There’s quite a buzz around the entrepreneur ecosystem developing in South Florida. Miami is specifically garnering national attention as a leader in business startups. While starting a business is relatively easy to do, scaling a business is another matter entirely. It is estimated that only 8% of businesses make it out of the foundational stage and develop an infrastructure that can support scaling – regardless of how long they’ve been in business. In this article, Jacqueline Bueno Sousa shares some insightful thoughts on scaling businesses. Similarly, Jody Johnson, managing partner of the local ActionCOACH Business Coaching firm, has witnessed many of these same points in working with business owners over the last decade to establish stable, scalable foundations.
Read Bueno Sousa’s Miami Herald article here!
We can help! Check-out how we have helped other businesses like yours!
It’s hard to believe that summer is already here! The kids are out of school and vacation season is in full swing. For business owners and their teams, it’s time for the mid-year course correction. June and July are the ideal time to review all your dreams, goals, plans, strategies, learnings and assumptions. It’s the time to take stock of what’s working and what’s not. Based on your findings, you can make course corrections to ensure that you and your team accomplish your goals and stay on track with your dreams. If you set aside the time and put in the effort for this process, it can make a difference this year and in the years to come. Here are seven things to consider and possibly modify mid-year.
When your review and analysis is complete, you will be in a position to make helpful mid-year course corrections. Doing this will limit the money you invest in unsuccessful efforts, help you keep your goals front and center, and allow you to build on accomplishments from the first half of the year.
Chinedu Okoro started Continental Global Services in 2014 as a compliment to his father’s commercial janitorial service business. His business was growing slowly and organically. When we first met Okoro, had just completed the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program and he’d learned a lot; however, implementing all the new information was a whole other matter. Okoro had two employees and was working days, nights and weekends trying to grow his client base and move away from dependency on his father’s business. He was working hard to fulfill orders, invoice, collect, purchase products and run the business, all the while seeking government contract certifications. Shortly after we met, his office admin assistant – pregnant in her third trimester with her first child – broke her foot. All the things she was responsible for then fell onto his plate as well. The way things were operating was simply not sustainable.
We got clear on the processes for each of the different organizational functions and began systemizing the business. We set up financial tools to analyze the business and set profit margins and brought in professional help to get the books accurate, then outsourced the bookkeeping. We let go of a team member that wasn’t working out, or government contracting, we hired a new team member who was familiar with this type of business development and began training her to be an asset and free up Okoro’s time. We set sales targets and business goals and then we set up tools that allowed Okoro and his team to access company data remotely. Our coaching also provided a structure of accountability that helped move the business forward.
In December of 2018, Chinedu was called to Nigeria where his family was involved in a hotel development project. He remained in Nigeria until early June of this year. During his time in Nigeria, Chinedu ran his business remotely, growing revenue by 147.49% and gross profit by 107.42%! He attributes this success to the team and systems we put in place prior to his departure. Our actions granted him the freedom and flexibility to simultaneously pursue business endeavors in both countries and experience substantial growth.
Chinedu states, “Running a business is like having a child. If you let the child run wild, there’s chaos. Having a business coach is like the parent providing guidance – one who helps you by looking from the outside, one who is experienced at reducing the chaos. You stop running around doing this and that and formulate a clear vision and effective actions. Developing a clear vision and prioritizing what to do, when and how to do it, is the most valuable thing I’ve received from working with my ActionCOACH. Her guidance has been invaluable.”
A strategic narrative is central to a healthy company’s branding and their decision-making process. It’s the lens through which your small business perceives itself and the lens through which outsiders perceive your small business. It shapes your culture and strategy, casting a vision for the future and illuminating a path to get there. Your strategic narrative is unique to your company’s DNA and sets you apart from industry competitors.
A strategic narrative is a compelling, concise and yet comprehensive story that captures your unique history and your vision as well as the way in which you as the owner, your employees and your customers can participate as co-contributors towards your unfolding story.
On engageforsuccess.org, one writer explains that this narrative “[shows] people your landscape around them and the horizon in front of them.” It gives everyone who engages with your brand a place to belong and a sense of purpose.
A company operating without a strategic narrative is like a rudderless boat on the rough seas – easily tossed by the wind and waves and lacking consistency and vision. A strategic narrative is the rudder that brings clarity, direction and purpose and moves a company towards a bright, foreseeable future.
When your small business implements your unique strategic narrative…
A strong sense of your purpose fueled by your values:
Make sure your narrative clearly states your mission. Why does your company exist? What does your company stand for? What compels you to wake up every day and do what you do?
A clear vision:
Where is your business headed? How are you planning to get there? How can your employees and customers partner with you to move towards your vision?
A strong value proposition:
How does your product or service improve people’s lives? Be bold, specific and authentic.
At Sage Group, we help you tell your story and grow your business. If you want help crafting your strategic narrative, visit our website to connect!
The United Nation’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs created The Agenda for Sustainable Development. This Agenda outlines a plan for “dignity, peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and in the future.” These goals are set in 15-year increments and through a collaboration among business entities worldwide, nearly all of the goals from the past 15 years were accomplished.
Nonprofits and government bodies don’t have the structure to address many of the effects of global economic inequality but business people are nimble and innovative and as such, are able to make a profound impact. Take for example, TOMS Shoes who, for every pair of shoes purchased, donates a pair of shoes to a child or adult in need. As of 2016, TOMS donated over 60 million pairs of shoes in economically impoverished countries such as Argentina, South Africa, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Haiti and Mexico – and dramatically improved the health, safety and quality of life for 60 million people (and counting!).
A recent article in the Miami Herald, “Miami-Dade’s economic inequality is the nation’s second-worst,” acknowledges a “small and shrinking middle class and a large workforce dependent on poorly paid service jobs…on par with Panama and Columbia.” The article cites the disparity between Miami’s richest of the rich and, on account of an economy based largely on hospitality and tourism, the vast majority of the population who earn some of the lowest wages in the nation. On account of the high cost of living and service class wages, many Miamians struggle to pay rent or a mortgage and put food on the table.
Living and working in Miami, the local economic climate tugs at our heartstrings and at the same time, we know that small businesses can make a big impact. This knowledge fuels our passion! That’s why, at Team Sage, we align our mission with The Agenda for Sustainable Development – Goal #8, which “promotes sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.” As Miami-based business coaches, we help Miami business owners run better businesses and pay out better salaries – the living wages that their employees deserve. We are B1G1 champions and champion our local businesses for the benefit of our local and global economy.
If you would like to learn more about how small businesses are making a big impact in the Miami area or are interested in learning more about The Agenda for Sustainable Development, contact us through our website. We would love to speak with you!
Brand fascination may sound a bit mysterious but it’s actually something we are all familiar with in our personal relationships. Do you ever feel like you gravitate towards someone because of their personality or the way they communicate? The same can be said for business relationships. The way you communicate your brand affects whether or not people are drawn into a relationship with your brand. Therefore, positioning your brand to fascinate your audience and draw them in is one key to attracting clients and operating a successful business.
So what are some key components of brand fascination?
Take time to assess what beliefs and values your company is built on and how you are pursuing your mission. Instead of the tendency to conform to the values of your competitors, own your uniqueness. Your company is like no other so quit apologizing for it. Instead, fascinate your audience and create a sense of intrigue by operating out of your unique perspective.
By crafting your ideal customer persona, you can keep your marketing efforts in line with your customers’ interests and needs. Consequently, customers will gravitate towards you and come to view you as an expert in your field. This is brand fascination at its finest and a sure way to grow a successful business.
Everyone loves a good story. What’s yours? Continue to tell your story. It is a huge part of your branding. Over time, your story, your logo and your mission will become more integrated and increase your brand fascination. Also, carefully consider which platforms you’re using to tell your story. The platforms you choose impact the way you share it.
Be who you say you are and boldly live out your story. This builds credibility and helps you grow a loyal customer base. When your brand is perceived as reliable, trustworthy and authentic, more and more people will gravitate towards you and choose to do business with you – and your company will experience the momentum of brand fascination.
At ActionCOACH Team Sage, we fascinate with trust. Trust underpins everything we do. It informs our business development, all aspects of operation and all of our business processes and functions. It’s not about how we see ourselves but about how others see us and how they see our clients. It gives us the verbiage to connect with our ideal clients and it helps our clients do the same. With this sense of clarity, we can help our clients market their businesses and speak to the people they are meant to serve. With this solid foundation in place, innovation can flourish and success is inevitable. If you want help digging into your brand and how you can fascinate to attract your ideal clients, we would love to help. Visit our website to sign up for a complimentary strategic coaching session.