I'm going to be doing a session with my MSP Mastermind groups later this month about 4 key questions they must answer, in order to see big growth in their business this year.
I think 2019 is going to be a very divisive year. Frankly, all bets are off for what could happen in the UK!
But at the level you and I operate at... I believe some businesses will do very well in 2019, and will see net profits grow dramatically. Simultaneously freeing the business owner from the day to day burden, to better enjoy their time.
Other businesses will suffer as turnover and net profits drop. The business owner will stay locked inside the prison of their own design.
I know which side I want my MSP-owning clients on.
So in my January Mastermind sessions we're going to get strategic for a little while and look at what my clients want to achieve in 2019, and why.
I'm going to be using these printed sheets to work my Masterminders through the four key questions.
This is critical. Because when talking about marketing and net profit growth, most business owners tend to jump straight into tactics:
- How should we use LinkedIn?
- What's the best way to send out a promotional email?
- Etc etc
Interestingly, the tactical questions actually answer themselves, when you have first answered the bigger strategic questions.
Here are the four key questions.
Key question 1) What's your personal vision for the future?
Now, this is not a question about the business. This is about real life, family, and stuff that matters a hell of a lot more than business.
Close your eyes right now and dream about how you'd like your life to be in the next two to three years time.
What kind of house would you like to own? What kind of car would you like to drive? What kind of holidays would you like to take?
Where would you take those holidays? Who would you take those holidays with!!
How much time would you have to yourself every single week to do the things that you truly love doing?
Because I know that you love working in your business, but I also know that you probably wish you could do more golf, or hang gliding, or spend more time with your kids, or make model railways, or whatever it is that you like doing.
Our brains are incredibly powerful computers and the more that we can sit and dream about the future and picture where we want to be, the more likely it is that our brains will take action on that and move us in that direction.
What's your personal vision for the future? Mine relates around spending more time with my eight year old daughter, more time with my wife. I already have a pretty good work/life balance, but it's about spending more quality time with them in a bigger house... with a Tesla plugged into the garage, etc, etc.
This personal vision for the future is actually something that I review with my family every year. Maybe you would want to do the same thing.
Key question 2) What are the SMART goals for the business?
SMART, of course, is an acronym standing for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
A bad goal for your business is, "I just want to grow turnover." Because you never quite know when you've got there. You never know really what you're working towards.
A great and SMART goal would be, "I want to grow my net profit from £100,000 to £200,000 by the 31st of December 2019."
Because that's very specific. It's measurable. You'll know when you've achieved that.
It's definitely achievable to double your net profits in a year. We always over estimate what we can achieve in a small amount of time... and under estimate what we achieve in a long period of time.
It's relevancy depends on how much it fits into your personal vision for the future. If you have a vision of spending much more time at home doing things you enjoy with your family, but your SMART goal requires you to spend twice as long in the business, then that's not a particularly relevant goal to your personal vision.
Then time-bound, it needs to have a deadline. The deadline shouldn't really be more than 12 months away, which is why at this time of year, it's a great time to set a calendar deadline of the end of the year.
You may have SMART goals that are just for you and then SMART goals that are for your staff. I would never set a SMART goal for net profit and communicate that to my team, because very few employees are motivated to make the boss even richer!
You might have a SMART goal that's turnover-based, or related to other items that you can tell your team about and perhaps even motivate them to achieve, but your real SMART goal would definitely be around net profits.
Turnover goals aren't really goals at all, because of course, turnover is vanity. It's profit that's sanity (and it's cash that's reality),
You want to be growing your net profitability this year. You can't spend turnover on holidays. You can spend net profitability on holidays.
Key question 3) What are the right marketing strategies and tactics to hit the goals?
If you got a very clear personal vision for the future and you've translated that into some SMART goals for your business, picking the right marketing strategies and tactics are so much easier.
Typically, there are three strategies to grow any business:
- Number one is to get more new clients
- Number two is to get those clients to buy from you more often
- And number three is to get your clients to choose to spend more every single time they buy
Once you're clear on those three strategies, the tactics to support them become very, very simple.
Throughout 2019, I'm going to double down on the content I produce for you. Lots more content. It's going to be a lot more in depth with a lot more tactical stuff that you can use to get more new clients for your business.
Key question 4) How can you protect time every day to GTD (Get Things Done)
This is the most critical part of growing a business, because you're probably already busy enough, thank you very much.
You've probably already got enough things to do and not enough personal time. Yet, I highly recommend that you find 60 to 90 minutes every single weekday to work ON your business (rather than IN it).
This is what I've been doing for years. It's what helped me build up my last business that I sold three years ago and it's what's helped me to grow my current business projects.
Every single weekday I find a minimum of 60 to 90 minutes to get things done. When I'm in that 60 to 90 minutes, I'm not doing email, or Facebook, or anything that robs my time.
I'm just working on the business. I'm doing things that get me closer to my SMART goals, which ultimately get me closer to my personal vision for the future.
Now, I do this at 5am every morning, Monday to Thursday. OK, perhaps not at this time of the year, but in a normal week I do. Monday to Thursday, up at 5am, working on the business.
That's quite an extreme way to do it. It's a habit I've developed over a decade or so.
You might find it more palatable to do this at 7am, or maybe 7pm, or find an hour during lunch to lock your office door and put a sign on the door that says, "Do not enter unless the building is on fire."
But here's the thing, you need to find this time every day and not just rely on one day a week when you're supposed to be working on the business, because the time bandits will find a way to steal that from you.
Do you know, there is a direct link between your ability to find 60 to 90 minutes every single weekday to work on the business and you getting closer to your personal vision faster?
Literally, everything I've achieved in business in the last 13-14 years or so has come in 60 to 90 minute chunks.
It's been a real compound effect of lots, and lots, and lots of small things added up over thousands and thousands of days.
It's the only silver bullet to grow your business, spending that time every single day making sure that you are implementing the right strategies and the right tactics.
Now, this doesn't mean you have to do it all personally, of course. I'm a big fan of the acronym, DOA. No, not dead on arrival.
It stands for Delegate, Outsource, and Automate.
But ultimately, even if you're not doing the actual work yourself, you've still got to guide it. Make sure that it's being done by your outsourced partner or your staff. And ultimately it's your responsibility to make sure that the business moves forward every single day.
If you can crack this in 2019, this could be the year that everything changes
This could be the year that you really do hit those ambitious goals.
This could be the year that you really do get so much closer, maybe even actually achieve the personal vision that I asked you about at the beginning of this article.
If you need to make this a key year, then I'd love to help you.
We run this MSP Mastermind every month. A group of 13 MSP owners, just like you, and guaranteed not to be in competition with you.
We meet up and we talk about the things that are holding you back. And then we remove those blocks.
We focus on the things you can do that make the difference to your life and to your business, because those two things are intrinsically linked.
AVAILABILITY: We have one space available and I'd like to invite you to come and join me for one day in January or February to see what you think.
See if you like me, see if you like the rest of the group. There's a small cost, but no commitment for that trial day.
If you want to join us for the rest of the year, well, we can have that conversation down the line.