Breaking Down Your Business | Small Business | Business Owners | Entrepreneurship | Leadership

What’s In This Episode:

Want more Jill and Brad in your life? Go to Founding Momsand subscribe to Jill's daily newsletter for biz wisdom (and awesome pictures of Jill in sunglasses). Are times a'changin' in business? Jill and Brad both seem to think so. To suit or not to suit? What about technology?

 "The world has changed." - Brad

Steve Shirk is the owner of Shirk Studios but his claim to fame is that he's a great dad and an ok guitar player. He struggles with time management though. Between home life and the studio, there are a lot of demands on his time. If it's 5 pm and the phone is ringing but he knows he's supposed to be at home, it can be hard when he's also trying to meet deadlines for work.

The way Brad sees it, Steve has two options: Charge more, or get an assistant or part-time employee to help. He has raised his rates, but musicians typically aren't rolling in money. He's also rented out his studio space. Jill suggests he actually look into tiered pricing: that way the people who can pay more will and he'll keep the clients he likes. And also get interns to help out.

"Take time off for yourself." - Jill

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 etiquette rules that no longer apply:

  • Responding to emails and phone calls in a timely manner.
  • Keeping your personal life private (thanks, social media).
  • Never taking any time off.
  • Writing full sentences or spelling correctly.
  • Burn this last one into your brain...
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_260.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Want more Jill and Brad in your life? Go to Anchor Advisors and sign up for Brad's newsletter for once-a-month advice from Brad as well as 4-5 of the best small biz articles.

What do Jill and Brad worry about in their businesses? For Jill, it's money. For Brad, it's what if he gets sick and can't work?

 "I want them to be innovative in their role." - Jill

BDYB's producer Saul turns the tables on Jill and Brad again, this time to ask about employees. What are the things they look for? Conversely, what makes them say absolutely not? Then, once they've hired, what do they worry about?

For Brad, if people come in talking about flexibility, that's a major no for him. He can offer flexibility once the employee has put in the time and proven they're willing to work (that's one of the major benefits of working for a small business). If someone comes on and wants to take initiative, he's all about it. But his first worry is if someone can really do the job they're hired for.

Jill's pretty speedy. So if someone comes on her team and likes to take their time... or too much time, she knows it probably won't work out. If someone is able to also take the initiative and challenge her, however, she views it as a positive. She worries that the contractors she works with might not want to stick it out and see things through.

"It's hard to get good employees." - Brad

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 business owner worries (and what to do about them):

  • The top of the lead generation funnel. Is there enough going on to generate sales?
  • If there is, is there a potential employee pipeline?
  • If there is, can we still get paid? And even if you get paid in advance, what if the check doesn't come on time? When do you cut it off? SO MANY QUESTIONS.
  • Staying healthy! Mentally, physically, and emotionally.
  • And the number one worry is more of a big-picture concept...
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_259.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

What tools can't you live without? Brad's still holding on to the Trapper Keeper, and he has a pen he really likes. (What can we say; he's old school.) Then Jill waxes nostalgic about pencil sharpeners. What is happening?

 "Don't do that in an email." - Brad

Phil Singleton almost failed Computer Science but now he works with computers pretty exclusively in SEO and web development. He's got an emotionally draining problem. With a company of seven people, every new hire he makes has the potential to be a big risk. Earlier this year he found out one of his prior employees wasn't so well-loved by his clients, which wasn't such great news for him. In order to avoid that punch in the gut in the future, what should he do?

Brad suggests doing a client review to see how business is going - make two phone calls every day over the course of six weeks. Jill thinks you could serve the same purpose over email. Whichever way you decide to do it, be proactive and don't wait. Ask clients to submit feedback about improvement. And from now on, have a check-in process in place. And if you ask for feedback at the end of a project, it's a great chance to ask for a referral.

"I heart Drift.com." - Jill

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 tools/apps making your life better in 2018:

  • Zoom conferencing. It's amazing.
  • Mad Mimifor email software. And their customer support is incredible.
  • Drift. It's a chat box that has the potential to bring you sales.
  • Wunderground. It's the weather app to end all weather apps.
  • Slack.It's the easiest way to communicate with your team.

Guest:

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_258.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

What's the worst proposal Jill's ever seen? She hasn't been a fan of any of them, really. Brad had a client who used to do their proposals in PowerPoint: 30 pages long and probably would have worked better as a pitch.

 "It should be an enticement, an allure.'" - Jill

Kelly Roach helps people make a lot of money. She works with service-based professionals to put systems and strategies in place, like sales marketing, leadership, and productivity.

So what's her problem? She's impatient. Her team is amazing and really helps the business, but she wants to grow faster than they currently are. She works with a lot of recent college grads on her team as well, whom she helps from the ground up. She gets frustrated that it takes so much to get them to operate at the level she expects. Jill's of the opinion that Kelly can achieve the stunning results she gets without continuing to drive herself crazy.

"If people really need to look at your bios, direct them to your website." - Brad

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 things to never include in a proposal:

  • A proposal should only be 1-2 pages. Yes. Really. We mean it.
  • Team bios or About Us? Skip.
  • No long-winded explanations. Instead, tell them in a short paragraph what they will experience.
  • No lawyer-ese, terms and conditions. It puts people off.
  • And this last one requires all of your confidence...

Want to know what it is? 

Guest:

  • Kelly Roach is the founder of Kelly Roach Coaching, where her number one gift is helping people tap into their potential. She stretches people beyond what they thought they were capable of and achieves things they never thought possible.
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_257.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Jill's really caught up in whether bees have knees. But more importantly, she STILL hates proposals! Why do we let people convince us to write them? Brad thinks it's a common belief that people have: They won't get paid without a proposal.

 "We advise the things we need to work on the most.'" - Jill

Writer, entrepreneur, and marketer Danny Schuman returns to the podcast (he was on Episode 3!) because he wrote a book called The Worst Business Model in the World: A New Kind of Guide for a New Kind of Entrepreneur. It's a book for people who aren't only trying to make it but thrive. He's writing the book now because he's finally ready and after 10 years of his own business, he wants to share his knowledge.

He also added that people are too worried about money, but the real spark of entrepreneurship is creation. But if you've got bills to pay, make sure you keep track of your stuff and logistically figure out how you're going to get work.

Read more about the book here.

"A video will communicate so much more than the written page." - Brad

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 ways to make your proposal stand out:

  • You need to tell a story.
  • Include testimonials.
  • Include a video.
  • Check for all spelling and grammar errors. PLEASE. (Use Grammarly!)
  • And this last one puts those high-school paper tricks to good use...

Want to know what it is? 

Guest:

  • Danny Schuman is the founder of Twist, a results-based consultancy specializing in brand marketing and product and service innovation. His upcoming book The Worst Business Model in the Worldwill be out in early May.
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_256.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

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