Treat them as champions, and they play like champions.”

As you plan out your motivational wind up talk think about:

  • Why this week is different? What is at stake this month?
  • What is the target you want them to stretch to reach and why should they care?
  • How can you help your people get out of their comfort zone?
  • What’s it all for this quarter?
  • What personal success skills do you want to help them develop? The power of perseverance, tenacity, positive expectation, resiliency, resourcefulness, etc.

Ok, so to summarize what you’re aiming to accomplish using this 5-part sales meeting formula:

Part 1: SALES FORCE MOTIVATED BY RECOGNITION = “I feel appreciated” [I work hard for me because I’m addicted to recognition]

Part 2: SALES FORCE MOTIVATED BY INFORMATION = “I feel focused and organized”

Part 3: SALES FORCE MOTIVATED BY INSPIRATION = (Peer proof) “If they can do it; I can do it too” [I work hard for my peers because I’m competitive]

Part 4 SALES FORCE MOTIVATED BYINSTRUCTION = “I feel equipped to succeed.”

Part 5 SALES FORCE MOTIVATED ENFORCEMENT = “I believe I can achieve higher” [I work hard for you because I know how much you care about my success]

In closing, if you need more guidance on creating high performing sales teams I invite you to book a complimentary discovery call with me here:
https://www.paramountbusinesscoach.com/coaching-call-sign-up/

QUESTION: How often do you run sales meetings with your team and how do you know it was effective? Please share your comments in the comment box below.

© Copyright 2021-2022  Paramount Business Coach  All rights reserved. 

How Leaders Can Change Lives Of Others

Effective Leadership for Business Owners Can Change Lives

An effective leader knows that inspiration works better than demands, and people respond more positively to change when they understand the goal. 

Demands can lead to resistance, while transparency and a sense of purpose can inspire people to follow willingly. 

Anyone who has worked for a demanding boss understands the impact it can have on one’s life, both inside and outside the office. 

Effective leadership for business owners who cultivate healthy and mutually respectful relationships with their people, make the work more enjoyable and fulfilling for everyone.

 

Confidence and Courage

For a team to be successful, its members need to have confidence in their abilities and know that they are making a positive contribution to the effort. That confidence may come from being allowed to make mistakes and learn from them, without fearing career-ending consequences. 

Enabling people to spread their wings not only builds self-confidence, but the courage to take on new challenges and share their ideas. These strengths will serve them well throughout their careers. Thus creating a stronger leadership for business owners

 

Support and Development

A good leader will recognize the potential in others. They will see beyond the tasks on a person’s job description, provide the opportunity to develop their skills and support their career growth. In return, they will have gained a lifelong ally. 

Though it’s easier to limit a person to the role you hired them for, a good leader will nurture an employee’s growth, even if it means that they might eventually move on. Interacting with people as individuals and trying to accommodate

their unique personalities and styles of communication is an essential skill for an effective leader. 

They must possess the necessary people skills to handle any situation professionally. Developing effective leadership habits takes commitment. It also takes time, effort, and real-life experience. Building a leadership for business owners

will not be easy and will take perseverance.

 

Empower and Encourage

Mutual trust is critical within a successful team. Effective leaders demonstrate that trust by allowing people to do their jobs without micromanaging them, which encourages them to take ownership of their work and responsibility for it. 

They empower people by giving them the latitude to make decisions and then trusting their judgment. Successful leaders are as transparent and honest as possible with their people and stand behind them.

 

Vision and Purpose

Leadership for business owners is great, but when a team that is led by someone who is committed to their life’s purpose, it can bring about positive change in both its members and society in general. 

Effective leaders inspire people to share their vision and a sense of purpose. As a result, they will strive to achieve your mutual goal because they want to. 

People who learn to approach their work in this way are more likely to become future leaders who will have the opportunity to bring about positive change. 

 

Strength and Honesty

 Leadership for business owners know adversity requires both strength and honesty. If a company has hit a rough patch, the employees usually know it, so telling them everything is just fine may result in a lack of trust. 

If a situation is dire, an effective leader will be as honest as possible about what it could mean to the team and how leadership plans to reach a solution. Armed with the truth, people will usually help to put things right, and they’ll do it out of loyalty.

Effective leadership for business owners can make life better for those who follow them by providing opportunities to learn and grow. Showing confidence in people will help them to have more confidence in themselves and encourage them to keep striving for more knowledge and improved skills. 

If people understand a leader’s vision, values and purpose, they will be more likely to follow willingly. And with a common goal, the journey can be a lot more rewarding. 

Leadership for business owners skills are not always innate and may require some additional study. Whether through instructor-led courses, books or with a mentor, acquiring these skills is an important part of effective leadership. The tools are available. It just takes some practice and commitment.

 

 

Outsourcing Marketing vs Hiring a Marketing Team

Sigh! It can be incredibly frustrating to feel like the vision you have for your business is moving excruciatingly slow.

You have zillions of brilliant marketing strategies. The problem is there is never enough time in your day to execute or manage it all especially without a marketing team.

I have found the biggest cause is from something called the Marketing Strategy Execution Gap. You need more soldiers on the ground to deploy multiple marketing strategies to free you up to shine as Chief Visionary. You need a marketing team.

“Without vision, the people perish.” ~ Proverbs 29:18” “Without marketing, the vision will perish.” ~ Yoon Cannon” Click To Tweet

You probably already tried outsourcing to a marketing agency only to be disappointed with the results. According to digital.com, 76% percent of small business owners report facing marketing challenges.

The core challenges of marketing fall into these 5 areas:

  1. Generating traffic and leads
  2. Training your team to generate traffic and leads
  3. Lack of resources (budget / people / time)
  4. Hiring talented people
  5. Social media

I mean, starting a business is hard enough. Can’t these leads just come you? You have a great business idea, right? You should be overwhelmed with leads, right?

Wishful thinking.

After All, There are amazing musicians who, based on their genius of talent, should be worldwide superstars. But instead, they starve and struggle for decades because they were never ‘discovered’ by record labels who can market the heck out of them.

Your genius business idea is no different. Doing all the marketing yourself should no longer be an option.

As the visionary, how will you close that ‘Marketing Strategy Execution Gap’?

  • Option 1: Outsource your marketing to a bunch of freelancers or to a marketing agency.
  • Option 2: Hire your own in-house marketing team.

Which is better for you? …

Hear From 11 Entrepreneurs On Outsourcing or Hiring In-House Marketing Team

 

I’ve rounded up 10 small business entrepreneurs to weigh in with their opinion on this decision. Find out the pros and cons they have experienced with outsourcing vs hiring an in house marketing team. At the end I will also share my own experience from everything I have tried over 26 years of being an entrepreneur to help you make a more informed decision for yourself.

  1. When you know it’s time to outsource your marketing

    Kymberlie Dimoz, CEO Of Lighting Rod Agency
    Outsourcing is perfect when your business is making a healthy profit margin Click To Tweet

Kymberlie Dimoz shares “outsourcing is perfect when your business is making a healthy profit margin but you haven’t quite yet realised your potential..”

 

  1. Benefits outsourcing your marketing can offer.


    Ambroise de La Gorce, CEO/Founder Of Openinno
    @OpenInno Outsourcing at the very beginning of the business can offer more flexibility. Click To Tweet
     

Ambroise de La Gorce, CEO/Founder Of Openinno shares, “Outsourcing and in-house marketing both have their pros and cons. Each option can be better than the other in different situations depending on numerous factors, including type of management, marketing tools used, sprints management, business stage.

In my opinion, outsourcing at the very beginning of the business can offer more flexibility. Recruiting in-house is necessary when the product/market fit is validated, to give more stability to the business. Then outsourcing 20% of the team or so when scaling the business can be interesting to gather the resources we can hardly find on-site.”

  1. Advice on hiring in-house marketers.

    Kerry Maybank Owner Of Strategic Links
    Have team members that are great at marketing.. Click To Tweet

Kerry Maybank shares, “I mostly do my own marketing, but I have team members that are great at marketing and create more of the significant pitch documents for us.  I also have gotten free advertising by doing interviews with the media.

My company does not have employees.  We have team members.  People come onboard with exceptional talents in particular areas of the business that significant interest at the time.  Sometimes we provide equity if the need is that great or we barter and provide their companies something in return based on our expertise.  It keeps costs down, and creates mutually beneficial relationships, while increasing the exposure of our firm.”

David Shares, “We keep our marketing in-house because it allows us to harness our own data and learn to understand how our customers interact with our business. Combining marketing customer data, building segments, and then activating those segments in your communication is something that really draws growth.”

  1. Hiring in-house marketing employees is a lot to manage.

    Peter Rigas Founder Of Fini Cutlery You need both Click To Tweet

Peter Shares, “You need both. You need in house because no matter how much you pay an outside agency or group of freelancers, no one will care about your business or know your products/services better than you and your staff. However, there is so much to manage and oversee that you need outside agencies that specialize in the various verticals.

  1. How we balance both outsourcing and in-house marketing team

    Mark Walerysiak Jr. Founder Of Giverrang

    @marktuff Have someone inside the team and as close to Don’t try to do all your marketing in house the product as I am. Click To Tweet

Mark Walerysiak Jr. shares, “I’m early stage, and do all the marketing myself (at the moment). I could see the benefit of outsourcing particular tasks related to content / SEO. The more weedy stuff. But when it comes to telling compelling on-brand stories I would prefer to have someone inside the team and as close to the product as I am. When you eat, sleep, and breathe a product (and not worrying about other clients), you can communicate much more passionately about it in just about any form, and I think the audience can pick up on that. So the preference would be in-house if it’s doable.”

  1. Don’t try to do all your marketing in house

    Laurie Kessler CEO Of The Celebrity Source
  2. @celebritysource Outsource for marketing tactics outside of our areas of expertiseClick To Tweet

Laurie shares, “Our marketing needs are managed with both internal and external resources. Our internal team has a great deal of experience in marketing and PR – so we can typically tap into our own knowledge and experience for basic initiatives like drafting corporate communications and pitches, social media posts, email marketing, etc.

We outsource for marketing tactics outside of our areas of expertise, or if our bandwidth is tight – such as more complex social media campaigns, SEO and digital advertising.

Gary Shares, “I’ve always done my marketing in-house. I’ve only worked in or ran marketing companies, so outsourcing my marketing would be really weird, lol.The one piece of advice I would give entrepreneurs that feel weary about or otherwise unable to fully carry out marketing duties, still be involved. As a consultant, part of my job is to learn as much about my client’s brand as possible because the person or people leading the business know the most about their brand. I can help a client focus. I can help a client develop. However, no one can create someone else’s brand on their own.”

 

Staci shares, “As a new one-woman consultancy, I’m doing it all right now — marketing and business development as well as everything else involved in the business!

Honestly, while that requires more time and effort from me, I think it actually helps build trust and is part of my business values. With me, it’s personal, and my clients know that they can trust Blue Moss for personal dedication and utmost quality.

 

 
  1. We do all the outreach to prospects.

    Keith Kirkpatrick Principal & Founder of 4K Research & Consulting 

Keith shares “I generally do not outsource marketing, as I find it easier to directly reach out to potential clients. Additionally, much of my work comes through referrals, anyway.”

 
  1. Just because you know how to do marketing, doesn’t mean you should all be done by you..

Yoon Cannon Founder, Paramount Business Coach Host, Biz Growth Doctors Show

@yooncannon Make sure your marketing project manager is a well-trained Full Stack Marketer. Click To Tweet

I have done all three options throughout my 26 year  journey owning 4 different businesses. I once did all the marketing myself. But I quickly found that not to be the best use of my time as the Chief Visionary and Strategist. Just because I know how to do the marketing, doesn’t mean I should be the primary person executing it all. So, then I spent many years outsourcing to freelancers.

While it’s a good choice for one time projects,  the danger is you end up spending way too much time vetting and project managing freelancers, which prevents you from acting as the Chief Visionary and Strategist. The other common pitfall with outsourcing is the temptation to hire the lowest priced freelancer. Like with anything else … you get what you pay for.

You risk super sloppy mistakes and oversights that cost you your brand’s reputation. Here’s an example a realtor friend of mine forwarded me. She subscribed to be on an email list from a marketing provider in her industry … to her surprise here’s what the email read:

 

My realtor friend was so confused! …. Here she thought she was signing up to let this marketing company do her social media posts and email marketing for her.  Instead of getting info about the done for you marketing services she was expecting, an email template and an email from a weight loss company came instead. Certainly people do make mistakes. But, when you outsource to the cheapest provider, sloppy mistakes just seem to occur in high frequency.

Marketing is not a mindless task any monkey can do.

When I exhausted my patience for chronic sloppy mistakes from outsourced VA’s and freelancers I decided to let go the reigns and hired a marketing agency to take care of it all A-Z. I hoped outsourcing the majority of my marketing to an agency would remove the project managing off my plate.

I hired Several different agencies, but in each experience I didn’t see the ROI to renew. Instead, I discovered the project managers who were assigned to me were skilled at project managing (which is a good thing), but so many critical details got missed because they weren’t skilled enough in all things marketing. [CONTEXT] There are many great marketing agencies out there who have highly skilled marketers as project managers, but these agencies are often geared to Enterprise size clients, not so much for the SMB community.

What I do now, and my advice to other SMB’s (small-medium business owners) is the 70-20-10 mix.

  • 70% of our core marketing is done in-house
  • 20% is outsourced (one time projects or a specialty area we don’t have in house yet)
  • 10% still is done by me (like recording videos, giving interviews)

I finally found the key to taking project managing off your plate as a small business owner is to make sure the project manager is a well-trained Full Stack Marketer.

Conclusion

Ok … there you have it. You just heard from 11 of us about our experiences and opinions on whether it’s better to outsource your marketing or hire your own in-house marketing team.

Whether you decide to outsource or hire in house, the next set of decisions you’ll need to make are things like:

  1. Who should you hire first?
  2. What’s the going rate for this and that?
  3. What is the best marketing strategy they should be implementing for your business?
  4. Where can you go to find marketers who know what they’re doing?
  5. What should you look for when hiring your marketing person/team?

My answer to all of the above questions is this: 

It depends.

I would answer all of these questions differently depending on each unique business owner, bandwidth, budget and brand. If you want to get clarity on best way for you to eliminate the marketing strategy execution gap in your business why not take me up on my free offer? For a limited time, I am offering a FREE 45 Minute Strategy Call to help you work through this.


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QUESTION: What other questions would you add to the list of 5 above? Share your comments and questions below.

How to Build Your Small Business Dream Team

You need a quality business dream team behind you if you want to find success in this day and age. There’s no such thing as a one-man show. If your team of small business employees isn’t doing what you want to them to do, it’s easy to get frustrated. Small business is big business. Small businesses with less than 100 workers account for over 98% of all small businesses, and that means your team matters more than ever.

Small business is big business. Small businesses with less than 100 workers account for over 98% of all small businesses Click To Tweet

When your team doesn’t do what you want, you don’t have a team problem. As much as it hurts to admit, you likely have a leadership problem. Before you blame yourself, take some time to reassess the situation. Learning how to be a great leader is all part of mastering how to start a business. All hope is not lost. There are many things you can do to get your small business team back on track for success.

1. Hire the Right Employees

If you’re noticing a trend in dissatisfaction amongst your current employees, you might not be hiring the right people to begin with. It’s worth being choosy with your team members in this era. When you hire the wrong people for the job, they don’t enjoy the work they do, and you won’t be impressed with their results.

How to Build Your Small Business Dream Team

Remember that the most experienced employee might not be the best fit. You’ll need to weigh things like company culture, expectations, and experience level when making a decision about who to hire. In addition, make sure you’re presenting your company and the role accurately. The internet job platforms are full of poorly described positions which will only lead to more confusion.

2. Improve Employee Happiness

How are your employees responding to their daily work environment? Is it full of stress, confusion, and dissatisfaction? If so, you need to reevaluate employee happiness. While nobody should expect to have a fun, exciting day at work (at least, not all of the time), that doesn’t mean it can’t be a satisfying, stress-free place to be.

There are new ways to improve employee happiness that don’t cost you a thing. The first is simply delegating work effectively. When employees feel they’re reasonably able to handle their daily tasks, they perform better. We’ve all dealt with the stress of not being able to meet deadlines and requirements.

Another way is to offer flexible work options. Telecommuting alone shows 82% lower stress levels. Thanks to modern technology, remote work and flexible hours are easier than ever, and you don’t have to compromise on the quality of work. Learn more about modern employee scheduling tools here.

3. Maximize Employee Productivity

Finally, one reason your business dream team might not be doing what you want them to do is because they’re spending too much time on inefficient tasks. So many of our workplace practices today can be automated thanks to new technology. Yet, so many small businesses, in particular, are still holding onto the older ways of doing things. The older way tends to take longer, be inefficient, and wastes valuable time.

How to Build Your Small Business Dream Team

Chances are your employees likely know more about these inefficient tasks than you, and they should be your first line of defense for solving these problems. The employees time is valuable. How much of it is going to waste doing things that could be automated or skipped altogether?

Conduct regular team meetings to discover if there are any areas you could invest in automation, artificial intelligence, or modern solutions. The cost of implementing these programs likely will be more than worth it in the long run.

When your team doesn’t do what you want, you don’t have a team problem. As much as it hurts to admit, you likely have a leadership problem Click To Tweet

4. Run a Better Business

Your business needs strong leadership that pays attention to your employee’s mindset and feelings. These tips above help you put your small business dream team first so you can get more done together. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-do stress of being a small business leader, so taking the time to notice where your employees need support is key.

Even just taking the initial steps to bridge these gaps in communication will go a long way to repairing employee morale. Your employees want to do their best. Make sure they’re in a position for finding the most success.

QUESTION:  What is 1 key aha you’ve had from thinking through these 4 tips? Share your comments and questions below.