If you have plans to scale for huge business growth then it’s imperative that you become a CEO in your business but becoming a CEO is all in the mindset and the behaviours you adopt.
In this episode, I’m chatting with Andy Moore (my business partner AND husband) who happens to also be a market-leading CEO on how to start thinking and adopting the behaviours of a CEO so you can uplevel your business strategy and skyrocket your business growth.
Giving yourself strategic thinking time
When you first go into business, you chuck it out there and see how it goes. This is fine when you first start but is not great for long-term planning.
“Most people I know will crack on with stuff because they think it’s important,” says Andy. “But you need to have some kind of plan. Even if it’s just at the start of the year. Think about what you’re going to do, what you’re going to sell and how you’re going to sell it.”
What you’re market says they will do and what they will do are two different things. Before you announce a launch, start to sell to your audience first. Your warmest audience is your best audience so test it on them first.
Launch to warm
Launching to a cold audience is not the best strategy. Victoria Tretis did do the personal outreach before launch and got five clients before launch from this strategy. You want to stage it out rather than blurt it out. Give yourself time for personal outreach and then think about the next stage.
For EverTrek we plotted out the whole year. ” We knew we had new things on the agenda and managed to plan out six months,” says Andy. We don’t need to be rigid and things change all the time. You need to adapt and create new ideas from challenging situations.
Thinking about productising the processes has also been helpful. We tweak our systems each time but roll the same ones out every time. We learned from every launch by productising our campaigns. There is no guesswork and know conversion rates.
If you don’t plot out what you plan to do then you can’t measure the metrics. Then you end up planning out your business on hope rather than cold facts. You need proven campaigns and strategies.
Outsource and delegate
“Any business owner will have jobs they don’t enjoy so this is the first thing to outsource,” explains Andy. “I didn’t enjoy the Google Ads so I handed that off to an expert. Then I got leads converting to sales. It would have taken me 12 months longer to get to this stage.
“Then think about the design process. Is spending all day on Canva going to move your business on? Why not outsource the design and focus on what does make a difference?
“Would a market-leading CEO do everything themselves? Or would they give it to someone else?”
You need to have your business hat on from the outset. While it might be lovely to do what you love doing but are you creating an under-paid stressful job for yourself? You need to step away from the delivery at some point.
Delegate even if you love it
Andy loves trekking and could take all the groups up the mountains. But you cannot physically grow a business and take every single person on a trek. There are over 600 people booked on a trip from the last campaign alone. You have to step away to scale.
You can create a business around your passion and scale it at the same time. We worked hard on finding suppliers on the same wavelength.
“We’re now five years old and when we look at the quality of trips we want to run, we found suppliers who want to work like us. Small things like branding but also quality, customer service and sustainability,” says Andy.
“The customer journey was the same as ours. If I was taking all the trips, I wouldn’t have the strategic thinking time to scale. You need to bring others to do it.”
Then you can look at the ideas that will make the biggest impact and be the best in the world.
What does the best in the world look like?
Look at the category of one status where there is no other business in the world like it. “It becomes part of the culture and deep-rooted in what you do. If you apply it to a potential customer – what would the best response be?” says Andy.
“If you can look at all the parts of your business and think how will this be the best in the world? Then you start to notice you’re doing something right. And other people will notice. Then you have a bunch of customers who love you. ”
Answering this question can help you work out what to do and challenge what you are doing. You are always challenging and thinking about how we can make something better for customers.
Take calculated risks
This is one of the success secrets of EverTrek. Pushing the boundaries on risk can help it grow. Not taking risks will keep you small.
“I do like danger in life,” says Andy, “but you’ve got to try things to see if they will work. The DNA of an entrepreneur is to take risks. If I see an opportunity I will go for it rather than think about the decision. You might call it luck, but if there is an opportunity – why wait?
“For example, you don’t want to employ too late. We had an influx of new customers and we needed more people to nurture them. This is taking a risk but if you don’t do that, you’re left behind as your customer service won’t be the best in the world.”
You also need belief in your business and that it will grow – you need a bullet-proof mindset. I’ve pushed back on risks before but we take the risks with the belief they will pay off. Take risks in steps. Smaller ones to begin with and bigger ones to grow.
Grow with the risks
Our very first campaign cost £333 and we made £80,000 in revenue. Looking back we should have been braver. In our last campaign, we spent £11,000 and it made just shy of £1.5 million which is amazing. But maybe we should have taken that risk earlier?
“Sometimes you can’t scale too early. Think of all the things we would have to look after if we didn’t have the systems in place and we did have the increase in customers. It’s good to take risks but sometimes timing is everything.”
Yet, having the numbers forces you to up your game.
“You have to have the belief that it will work out. “
You need to think ahead and understand how the landscape might change for your industry. As a leader, you need to use changes to lead in your field. We needed to think ahead running a travel company through Covid-19.
“What can you do today that would matter a year from now? Many people don’t do enough thinking, they just do. It’s worth stepping back and think two or three moves ahead. Ask yourself the big questions such as what is the right thing to do?”
Golden 90 minutes
We use that time to focus on the business only. 90 minutes is the perfect time to focus on what’s going on rather than getting caught up with the delivery. When you start out, you have to do everything but eventually you need to outsource.
We also need to implement this for our time and protecting their time to focus on their projects. Then projects never move forward unless you protect your time. No distractions and phones off.
“You need to make it productive time. This is the time I will use for growing the business. Not responding to an enquiry or looking at Facebook. It’s to do something like work on a Facebook campaign or email campaign. If you do this every day that’s a lot of time that you’ve spent grpwing your business.
“Before long your boat is moving faster. Not just oars but twin turbo engines”
A definition of a CEO is someone who can step away from a business and it will still do it’s thing. It will still turn over a profit. If you’re serious about becoming a market-leader you need to develop these thought processes. It’s find to remain as a doer but recognise if your goal is to scale and sell your business, you need to step into the CEO role.
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