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My Business On Purpose

The Business On Purpose Podcast is a weekly podcast dedicated to equipping, inspiring, and mobilizing you to live out your skill set to serve others and glorify God. My goal is to help small business owners and organizational leaders unlock the things you cannot see, and develop actionable strategies and systems that will help you live out your business on purpose.
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Sep 23, 2021

Hey y’all, Brent Perry here with Business on Purpose. 

It is once again the time on the calendar when the Business on Purpose team looks ahead and plans out our next 12 weeks of action. Each of us makes sure we get our 12 week goals and actions planned out, and we invite our clients and their teams to join us in the challenge of taking back our time and defining the important goals we want to accomplish. 

The idea of the 12 week plan has been around some time, and one of the best books that has been written on the topic, I’m sure you have heard us mention it before, “The 12 week year” written by Brian Moran. 

I tell you all this, because this past week I got my copy back out and started reading through it to prepare myself for the upcoming 12 weeks. As I reread some of the chapters and concepts each 12 weeks there tends to typically be a different chapter that challenges me and helps realign me if you will.

The chapter this past week that really hit me hard is titled, Interest versus Commitment. In the chapter, Moran writes, “When you are interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstances permit, but when you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.”

Are you interested in your business? Or are you committed to your business in this season? 

I was with a good friend of mine this past weekend at his annual Banquet he hosts for the non-profit organization he directs. I got there early to help out a little bit, and we were talking about the unprecedented times that most nonprofit organizations have found themselves in over the past couple of years. And we all know that story. We are still living it really. It’s not just for nonprofits out there, if for you as business owners as well.

But where I was truly inspired by my friend, was his commitment to this cause. He told me that living through the past year and a half has made him more sure of the work he and this organization is doing. He is not stopping. He is not taking no for an answer. He’s not making excuses, just moving forward and fighting. 

That is commitment. I love the quote from this chapter that Moran uses, “commitment is an act, not a word.”

The 12 week plan is a powerful tool for several reasons. One of them being, the commitments you make... a.k.a. the goals you are setting for yourself, are for the next 12 weeks. Not a year, not multiple years, not a lifetime... 12 weeks. 

Again, I want to ask you the question, 

Are you interested in your business? Or are you committed to your business in this season?

If it interests you, this could be a long uphill 4th quarter coming up. 

If you are committed, make some goals for these last 12 weeks, and push on. Fight for those goals. They won’t let you down. 

Thanks for listening. 

If you haven’t done so already, subscribe to our Podcast, and/or our YouTube channel. 

Sep 20, 2021

What is every business out there dealing with right now? Employees and hiring! So how do you make sure you are hiring the right people, or maybe more importantly not hiring the wrong people? Let’s talk about that today. Good morning friends, Thomas Joyner with Business on Purpose here.

I can’t tell you the last time I walked into a restaurant and I didn’t immediately see a “We’re Hiring” sign in the window. Or go to a local nursery to grab a few plants, yep, they’re hiring too. Mechanics, Banks, contractors, everyone is hiring today. 

So how do you make sure that you get great people? How do you make sure that you’re not just winging it and hoping for the best? 

Well, here are 4 practical steps to making a great hire... EVERY. SINGLE. TIME!

1. Build out the foundation for what you want!

I can’t tell you how many times I sit with a business owner to talk through why they had to fire an employee. It almost always comes back to this... we missed something. So how do you build a process to weed through the junk and know who exactly you’re hiring?

It all starts with building the foundation. Do you have core values you lean on and use as a filter? Do you have a crystal clear job role that this person will be fulfilling? Do you know the numbers you’re going to ask them to bring in or the background needed to thrive in this role? Do you know how many references you would like to hear from? Are there any technical skills you can ask them to display? 

Or maybe you work backwards. Who’s your best employee? The one that if you could clone that person, you would do it in a heartbeat. What qualities do they have and what are the things you bring to the team that you need more of? Ok, now ask questions and look for those qualities in the person you’re interviewing. Ask specific things to references about those qualities? 

We can’t always expect to train the person perfectly and hope for them to end up ok. If ever there is a doubt, we lean away from hiring. Because here’s the thing. When you make a poor hire, it always ends up costing you more than had you not hired at all! It affects your cash flow, your culture, your time... everything!

2. Meet multiple times and slow down

Your interviewing should be a process, not an event! SLOOOOOW DOWN. Our BoP interview process starts with a phone call. Just getting to know them. Hearing their voice and how they present themselves. So often people jump in with all the benefits of this job, salary, benefits, hours, etc... save that stuff for further down the road! After the phone call, we have an initial face-to-face interview. If that goes well, we call references and send over Job Role, expectations, core values, and long-term vision. Then we do another in-person interview to dig deeper into anything that stuck out. 

Lastly, we do what almost no one else does, we host a dinner or lunch with their spouse to look for any further red flags or reasons NOT to move forward. It happens time after time. The spouse doesn’t get to see your culture from up close, or maybe he or she is not as bought in and having some doubts. You can’t see that stuff unless you go out and spend some time together.

When I got hired by BoP it was nearly a 6-month process. And you may say, “We don’t have 6 months!” Ok, I get that, but that’s because you’re hiring in chaos. But what would it look like to intentionally slow down and start preparing for future hires today?

3. Know your numbers and be honest on future possibilities

This one hits close to home for every business. We trade dollar for dollar on a hire, so we never have any margin for slow times of year. A new hire should bring in 2-3x what you pay them. If you say the job is worth 20/hr, or around 40k/year for full-time employee can it bring 80-120k in revenue? If not, it’s going to stress your cash flow!

Know what you can afford and what your employee should bring to the team. Communicate that clearly so that expectations are in writing. Then, that gives you metrics to come back to early on in the onboarding process. It gives you a chance to set the standard and hold accountable. 

On the be honest part, in many exit interviews, employee after employee mentions they were OVER promised in the interview. You see, we want this job to sound amazing so we casually throw words around like “Upward mobility” or “Profit sharing”, maybe “future partnership” or “regular raises based on performance” with no real metrics for tracking and implementing those things. Stop doing that! You’re setting a bar for yourself that you have zero intention of reaching. It comes across as dishonest and leads your team members on.

4. Have an onboarding plan to ensure the people you move forward with are supported

We recommend meeting weekly for a minimum of 90 days for every new hire. You want to capture their eyes, what they are seeing from a fresh perspective before it is lost forever. 

One of the things we’ve challenged our clients on recently is making the best hire possible, but also on equipping the people already in your business! It takes too much time, money, and energy to retool your entire team with new hires. So, how do you add needed pieces and equip the rest to rise to the standard? Training, training, training!

Don’t shortcut that. Don’t expect them to know what to do! Build out your process for getting them up to speed and then stick to it.

So, if hiring is on your mind. Like I think it is. If your team needs a boost and some fresh energy…

  1. Build out the foundation for what you want
  2. Meet multiple times and Slow down
  3. Know your numbers and be honest about future possibilities
  4. Have an effective onboarding plan

That’s it! Now go do the work and make your hires. The people are there. And they’re waiting for you to lead them

Have a great week!

Sep 20, 2021

Hey y’all, Brent Perry here with Business on Purpose. 

I asked a few of my clients and friends who are business owners over the past couple of weeks, what keeps you going in your business?

On the not-so-fun days. The hard days. The want to check out at 10 am and be anywhere else days. Here were a few of the responses…

“Getting the opportunity to serve clients through the biggest purchase/sale of their lives. It is an opportunity to share my life, share my experiences, share my knowledge, and stewardship outside of myself.”

“The challenge of life that keeps me going in business. It can always be tweaked to work better for your clients, your team, and yourself. I’m motivated to create a life of freedom for my family.”

“Freedom … Although I work hard and it would seem I am “Tied Down” to and by my work, it actually provides me with the freedom to do something worthwhile, something worth doing, I love my work and the freedom it provides …  

“Personal Satisfaction … I get up in the morning excited to be able to provide work for my hands, and in turn work for many others hands … I get to put smiles on faces, customers, vendors, delivery drivers, coworkers, concrete techs, Mason’s, laborers, supervisors.”

These are just a few of the answers I got back. And I wish I had the time to share all of them. Because there is not a wrong answer when it comes to looking at what drives you to keep pushing the ball down the field. 

In an article written earlier this year in Forbes Magazine, they were discussing small business strategy, and they offered a column about entrepreneurs navigating seasons where they need extra motivation if you will. On that list, one of the thoughts that stood out to me, 

Connect with your peers and share advice

The article goes on to say, “Take the time to study other entrepreneurs, whether they are your competitors or simply your peers. What are they doing these days that seem to be working for them? What are they doing that doesn’t seem to be working? Most people are facing the same challenges you are, and we all have a lot to learn from one another.”

Sometimes what keeps us going is the people we have surrounded ourselves with.

So who is in your corner? Who are the people in your life that not only celebrate the wins with you, but also will be there to spur you on?

I’m not sure where you are in your business right now. Maybe things are going great, and you are living in a season that you wish would never end. 

If that’s the case, take some stock right now. Take the time to make mental and written notes about what is going on, how you are feeling. Bottle it up if you will, because as we all know as a business owner those times can often be fleeting. But don’t forget the feeling you have... it might be what you need to keep you going down the road. 

Or maybe you are in a tough/difficult season. The kind of season where you ask yourself, is this even worth it anymore? Short answer, we would say yes, it is. So maybe if you are in this season right now, it’s a good time to make a list and remind yourself what motivates you. What keeps you going. 

And no matter what season you find yourself in as you listen, do me a favor. Reach out to someone today. Remember those people I mentioned earlier, the people in your corner (it can be a co-worker, a peer, your coach, your best friend, your spouse or partner...the list goes on. But reach out just to tell them thanks for being that for you. It can make all the difference in the world. 

Thanks for listening. 

If you haven’t done so already, subscribe to our Podcast, and/or our YouTube channel. 

Sep 13, 2021

What little things do you allow in your presence that affect the culture of your business? Do they even matter? Absolutely! Let’s dive in and talk about that stuff today. Good morning, Thomas Joyner with Business on Purpose here, and I am so glad you tuned in today.

I was sitting with business owners all of last week talking through each of their employees and the little nit-picky things that frustrated them. One went off on the owner in front of the entire team... literally got in his face and yelled at him for 2-3 minutes. Another, was caught taking a nap in the back room while on the clock. Even another, had been caught saying that she fully finished an assignment and was caught in a lie. 

Any of this stuff sound familiar? Of course, it does! It’s the little things that, in the moment, you push aside because there are bigger fires to put out in other areas of your business. 

But what happens when you push these things aside and never deal with them? Never expose the behavior or have a conversation setting further expectations? Well, those behaviors become accepted and they slowly, but surely become engrained in the culture. 

A good friend of mine had noticed some troubling behaviors from the leadership in his business. There were some small things that began to add up, but since he was on commission in his business, he thought... well, I won’t rock the boat. It’s none of my business!

About a month later we were talking about it and he finally decided to do something about it when he heard this quote, “What you allow in your presence IS your standard.” Whoa...that’s heavy. “What you allow in your presence is your standard.” Immediately he knew that by saying nothing, he was consenting to the behavior. Not encouraging it, but failing to act and do anything to right it. 

So, what are the little things that get swept aside as you think, “oh, it’s not that big of a deal?” Are there little shortcuts your employees take instead of fully finishing a job? Do they fudge on time cards as they think they will just round up a few minutes to get the full hour of work? Maybe they tell you they finished an assignment, but really just did it halfway and there are mistakes throughout?

What do you do in those instances? I can tell you some of the responses I’ve gotten from clients.

“Well, what if I call them out for it and they leave... I don’t have anyone to replace them right now!” While that may be true, I think most employees, if spoken to with respect and without emotion can handle a little accountability. But this is also the reason for more frequent onboarding and training meetings. When the only time you meet is to come down on an employee that makes this way harder. But if you have a system in place to meet frequently, to praise often, and to handle accountability in a timely fashion, this becomes something that makes you better.

Or another response I get, “It doesn’t matter. Even if I bring it up, they just don’t care and will probably do it again.” My response to that. How do you know? Maybe they’re waiting to see if YOU care enough to call it out. Or care enough about them to sit down and lean in. Here’s what I can guarantee, if it doesn’t get called out it will continue to go on as long as you allow it. Because what you allow in your presence will become the standard for your entire team and that cannot be tolerated.

Or maybe a last response I hear…”I’m just too slammed to get to that today. When things slow down I’ll have that conversation.” Well, guess what, things are NOT going to slow down. And things are probably piling up because your team lacks training and accountability to do it right the first time. The more you push it off, the more these LITTLE things pile up and force you to deal with them down the road. No, deal with it quickly, respectfully, and efficiently. Draw the line in the sand for what your standard is every time you see a deviation.

So stop this right now and ask yourself, “What am I allowing in my presence that is affecting our culture?” What has slowly become the standard that we never intended to? 

Write a few thoughts down, schedule a few meetings to address some things, or find a tactful way to do it at your next team meeting.

One of my favorite quotes by Dabo Swinney, head football coach at Clemson, is “Praise in public, criticize in private.” It’s powerful. Brag on your team in front of everyone, but maybe pull them aside to address accountability in private. 

Now, there’s always things that need to be addressed on a macro scale, but don’t make the mistake of shaming or humiliating your employees out of an emotional response. No, be calculated, fair, and direct, but always in private when speaking to one employee.

Alright, I really challenge you to take the time today to figure this out. To reset your standard. It affects culture and culture affects everything.

Have a great week friends!

Sep 13, 2021

HELP!  My business grew too fast.

Well, that escalated quickly.

Before we dive in...I want everyone to take a deep breath.  You’re not the first person and you won’t be the last to feel this level of chaos.

For those of you who grew really fast…

  1. What new challenges have emerged?
  2. What new opportunities have emerged?

Wise leaders throughout history have always been truthful to lead the faithful to understand, “in this life you will have chaos...but do not worry.”

I will tell you the same thing, “in this business, you will have chaos...but do not worry...you can be liberated from chaos.”

How?

Systems, Process, and Purpose.

Think about it... how does Nick Saban build a behemoth of a college football program in the midst of competition like we’ve never seen?

How do Novak Djokovic, Dawn Staley, Christiano Ronaldo, and others dominate their respective sports?  

What you see and what you don’t see.

What you see are the game days, the trophies, the interviews, the lights, the flash, and the makeup.

What you don’t see are minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years of preparation, of practice, of miscues and mis-steps, frustration, and hopelessness.

You don’t see the moments in the toilet, with your head hanging down, feeling like you’ve been kicked and it would just be easier if we did something else.

Ed Sheeran describes it in his British lore, “You have to keep writing songs and get them out of you.”

We all have immature and undeveloped leadership inside of us that eventually has to come out, and then it is refined. 

How do we get a handle of a business that has grown too fast?  The same way artists, athletes, and the military deal with a situation that has escalated too quickly.

Clarity and Order through TRAINING, TRAINING, TRAINING.

When I was at the University of South Carolina we had to sign a piece of paper for the NCAA saying that we had not committed more than 20 hours per week to our football program.

Thinking back, we had winter workouts, we had spring practice, our summer workout program, the regular season, and then if you performed well, a post-season bowl matchup.

Doing the quick math, a college football player will easily train somewhere in the neighborhood of 500+ hours per year, and will spend only 50 hours per year in live game-time situations. 

We spent at least 10 times as much energy and effort training than we did playing.

Military training is far more intense than that, and for some, they may never see live action.

Chaos calls for systems, process, and purpose.

In his adventurous book Sea Stories, Admiral William McRaven re-lives a mission scenario where helicopters were called in for an extraction, and in preparation, they had planned second by second alternatives and triggers.  

Emotion would not steer the helicopters because it was life or death.

Chaos is not all bad.  McRaven recalls his time in the conflict and chaos of war, saying, ““War challenges your manhood. It reaffirms your courage. It sets you apart from the timid souls and the bench sitters . . . It builds unbreakable bonds among your fellow warriors. It gives your life meaning”

This fast growth you have experienced can provide you with meaningful stories, adventures, and memories.  Or it can eat you alive.

How do you know?  You don’t, all you can do is build systems, process, and purpose... and then do the hard work of repetition and implementation.

Sep 10, 2021

Hey y’all, Brent Perry with Business on Purpose.

Where is the vision in your business? Or maybe a better question, where is the balance in your vision? 

Looking back. Starting at what’s straight in front of you. Or looking ahead. Let’s take a look.

Maybe you are busy looking into the past of what has happened this month or year (or years past)?

There is an article written by Scott Petinga titled “Why looking back is key to moving a business forward.” In the article, he asks the question: how do you get the most out of your past to get the best out of your future? He goes on to give 5 examples of how to spend productive time looking back on the life of your business. 

 

  • He says to ask the question what if
  • Learn from your mistakes
  • Reshape your past
  • Get inspired
  • And Get perspective

Those are just a few examples of what looking backwards can look like and what it can mean for your business. 

So we talked about looking back, but maybe you are so busy with the day to day operations that you can only focus on the here and now. What is happening in the next 24 hours if you will? Just to survive and make it another day.

I am a present liver (not sure if that’s an actual term used, but you get the point). By design I live in the here and now, and if I am not intentional about looking back on life to learn and looking ahead in life to dream... I will just live day to day.

I’ll be honest, some days that just feels good. Focus on what is right in front of you, and get it done. Task, completed. Job, finished. Proposal, read. The list can go on and on. 

Okay, so we have talked now about looking back on your business to learn and grow. We've talked briefly about the here and now and just seeing what is right in front of you so last but certainly not least...

Do you have the space, the margin if you will, to look at where you are, and where your business is heading? The direction you are going. The path that you're on. This is the “dreaming.” The planning. The “what’s next.” 

Here is the reality as a business owner, if you are not taking the time to look ahead, no one is doing that for you. It has to start with you.

So how do you do it? There is time and seasons and space for all 3, but what is the healthy rhythm for balancing your vision?

Step 1: Identify your default if you will. Typically the clients we work with default to 1 of these 3. So where are you? Do you find yourself looking backwards all the time, or looking ahead and dreaming, or just busy with the day to day what’s right in front of you?

Step 2: And I’m sure you have heard us say this before... write it down! Go ahead... rank them if you will. 

Do me a favor...ask yourself which of these visions are you best at and which do you struggle with the most? And write it out. Which vision do you live in, and maybe which you have been neglecting?

Step 3: Create the intentional time and space for each. Start with the vision you haven’t been able to do for some time. If you haven’t given yourself time to look ahead and dream about where your business is heading, make that a priority. If you haven’t been able to look back over this past year and learn and grow, make sure to do that. 

Step 4: Create the habit. Don’t just make this a one and done. This isn’t Kentucky basketball...that one’s for you Joerdan...make this a weekly or at least monthly habit that you do for yourself and for your business.

I love cooking. I don’t do it as often as I would like, but it’s fun being in the kitchen or over the grill. It’s fun for me starting from scratch and watching the ingredients come together to make something others will enjoy.

Your business needs all 3 ingredients. A healthy balance with your vision.

Look back

Look at the here and now

Look ahead

Thanks for listening. 

If you haven’t done so already, subscribe to our Podcast, and/or our YouTube channel. 

Sep 3, 2021

The frustration was immediate as we were in our regular coaching meeting working through the action items to implement.  My question was simple, “is the SEO company you hired providing you with their documented activity and updated results?”

The answer was deflating.  

This well-established and progressive business owner shared, “not only do we not have reports and updates, but he is also degrading and makes us feel like idiots when we ask him questions.”

I lightened the mood by asking, “so is that the magic touch to win the favor of clients?  If so, I need to commit to be more of a jerk in our coaching time.”  The laughter came and went,  but the frustration lingered.

Unfortunately, the common theme when talking to small business owners about hiring a  marketing agency is simply…

A lot of money with very few demonstrable results.  

Why?

What’s the similarity between a marketer, a business coach (we can self-deprecate a bit:), and a palm reader?

The barrier to entry is on the ground; anyone can hang a shingle and become one.  

I’m not much of an expert on palm readers, but I do know that with any other profession. there are really great practitioners and really bad ones.

So how do you find a great marketing agency to work with?

A few things to consider.

First, NOBODY will know your business or be as passionate about your business as you.  You cannot delegate your passion.

The majority of the time, we see small business owners abdicate the marketing responsibility to a distant, remote person who has you as one of many clients and does not wake up every day obsessing about how to grow your mission.

Marketing agencies, by design, have a book of business... multiple clients.  They can only market what they know, and they can only know what you and your market tell them over and over again.  

Markets change constantly.  

A marketing initiative that works today will likely be tired and irrelevant in six months.  It’s akin to a doctor having checkups with patients to monitor and tweak their treatments.  Things change, and if you allow your marketing agency to be measured on activity instead of outcomes, then they are prone (not in every case of course) to hit “rinse and repeat”.

Second, because your marketing agency needs to see and hear directly from you (or someone in your business) you must commit to a weekly “touchpoint” with your marketing agency.

This is a very brief check-in on story, content, activity, and results.  It empowers your marketing first to capture the nuance, the client successes, and all of the little bits that happen day to day that in most cases go unnoticed and uncelebrated.  

I will say this, if your marketing agency balks at this as a condition of working together, RUN.

You are hiring them as an employee of sorts (on contract of course) and in many cases paying them what you would invest a significant part-time or even full-time employee.  If they are unwilling to have a weekly meeting that actually benefits you and them... move on.

Thirdly, clearly write ALL of your expectations down before signing up with any marketing agency.

Please don’t be offended, but most of the failure of marketing agencies is not the fault of the agency, it is the fault of us as business owners for not communicating clear expectations. 

Think through, write down, and agree to outcomes first, and then everything else second.

The goal of a marketing agency is first and foremost to either grow your revenue and margin or grow your brand awareness (which ties directly back to revenue and margin).

Marketers may disagree and say that it is more complex than that.  For businesses above fifty (50) employees that may be so, but for businesses like yours with between two (2) and fifty (50) employees, marketing is almost exclusively tied to growing the revenue and margin of the business.

Write down your expectations and don’t be veiled.  It will then be up to the marketing agency to decide if they can perform to the level of expectation you have set.

Fourth, don’t get sucked in to “number of hours” or “number of posts” per week or month.  Marketing is about OUTCOMES, not about the quantity of any one technical strategy.

Views, likes, and impressions; we obsess over these because they are quick and give us an immediate snapshot into our public vanity.  We know deep down that they are a bit like jolly ranchers... taste sugary but offer no long-term health benefit.

Unless you are willing to spend BIG money on paid advertising (and I mean BIG), you are likely to see very little return on direct social media advertising at the scale you can afford.  

I know I know...someone reading this will be the exception.  Let’s focus on the general rule.  

Social platforms (YouTube, Blogs, Podcasts, etc.) are truly valuable assets IF you see them as air support to your ground game.

In most businesses, still the number one lead generation strategy is good ole fashioned face to face referrals and follow-up.

Your social presence is critical to provide authority and credibility when someone hears of you from one of their friends or contacts.  When you get referred, the first place they go to learn about you is online.  

Don’t be fooled, your online presence is very important...but it is not most important.  

What is your ground game?  How do you get in front of potential customers and clients face to face?  

When you set expectations with your marketing agency, it needs to be around outcomes regardless of strategy.  

MOST marketing agencies will try to sell you a marketing engagement that is $X per month and includes # of blog posts, # of social media posts, etc. 

We have over 500 episodes on our My Business On Purpose podcast and we love providing that as a tool... but does it lead to us being able to liberate business owners from chaos?  

What is the outcome?  Not the activity.

Finally, know your numbers and set a budget.

I have heard it said before that a very conservative marketing spend for your business is 3% of annual revenue, and an aggressive spend is up to 15% of revenue.

Do you know how much that would be?  And if you spent that on marketing, do you know how much that would have to return in revenue in order for the marketing spend to be worth it?

A marketing agency should be able to tell you, if you spend $X with us throughout the year, we will not be doing our job unless it generates $Y in revenue.

Outcomes, not activity.

Many marketing agencies are brilliant at delivering results.  Just make sure that is who you are working with.

If not, move on.

Sep 3, 2021

Hey y’all, Brent Perry with Business on Purpose. 

As I am recording this, September is upon us. Which means football is back! High School football. College Games. NFL Sundays. It’s happening. I love this time of year. I was at our local high school football game a couple of weeks ago. It was the first game of the season, played at home in front of a rowdy crowd, and the atmosphere was amazing. 

As I was keeping up with the game, I was watching the coaching staff having to make in-game decisions changing the game plan as it progressed. The play calling didn’t change. The pace of play didn’t change. And most of the offensive and defensive packages they had been in weren’t changing. Really, the change that was most evident came with the personnel (the players) on the field. Switching guys around finding the right positions. The left tackle moved to right guard. The center switched over to play the defensive line. The starting wideout moved to running back. The quarterback also became the punter. It’s football, these kinds of changes happen. 

But it did get me thinking about some of the businesses we work with, and thinking more specifically about the personnel within these businesses. 

So the question of the day...

How is your personnel? Your employees. 

Are they currently playing the right position, where you are able to utilize their full potential? 

We hear it so often with business. The idea of getting people on the bus, and making sure they are in the right seats. And this is true. It is also true that as the leader of the business, you need to make sure you are finding time throughout the year to evaluate your team and make sure your game plan is aligned with your vision story, your unique core values, and your maximum effort to run the business you have dreamed about and built. 

Now, this isn’t just about hiring and firing... while that can definitely play a part in this conversation, I am more interested in looking at the current “roster” if you will, and making sure each player is playing the right position. 

Here are a few ideas for you as September is upon us…

  1. Don’t wait for end-of-the-year evaluations. I know that is something that has become common in the business world, but making personnel decisions (if they need to be made) should happen sooner rather than later.
  2. Make time to review your employees and their current job descriptions.
  3. Which brings me to 3, if you don’t have job descriptions typed out for your employees, you should start there. 
  4. Review your vision, review your values and mission statements, and make sure your team is playing for the same wins.

Having the right personnel in place can make all the difference in the world when it comes to your business. It’s up to you to make sure your team is moving in the right direction with the employees you have in house. 

Thanks for listening. 

If you haven’t done so already, subscribe to our Podcast, and/or our YouTube channel. 

Aug 30, 2021

One of the biggest headaches in business??? Making decisions. So how do you effectively make decisions that affect so many people and know you’re making the right call? Let’s talk about that today..

Good afternoon, Thomas Joyner with Business on Purpose here... thanks so much for listening and subscribing.

One of my favorite things about what I do is the different types of leaders I get to work with. Business owners are all over the map when it comes to the way they lead, the way their businesses are run, and the things that are important to them. 

I learn new things in every single coaching meeting. In fact, relentless learning is one of our core values, so we put a great deal of energy towards writing down what we’re learning and developing new content for all business owners to improve from. 

A few weeks ago, a business owner sent me a document they had worked on to help with their decision-making. Now, we use our core values, our vision story, and numerous other filters to run decisions through. If you haven’t started there, I would urge you to put in the work there, first and foremost. 

This document I received was incredible... and a great way to solidify, codify and systematize all minor and major decisions in their business and I thought it would be a great thing to share.

Every decision in this business is asked a series of 10-12 questions depending on what type of decision it is. 

Things like, “Does it make us more profitable? Is it fun?” One of their core values... and “Will it benefit the community?” Another of their core values. Each question, if the answer is yes, gets the number 1 put next to it. If the answer is no, it gets a zero written next to it. You tally all the numbers up and it gets a score equalling the sum of all the answers.

Here’s where this thing gets REALLY powerful! Each type of decision in their business is categorized. Everything from new hires to technology purchases, from who they do business with to hours of operation, even things like days off and compensation get filtered through this document.

Everything has a category and every category has a minimum score required to move forward. Practically, if they were planning on buying new iPads for their field employees, they would ask all 10 questions and if the cumulative score is above 5, they move forward with the decision to purchase. 

Simple decisions require lower scores, somewhere in the 5 and up category. Medium level ones require 7 or more and big ones, like hiring or compensation, require 9 or 10! It’s an amazing system to run every decision through and often times helps the leadership get on the same page!

Maybe decisions don’t fit in a category, so they use financial ones. If this will cost us less than $5k, it needs to score a certain level, $5-10k... a slight bump, anything over that number has to really line up and score 9-10 for us to move forward. Powerful... when implemented.

So how do you make your decisions? Do you make them behind closed doors? Is there any authentic, purposeful discussion? Any process? Or do you just wing it and hope for the best. Do you just chase opportunity?

Let me tell you when you build a system around the things your business values and measure every decision against those values, it keeps you on track towards your vision. It keeps you on track towards being the business you want to be!

You can’t fake this as it has to be repeated over and over and over. But, in looking back, the business is marked by a sense of purpose that’s reflected in every decision.

So... where do you need to start? If you’re like so many businesses I work with, poor decision-making cripples them more than poor employees or economic climates. So open up a document and write 10-15 questions down. If you need help, reach out, and let’s write the questions out together!

Don’t let indecision or poor decisions rule in your business! Build a system and stick to it. Your employees will immediately know what you value and who you are. It will hold their feet to the fire in maintaining that culture and hold everyone accountable to your standard. 

It’s powerful. Don’t skip this stuff! It really does make all the difference.

That’s all for today friends... if you enjoy these, make sure to subscribe to our podcast and YouTube channel so content is delivered straight to you every couple of days. And send me your questions so I can keep “relentlessly learning” how to make better decisions.

Take care.

Aug 30, 2021

In a polarized America, inflexible statements of dogma are becoming normalized and opinions have become rights.

This will not be such a post, but instead merely a reflection on the joy and value that can be when a woman or man chooses to live out their faith at work.

In my faith background (belief in God and his Son Jesus) we have a varied history of faith expression largely based on the “tribe” that you were groomed in.  

For some it is a charismatic expression in the public view, for others, it is a somber expression in private.  

Most religions have a sect of fundamental purists, those who feel it their duty to protect the “brand” at all costs.  Many also have a sect of passive attenders, those who are content checking the box of “showing up” to the various disciplines, gatherings, and perceived duties of their religion.

Religion is by definition the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.”  Those holding to a “belief in and work of” also feel a sense of responsibility to both living out the teaching of their belief while also teaching others.

Jesus himself said in one of his final statements, “Go and make apprentices of all nations... and teach them…”

How do we live out our faith in the workplace when any faith can so easily divide and drive a wedge between relationships?  

How do we live out our faith in the workplace so that it facilitates human flourishing instead of human animosity?

Wouldn’t it be better if we were either agnostic or atheistic towards faith at work just so we could get the job done, and then as in the words of Fleetwood Mac, “you can go your own way?”

Part of the value of faith is the vision of peace, it is a primary goal within many faith traditions.  

Talking with business owners throughout our tenure as a business, peace is of the most common desires among their angst minds.  When asked, “what do you want?”, many business owners respond simply with a version of the work “peace”.  

Three elements will help us live out our faith at work.  

First, legislating faith into anything weakens the very faith you are trying to impose.

Prayer in schools is a most likely example for how legislating something while bringing the appearance of embrace, can actually do more to harm the thing than to bring the intended outcome.

I am happy to announce that in any country, under the rule of any government, and within any economy, that prayer in schools is alive and well.

While you may not want to fall on your knees and bring attention to your ritual, it is quite plausible that in the middle of class, walking down a corridor, or eating lunch in the lunch area, you can quietly and thoughtfully seek God in prayer.  

You can do the same at work.  

Some say, “I want to work for a Christian (or Buddhist, or Muslim, etc.) employer.”  Maybe instead we should think to work towards a mission that you believe in and within a skill set that you have been gifted towards, and be a light based on the faith that you hold regardless of the faith your employer holds.

I’ve seen plenty of non-faith-driven leaders pushing towards a powerful mission, and plenty of faith-driven leaders that are a bear to work for.

Stop waiting for someone to give you legal permission to pray, to be kind, to be salt and light, to turn the other cheek, to go the extra mile, or to replace worry with faith and hope.

The second element is to know that the heart and principles of your faith should integrate with your day to day decision-making even if all of your rituals or formal disciplines cannot.

I’m an employer who employs a small team of like-minded people.  Currently, all of our team members share a general faith conviction.  And still, it would not be well received if one of our team members spent their entire workday in formal faith study and meditation in place of the work that must be done towards our mission to liberate business owners from chaos..

We have a work mission to push towards and we need our team members working specifically towards that mission.  Of course, I strongly encourage studying and meditating within the personal disciplines of your personal and spiritual growth.

I also strongly encourage living out moment by moment, the truths that each person gathers as they forage through their personal time of study and meditation; hunger for right things, laugh and cry with your workmates, show mercy, make peace, keep your promises, show love to those who frustrate you and make you mad.  There is no law or boundary for these helpful things.  

Your business is not only a viable place to live out your faith, it is a perfect place to live out your faith.  

Business is an area laced with pressure, timelines, and the squeeze of deadlines.  Business is an area where expectations are set and often not realized which requires grace, truth, kindness, forgiveness, and second chances.

When many say “live out your faith at work” what they mean is “I must push, persuade and compel you to believe the same thing I do.”

When I meet someone who is genuinely kind, thoughtful, intentional, and looks out for my well-being and prosperity...they don’t need to push an agenda.

Thirdly, above all, love.

Having already quoted a hippy band from the 60’s I am at risk of sounding like a flower child in the parking lot of Woodstock sitting in a VW bus pondering the value of peace vs. war.

I assure you that my hippy status would be seriously revoked based on both my experience and my lack to understand the lifestyle of the ’60s. 

A question that would be helpful to ask that I have heard from a variety of sources is simple, “What would love have me do in this situation?”

Even reading or listening to this post, how would love require you to respond?

Let’s assume that the early apostle Paul, a former terrorist to early Jesus apprentices and an early century religious expert, was correct in his definition of love, eventually writing that, “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice, but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

What if we lived that out at work?  

Must we legislate love?

Must we demand that we have the right to wear a Christian lapel pin or pray in the lobby?

In our faith tradition, it is common to label certain nations as “open” or “closed” to teaching or training on the shocking news Jesus came announcing.

Presuming that the foundation of your faith is love, then it’s not true...all countries are declared “open” assuming you have a relationship in that culture.  I’ve been to hostile areas globally where communism or capitalism have been subject to corruption.  Not one has been opposed to kindness, diplomacy, or a conversation.

There is no boundary to your faith... not even work.  What is required though?  Relationship.

Aug 30, 2021

Hey y’all, Brent Perry with Business on Purpose. 

Are you celebrating your victories? In your business? Or even your personal life? It feels to me like we go through seasons that we have our heads down, or our blinders on and we’re just moving from one task to another, the next job, another fire to put out, you name it... and when we find ourselves in those seasons we can often miss the moments and opportunities to celebrate wins in our lives. 

If you have been in a room with one of our coaches here at BOP, you have probably heard us start most of our conversations with Big Wins, which is very intentional for us. It’s actually one of our unique core values. Beginning in Gratitude. 

I was coaching a client of mine a few weeks back, and just like every week when we are together, I asked the question as we were getting started... give me a big win. He thought for a moment, and then like a light bulb going off above his head and his eyes lit up... that duplex he and his wife had been trying to sell for a year finally went under contract and they were going to be able to sell it. Again, they have been trying to sell this particular piece of real estate for a year, and it has been a thorn in their side. Awesome. What did you all do to celebrate? Well, nothing really, just kept on moving. 

What? Now, let me pause for a moment... this time isn’t about me telling you that you have to throw a party every time something good or special happens that would be a victory... but I am saying you need to make sure you pause, even for a brief moment to acknowledge your wins.

One of the most disciplined men in all of sports, Tom Brady, gave himself 6 days after the super bowl to celebrate before he got back to work with his trainer Alex Guerrero. Now, this may not seem like a long time, and between you and me, I would probably have taken a little more time myself, but for Brady, this was him celebrating his victory. 

Celebrating isn’t going to look the same for each person. But each person can celebrate.

Do me a favor, pull out a pen or your notes on your computer or your phone, and write down a couple of big wins... those victories you have had in your businesses over the last few weeks. These don’t have to be winning the super bowl wins, these can be small victories that can oftentimes go overlooked. 

In an article written for the Harvard Business Review, Steven Kramer wrote about minor milestones, 

Minor Milestones

When we think about progress, we often imagine how good it feels to achieve a long-term goal or experience a major breakthrough. These big wins are great—but they are relatively rare. The good news is that even small wins can boost inner work life tremendously.

Let’s celebrate wins. Even the minor milestones. And if you haven’t been celebrating these last few months, do me a favor and take yourself to a nice lunch and dinner.

Oh, and that’s exactly what that client ended up doing that night. He and his wife went to their favorite burger stop in town and celebrated their win with burgers and a shake.

Thanks for listening. 

If you haven’t done so already, subscribe to our Podcast, and/or our YouTube channel. 

Aug 23, 2021

Good afternoon friends! Thomas Joyner with Business on Purpose here, thanks for tuning in.

One of my favorite comedians of all time is Jeff Foxworthy. His…” You might be a redneck” jokes still make me laugh to this day. His bits like, “the redneck spelling bee,” or going on and on about how rednecks are attracted to shiny things like bass boats, beer cans and UFOs had me rolling for hours on end growing up.

So, I thought I would put a little twist on it today. If you’re a redneck, good for you. I applaud you in that endeavor. However, there’s a far more dangerous situation for you as a business owner or key leader. And that’s if you’re in chaos. Here at Business on Purpose, our mission is to liberate small businesses from chaos. Plain and Simple.

But how do you know if you’re in chaos? How do you know if you’re in deep? You know I remember having my first child. We were so sleep-deprived we almost couldn’t remember what a full night of sleep was. But once our child finally slept through the night and we got that taste of normalcy again, it was a shock to the system! We never wanted to go back to those sleepless nights.

So I hope this is a shock to the senses. A wake-up call, that, if this is you, you need to put some work in to punch chaos in the mouth. It’s robbing you of joy, of profitability, of your lifestyle, and most importantly your mental health.

Now, these are not just some funny lines I made up, but are actual quotes from businesses I have met with and worked through these issues. So, if you check all the boxes, know you’re not alone. But know you need someone in your corner walking you back to sanity and back to systems in your business.

Alright! You might be in chaos...

  1. If you’ve ever woken up early on vacation to return voicemails or emails... you might be in chaos.
  2. If you’ve ever wondered, if something happened to me today (car accident, sickness, injury) my business would go under... you might be in chaos.
  3. If you’ve ever printed out your P&L and wondered why the number at the bottom was a negative number... YOU MIGHT BE IN CHAOS.

Now you know how this works, don’t get upset. These are real situations that can be avoided and worked through! Please don’t be offended, but please know there’s another way.

  1. If you’ve ever canceled a lunch meeting because “my guys just need me on the job site”... you might be in chaos.
  2. If you’ve ever hired someone and they quit within 2 months because you “missed a red flag” in the interview... you might be in chaos.
  3. If your sales are going up, but your profitability is going down... you might be in chaos.

Again, not picking on anyone, but these conversations happen weekly with business owners and we build systems to fix each and every one of them!

  1. If you are so sick of doing what you’re doing that you, “just want to sell!”...you might be in chaos.
  2. If someone asks you your margins on a job and you can’t back it up with numeric proof... you might be in chaos.
  3. If your employee asks you where the business will be in 2 years and what their role will be and you DON’T know the answer... you might be in chaos.

Man... these are convicting. I hope they are for you too!

  1. If you find yourself being the person who handles every emergency on the weekend, because “at least I know I’ll do it right”... you might be in chaos.

Hey, listen. I had a bit of fun with these. The point of these is not to make you feel bad about yourself or your business. Actually quite the opposite. It’s to shock the senses a bit and help you see that there are businesses out there that are doing things differently. That may have slipped into bad habits, but because they were challenged, built the business they dreamed of and wouldn’t check a single one of those boxes!

It’s true. And it can be true for you! If you’re frustrated or just want to hear a different way to do business, an intentional, on purpose way of doing business that will lift you out of the chaos... let’s grab lunch. We would love to walk alongside you and your business to help you make time for what matters most.

IF that’s too much right now, just subscribe to our podcast and YouTube channel. Start there. It’s an easy first step.

Thanks so much! Have a great week.

Aug 23, 2021

“I don’t have much to do in my business these days” were the exact words from a business owner I met with last week. 

You could get a sense that the words almost scared him as they came out of his mouth and left a concerned sense somewhere between, “I can’t believe this is actually true” and, “am I missing something that I should be seeing?

As business coaches, we can’t help but be excited and offer a bit of a chuckle when we see business owners arrive at the place where their business is running consistently without their direct, hour-by-hour, day-by-day input and effort.  Not by unhealthy abdication, but instead by thoughtful, consistent, intentional leadership rooted in systems, process, and purpose.

After a few seconds of joy and enthusiasm, we quickly move into a mode where we want to ensure that the owner is in a healthy place, and the team is in a healthy place.

Frankly, it makes me a bit uneasy to think about a driven personality with a forward-leaning mindset to be equipped with marginal time and marginal resources.

Ever heard the story of the successful entrepreneur who was engrossed in a twisted and bazaar mid-life crisis?  The marginal time and marginal money paradox is the most common breeding ground for such an unrestrained crisis.

The very first thing you should do if you are bored in your business is to pause and make sure you have health in your personal disciplines.  Boredom has been made out to be a non-productive territory littered with heat, dust, and tumbleweed... a wasteland to progress.

It’s not true. 

It is in boredom where restoration can happen, insights can emerge, problems and opportunities can be clearly seen, and experimentation can flourish.

Busy automatically cranks the volume knob to 10, boredom gives you control of the volume so you can think.

Boredom is not bad; it offers value, flexibility, and opportunity.  Boredom provides opportunity for you to indulge in your thoughts, either good or bad.

Instead of asking “what should I do?” if and when boredom sets in, change your perspective to “what can I hear?” or “what can I see?” now that I have the wide-open space of boredom.

Your mind has a trainload of thoughts, and boredom is the train station for those thoughts to disembark and lounge for a while.

The second opportunity that emerges with boredom is a chance to revise your future destination.  

We travel back and forth to Nigeria on a regular basis, which usually requires four airports along the way.  I follow a similar, subconscious routine at each airport reviewing my flight app to check boarding times, seat assignments, and the itinerary on the ground once we get there.  Inevitably, sitting in the boredom of the airport terminal, a new idea that alters the itinerary will pop in my mind and brings with it some fresh ideas that I can breathe into the trip.

Every business should have a written, multi-page vision story, and that vision story will be tweaked (as opposed to wholesale changes) throughout the year as you have new insights in the context of the boredom spaces. 

Boredom allows a business owner to re-evaluate and revise the written vision, drawing in a tighter and tighter focus on the final destination.  

That vision may include doubling down on what you have already written.  It may involve selling your business and starting something else.  You may uncover a pivot in your business or personal life that you simply had not seen or heard prior because the distraction and volume were too loud.

The third thing you can do when you are bored as a business owner is to embrace the time and rest.  

It is said that even God himself rested.

Probably an indication that we too should have moments of rest.  Rest defined is to “cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength”.  

Rest can be reading a book, self converting a sprinter van, napping, writing, exercising, or just sitting and staring.

This is where you need to be mindful of where your rest leads you, and it is best to have someone else help hold you accountable to how you rest so you maximize that time for good, and not for backward movement.

Finally, when boredom hits you it’s ok to just sit still.

We undervalue stillness, silence, and solitude.  

Thomas a’ Kempis said, “in silence the quiet soul makes progress”.

Dallas Willard has a modern spin on this idea in sharing that each of us “must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.”

A dear friend has been in a health battle for the past 9 months and he recently shared his journey meandering through the dark values of stage three Melanoma, in concert with severe kidney trauma.  

His takeaway to the audience he was sharing with was not “woe is me”, but instead, “the world has forgotten the joy of silence.”

He has spent hours waiting in the last 9 months.  Waiting on doctors appointments, waiting on prognosis calls, waiting on the next treatment...waiting.  

As he has waited,, he has been reminded of the power and gift of boredom.

If and when you get bored working on your business, don’t rush, don’t run, slow down...and listen.

Aug 16, 2021

How do you lock in and define your customer? It’s a great question and one I’m excited to talk through today. Thomas Joyner with Business on Purpose here.

It’s so powerful... knowing who you want to sell to. Locking and truly defining your ideal customer. 

If you examine successful businesses across the landscape, almost always their success is a result of them knowing EXACTLY who they are selling to. 

Take someone like Chick Fila. They have successfully targeted a group of people that want to eat Chicken in a clean, convenient, customer service forward way. They don’t branch into tacos and burgers and pizza. Trying to hit every single customer! No, they stay focused and then spread out their offerings to hit that demographic in as many ways as possible. 

So how do you do this in your own business? How do you figure out who that ideal client is so you can then serve them better than anyone else? Here are three ways…

  1. Ask who your most profitable client is?

This is the logical place to start, right? If you look back at the past 6 months to a year, who did you do business with that gave you your highest profitability? Now, we can’t exactly clone profitable clients, but you can begin to market specifically to that type of client. If you’re in the trades and you have a certain builder that you worked best with, who else in your market does business like them. Go to that client and ask them. Or ask them how you can get more of their work. 

Too often we don’t have because we don’t ask. “Oh, that just feels salesy! It’s not my style to be pushy!”

Ok, first of all, you have to know your value you are bringing and understand that your ideal client is LOOKING FOR YOU!!! You provide just as much value to them as they do to you. That’s powerful when you get that. It’s not salesy, because you’re delivering them exactly what they’re looking for. A business or consumer is not frustrated when they get what they are looking for. No! It’s gift. It gets them excited. So, if you know who that customer is, keep targeting them. Write it down and find creative ways to target more clients JUST LIKE THEM.

A few more questions to ask...Who pays on time? Who are you not gonna have to nickel and dime and wait for checks to clear and just have the hassle of doing business with? That will lead us to our next question.

  1. Who is your least profitable client? Both financially and just in the joy of doing business?

Sometimes it’s just as important to realize who you do NOT want to work with as it is to know your ideal client. Who saps energy from you? Who robs you of profitability? Who, even if you do everything right, still ends up frustrated and complaining?

Who are the businesses or clients that do NOT match up with your mission and core values? Who distracts you from your mission? 

Write a list down and scratch them off. 

Imagine if someone was in the Chick Fila drive-thru and asked them to make a cheeseburger for them. Now, if we have the mindset that everyone is a client and we have to serve every client, we COULD do this. Send someone to the grocery store to grab some ground beef, bring it in, make a patty, put it on the flat top or grill, use one of your buns and get it out the drive-thru window after a lengthy wait.

The customer drives off. Next thing you know they leave a review online. Worst burger I’ve ever had. Almost like they’ve never made one. Waited an eternity for terrible food.

Why does this happen? Because that’s not your ideal client. That’s not the person you can serve and thrive in the process. So if you look at your products and services, are there any that you need to get rid of to help you stay away from your least profitable clients? Are there any products, services, or clients that are distracting you from knocking it out of the park? 

Write them down and stay away. Every time you’re tempted to do business with them, remember it’s a distraction that could cost you big time.

  1. Ask yourself what problem you solve?

Your ideal client will always need the solution to whatever problem you solve. So... if you were explaining to someone why they should do business with you, what problem do you solve? Now, it’s probably not just one. It’s probably 10 different things. 

Write those down. Then take it a step further. Who needs those problems solved? Who has those problems and is looking for an answer? What fears do they have and how often is this a problem? You’d be surprised, you may even come up with another million-dollar idea by focusing on the problem you’re solving and who needs the solution!

Alright, those are the three steps, ask who your most profitable client is, cross of your least profitable clients, and figure out the main problems you solve. Put those all together and you should have a great idea of who you should work with.

Lastly, though I would tell you to filter it through this last question. Who do you WANT to work with... who do you like/dislike and draw energy from working with? I know you can’t always choose the best client. But... it can be a tiebreaker. There are tons of opportunities to make money out there, but which customer gets you excited?

That stuff matters.

Alright, time to put in the work. Time to write it down and then go build out a plan to reach your ideal customer.

Aug 16, 2021

There is a movement sweeping across the southeastern United States in the form of a gas station.

People are literally flocking to a gas station... planning their trips and their stops around a gas station.

Buc-Ee’s is a gas station posing as a department store, barbeque joint, beef jerky outlet, and Taj-Mahal-like restrooms.  If you’ve never been, it is certainly worth the stop.

A friend of mine recently walked in and saw a large yellow poster on multiple walls throughout Buc-Ee’s with their starting wages posted boldly along with the promise of 3 weeks of paid time off, a 401k option, and other perks.

For many in the contractor space, Buc-Ee’s is now a legitimate competitor to finding employees not so much due to their rates and wages, but instead because they have clarity around their pay.

In some cases, it is a good idea to share wages and benefits publicly, and other times it is a good idea to not share that data publicly.  Regardless, most businesses don’t have the clarity themselves internally regarding their compensation structure so that when it is time to bring in new employees, they are in a losing battle from the start.

Large companies are mocked often due to their structure and bureaucracy, but the structure does offer clarity.

Merging the clarity of structure with the local, family feel of a small business can be a powerful cocktail to find the right people for the right role all headed towards the right mission.

How do you determine salary structures for employees?  Here are five elements of determining a salary structure for employees.

First, you have to know your own numbers.

Recently we ran a test program among three Heating and Air (HVAC) businesses in the southeast United States.  All three came into our test program through a relationship we had developed with Mingledorff’s Inc. (a large HVAC supplier).  

As we began coaching each of the businesses, we found that although each business was similar in size and scope, each of the three businesses had a very different handle on their finances.

Part of the Business On Purpose process is to create a subdivision of bank accounts, and a dashboard tracking process to follow real-time cash flow (different than a cash flow statement).  Once set, each business began tracking their flow of cash, cash on hand, receivables outstanding, and any upcoming payables among other metrics.

Within three months it was clear to see that one of the business owners had never fully followed their numbers and was on a collision course with a cash crunch and would eventually run out of money.  

A second business owner realized what was happening with their cash, and also woke up to the reality that the “family business” was creating real tension and apprehension in decision making.  The owner had to make hard decisions so their business not only stopped the cash bleed but also started to generate legitimate profit.

The third business owners also realized what was happening with their cash, and within six months had increased their cash position by $400,000, up from less than $100,000.

More cash and specifically a higher baseline of cash means more options and flexibility in how to compensate team members.  

If you know your numbers, then you can know your compensation.

Second, you have to know what additional revenue will be needed to cover any additional compensation.

One dollar of revenue does not offset one dollar of compensation.  You are running a for-profit company.  

Many business owners take a mindset of break-even when they are laying out compensation packages assuming, “well if we can just generate an additional $65,000 in revenue for the $65,000 in annual compensation paid to that new employee, then we are good!”

No, no, no.

A dollar of compensation should have an exponential return... three, four, five dollars in return.

How much new real revenue (total revenue minus cost of goods) will need to be generated to profitably and generously compensate for this role?

Third, you will have to articulate a clear job role.

What specific activities lead to the new revenue-generating success of this new role as aligned with the vision and mission that you have set out.

Too many new team members come into the fold and are unclear as to what they are being asked to do.

We are coaching most of our clients to have a fully scripted, four-week schedule laid out for their new team members.

Where should they be, what specifically should they be doing, watching for, listening to, and learning?

Within this four-week script should lie many of the culture and skill learning that will be asked for in their job role.

If you do not have a role written down, then you can have confidence that you have not provided the clarity that is required.  Without that clarity, you will also have confusion around compensation.

Fourth, you will need to have your head on a swivel to see what the market is telling you.

Most businesses start with the market and then work backwards.  Looking at what the market is paying should be a later step after you have run through your due diligence internally.  Don’t let the market influence you until you have clarity on what role you are offering.

To find out what the market is paying, just ask!

Call other business owners' friends in complementary businesses (contractors call contractors, etc.) and ask what they are seeing.

Finally, clearly spell out your compensation plan.

Your compensation offering should be clear knowing the base salary, all of the “extras” that the business will pay out because of this new role over and above the base salary (taxes, benefits, regular expenses, etc.).

You should also think through how to onboard this employee as a part of their compensation layout so they know not only how and when they will get paid, but also how they will be powerfully trained to live out the expectations of their role, and of the part they play in ensuring additional revenue is realized.

Without future revenue, the role cannot exist.

A gas station branded with a beaver mascot was willing to go through the hard work of determining employee salaries... will you?

Aug 12, 2021

Hey y’all, Brent Perry with Business on Purpose. 

Are you listening? Not in the literal sense as listening to me right now, in this very moment. Are you listening in regards to your business? It can be an easy response to say, yes of course I am. But do me a favor, take a moment... are you really listening? Do you listen to your clients/customers? Do you listen to your employees? Do you listen to your counterparts if you have them? Do you listen to your coach? 

I love this quote from Justin Bell written for Forbes, 

As leaders, every action we take either develops or deteriorates trust. One of the most powerful ways to build trust is through listening”. 

Let me take you back to Brent Perry and third grade. Knoxville, TN. My teacher stood in front of the class and handed out a worksheet to us, turned face down. He said before we turned the worksheet over, we had to listen to his instructions. His instructions went something like this…

  1. First one who hands the assignment in correctly gets pizza today for lunch... a big deal in third grade.
  2. Make sure to read all the questions 1-20 thoroughly before you begin the worksheet. 
  3. Print your name and date and the top of the paper.
  4. You must fill the worksheet out in pencil.
  5. You must answer the odd-numbered questions in cursive. 
  6. When you are finished, turn the worksheet back over and raise your hand for me to collect it. 

Now I don’t know if you know where I am going with this, but as soon as he said start, the whole class (myself included) flipped that paper over and went to work as fast as we could write. For the next 30 minutes, we worked diligently until we got to the last and final “question”... which read, disregard all questions, and simply write your name in all caps on the back of the worksheet. Done. 

That’s all it took. And nobody in the class filled out the worksheet correctly. 

Now don’t get me wrong, my teacher knew what he was doing. He was teaching us a lesson, but he also just wanted a free 30 minutes to himself without being bugged by third graders. But his lesson worked, it has stuck with me all these years later. If we would have just listened to him and not raced to be the first one done, we could have celebrated a win. 

So, the question on the table for the day, how well are you listening?

Let me offer you 3 easy ways to improve the ways you are listening in your business…

 

  • Make sure you set time each week for your employees.

 

You might start with 1. This is outside of a team meeting. But carve out 10-15 minutes to follow up with someone in your business to have a small conversation about how things are going.

 

  • Practice becoming a better Active Listener

This might take more practice for some of you all. But I promise this is a skill that will benefit you as a leader. 

Eye contact; focusing on the other person

Leaning forward a little or nodding

Sitting still

Letting the other person finish what he or she is saying without interruption

Interested silence; giving a person time to respond

 

  • Is a goal, learn something new from everyone you are listening to.

 

It might not happen every time, but when you enter a conversation with that mindset, you are already bringing value to that conversation. 

If you haven’t done so already, subscribe to our Podcast, and/or our YouTube channel. 

Thanks for listening. 

Aug 9, 2021

How do you grow in a healthy way? And should growth always be the goal? Let’s talk about that today. Good afternoon, Thomas Joyner with the Business on Purpose Podcast here.

We get this question all the time when coaching. Thomas, how do we grow the right way? It’s a great question. Because what it implies is that there is a wrong way to grow.

Too many businesses only focus on top line revenue. Bring more in, bring more in, bring more in. And that is most certainly part of it. But top line revenue fails to set you up for responsible, long-term growth. Often times when revenue is the sole focus of growth, you can sacrifice long-term success for short-term spikes in sales.

So how do we grow in a healthy way? Well, here are the 4 ways we encourage our clients to move towards sustainable, long-term growth.

  1. Figure out if you even should grow and by how much.

Now this sounds counterintuitive, right? But I had a conversation last week with a client and we discussed just this point. With more sales typically comes more employees to manage that growth. That, in turn, means more training, more overhead, sometimes taking on more debt for service vehicles or machinery. It means more administrative work and billing, more estimating and invoicing. It means 25% of all of that! So where does that time come from? Are you staying late, hiring more of it out? If you try to take on that with your current team it means paying overtime and that shrinks your margins! So is this what you want?

It’s a valid question to ask. So often we think if revenues aren’t growing, we’re a failure as a business. And yet I applaud businesses who turn away more work as they realize more is not always better. 

No, decide if you want to grow... AND BY HOW MUCH! I can’t tell you how many businesses just throw a number out without every understanding why they came up with that percentage. It sounds good, but it hasn’t been thought through. So know why you want to grow by 5%, 10%, 20%, or if you even want to grow at all and then move forward to the next step.

Once you’ve decided you should, in fact, grow and understand how much you would like to grow, it’s time for the second step.

  1. Revisit your ORG Chart to see if your current structure can support the growth

Most people have no clue why you build an Org Chart. It’s just a picture of the structure we have in place. WRONG! What it should be is a picture of what the business should look like to hit your sales and profitability goals.

So, look at it. Break it down into monthly numbers. Can your current team support the growth? Do you need another salesperson? Another admin to help with collections or scheduling and material ordering? Do you need a Project manager to take some strain off you so you can do more estimating and keep the jobs booked out and work coming in?

What do you need as a business to grow? Because here’s what too many businesses do. They add and add and add to the workload of their employees, expecting them to do more, yet never realizing they’re at capacity! You can’t always expect your employees to take on more. Sometimes, you have to change it up.

So, if you change your Org Chart by hiring, re-run your numbers to make sure you can maintain your margins. Make sure you have the cash and begin setting it aside for those hires in a separate account. Get a few months ahead to make sure that you won’t be going into the red each month after the hires are made. 

Your Org Chart has to reflect a business that can support the amount of revenue you want to do. Otherwise, you are looking at burnout for employees and they will begin to leave for greener pastures.

Ok, once you decide on growth, and review your Org Chart. It’s time for step 3.

  1. Build in short term metrics to measure growth and progress

Here’s where the magic starts to happen. It doesn’t all change at once. But what does progress look like? How can you measure it? What are the Key Performance Indicators that you can measure along the way? Revenue may not grow month 1, but is the team in place, and are we making progress? How many more jobs do you need to estimate? How many more hours do you need to bill? 

Are you hitting those? It’s why we push so hard for the 12-week plan. Build it out. Build out the 3 main goals you need to hit and then if you’re missing the mark, you can adjust accordingly every 12 weeks! You can retrain and add support as necessary to make sure you are on track! Break it down into monthly goals and weekly goals to reach your numbers. It’s not rocket science, but if you don’t put a step-by-step plan together you WILL NOT HIT IT!

Put the plan in place to measure growth and progress...and adjust as needed.

Lastly…

  1. Build in margin before your next growth campaign

This is a must! Don’t fall into the trap of realizing 15 or 20% growth and then immediately jump into your next period of growth. Give your team some time to adjust. Some margin to make sure they’re ready. Everyone wants their growth curve to look exponential...but in reality, it should look more like a set of stairs. Some years the growth needs to be intentionally less, to make sure the foundation is in place for the next period of growth. Some years it will be intentionally bigger! 

But when you give your team a chance to breath, to celebrate, and to prepare, you give them the gift of margin. To retrain and make sure everyone is owning their role before expanding and hitting a higher mark.

Alright, so you have the 4 steps, but here’s what it looks like in real life as I just did this with clients last week.

“We want to grow by 25%, we really think we can hit that!” They said as we were talking through some Vision for them. Now immediately in my head, I started to poke holes in that dream, but I just asked questions.

“How did you come up with that number?” “I don’t know, that’s just what we want to do and I think we can do it.” “Ok, let’s look at the numbers and see what that means.”

 

I went into all of it, that means you have to do $10,000 in revenue a month. Can you do that with your current team (again, going back to the org chart).

No, we’d need another crew and another van. Ok, great what do we have to pay them, how much is the van, how much could that crew produce? Can you manage another team with your management structure?

No, we would probably need a PM to go around since I’m going to have to estimate more. That’s right...you’re getting it now.

“OK, so what do you need to estimate a week and how many jobs does your service team need to hit to reach this goal?”

We went back and forth until we had real metrics to make sure they were on it and had a realistic plan for how to hit their growth. We built-in time to make adjustments and they were on their way.

But they had a plan! Now they may hit it, they may not. But I can tell you they wouldn’t have stood a chance had we not walked through those 4 steps.

  1. Decide if you should grow and by how much.
  2. Review your org Chart and hire to build the foundation if needed
  3. Build in short term metrics to check on progress
  4. Allow for margin in between growth initiatives

That’s it. That’s the way to grow long-term in a responsible, healthy way. So go do it! Put your plan in place today and please let us know if we can help.

As always, take a look and subscribe to our podcast and youtube. So much content being added weekly.

Thanks for tuning in!

Aug 9, 2021

How To Take Time Away From Your Small Business

The rock stood about 25 feet above the water hovering over Phelps Lake in the Grand Teton National Park.  The water was cold and clear.  You could see the bottom of the lake giving the illusion that it was far too shallow to jump.  Having watched a number of others take the plunge, my kids and I decided to give it a go while Ashley agreed to be the videographer from lake level.

SPLASH.  

The temperature of the water was matched by the exhilaration of the jump.  It was cold and it was thrilling.  

Throughout the hike into and out of Phelps Lake, we enjoyed elevation changes, landscape changes, spectacular views, and 10 different bear sightings, some within about 10 to 15 yards.

I can honestly say, throughout the hike, I did not worry about our business.  It was freeing.

For context, at the time of this hike, Business On Purpose has been liberating business owners from chaos for 6 ½ years (founded in 2015).  We have a team of seven people (including me), two of which are part-time.  

A couple of things you should know... we are not a multi-million dollar business, as the owner, I am still very much involved in day to day coaching of clients, and I am not independently wealthy.

So how was I able to take a solid week away from our business, and the business actually grows and thrives and executes on our mission to liberate business owners from chaos?

First, I wrote (and continually update) our vision story.

The Proverb is continually true, “Where there is no vision, people scatter.”  This documented exchange between a Jewish prophet is also true, “write the vision down... those who read it will run... wait till it’s appointed time... it will come true.”

Every business owner that we serve has been taken through a vision story process.  This is a written, multi-page, highly detailed layout of what they see as the future of their business personally, financially, corporately (team structure and size), culturally, and clearly laying out who they serve and who they do not serve.

This is a clear picture, and one written by faith (because we cannot see it yet), to help bring clarity to what we see not only for ourselves but also for our team.

Every two months we host a simple online call with our entire team called a “Vision Day”.  It’s not really a full day, but one hour where I read fully through the vision story, provide some commentary on where I see our business and host a live Q&A so our entire team has an opportunity to interact with our vision.

It is exciting to see that the vision story process is being morphed from a nice-to-have document to a must-have, living, visual of the future of each business.

If you want to take time away from your business, you must have written clarity on the future of your business, and your team must have access to the same clarity.

Second, I planned this trip (and all of our others) about 9 months ago.

Time is a non-renewable resource.  I mentioned earlier that our business has been liberating business owners from chaos for 6 ½ years. Those are 6 ½ years that are in the books... no way to get those back.  

We believe that we can find time to do the things in our business that matter most.  The reality is that we will not randomly find one of life’s hottest, and non-renewable commodities (time).  Instead, we must actively make or craft the time that we have in front of us.

In November of each year, I sit down with a calendar for the following year and I begin to make my schedule for the year.  Much of your week is repetitious.  Meetings, email, phone calls, making or creating, etc.

Many will say, “well my week is so unpredictable”.  

Not really.

It feels unpredictable because we have not made the time to stop and think through the weeks we’ve been given and how we will invest the currency of our time within each week.

When I began thinking through the days, weeks, months, quarters, and entire year it provided me with a sense of stability.  My schedule became an anchored dock moored within consistently choppy waters.

No way that I hold to that schedule 100% of the time... but even a 50% hold rate is a massive game changer and gives me freedom to do the thing that I have schedule and have remembered to communicate precisely because it has been prescheduled!

Whatever time of year it is right now for you, make time to sit down with a calendar of the next 6 or 12 months and begin to mark out some blocked times for team gatherings, vision days, milestone events needed to push your mission, and of course, your time away from the business.

Just a note, your team, and your business need to see you leave from time to time.  When you leave it provides them the encouragement that they can lead the business without you.  It literally lends them courage to lead.  

When you leave it also exposes parts of the business that are too dependent on you, that you can begin processing, and delegating upon your return.

Third, I spent the weeks leading up to our trip communicating with our team and with clients.

Something bazaar happens when you pre-schedule anything...it becomes gospel.  Not religious gospel, but an immovable reality that has been calendared.  

It gives you the confidence to simply say with plenty of warning, “team, we will be out on the third week of May.”  The team will simply respond, “got it”.  

Of course, if you are typically not away from your business, both you and the team may feel an uncomfortable nervousness, but it provides time to begin planning and to delegate all of the things that you normally do, that others can take over while you are out.

You begin communicating your time away weeks prior to leaving both with your team, and based on your business, with your customers and/or vendor partners.

In our business, I send a weekly communication to each client, so about three weeks prior to my time away, I go ahead and write my communication to each client for the week that I will be away and then use the powerful “delay send” feature on my email app.

I set up the email to send out the Monday that I am away as if nothing has changed.  

Our weekly team meeting, and also our weekly individual one-on-one check-ins are also times that I share with our team a reminder that I’ll be away and see if they need anything in preparation.

Of course, it will not be perfect, but at least it will be well communicated.

Fourth, I left trusting that the groundwork was laid.

We consistently work on culture ingredients like our weekly team meeting, weekly coaches, meeting, our 12-week plan and live events, our every other monthly vision days, our annual training retreat, and our Master Process Roadmap.

I must trust that the team will continue to lean in on those culture ingredients as much when I am not here as they do when I am here. 

It is an exciting thing to be away as an owner, and not only is the team surviving, they are taking ownership in growing the business.

You will never know if you do not leave your small business for a short season.

You will never leave your small business for a season if you do not write a vision.

You will never write a vision if you do not make the time for it.

You will never make the time for it if you do not have a plan to communicate.

You will never communicate if you do not lay the groundwork.

Your business and your team need you to leave periodically.  YOU need yourself to leave periodically, stand on top of a rock and take the plunge into a cold, deep mountain lake and be grateful.

Aug 2, 2021

Does your business back up its promises? Are you overpromising and underdelivering? Well... let’s find out. Good afternoon friends! Thomas Joyner with Business on Purpose here.

I’ll never forget one of my best Christmas gifts I ever gave my wife. It was going to be magical! 3 days in NYC a week before Christmas. I had planned the entire thing, managed to buy plane tickets, book the perfect hotel, found a substitute teacher to take over her classes she taught, even get her sister to take the train down from Boston to meet us for a surprise dinner one night. It was all ready to go!

So, we got on the plane as I finally told Rebeca where we were going so she could pack and we took off to New York City. Flights were great. Yep, nailed it. We jumped in our Uber from Grand Central Station to head to our hotel. I had checked multiple hotels in the area for a great view of the skyline in a historic hotel and found a great one that was affordable. We got dropped off, checked in, and took our bags up to the room before heading out on the town.

The moment we stepped inside our room, I knew something wasn’t right. The luxurious king bed we had been promised was a full. I could kick the toilet from the foot of our bed it was so close and I could almost stretch my arms out to touch both walls in the room. 

“At least the view is amazing!”

Nope, I pulled back the curtain to see... a brick wall 3 feet from our window. Zero skyline view. 

What did I do wrong? As I went down to the concierge to ask if they gave us the wrong room? Nope, those are just the pictures of our 3 best rooms we use on our website.

I was hot! Not only had I been oversold, but there seemed to be zero concern for us basically being lied to.

Now, the trip was amazing. We look back and laugh about how bad that hotel room was. It was clean, the location was great, but it was not the luxurious experience I had hoped for. And it left me knowing that I would never come back to stay in that particular hotel again. 

It’s no way to do business. You can’t survive on one-time customers!

So, if you were to take an audit of your business. The things you promise your customers? How many of them would you say you deliver on?

Go ahead, stop this podcast or video right now and write down what you think are the deliverables you promise. What do you hang your hat on as a business? 

And rank yourself 1, 2, 3 on each of those things? If you looked at your last 20 sales. Where did you land on those deliverables? 1 meaning rarely, if at all, 2 meaning we were hit or miss but were pretty good at them, or 3 meaning we knocked it out of the park every time. Where did you land?

I can’t tell you how important this is in today’s business climate. At the click of a button, people can get on Google or Trip Advisor and see what others have said about you. 

And here’s the thing. Reviews are almost NEVER average. They are the people who are infuriated at your service or blown away by how great it was. So how can you audit your business in a way that leaves people blown away by OVER delivering on your promises?

Because we know this, all discontentment stems from unmet expectations. And if that’s true, you must know first, what are the expectations our clients have of us and how are we meeting or exceeding them in EVERY. SINGLE. INTERACTION.

If you haven’t read Jocko Willink’s book, EXTREME OWNERSHIP, you need to grab a copy or listen to it in the car on audible. He outlines what most organizations or businesses problems are... a lack of taking responsibility or ownership.

Think about it, the last time a customer complained. To their face, you probably looked at them and apologized and fixed it. But what happened behind closed doors. What words came out of your mouth next?

“She or He is just difficult. There was nothing we really could have done. What are you gonna do? They’re someone else’s problem now!”

Isn’t that what we do? We pass the blame. Never looking at it objectively and taking ownership. 

What if we did this. What if we asked, how could we have handled that differently? Knowing what we know now, is there anything we could have done to preemptively keep that from ever having been a problem?

If you can answer that question? Holy Smokes you become a business that’s going places. One that focuses on the customer experience from start to finish. One that takes ownership of the problems that are within your control, fixes them, and delivers exactly what you promise day after day.

So be real for a few minutes. If you dare, go to a few of your top customers, take them to lunch, and ask them? I’d bet they would be honored to get asked where you can be better? How you can better serve their business? Where you’re not living up to and backing up your promises. 

If you can implement this into your daily habits and take ownership of this process, you won’t just settle for single-serving clients or customers. No, you will make customers for life! With steady business to grow off of, knowing full well, you back up every promise you make.

Man, that gets me pumped up!

That’s all for today, friends! Hope you are subscribed to our podcast and YouTube. We are sending out so much more content that we want you to get your hands on, so make sure to subscribe. 

Thanks! Have a great day.

Jul 30, 2021

Hey folks, Brent Perry with Business on Purpose. 

The question on the table, can you do it for a day? 1 day. 

I am reading a book right now called Win the Day by Mark Batterson. At the beginning of this book, he poses the question…” can you do it for a day?” 

Let me explain a little further. He shares the story of Hall of Fame running back Emmit Smith, who has been known for living the 24-hour rule throughout his football career. Win or lose, Smith would give himself 24 hours to celebrate the win, or lament the loss. And then it was back to the basics, back to work. 

So, in your business and in life, what is one thing, one action, one goal, one task that you need to do for 1 day? 

One of my best friends is involved in a group called Alcoholics Anonymous. I’m sure most of you are familiar with it... have had loved ones a part of this powerful program, or maybe you yourself. When you ask my friend, who is now over 5 years sober how he does it, he gives a similar response to everyone... along with a few other things... a day at a time. We were driving in the car one day and I asked him to explain that a little deeper for me. He said, it’s simple... it’s too big of a problem to look ahead. Stringing days, weeks, months, years together seem daunting and nearly impossible. But when you can wake up and choose to live 1 day clean, I can do that. Apparently, that’s a common outlook in AA. Powerful. 

So we have Emmit Smith’s 24-hour rule. We have a good friend saying a day at a time. What does that mean for us? 

Batterson goes on to say, “identify a habit- any habit. Set a goal, any goal. Got it? Now let me ask you a question... Can you do it for a day”? And that’s what we are going to do with your life and business right now. 

What’s one action, task, goal, accomplishment, to-do list item, habit that you need to start or stop doing right now for personal and professional benefit. Go on. Think about it. 

And then, three easy steps to help us get there. 

  1. Write it down! Simple. When you write it down (either on paper or typing it out) it gives you power over the task at hand. 

  2. Share it with one person you know and trust. This isn’t even for accountability as much as making it real to you. How many wonderful ideas and tasks get lost in your own mind simply because you never write them down and share them? 

  3. Start today. 1 day. That’s it. 

Thanks for listening. We’ll see you all again soon. 

Jul 26, 2021

How To Make A Formal Job Offer

Skip called me and said, “I am excited to call and offer you the open position of Sales Representative in Augusta, Georgia.”

Wow, it was really happening.

My first “big time”, full-time job out of my time as a student.  Pfizer was allowing me an opportunity to be a part of their mission and I was beyond excited.  I can still tell you where I was sitting when the call came in.

The final stage of the core hiring process (before onboarding) is the final offer.  This is a time of both explanations, question answering, and a little bit of ceremony.

I prefer doing this step either in person or online face to face.  

Before making that call or setting that time, make sure that you have all of your i’s dotted and t’s crossed.

Job role... check.

Notes from the interview process... check.

Onboarding process written out and available... check.

Compensation details and structure... check.

Written offer letter... check.

Employee Agreement prepared... check.

Next steps checklisted... check.

Start date on everyone’s calendar... check.

Now you are ready.

Start off the meeting with the direct reason you are there.

“We are excited to formally offer you the open position of POSITION TITLE here at BUSINESS NAME.”

Then explain what is about to happen.

We will lay out all of the details you need to know, and then will check in with you to see what questions or thoughts you have.  We will then give you two business days to think through your decision and set a follow-up time to take the next steps.”

From there, lay out the job role again, the expectations of that person as an employee, the compensation details, and all of the other checklist items you have prepared and how they get each one of those accomplished.  

Stop and ask if they have any questions and then it is time to wait knowing that you have put in the hard work upfront and you have created an opportunity that any candidate will have to remark about as being unique.

You are displaying your care and leadership through the entire process. 

If you have been prepared and fair in your role layout, compensation, and expectations and they choose to not accept the position, then you must trust that the candidate would not have been a good fit in the future.  

One note about getting into compensation negotiation.  All compensation must be built through a view of business revenue and profitability.  If a candidate requests an additional 10 percent of compensation, then you must demonstrate how their employment in that role will profitably generate additional revenue.  

Do not be a business that compensates based on what the employee “needs”... be a business that compensates on what the business can afford to pay.  Of course, your compensation must be fair and generous... and profitable.

This is an exciting time, and regardless of the outcome, you know you have put in the work that will benefit everyone moving forward.

Jul 26, 2021

The Most Unique Job Interview

I was sitting in a hut that was around 12 feet in diameter with a palm-thatched triangular roof, mud walls, and a compacted dirt floor.

The soft murmurs of a tribal dialect were casually being shared from family member to family member in an evening of conversation.  I understand only what my friend could translate to me.

The Fulani tribe is a complex, migratory and historic community of nomads that are known for their sub-Saharan sprawl facilitating their livestock herds.  This particular family was intermixing Arabic with Fulfulde, and an occasional English word to grab the attention and grin of their visitor.

I had seen thousands of Fulani across the Nigerian landscape in my travels, but never had I been offered a seat (and bed) inside the hut of a simple, rural Islamic Imam and his family.  

This new environment was intimidating and confusing.  But when we sat in the dimly lit hut around evening I began to feel a sincere hospitality.  Then slowly, one after one, different members of the family would slowly and quietly deliver bowls of freshly prepared food that had been the product of lit fires all throughout their camp.

I had been invited to dinner.  First watching my hosts put their hands in the starchy mix that looked like mashed potatoes I followed suit and began to eat with them.  

The conversation began to then meander into all varieties and corners of our lives and we learned of each other's backgrounds, cultures, challenges, and joys.

All of the world's major religions have some connection to food.  Food helps facilitate relationships and food helps break down walls.  Shared food is a way of creating like-mindedness and yet still allowing for our unique differences.

Food, or at minimum a casual gathering, is just what is needed towards the end stage of the hiring process to allow both the employer and the candidate to peer into deeper spaces within each before agreeing to move forward in a deeper employee relationship.

At this stage of the hiring process, it is time to invite your candidate out for a meal together, or if you are meeting virtually, each of you agrees to bring some snacks and a drink and you casually hang out and just have a conversation about each other's interests.  

The easiest way to start is to ask, “so when you are not working, what are you most likely doing?”  The follow-up question is even easier, “Oh cool!  Tell me more about that.”

Again be a human... have appropriate dialogue where you get to know the candidate more and they get to know you more.  You are not psychoanalyzing... you are having a conversation that is building relationship.

Also, ask about general things like what has stuck out to them about the hiring process, or what has grabbed their attention about the business.

Of course, you will offer to answer any job-related or company questions they or their partner may have.  

We recommend having a significant partner (spouse, colleague, friend) with you and offering for them to bring a significant partner as well.  This will allow both you and your candidate to have someone else come alongside and help you both make a wise decision.

So set your reservations, get excited about your favorite local spot, and enjoy a lunch or dinner together with the person who you are about to be connected to for a long time.  

This can be a powerful, memorable time... if you make the time for it.

Jul 26, 2021

How To Walk Through A Job Description During A Job Interview

The internet is awash in example questions that you can ask during a job interview, it would be insufficient to try and give a thorough summary in a way that would bring value to you.

So we will skip the interview questions and do something better.

We have been programmed as humans to a “one-click” mindset.  That one innovative button from Amazon that was patented in 1997 provided a twenty-year runway of revenue and profits that no other retailer would be able to match or come close.

Staple’s easy button and Amazon’s one-click button productizes a mindset that we have been conditioned towards; make it fast and make it easy.

Can you imagine if an online dating service advertised a one-click-to-marriage product or a counseling service marketed an easy-parenting algorithm?

Why does that seem so absurd, but a one-click button to purchase ballpoint pens to be delivered in one day seems reasonable and expected?

Relationships.

I don’t have a relationship with a ballpoint pen.  I have relationships with people.

Relationships cannot be reduced to one click, and the ones that are have little value.

Employers have been trying to figure out for years how to automate and one-click their way to a hiring process akin to pushing a metaphorical easy button.

Life is filled with examples of fast living leading to a shortened life, and intentional, slow living leading to a longer life.

Hiring is similar.  

Either you will pay the price upfront and maintain the investment through consistent, predictable leadership, or you will not pay the price upfront and maintain your investment through hope, anger, frustration, and unset and unmet expectations.

Throughout the hiring process, you have done the methodical hard work of determining the gap in your business, writing a job role that will help fill that gap, budgeting the role to ensure alignment with revenue and expenses, finding the right people to talk to, casually getting to know those people, sharing your vision, mission, values, and culture, and evaluating their technical skill set and their motivational leadership.

All that leading up to this point of finally sharing the actual job role with the candidate.  Pay the price now, and you will enjoy clarity later.

At this stage of the hiring process simply be a human.  Pull out two copies of the written job role, one for you and one for them, and begin walking through all of the steps and tasks, and capabilities that this role will require.

As you go, be a good human... interact, ask questions, seek clarifications, field their questions, take notes, go deeper, and thank them for their time.

Provide insight as to who they will be working with internally, who they will be interacting with externally.  What does a day or a week in the life of their role look like?  

This is a great time of the hiring process to actually have an example ideal weekly schedule for this role so they can visualize a real-life week, and they can also see that you have put in the hard work of making sure there's a place for them.  A lack of clarity on the front end will lead to significant and enduring frustration on the backed with real consequence.

At the time of this training being developed the recruiting and placement firm Monster.com reported results from a survey conducted finding that a staggering 95% of American workers are looking to leave their jobs and a significant number of them reported burnout as the reason.

Burnout is a direct result of chaos in expectations, chaos in planning, and chaos in blocking time.  Essentially, we burn out when we see no progress towards the vision.

You can search the internet for the silver bullet question that will ensure you’ve landed the right person, but the reality is that you likely won’t need them and can simply have a helpful, life-giving conversation using the written job role as your shared point of focus. 

The right fit is less about their experience, and it is more about your preparation and leadership.

Near the end of the conversation, this is the time to explain the job role compensation structure.  This is not the time to discuss specific compensation amounts (salary, incentive comp percentages, etc.).  You are simply communicating…

This role is a liveable salary plus a commission of sales and will be paid twice monthly

Or...

This role has a base salary and qualifies for a quarterly bonus and will be paid every two weeks...

... or whatever the structure of compensation is.  Again, this is not their job offer with compensation specifics.  Just compensation structure.

Once complete with a substantive dialogue using the job role as your foundation and the compensation structure explained, wrap up and confirm no other questions, thoughts, or concerns. 

Let them know that you will then take the feedback from this conversation along with the assessments you have had them complete, the feedback from their references, and any other questions they’ve had along the way, and you will put all of that together and invite them to the next step which is a partner interview.  

One other word of note, many times it will also be a good idea to invite other current team members who would interact with this role at this stage of the interview process.  Your other team members can help you interact with the candidate from their unique perspective.  They will also get a chance to weigh in on the candidate since they are the ones likely to spend the most time with them.  

We have even seen some employers bring in a customer or two to have them evaluate the candidate during this stage.

Avoid hitting the easy button now, and you will have a chance to hit it on repeat down the road!  

Jul 26, 2021

We saved for years and made a decision that we were going to buy a new car and do it with cash.  All that work saving and grinding, and then in a stroke of a pen, we would exchange it for a car.

You better believe we did our research.

When we hire, we are in effect, taking all of the hard work and energy that we, and others, have put into the business since its founding and in the stroke of a pen on an employment agreement allowing another person to come to operate behind the curtain of the business.

Too many times we do it with a mindset of “just get them in here so we can get some of this work done!” 

Going into the hire we tend to spend a disproportionate amount of time on a person's experience, skill, and technical expertise, and less time on the true make-or-break details like mindset, desire, and motivation.

The world of sports is stained with a graveyard of former first round, five-star, blue chip athletes who relied on skill and talent through their amateur play and yet could not harness their mindset for the true challenge of a professional when every other player is as good or better than they are.

You are hiring professionals.  Professional oil changers, bookkeepers, ice cream scoopers, trademark filers, superintendents, estimators, and on and on; all skills that can be built and developed on site.

The greater challenge is to find the right fit, the right mindset, the right intangibles.  A business can overcome skillset hiccups far easier than overcoming mindset deficiencies.  A world-class soccer defender can only bring value if she first cares to bring value and believes the value she can bring is worth the effort.

You are on the hunt for team members who will learn to ask, “what can go right” vs. “what can go wrong”.  

Team members who will appreciate systems, structure, and touchpoints, instead of running rogue with an “I work best when I’m left alone” attitude.

Testing for skill is much easier than testing for mindset.  Testing for skill, simply provide your candidate with an actual task to do related to the job you may hire them for and them pay them for their time.

Testing for mindset means you pay attention to all of the intangibles surrounding the test project in relation to how they accomplished the task.  Did they ask questions?  Were they on time?  How did they utilize or interact with others?  How did they communicate?

Here is the problem, how do you objectively evaluate the subjective motivation of another person?

Business owners are best served when they can hold tangible evidence in their hand of feedback that has been provided both by the candidate and by people who know the candidate well.

Three things you should do during the testing and assessment phase of the hiring process.

First, you should administer some sort of challenge to the person you are about to hire.

If you are hiring a bookkeeper, then have them reconcile an old set of books.

If you are hiring an estimator, then have them bid an old set of plans.

If you are hiring a window washer, then have them wash your windows.

This will help you to actually see, objectively, how they work and with what expertise.

Offer to pay them for the time they committed to the task you provided.

Second, you should administer a personality assessment.  We recommend the DISC profile precisely because it is simple to understand for busy business owners and allows you to quickly understand what gives your candidate energy, and what sucks the life out of them.

These assessments are so revealing of the motivation of a person that we no longer give hiring advice without an assessment to go with it.

Finally, you should reach out to a minimum of three contacts that have had significant interaction with your candidate.  Simply ask them for a list of 5 people to reach out to with their names, relationship, and contact, and then you pick three you wish to speak to.

You may think, “what a waste of time... they are just going to have me call their friends.”

You will be surprised how many of “their friends” are willing to tell you some helpful insights.  

Do not overlook any of these three steps.  They will take time, and they will give you irreplaceable insight into both their technical skill and their emotional intelligence so you avoid bringing a fixed mindset of pessimism into the mission of your business. 

Jul 19, 2021

What do you want???

What do you want? No, really, what do you want? Who do you really want to be as a business? That’s the question I want you to answer today. Thomas Joyner with business on Purpose here.

So... that question, “what do you want?” Is always the first question we ask a business when we sit down to meet with them. It’s a powerful question because it always informs us of if the business really knows who they are and where they’re headed.

Now, why do we ask this? Well, if we don’t know where we’re going... how can we make sure we are going to get there?

Let me put this in practical terms by giving you some examples. I met with a small contracting company recently and asked them this. Their answer was telling…

“Well, I don’t really know. I mean, we were doing great doing high-end residential builds. We were a small crew and kept it pretty tight with the subs we chose. But then we got a great opportunity to start some high-end remodels. So now, we’re kind of a builder who does some high-end remodels on the side. Does that answer your question?”

I kind of laughed, when I said…”NO! You just told me what your business has morphed into. Not what you want it to be.”

And it’s true, right? If we don’t have a clear vision of what we want, who we want to be, and where we’re headed... it’s so easy to get caught taking a detour that we never intended. Now, obviously, sometimes these can be profitable. But, in this instance, the business had to hire another project manager to manage new sub crews, and had to add another admin to keep up with billing and invoicing, and ordering, all to maintain work that they didn’t really want to be doing!

Another story for you…”What do you want? Another client new exactly the sales goal they wanted to hit, they knew the team size they needed to reach that goal, they knew the areas of their market they wanted to penetrate and the potential distractions to avoid along the way.”

I can’t tell you the freedom that brings a business. To know where you want to end up! From there you can work backwards in knowing if your employees are the right people to chase after the VIsion. In knowing if your ORG chart can sustain your vision. In seeing if you’re offering the right product/service mix to reach these goals. 

Do you need to cut back somewhere? Do you need to add something? Are you being distracted in a way that is robbing you of efficiency and robbing you of your ultimate goal?

This stuff happens all the time! 

Now, it has to be achievable. You can’t throw out some wild, off-the-wall Vision that has zero chance of being accomplished. But, is there growth that is manageable in a 1-3 year window. Then at the end of that time period, figure out where the next growth can land you. 

If I could give your business one gift today... it would be a crystal clear picture of where you’re headed. That’s it! And it may sound elementary, but as I said, the businesses that don’t know where they’re going will never accomplish what they want to accomplish. 

So, what do you do with this? Well, set a meeting with yourself this week if you don’t know what you want. Put it in the calendar right now. And if you do, set a meeting with yourself to look back at it and see if there’s anything unintentionally distracting you from reaching it.

Ask yourself when you see this vision coming to fruition. Ask yourself if the business is helping you achieve the life you want for your family...and what is that life you want for your family? Ask what revenue and margins you want to hit. Figure out who you need in your business to make this happen. What products and services you need to offer... and then finally, what culture you need to cultivate to accomplish all of this.

That’s the starting point... and so much more. If you can’t answer these questions, you run the risk... day after day... of getting pulled away to a vision you don’t really want.

So set the meeting with yourself... write it down. Revisit it often. And build a plan to get there... on purpose.

I hope this was helpful, make sure to follow us on YouTube and our the mybusinessonpurpose podcast.

Have a great week!

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