We all know that business owners are looking for answers to their growth concerns, not more questions. When you talk to a business owner about the Non-Negotiable Rules, they have a tendency to get a bit ‘prickly’ because entrepreneurs don’t really like rules.
The value of the NNRs are quite simply:
They help a business owner figure out what they don’t know
They help get that business owner thinking about areas of their company they hadn’t thought about before
They focus the business owners efforts on the mission critical aspects of their stage of growth
They give that business owner headlights into the future to be prepared for what’s coming
They provide a rallying point for the entire company
The facilitation of the Non-Negotiable Rules exercise during an X-Ray is where 80% of the issues you’ll be capturing, show up.
The conversations are:
It’s worth your time to help a business owner solve the Non-Negotiable Rules for their stage of growth While the X-Ray allows the business owner and his/her team to do a deep dive into their current NNRs and the two earlier stages of growth, you can also engage a business owner in a conversation centered around their NNRs.
If you are meeting with a Stage 7 business owner, here are a series of questions you can become curious about in order to 1) get a conversation going and 2) help that business owner drill down into areas that need their attention.
RULE #1. OVERHAUL BUSINESS MODEL TO OPTIMIZE DIRECTION AND MARGINS. • Do you challenge all assumptions regarding the company’s vision, mission, goals, objectives and strategies? • Do you challenge all assumptions about the customer, the competition, and the market in relation to your company’s offerings? • Are you prepared to reorganize/rewire the company’s resources to meet the new conclusions?
RULE #2. GET TO KNOW A LITTLE SOMETHING ABOUT EVERY EMPLOYEE. • Are you regularly walking through the company? • Do you organize employee names and info by division/ department into a CEO employee data management system? • Are you contributing to the company newsletter and mentioning specific employees in a way that indicates you’re in touch with your people?
RULE #3. SELL EVERY DAY. • Does the leadership team organize their time to focus on sales every day? • Do you regularly evaluate the company’s sales follow-up process? • Are you utilizing a contact management system to effectively track all customer communication?
RULE #4. SET UP A COMPANY-WIDE LEADERSHIP SUCCESSION SYSTEM. • Are you identifying one to two candidates for each leadership position? • Have you identified a clear, comprehensive view of the scope of all leadership positions? • Have you intentionally set in place a system to review the development of all candidates for each level?
RULE #5. GENERATE, TRACK AND PRESERVE CASH. • Do you review company Flash Sheet/Key indicators weekly? • Have you identified and do you connect with top 10 customers quarterly? • Are you building top line revenue by increasing both transaction amount and frequency?
It’s easy for a business owner to get bogged down by their company’s strategic planning process. As the complexity of their world has increased, so have their day-to-day decisions.
We all know planning is a critical aspect of any business’s success. But planning for planning sake will not a company make. A business owner has to be able to identify the key decisions that must be made and by when.
Encourage your business owner to answer each question under each rule. Encourage them to not gloss over them or think they don’t aﬀect them. Encourage your business owners to spend time on these rules of the road every day, and watch productivity increase and profits grow.
When is your next conversation with a business owner? Are you prepared to talk about their NNRs? Never hesitate to introduce the 7 Stages of Growth to a business owner. Find one or two aspects of the model that you are confident talking about. Practice explaining the Builder/Protector concept, or the Three Faces of a Leader.
Your confidence in talking about this powerful model will increase over time. You can now start with these NNRs. Create a handout on their NNRs, a leave behind that they can think about and share with their management team.
Remember, I’m just a phone call of an email away. I look forward to connecting!
Your success. My passion.
Laurie Taylor, FlashPoint!