Chauncey: Welcome to the Being Found Show. We’re talking about business and helping your small and medium-sized businesses get found on the web better. For a business to survive now and to have any sort of like growth, sustainability or reliability to not be online, I’d be impressed. Over the last 15-20 years, businesses have depended on word of mouth and a good reputation. You won’t see up and comers who are making it the way the older businesses can survive. This is something that Jake and I wanted to cover; the online marketing process from start to finish. Where do we start and what are the key steps in between.

You need to start by getting the right mindset of understanding what a growing business is. My friend, Steve Marsh, started off as a single truck carpet cleaner. Once he began marketing for his own business, he expanded to help hundreds of other carpet cleaners around the country. Steve Marsh says that the process of growing a business is split into four divisions; strategy, operations, business, and customers.

The strategy would be your plans and who you are as a business. Operations would be the day to day tasks. Business is making sure the structures are in place, paying your bills and all that fun stuff. And finally, customers is what you are doing to gain and retain customers. He says that the number one thing that he sees that small and medium-size business do is concentrate so heavily on operations because operations isn’t an easily quantifiable number. I do the work, I get the money, and I understand that the bottom line is we have to keep our business running and food on the table.

The goal of the mindset here is to take a little bit of time out of your day and bring yourself out of just thinking about operations. We know that it is hard and at the end of the day, you are tired. But putting in the time to focus on things outside of your day to day tasks will be rewarding for you and your business in the long run.

So how does one really think outside of operations? I would say focus on strategy and customers. Chances are your business aspect is doing good. You have some sort of foundation because that tends to be sucked up into operations. Business and Operation take strategy and on the surface seem like the most important aspects of keeping yourself afloat. Its when you need to start thinking more abstract and focusing on the bigger picture that businesses tend to struggle.

Jake and I, during the day, build websites, work on SEO, order things and all sorts of stuff like that. That all takes strategy. If I am going to build a website and it takes me 100 clicks of my mouse, I want to figure out how to do it in 50 so within that time I can build two websites instead of one. With that extra time I saved, I can spend more of it focusing on our clients and their needs. A strong business strategy can help ensure your valuable time is being used effectively so that you can focus on growth for your company.

Cloud Wise Joe often refers to the terms “trading dollars for hours” and “trading hours for dollars.” Now there are only so many hours in a day and therefore only so many dollars to be earned in a day. He wants to step away from that idea and look at the bigger picture. Being the worker bee that I am, took that as I should be a little bit more efficient. If I can make my hours more effective and really get down to whats important, I am carving out time for those things that don’t seem as important, like gaining more customers. In reality, it is a balance where one thing isn’t any less crucial to your business than the other.

If you’re sitting there right now thinking “I’m totally full and I can’t do anymore,” look at the money that you’re bringing in every month and know that is the amount of money that you’re going to make for the rest of your life at best. That is unless you think about strategy as a business owner and towards your customers.

Jake: The way you and Joe think is pretty much the same. When you get to the point where you say to yourself that you are completely strapped, even with all the strategies, and that this is the max, hire some help. Hire someone to take over one thing and another to take over something else. It’s a continuum, but you kind of have to make a choice. Do I want to scale up from here or am I satisfied with the fact that I’m a pretty efficient guy right now? If you have reached your limit of growth, don’t sacrifice the success of your business.

Chauncey: The funny thing about Joe is he’s all about providing his clients with no risk marketing situations, but he does this while taking risks himself. He alleviates his clients of having to take risks. If we needed another employee but didn’t have to capital to hire one, I would think that I wouldn’t be able to do it. Joe would make it happen by himself. I am impressed by that. The main point here is to be more like Joe.

He suggested a book for that business that is struggling at their max. If you’re at that point in your business where you can’t come up with a better strategy, and you’re kind plateauing, check out the book Mastering the Rockefeller Habits by a guy named Verne. He outlines a pragmatic set of tools that you can use to scale up your business. It’s an outstanding book.

Mastering the Rockefeller Habits: What You Must Do to Increase the Value of Your Growing Firm

So really that’s where you need to start. Are you in the mindset that you are going to grow your business? Or are you in the mindset that a lot of people find themselves in, which is to hire a marketer and let them do all that while you work on your business and operations? You have to be a little bit involved because the more efficiently you’re involved, the better things will run. So get yourself in the mindset that you’re going to start thinking a little bit about strategy. A strategy is, effectively, how can I do my job in order to free up some time to start thinking about customers, and how am I going to get more customers in?

Thank you for listening to this segment of the Being Found Show, to hear the full show listen here: Being Found Show Episode #57 or subscribe to our Podcast.