To build and run a profitable business you need a team, it’s not something you can do on your own.
You bring on team members for one of two things…
- They help you create more revenue (Money-making assets)
- They help you buy back your time (Support staff)
In any service business, people are assets. And the more assets you can accumulate, the more revenue your company should produce - it’s the ultimate way to leverage yourself.
The downside to adding more people into your business are communication breakdowns and that the fact you’ll need to find the time to train them. In a small business, this is not always easy as the business owner already lacks time, but if you seriously want to work your way out of your business, you’ve got to look at the bigger picture.
Communication breakdowns can cost your business money, time and a whole lot of stress. Not taking the time to train your staff can cause drop offs in service quality which will ultimately cost you by losing clients. The last thing you want is untrained staff running your business.
This is where team meetings are such an essential part of running your business effectively. Let’s dive into some specifics.
3 Layers To Business Freedom
The ultimate aim for any business owner is to go from being the primary operator/service provider to running the business without having to work in it. To do this you’ll need to work your way through the following levels…
The Ground Level
This is the tactical level. It’s where you are performing the service for your clients. Almost everybody starts here. The problem is, a lot of business owners get stuck at this level.
The Middle Level
This is the strategic or team building level. This is the level responsible for holding team meetings and to help develop your team to service your clients so you don’t have to. In my experience as a business coach, this is where most business owners struggle, especially those who are great technically at servicing their clients.
The Upper Level
This is the top dog position - the CEO or MD. To get here you must be able to create superstars (team leaders) that develop and manage your staff effectively. Your business will be a smooth operating machine if you can get to this level. It will need to be properly systemized with all “communication pathways” between levels functioning.
These “communication pathways” are meetings! It’s why they are so important. You need them to obtain the correct information so that you can make the correct decisions to drive your business forward as the top dog!
Now you know why you need meetings, here’s how to run them effectively.
Step 1 - Keep Your Meeting’s Rhythmic
Random meetings are useless! It’s like having a workout when you want, it produces nothing but sore muscles!
Both you as the owner and your team need structure. You need to know what tasks you need to be doing to grow the business and/or serve your clients. Your first step is to have meetings scheduled periodically.
Lifestyle 180 Rhythmic Meeting Structure
Daily Top Dog Meeting
My business partner and I meet daily Mon-Fri for 15 min at 8am without fail to discuss our business activities. It’s our main communication pathway, the glue which holds everything together.
Monthly Top Dog Meeting
We have monthly, quarterly and yearly. meetings to review last month’s business performance and plan next month’s activities.
Biweekly Team Meeting
We meet with all our subcontractors every 2 weeks to ensure everything is on track and communication is passed correctly.
Marketing Team Meeting
In my role as head of Marketing, I have weekly meetings with all of our subcontractors who create our marketing content
Coaching Team Meeting Nicky (in his role as Head of Business Coaching) has weekly meetings with all of our coaches
Step 2 - Run Meetings To Create A Triple Win Effect
Take a look at the diagram below and study it! This is what we call a triple-win effect, everybody wins! This is how you move out of working in your business to being Top Dog and spend more time working on it. Your aim should be to create this as a working model:
- You as the business owner build and develop a team so that…
- Your team helps serve your clients to the best of their ability so that...
- Your clients continue to invest in your business’s services and keep paying the business so that…
- The business keeps paying you so that…
- You can have the money and time to enjoy your life!
Learning Promotes Earnings
To make the above model work the aim of your meetings should be to…
- Upskill your team with continuous training that will…
- Help them become more effective and efficient at their role so that they…
- Stay Inspired and engaged to produce their best work with your clients.
The major part of your meetings should be dedicated to developing and upskilling your team’s through training and coaching. That will trigger off the chain of events shown on the diagram.
Step 3 - Coach First Manage Second
I’ve always been poor at management. However, because I was so bad at managing I had to find another way to build and run an effective team so I simply did what I was good at… I coached them
Coaching helps people get better, it helps them win. Everybody likes winning. It will help motivate and inspire your team to work better with your clients.
Management ensures things get done. While you do need to manage, most of your meetings should be focused on coaching and development - coach first and manage second.
Step 4 - Use Scoreboards, Questions & Team Members
You don’t need to do it all yourself, let your team help. It totally empowers them. Don’t assume that you know it all and you’re the only one that can get the job done. That’s a huge mistake. Use numbers, questions & team members to figure out what training you need to delivery.
Each position in your company will need a scoreboard that measures Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). How many KPIs you use is up to you, but you absolutely need them.
Here’s an example of how I would use KPIs in a Personal Training Studio Business (this is a hypothetical example)
Both of these KPIs will have a direct effect on our businesses monthly revenue and how much the coach gets paid so it’s in our best interest to come up with a strategy to reduce client cancellations.
My meetings would focus on reducing cancellations until the numbers improved. The numbers give me the information I need to create the content for my meetings.
I share this example so that you can determine what metrics are important in your business and this will then enable you to create scorecards for your team.
Your team will be exposed to the tactical day to day level more than you will so it’s key that you understand that they will know what needs to be improved better than you do. Use questions to help provide you with the information you need.
When asking your team questions, you must ensure that you are open to hearing things that you may not want to. If staff feel threatened in any way they won’t give you honest answers.
Have your team deliver the training whenever possible. This is how you create leaders. It’s how you can move from the middle level to the upper level in your business.
Step 5 - Keep Them Short & Sweet
Less is more, no-one likes long, unproductive, boring meetings. Get to the point ASAP and get back to work.
If you can produce more revenue or time out of each asset (i.e. team members), then effectively what you have done is improved your businesses profitability margin; you’ve become more efficient and effective as a business. Team meetings are where you do this work.
If you want to grow your business so it works without you then practice and perfect the art or running effective meetings. This time needs to be looked at as an investment, not a cost.
Andrew Wallis is a business consultant whose primary focus is helping fitness business owners see the wood for the trees. He is LifeStyle180’s marketing expert specialising in building, creating and integrating solid marketing strategies and tactics into his client businesses. He loves to stick his head under the bonnet of their business to make sure it runs efficiently and effectively. Prior to running his own PT business in the UK and Australia, he spent 20 years in the offshore finance industry managing property and investment portfolios of the rich and famous. When he’s not at work, he enjoys traveling the globe.