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Increasing Conversion by Adjusting Your Processes

What does it mean to adjust processes for better conversion?  

Essentially, it’s about identifying the areas of your business that need improvement and making changes that will streamline and optimize those processes. Here are some strategies that Daniel Priestley recommends for adjusting processes to improve conversion: 

  • Understand your customer journey 

The first step in adjusting processes for better conversion is to understand your customer journey. Map out every step of the customer’s experience, from the moment they first hear about your business to the point where they become a paying customer. Look for bottlenecks, inefficiencies, and areas where customers might drop off. By understanding the customer’s journey, you can identify the areas of your business that need the most attention. 

  • Simplify your sales process 

One of the most common areas where businesses lose potential customers is in the sales process. To improve conversion rates, Daniel Priestley suggests simplifying your sales process and making it as easy as possible for customers to make a purchase. This might mean reducing the number of steps involved in the checkout process, offering clear pricing and product information, and providing excellent customer service. 

  • Improve your marketing message 

Another key area where businesses can improve conversion rates is in their marketing message. Your marketing message should clearly communicate the value of your product or service to your target audience. It should be tailored to their specific needs and pain points, and it should be communicated in a way that resonates with them. By improving your marketing message, you can attract more qualified leads and improve your overall conversion rate. 

  • Streamline your operations 

ActionCOACH suggests streamlining your operations to improve conversion rates. This might involve automating repetitive tasks, reducing wait times, and improving the overall customer experience. By optimizing your operations, you can create a more efficient and effective business that is better equipped to convert leads into paying customers. 

In conclusion, adjusting processes for better conversion is an essential part of building a successful business. By understanding your customer journey, simplifying your sales process, improving your marketing message, and streamlining your operations, you can optimize your business for better conversion rates and increased profitability. 

 

Edited from Original by Carmen Gigar, ActionCOACH 

https://www.actioncoach.com/blog/improving-conversion-by-adjusting-your-processes/

Will Rappole, ActionCOACH Houston

March 7, 2024

The Importance of Connection in Your Business

Have you ever attended a webinar that just left you buzzing with inspiration and ideas? Well, let me tell you about my recent experience at Paul Dunn’s ‘Running a Business in ‘24!’ webinar – it was an absolute game-changer! 

Picture this: 75 minutes packed with insights from Paul Dunn, a four-time TEDx speaker, award-winning entrepreneur, and co-creator of an extraordinary initiative that’s already generated over 340 MILLION impacts around the world. Yep, Paul Dunn knows his stuff when it comes to running a successful business. 

So, what was the big takeaway? Connection. In a world where it sometimes feels like we're drowning in a sea of social media noise, Paul reminded us of the fundamental importance of genuine connections in every aspect of our businesses. 

“Connection is why we're here; it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.”  

- Brene Brown 

 

First up, let’s talk about standing out to those potential customers. With social media oversaturated like never before, it’s no longer enough to just talk about your product or service. You’ve got to find a way to shine amidst the noise. Think personalized messaging, unique content, or tapping into niche audiences that resonate with what you offer. 

But it doesn’t stop there. Once you've reeled those customers in, it's all about creating a sense of belonging. At ActionCOACH, for example, we host monthly workshops to bring our clients together, fostering relationships beyond mere transactions. It's about making them feel like part of the family, not just customers. 

And let’s not forget about your team – they’re the heart and soul of your business. Hiring the right people is crucial, but it’s equally important to create an environment where they can thrive. We use tools like DISC/Motivators Assessments to ensure we've got the right people in the right roles, setting them up for success from day one. 

But hey, it’s not all about external connections. It is crucial to connect with yourself too! What gets you out of bed in the morning? Understanding your own purpose and motivations can drive your business forward and inspire others to join you on your journey. 

Now, here’s the real kicker: transitioning from a transaction-based business to an impact-based one. At ActionCOACH, it’s not just about making money – although that’s important too. It’s about standing for something bigger, enriching lives, and making a real difference in the world. We want to assist small business owners in growing their businesses without allowing work to consume their entire lives, providing them with the freedom to pursue other interests and activities. 

Because here’s the thing, people do business with those they know, like, and trust. By building genuine connections, you’ll not only attract the right clients and team members, but also create a business that people love to buy from, work for, and refer to others. 

So, let’s make a pledge to shift from chasing clients to choosing the right ones. Let’s become magnets for talent and beacons of positive change. Together, we can create a world where businesses thrive, relationships flourish, and lives are enriched. And that, my friends, is the power of connection. 

 

Will Rappole, ActionCOACH Houston

February 27, 2024 

Leading with a Positive Mindset

These days, you are bombarded with negative news and images more than ever before. From TV programs and news broadcasts to the endless updates and notifications pinging your smartphones, it's hard to avoid negativity seeping into your mindset. Negative thinking and a ‘glass half empty’ mindset can make navigating uncertain times even more difficult, especially as a business owner.  

It is difficult to keep your teams motivated during normal conditions, but when stress levels increase and negativity takes hold, it can be even more devastating. Jon Gordon reports. “a Gallup study estimates that negativity costs the economy $250-300 billion a year and affects the morale, performance, and productivity of teams. (businessknowhow.com, 2020). 

As a business leader or business owner you have access to even more information that can further sour your attitude and turn your focus towards negative outcomes. As you wrestle with the onslaught of information and news, it is important to keep yourself in a positive space. If positive thinking doesn’t come naturally to you, there are steps you can follow to put you and your team in a better mind space so you can navigate difficult times. 

Positive leaders not only have higher success, but they also tend to have a workforce that remains solution-based and keeps finding ways to move forward in the face of any crisis. Acclaimed business leader Brian Tracey has several keys to staying positive; 

  • Remember that it’s your response that determines the outcome of a situation. 
  • Use positive affirmations or phrases to chase off negative thoughts. 
  • Find inspirational quotes and messages to bolster your positivity. 
  • Decide to be happy by being grateful and assuming the people around you have the best of intentions. 
  • Challenge yourself to maintain a positive attitude when something goes wrong—show the world how resilient and positive you are! 

 

Staying positive doesn’t mean living in a fantasy or giving you license to avoid reality. Don’t become a Pollyanna, become a conduit of confidence. Through acceptance and resiliency, you can move yourself and your teams to a constructive mindset. 

https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/17/business/work-from-home-setups-coronavirus-trnd/index.html?cid=web-alerts&nsid=67764543 

Positive leaders are pragmatic and find constructive options. They celebrate small victories and find productive ways to move forward. Positive leaders are proactive, good listeners, and well-informed. These leaders demonstrate to the collective that even in the face of insurmountable circumstances, negative outcomes are not inevitable. 

These ‘transformation’ leaders change the culture within organizations and alter the trajectory of their business. They say an optimistic culture is contagious and can raise morale and productivity. The cliché of “walking the walk and talking the talk” demonstrates to teams and staff members that there is light at the end of the tunnel. How do they do it? They live in what ActionCOACH describes as “above the point of power.” 

The Point of Power is the space where you focus on ownership, accountability, and responsibility. When you blame others, make excuses, and deny a situation actually exists, it brings your power down and you are powerless. Powerless leaders stop progress and eliminate innovative thinking. They stifle creativity and deter solutions from being shared or developed. You can’t afford to live below the point for very long, and your business can’t either. 

The most powerful leaders, those focused on positive outcomes, see failure as a lesson to learn from and not a setback. They view obstacles as the catalyst for change and innovation. Leaders with positive outlooks inspire and motivate others to think differently and find new perspectives. You can take tangible steps to further influence their teams. 

  • Connect on a 1:1 basis with team members. 
  • Encourage and reward the right behaviors. 
  • Focus on results; demand excellence but without retribution. 
  • Chart a clear vision and reinforce goals and objectives regularly so everyone knows what direction you are going and what success looks like. 

 

Ultimately, it is difficult to change anyone’s behavior or actually alter their thinking, but practice can help you change course. To master any skill, practice is crucial to develop habits, and keeping a positive mindset will take daily work. Develop positive habits and try unplugging from negative new sources if you find yourself going down the rabbit hole. Make physical changes that will help you stay on course. Discourage negative chatter and unproductive thinking by demonstrating a more productive alternative. Change notifications on your phone, disconnect from social media, create visual reminders in your workspace, and get a buddy or mentor to keep you accountable and help you keep old habits from creeping back into your mindset. 

After any crisis new and innovative solutions emerge from those who persist and refuse to be consumed with negativity. Those with positive outlooks find ways to not only survive, but to thrive. 

To learn more about ActionCOACH, give us a call at 713-936-3814 or email us at willrappole@actioncoach.com 

 

Edited from Original by Stacy Spahle, ActionCOACH 

https://www.actioncoach.com/blog/leading-with-a-positive-mindset/  

Will Rappole, ActionCOACH Houston

February 20, 2024

Four Efficient Ways to Leverage Your Business   

It’s no secret that leveraging your business for efficiency is key to achieving success. That’s why Brad Sugars, founder and CEO of ActionCOACH, puts such a heavy emphasis on it. By optimizing your operations, you can save time and money while boosting productivity and profitability. One of the best ways to do this is by investing in your employees through ongoing education and training. This helps foster a culture of productivity and teamwork that leads to increased efficiency. Plus, streamlining your delivery and distribution processes can save you even more time and money, allowing you to get your products or services to customers faster, with fewer errors.  

But don’t stop there – implementing a system for testing and measuring your business processes is crucial to identifying inefficiencies and areas for improvement. And with technology and automation, you can improve accuracy and reduce errors even further. By leveraging these key strategies, you can optimize your operations, improve your bottom line, and stay ahead of the competition. 

People & Education 

Business owners are always on the lookout for new ways to boost their bottom line and make their company more efficient. Often overlooked is investing in your people and their education is essential for reaching those goals. When you prioritize the growth and development of your team, you’re setting your business up for long-term success. 

So don’t forget to invest in your most valuable asset – your people! 

Improved skills and productivity: 

When you invest in your employees’ education and training, you’re not just doing them a favor – you’re doing your company a favor too. By giving your team the chance to learn new skills and gain valuable knowledge, you’re setting them up to perform their jobs more efficiently than ever before. And when your employees are working at their best, your business outcomes will improve too. 

A culture of innovation: 

Keep your employees up to date on industry trends and best practices. It can help employees bring fresh ideas to the table and implement innovative and efficient work processes. Plus, when you encourage collaboration and idea-sharing, you create a culture of innovation that can fuel your business success. So, make education and collaboration a priority in your company, and watch your team thrive! 

Employee engagement and retention: 

Employees who feel valued and supported are more engaged and motivated in their work, which means lower turnover rates and less time and money spent on recruitment and training costs. If you want to keep your team happy and your business running smoothly, it’s time to start investing in your employees’ well-being. 

Improved problem-solving: 

Having a team of well-trained and knowledgeable employees can make all the difference when it comes to improving your business processes. Your team is on the front lines every day, which means they’re equipped to identify inefficiencies and suggest improvements. By tapping into their collective brainpower, you can identify and solve problems faster and more efficiently – leading to better outcomes and a stronger bottom line. 

A strong employer brand: 

Investing in your employees is the key to building a strong employer brand and attracting top talent to your business. By prioritizing your team’s growth and development, you’re not only setting yourself up for greater efficiency, productivity, and profitability, but you’re also positioning your business as a desirable place to work. Invest in your people, provide training and education opportunities, foster a culture of innovation, and engage and retain your employees. Your business success depends on it! 

Delivery & Distribution 

In today’s fast-paced business environment, delivery and distribution can be critical factors in a business’s success. In today’s fast-paced business environment, delivery and distribution can make or break your success. It’s crucial to get your products or services to customers quickly and efficiently, and failure to do so can have serious consequences. It’s important to focus on streamlining your delivery and distribution processes, so you can get ahead of the competition and achieve long-term success. 

Faster delivery times: 

Streamlining your delivery and distribution processes can have a huge impact on your success. By doing so, you can get your products or services to your customers faster, which not only improves customer satisfaction, but also increases their loyalty. And as we all know, loyal customers are the lifeblood of any successful business. By making it easier and quicker for them to do business with you, you’ll see an increase in repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals. Focus on streamlining those processes and giving your customers the best possible experience. 

Reduced costs: 

Don’t overlook the cost-saving benefits of optimizing your delivery and distribution processes. By minimizing shipping times and distances, you can cut down on shipping costs and reduce the chances of damaged or lost goods. These small improvements can add up to big savings over time, work on optimizing those processes and maximizing your profits. 

Improved inventory management: 

Optimizing your delivery and distribution processes isn’t just about speed and cost savings. It can also have a big impact on your inventory management. By ensuring that products are delivered on time, you can avoid overstocking or under-stocking and optimize your inventory levels. This will save you money, reduce waste, and help you better meet the needs of your customers. 

Greater scalability: 

As your business scales, your delivery and distribution processes become more critical than ever. By implementing reliable and efficient systems, you can handle increased order volumes without sacrificing quality or efficiency. This will help you grow your business smoothly and efficiently, without any hiccups along the way. 

Competitive advantage: 

In today’s competitive business landscape, having an optimized delivery and distribution process can give your business an edge over your competitors. By providing faster and more reliable delivery services, you can stand out and win over customers, thereby increasing your market share and profitability. 

Testing & Measuring 

As a business owner, testing and measuring can be a crucial component to improve your business’s efficiency and profitability. By understanding five key reasons for implementing testing and measuring strategies, as emphasized by business coach Brad Sugars, you can optimize your operations and improve your bottom line. 

Identifying inefficiencies: 

Through testing and measuring, businesses can gain valuable insights into their operations. By tracking key metrics and analyzing data, business owners can identify inefficiencies and make targeted improvements to streamline processes and increase profitability. 

Optimizing performance: 

“Testing and measuring is the key to optimizing your business processes. Tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) can help you monitor progress, identify areas for improvement, and fine-tune your processes for maximum efficiency. By doing so, you can stay ahead of the competition and achieve greater success in your business,” says Brad Sugars, business coach and founder of ActionCOACH. 

Data-driven decision-making

It’s important to make data-driven decisions that can lead to better business outcomes. Testing and measuring can help you collect and analyze data, providing insights that can help you avoid making decisions based on assumptions or intuition, leading to more effective decision-making. 

Continuous improvement: 

Testing and measuring can encourage a culture of continuous improvement by setting specific targets and tracking progress towards achieving them. This can motivate employees to make incremental improvements and achieve better results over time. 

Accountability: 

Testing and measuring is a powerful tool to hold your employees accountable for their performance. By setting clear, measurable goals and tracking progress, you can identify areas where your team may need extra support or training. This allows you to provide valuable feedback and coaching, helping them reach their full potential and drive better results for your business. 

From identifying inefficiencies and optimizing performance to enabling data-driven decisions and fostering a culture of continuous improvement, it’s a key strategy emphasized by Brad Sugars for achieving long-term success. These remarkable benefits highlight why investing in testing and measuring is worth it for your business’s efficiency and profitability. 

Systems & Technology 

Business owners are constantly seeking ways to optimize efficiency and maximize profitability. Amidst these goals, one critical factor tends to be overlooked: testing and measuring. In this blog, we unveil the significance of this often-neglected practice, shedding light on its potential to revolutionize your business’s performance and drive it towards unparalleled success. 

Identifying inefficiencies: 

Testing and measuring, according to Brad Sugars, plays a pivotal role in identifying inefficiencies within business processes. By collecting data and analyzing performance metrics, entrepreneurs can effectively pinpoint areas that may be causing bottlenecks or delays, allowing for targeted improvements that drive enhanced productivity and success. 

Optimizing performance: 

Once entrepreneurs identify areas in need of improvement, Brad Sugars advises them to leverage testing and measuring to optimize their business processes. By consistently tracking key performance indicators (KPIs), business owners can monitor their progress over time and fine-tune their processes to achieve maximum efficiency. This iterative approach enables continuous improvement, leading to remarkable outcomes in the long run. 

Data-driven decision-making: 

Brad Sugars emphasizes the significance of testing and measuring, stating that it enables entrepreneurs to make data-driven decisions that yield superior business outcomes. By diligently collecting and analyzing data, business owners can avoid relying on assumptions or intuition, leading to more effective decision-making and ultimately driving their businesses towards success. 

Continuous improvement: 

Put your focus on testing and measuring, you’re really setting the stage for a culture of non-stop betterment in your business. With goals in sight and progress in your sights, you’re motivating your team to reach those targets and make steady strides forward, one step at a time. 

Accountability: 

Testing and measuring isn’t just about making improvements, it’s also about holding your team accountable. When you set those clear, measurable goals and keep an eye on progress, you’re spot-on in pinpointing areas where your employees might need some extra support or training. That way, you can dish out some valuable feedback and coaching to help them up their game. 

Embrace testing and measuring to transform and empower your business to identify inefficiencies, optimize performance, make data-driven decisions, foster continuous improvement, and uphold accountability. By prioritizing this practice, entrepreneurs can pave the way for enhanced efficiency, productivity, and ultimately, sustained success in the competitive business landscape. 

 

Edited from Original by Oscar Gonzalez, ActionCOACH 

https://www.actioncoach.com/blog/4-efficient-ways-to-leverage-your-business/

February 13, 2024 

The Power of Artificial Intelligence in Small Business Marketing 

The use of AI has become universal in today’s fast-paced digital landscape, changing the way businesses approach marketing. In particular, small businesses can benefit greatly from incorporating AI into their marketing strategies, as it provides tools to enhance creativity and effectively reach target audiences. Gone are the days when marketing teams had to rely solely on their own creativity to generate content.  

“Of all a company’s functions, marketing has perhaps the most to gain from artificial intelligence. Marketing’s core activities are understanding customer needs, matching them to products and services, and persuading people to buy—capabilities that AI can dramatically enhance.”  

https://hbr.org/2021/07/how-to-design-an-ai-marketing-strategy  

Artificial Intelligence in marketing can change the way small businesses reach their audiences. AI in the workplace has sparked a new era where businesses can utilize intelligent algorithms to assist in content creation and marketing campaigns. This shift allows for greater efficiency and scalability in marketing efforts.   

While AI is a powerful tool, businesses should not view it as a replacement for human creativity. Instead, AI should be embraced as a resource to enhance and streamline creative processes. Small businesses can harness AI to brainstorm ideas, generate content, and improve overall marketing strategies. However, it is essential to review and validate the content it generates, as much of it can easily be caught by readers. Maintaining a keen eye on the output ensures that the content aligns with the brand's values and goals.   

In an era where everyone is always online and the media is oversaturated with content, it is important to stay authentic. While AI can assist in content creation, it is crucial for businesses to maintain their genuine voice and authenticity. Consumers are perceptive and seek authenticity in their interactions with brands. Staying true to the company's identity and values builds trust and strengthens the connection with the audience. As we teach at ActionCOACH, people do business with those they know, like, and trust. So keep your content authentic! Emphasizing what makes your brand unique, what your values are, and what your guarantee is will set you apart from the competition. AI can aid in expressing these qualities effectively, but the core message must remain authentic to resonate with the target audience.  

When using AI tools such as ChatGPT, it is crucial to provide specific prompts, the more specific the better! Clearly defining the target audience, values, mission, goals, and tone of voice allows AI to generate content that aligns closely with the brand identity. This targeted approach ensures that AI becomes a valuable asset in conveying the right message to the right audience.   

The integration of AI into small business marketing is an exciting prospect that opens up a wave of new possibilities for efficiency and creativity. By understanding the dynamics of the growing AI landscape, utilizing it as a creative resource, fact-checking outputs, providing specific prompts, and emphasizing authenticity, businesses can harness the true potential of AI. While AI can greatly enhance marketing efforts, it should be embraced as a tool to support human ingenuity rather than a replacement for it. Finding the right balance ensures that small businesses stay at the forefront of innovative marketing strategies in today's digital age.   

Other valuable AI resources we use at ActionCOACH are:  

Use wisely! 

 

Will Rappole, ActionCOACH Houston

February 6, 2024

The Power of Numbers: Unlocking Success for Small Businesses Through Marketing Mastery   

In the dynamic landscape of entrepreneurship, small business owners face countless challenges and opportunities. Two critical pillars of success in marketing are knowing your numbers and understanding your target market. Understanding the numbers and harnessing the potential of marketing can pave the way for sustained growth and prosperity for small businesses. 

Knowing Your Numbers 

Understanding profit margin, gross profit margin, and the distinction between markup and margin is paramount for business owners. The profit margin, expressed as a percentage of revenue, reflects the true profitability of each sale. Meanwhile, gross profit margin considers production costs, providing insights into operational efficiency.

 

For small businesses, every lead is a potential customer. Knowing the number of leads required to acquire a customer and the conversion rate is crucial. This data empowers owners to refine marketing strategies and streamline sales processes, ultimately boosting customer acquisition efficiency. 

How frequently do customers return, and what's the average spend per transaction? These metrics illuminate customer loyalty and contribute to revenue forecasting. Armed with this knowledge, businesses can tailor marketing efforts to enhance customer relationships, fostering repeat business. 

Small businesses often operate with limited budgets. Knowing the cost to acquire a customer allows for smart budget allocation. This data-driven approach ensures that marketing initiatives yield a positive return on investment, a critical factor for small business sustainability. 

Understanding Your Target Market 

Understanding the market's size and demographics lays the foundation for targeted marketing efforts. Small businesses can focus their resources on reaching the right audience, optimizing their reach and impact. For example, a bakery wants to increase sales by promoting their diverse goods to a wide audience, without understanding their target market. This approach fails, as their marketing messages fail to capture the attention of their potential customers. After closer examination, the bakery identifies their loyal customers are health-conscious individuals. They refine their marketing campaign to target health-conscious individuals, and their sales skyrocket.  

By understanding the preferences and needs of their specific audience, the bakery not only attracts new customers but also strengthens its relationship with existing ones. This example underscores the importance of a well-defined target audience in shaping a successful marketing strategy, leading to increased relevance, engagement, and ultimately, business success. 

Understanding the numbers and mastering marketing is not reserved for big corporations. In fact, it is the lifeline for small businesses seeking to establish themselves in competitive markets. Embrace financial literacy as the backbone that supports your business decisions and wield marketing as the strategic tool that propels your brand into the hearts and minds of your target audience. 

In the world of small business, knowledge truly is power. Equip yourself with the insights derived from your financial metrics and harness the strategic prowess of marketing. By doing so, you unlock the doors to sustained growth, customer loyalty, and enduring success. 

Will Rappole, ActionCOACH Houston

January 30, 2024

The Path to Prosperity: The Art of Continuous Learning

In the dynamic landscape of entrepreneurship, the famous quote "the more you learn, the more you earn" holds true. Small business owners, the driving force behind local economies, must embrace a culture of continuous learning to not only survive, but thrive in today's competitive business world. 

Successful People Learn More: 

The only constant between successful and unsuccessful individuals is the choice to learn more. Successful business owners understand that knowledge is power, and investing time and effort into continuous learning is an investment in their business's success. Whether it's gaining expertise in niche areas or acquiring a broader understanding of the market, the pursuit of knowledge is a defining characteristic of prosperity.  

Continue Educating Yourself: 

As a business owner, ignorance is not bliss; it's an obstacle. If you find yourself in the position of not understanding crucial aspects of your business, whether it's marketing strategies, team leadership, or financial management, the remedy is simple—educate yourself. The responsibility lies with you to bridge the knowledge gap. Don't be afraid to seek help from experts or tap into resources that can enhance your understanding. 

Learning Beyond the Conventional: 

The word "learning" often conjures images of traditional education, but the reality is far broader. While formal education has its qualities, there are various paths to acquiring valuable knowledge that can significantly boost your worth in the business world. Trades, for instance, offer not only practical skills but also lucrative opportunities. Mastering the intricacies of running a successful business requires a diverse set of skills, and being well-versed in these areas ensures sustained growth. 

The Constant Pursuit of Knowledge: 

Regardless of the nature of your business, the potential to acquire more knowledge is ever-present. Even in physically demanding professions, continuous learning is the key to staying relevant and competitive. Embrace new technologies, stay updated on industry trends, and seek out opportunities for personal and professional growth. 

Diversify Your Learning: 

If what you're learning aligns with the masses, it might be time to diversify. Identifying which skills are in demand and aligning your learning objectives accordingly can make a significant difference in your earning potential. The ability to make informed decisions about what to learn is as crucial as the skills themselves. 

The path to prosperity for small business owners is paved with the commitment to continuous learning. Don't shy away from educating yourself, whether through formal education, practical training, or seeking guidance from experts. Embrace the diverse opportunities to expand your skill set, stay informed, and make strategic decisions about what to learn. Remember, the more you learn, the more you earn—both for yourself and your business.

 

Will Rappole, ActionCOACH Houston

January 23, 2024

Empowering Excellence: Make 2024 a Year of Inclusivity, Inspiration, and Accountability  

As we embark on the exciting journey of business growth in 2024, let's embrace the positive practices that foster an inclusive, inspiring, and accountable workplace. 

Firstly, inclusivity is the cornerstone of business success. We believe in involving everyone in the company's growth. From the company picnic to daily operations, every team member plays a vital role. Our goal is to make events and initiatives accessible to all, recognizing the value each individual brings to the table. Let's celebrate our diversity and tap into the collective brilliance of our entire workforce. 

Moreover, we understand the power of inspiration. Being an inspirational leader is not just a responsibility; it's a privilege. Sharing the 'why' behind our business, the passion that drives us, and the vision for the future creates a workplace where great employees thrive. We are committed to providing a roadmap for success, ensuring that each team member understands their role in our shared journey. 

Equally significant is accountability, a positive force that propels us forward. Our commitment to holding team members accountable to their plans is rooted in our belief in continuous improvement. If a target is not met, we see it as an opportunity for growth. We set clear paths for improvement, fostering a culture where goals are not just aspirations but tangible commitments. 

In the spirit of collective growth, if you ever find yourself unsure about involving everyone, inspiring your team, or holding them accountable, remember that help is just a step away. We are here to support you in building a workplace that thrives on inclusivity, inspiration, and accountability. 

Here's to a year filled with positive collaboration, boundless inspiration, and shared success!

Will Rappole, ActionCOACH Houston

January 2, 2024

Mastering Holiday Time Management: A Lesson in Self-Management 

As we enter the festive season, time seems to be slipping through our fingers like sand. Amidst the holiday cheer and celebrations, the clock continues to march forward. But, what if I told you that the key to effective time management isn't about controlling the clock, but rather, mastering the art of self-management? 

 

In the hustle and bustle of holiday activities, it's crucial to take a step back and evaluate where your time is truly going. As we often hear, there's no such thing as time management; it's about managing yourself. Let's start with the basics – create a time log for yourself over the next two weeks. What are you doing with your time each day? How much time is dedicated to management? How about customer interactions? 

 

The next step is identifying the top five time-consuming activities during your day. Many business owners find themselves strapped for time because they struggle to let go of tasks. It's about systemizing, delegating, and training others to handle these tasks, liberating you to focus on what truly matters. The belief that "if you want it done right, do it yourself" can be a roadblock to growth. 

 

Time management isn't just about doing more; it's about doing the right things. Often, success in time management lies in what you need to stop doing rather than what you need to start doing. What are the non-productive tasks that consume your time, preventing you from being more proactive and strategic? Letting go of such tasks can open doors to increased productivity and growth. 

 

Consider the story of a business owner who, to save a wage, handled deliveries himself. While saving $50 a day, he overlooked the potential for sales that would have generated $500 a day. This illustrates the importance of distinguishing between owner's work (long-term returns) and employee's work (one-time returns). Investing time wisely can make all the difference. 

 

As we approach the end of the year, reflect on your business priorities. Focus on owner's work that pays back in the long term. Remember, the more you learn, the more you can grow. This holiday season, let's not just manage time but master the art of self-management for a more prosperous and balanced new year. 

 

Wishing you a joyous holiday season filled with growth and success! 

 

Will Rappole, ActionCOACH Houston

December 26, 2023

Elevate Your Business in 2024 with Vision, Mission, and Culture!

As we step into the promising realm of 2024, let's make sure your business is geared up for success! Here are three critical elements to consider: 

 

#1 – Having a vision 

Stupid is – Not having a phenomenal vision for your business. Do you know where your business is headed? A compelling vision not only guides your journey but also motivates your team. Don't risk losing valuable talent – ensure your business has an inspiring message and a clear vision for the future. Let us help you avoid the pitfalls of a visionless strategy. 

 

#2 – Having a mission statement 

Stupid is – The business that doesn’t have a very good mission statement. Your mission is the roadmap to your vision. Craft a mission statement that defines who you are, who your customers are, what you do, and what makes you unique. If you need assistance in creating a powerful mission statement, we've got you covered. 

 

#3 – Having an amazing culture 

Stupid is – The business that doesn’t have an amazing culture. Cultivate a work environment where your team is not just engaged but excited. Define your values and integrate them into your culture. Whether it's a commitment to education, having fun, or expressing gratitude – let your culture shine. Need guidance? Reach out to us to build a culture that sets your business apart. 

 

Don't be a stupid business – let's make 2024 the year your business thrives! Whether it's crafting a vision, refining your mission, or enhancing your culture, we're here to support you every step of the way. 

 

Will Rappole, ActionCOACH Houston

December 19, 2023

Planning: Why it is Critical for Success

As we approach the start of 2024, a year that promises both opportunities and uncertainties, the importance of strategic planning for businesses becomes increasingly crucial. Much like any well-thought-out trip, a business must have a plan—a roadmap to guide its course and ensure it not only survives but thrives in the face of challenges and opportunities. If you can’t rely on a plan to help you chart a course, why should you do it? Why waste the time? If you follow the definition of planning as your guide, you will see why the process is so critical to any business’s success. 

 

"Planning always has a purpose” 

 

You would never take a trip without at least knowing where you were going right? Planning for a business is much the same. Planning is a must if you have ideas of where your business should be or where you want your business to be. To plan means you have a purpose in mind. Tactics and strategies set to achieve your goals might change, but the PLAN, the foundation of what you want to accomplish shouldn’t. 

 

Business planning has many characteristics which include; https://businessjargons.com/planning.html 

  • Intellectual and Mental Exercise 
  • Managerial Function 
  • Goal Focus 
  • Based on Continuous Improvement 
  • Positive and Persuasive 
  • Future Facing 
  • Decision Oriented 

At ActionCOACH, planning is central to everything we teach business owners to do. Whether at 1:1 sessions, group coaching sessions, or quarterly GrowthCLUB meetings, business owners are challenged to set actionable, attainable, realistic, and measurable goals that they can use to chart their progress. 

 

GrowthCLUB is a Quarterly workshop that was created to help clients and their management team plan and prepare their 90-day plan. The day's purpose is to assess how far the business has come on its long-term plan in the last 90 days, and what needs to happen in the next 90 days to propel the business to achieve that plan. This is also an ideal workshop for other business owners and employees to attend, as it helps to increase learning and gives them a structure to plan growth in their business and personal lives.  

 

Remember, tactics and strategies can change. You can deploy resources differently or allocate them in new ways to meet market conditions, but you should never abandon your plans of being bigger, better, and stronger. Only with a road map, a chart, and a course, can you stay on track and achieve the business goals you want in 2024.

 

Edited from the original article by ActionCOACH Carmen Gigar 

https://www.actioncoach.com/blog/planning-why-its-critical-for-success/ 

December 12, 2023

The OWNERSHIP Mindset: The Most Powerful Weapon in Business

“Responsibility = Accountability = Ownership. And a sense of ownership is the most powerful weapon a team or organization can have.”    ― Pat Summitt

 

You have heard the saying, "I own that". You have heard of people taking ownership, but what does that really mean? What does it mean to operate with an ownership mentality and how does that translate into today's business world? People can ‘own’ an idea or even a company, but if they do not have an ownership mindset they often fall short of the results they want.

 

Building a culture of ownership takes time and consistency and needs to start at the top levels of the company. There are several steps you can take to build a culture of ownership throughout a company. Here are the five steps to encourage an Ownership Mindset at all levels of your organization, outlined by Forbes.com in 2017. 

  • Support Freedom and Responsibility
    Empower employees to drive change, innovate, and improve processes and practices so that they can build customer intimacy and loyalty.
  • Change the Mindset
    Focus on contribution vs. control and encourage employees to add value, knowledge, and innovation to the company.
  • Embrace Shared Values
    Communicate that the success of the company hinges on the values that guide the desired behaviors and actions of employees.
  • Focus on Positive Reinforcement
    Encourage employees to use discretionary decision-making to solve a problem or to better serve the client, and aim to give that person positive reinforcement.
  • Support Entrepreneurial Thinking
    Promote transparency and support a focus on generating sales, cutting expenses, and looking for alternative sources of revenue.

Setting the tone of ownership is the first step to getting a culture moving in the right direction. Employees will understand their role more if you and your leadership team actively practice what you preach. It is impossible for leaders to know it all, so you must operate ownership by relinquishing control.

 

Share your vision and ensure that all employees at every level of the organization understand the “WHY” of decisions and direction. Get your teams involved in goal setting and planning so they feel part of the process and not just cogs in a wheel. Often, allowing creative approaches to finding solutions may take teams in different directions. Getting involved and instilling an ownership mindset across your organizations ensures you are tapping into the skills and resources you might have left undiscovered.

 

Start by finding a spark in your organization to blaze the trail to establishing an ownership culture in your company. Find those that react to problems quickly and decisively. Recognize those who are delivering more than expected and harvest their passion.

Encourage ownership by sharing it. It’s not about what or how much you ‘own’, it is more about how much you are willing to give away to gain.  

 

Edited from the original article by ActionCOACH Carmen Gigar

https://www.actioncoach.com/blog/the-ownership-mindset-the-most-powerful-weapon-in-business/

December 5, 2023

The Power of Gratitude

As the holiday season approaches, one of our coaches Stacy Spahle, advocates for the celebration of achievements, the expression of gratitude, and the cultivation of a mindset that attracts abundance in her article. Through her insightful exploration, Stacy invites readers to embrace gratitude as a powerful force for positive change in both personal and professional spheres. 

 

We remember when our parents or grandparents said to us, “Say the magic words”, usually that meant “please”. But there are two additional words, "thank you", that are just as magical. Who would have expected two words to have so much power? Showing appreciation and acknowledging gratitude for others can have cathartic results in all areas of your life. Since ancient times, philosophers have touted the benefits of living a life filled with gratitude. But you don’t have to be Socrates to understand being thankful and demonstrating appreciation adds to your overall well-being.  

 

Saying ‘thank you’ without intent, however, can come off as insincere and hollow. So, it is important that gratitude and the acts of thankfulness become habitual and organic to your personality. This doesn’t mean thanking people for expected behaviors; it means you are in tune with critical moments that call for you to send and receive the benefits of gratitude. Ask yourself a few check-in questions…  

  • Do you send handwritten notes of thankfulness to a colleague, supplier, or employee?  
  • Do you keep a gratitude journal where you memorialize thankfulness?  
  • Do you meditate, pray, or find time to be calm and reflect to help center your thoughts and feelings?  
  • Do you actively and mentally show YOURSELF gratitude for accomplishments made or goals achieved?  
  • Do you celebrate the small victories and the small steps forward in your life and business?  

In times of crisis and as life begins to enter a new norm, gratitude will be a useful mindset to help us move forward. A couple of years ago, the fear and uncertainty of the pandemic, led many of us to forget to be thankful for what we have and instead, yearn for what we have lost. This becomes the fictitious circle. The less satisfaction or appreciation for the new state of what we have, the more you will attract more positive results.  

 

Finding something to be thankful for when your business is closed, your bills are mounting, and when the future is unsure, can seem insurmountable. You may have to dig deeper to find smaller things to be thankful for. Government assistance with payroll demands is something businesses can be thankful for, but like most habits that stick, you have to verbalize it. Say it out loud: “I am thankful for the resources available to me during the pandemic to get my business reopened and restarted”.  

 

The article "Gratitude Appreciation" at PositivePsychology.com defined gratitude in an article in May 2020 as “. . . gratitude is more than feeling thankful: it is a deeper appreciation for someone (or something) that produces longer lasting positivity” (Ackerman, 2020). Becoming more grateful and allowing more grace into your life can have the following outcomes: 

  • Enhanced well-being with better Physical and Mental Health  
  • Deeper Relationships  
  • Improved Optimism  
  • Increased Happiness 
  • Stronger Self-Control 

The article "Benefits of Gratitude" at Happierhuman.com outlines the benefits of being more thankful outside your personal life. Businesses and careers can see tangible improvements by being more grateful to employees, clients, and yourself. Here are a few benefits: 

  • Becoming a more effective manager  
  • Helping you network  
  • Helping you achieve and attain goals  
  • Improving your decision-making capabilities  
  • Increasing productivity  

During the holiday season, finding ways to bring more gratitude to your life can benefit your personal and professional growth. Celebrate the smallest of achievements and share that gratitude with those in your circle. Spread gratitude, add a thank you, and remember to appreciate life’s opportunities to bring more abundance to you in return.  

 

Edited from the original article by ActionCOACH Stacy Spahle

https://www.actioncoach.com/blogs/the-power-of-gratitude/ 

November 28, 2023

Systems Don't Kill Creativity

In today's fast-paced business landscape, the intersection of creativity and efficiency holds the key to sustained success. This article dives into the critical role of creativity within the workplace, emphasizing the need for businesses to find a delicate balance between systemization and innovation. By exploring metrics for measuring creativity and advocating for collaborative communication, the article sheds light on how businesses can transform their organizational frameworks to become both systematically efficient and creatively agile, to ultimately gain a competitive edge in the dynamic business landscape. 

 

We are all familiar with IQ Testing designed to scientifically measure so-called intelligence in adults and children. While there is a great debate over the accuracy and relevance of IQ testing in today’s business world, there is no doubt that fostering and measuring innovation is critical to business success. Innovation is a direct result of creative thinking, and if a business can crack the code to foster a more creative workplace, it could have a distinct competitive advantage. But where to start? 

 

Some might start with the TTCT test or the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking. Designed by Dr. Ellis Paul Torrance in the 1960s to measure creativity in children. This series of tests were designed “in an attempt to measure divergent thinking”. But what type of evaluation tool is available for adults?  

 

There are several online tools and evaluations to help business owners measure creative or divergent thinking in their teams and often they boil down to measuring four criteria. 

  • Fluency: how many responses a person, team, or process can generate
  • Flexibility: how many different types/categories of responses are generated
  • Originality: how different are the responses from the norm
  • Elaboration: how detailed are the responses 

Most businesses just want consistency and efficiency, (thus establishing Standard Operating Procedures for everything under the sun), seemingly draining the creative juices of their teams. System overload bogs down their teams when every step-by-step activity is mapped out and systemized, repressing the creativity of team members.

 

“When systems are set up that restrict freedom of thought, and when individuals perpetuate those systems through controlling approaches and actions, creativity has no room to flourish.” 

 

Systems don’t have to be the killers of creativity. Conversely, they should be the catalyst to foster creative thinking. Systems are not supposed to slow progress, they are by their very existence designed to enhance productivity and efficiency. So why do so many businesses fail on both ends of the scale? Because they haven’t found the balance between systemization and innovation. 

 

Let’s take the Apollo 13 mission as an example. This historic moon mission in April 1970 sent four highly qualified astronauts up into space for the seventh moon mission in United States history. During the flight towards the moon, the Apollo space capsule experienced an electric fire that damaged the oxygen tanks and the mission to land on the moon was aborted. Even more pressing was how to get the crew back safely under extremely precarious circumstances. Famous for the quote, “Houston, we have a problem”, astronaut Jim Lovell reported the emergency to the ground control who was then tasked to solve the problem of low oxygen, reduced power, and a capsule that was too heavy to enter the earth’s atmosphere safely. 

 

Faced with life-and-death decisions, the ground control crew and support teams spent hours breaking down process after process and examining each system to find the right answers that would bring the Apollo 13 crew home alive. They used the systems and processes at their disposal to come up with creative solutions for both oxygen generation and for re-routing the Apollo module around the moon and bringing the crew back home safely. 

 

This seven-day mission, which didn’t achieve its original objectives, was actually a success. The recovery of the astronauts and the splash down in the Pacific Ocean sparked innovation that was the catalyst for future advancement in space travel for the next two decades. 

 

The team at NASA, using their creativity, knowledge, and skills, avoided tragedy by using the systems and processes available to solve a “new” problem. 

 

In Brad Sugars book, Instant Systems, Sugars discusses the importance of systemizing business to foster efficiency and creativity. 

 

As the CEO and Founder of ActionCOACH®, the world’s largest business coaching franchise, Sugars and his coaches have helped thousands of business owners unleash the power of systems and processes in their organizations and foster creative problem-solving simultaneously.

“This is one of the most misunderstood areas of business today. I find this rather strange because it’s one area of business that’s easy to implement, and one that will make your life, and those of your team members, so much easier.” - Brad Sugars

Download our ActionPlan Systems Slides to Learn More!

Sugars outlines four board areas to systemize your business and goes into more detail about the types of systems and processes any successful business should have in the book. The four areas are: 

  • People and Education
  • Delivery and Distribution
  • Testing and Measuring
  • Systems and Technology 

Sugars stresses planning, communication, and team involvement when systemizing your business to improve both efficiency and problem-solving. Focusing your team’s creativity on specific areas will help you gain a competitive advantage. 

 

The journey toward business success is not a contrast between strict systems and uncontrolled creativity; rather, it is an integration of both. Sugars emphasizes that fostering a workplace culture that values creativity within the framework of well-designed systems is not only feasible but imperative. Businesses stand to gain a competitive advantage by embracing the harmonious relationship between innovation and efficiency. By recognizing the potential of systems to fuel creativity and engaging in strategic planning and communication, organizations can navigate the complex terrain of modern business with resilience and adaptability.  

 

Edited from the original article by ActionCOACH Carmen Gigar

Systems Don’t Kill Creativity. - ActionCOACH 
November 21, 2023

Mastering Work-Life Balance and Navigating the Holiday Season

During the holiday season, maintaining a work-life balance becomes even more crucial, and proactively setting realistic expectations, planning time off, and fostering a supportive work environment can help entrepreneurs enjoy the festivities without compromising professional responsibilities. Coach PJ Weiland's article "Tackling work-life balance" explores the challenge of a work-life balance that we face, especially during the busy holiday season.

 

As a business owner or entrepreneur, you may have the freedom to control your work schedule, but that doesn’t make it easier to achieve a work-life balance. In fact, a study conducted by Melissa Milkie and her colleagues at the University of Toronto found that people who set their own working hours and work over 50 hours a week tend to have more, not fewer, work-life conflicts.

 

If it seems the work will never end, making changes in how you work can reduce your workload, free up time for your non-work life, and prevent burnout, can help move you in the right direction. Here are three ways to better manage your work hours by delegating, being productive, and segmenting smarter. 

 

Delegate

If you’re just starting out, you may not be in a position yet to delegate much of what you’re doing to get your business off the ground. But experts say that three years in, you still shouldn’t be putting in 70 hours a week. Hiring right and training well will keep you from doing the job of two people.

How to Delegate Effectively - ActionCOACH  

 

Be Productive

There are so many distractions to draw us away from the task at hand, and I don’t just mean the obvious ones like social media. You can get sidetracked from pursuing your most important goals by day-to-day emails and calls. If you’re not achieving what you set out to do each week, look closely at how you spend your time at work and consider trying a different time management system. We have a default calendar we share with our clients to help them more effectively manage their work days, that we're sharing with you!

Download Sample Calendar for Balance

To Segment Smarter

Achieving a work-life balance doesn’t mean sticking to traditional working hours of Monday through Friday, 9 to 5, and not working the rest of the week. You might find mixing work and non-work segments throughout your week is more effective for your schedule and workflow. For example, managing email in the evening when there are fewer distractions might help you get through your inbox faster, and work more efficiently the following day, opening up time for a non-work activity.

 

As we navigate between professional responsibilities and personal well-being, the importance of maintaining a harmonious work-life balance becomes even more pronounced during the holiday season. By proactively setting realistic expectations, planning intentional time off, and fostering a supportive work environment, business owners can embrace the joy of the holidays while safeguarding their mental and physical health. 

 

Edited from the original article by ActionCOACH PJ Weiland

https://www.actioncoach.com/blogs/tackling-work-life-balance/ 

November 17, 2023

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