To continue on from my July post Dean was on holidays for another week and rather than me going into how hectic it was (cause it was insane), I’ll explain my learnings over this last two weeks.
I jumped straight back into project management which allowed me to view things a bit differently. I could see what was happening from the ground up with each project, where each project was up to and what needed to happen next. I could see why projects were being delayed. I could see where we had holes in our process and most of all I could see where we could make improvements for the benefit of the client.
This was extremely eye-opening and even though I didn’t sleep for two weeks I’m glad I had the chance to do it!
3 main learnings came out of it. We aren’t practicing what we preach. That old nutshell!
- We have been so damn busy that we have been rushing from one client request to another and not recording any information or time in our systems. After 3 days of jumping all over the place to put out fires, we were able to slow down a bit and get this process put back in place.
- We are totally under utilising our own resources. We have some really skilled people in our team and we aren’t utilising them to their fullest and this all comes down to time. Slowing down and allocating tasks correctly with enough information and to the right person (point 1).
- We have not been forward thinking enough for our clients. We have been busy focusing on what needs to happen today with our clients and not in 1 month or 3 months time. What this means is we aren’t actually providing the service our clients are expecting and wanting. We are of course an innovation company right! (See point 1 again!)
So what does all of this mean!? It means it’s my job as the CEO of CROFTi Innovation Consulting to get my team back on track and be that leader the company needs! This means overseeing all projects and people until we hit our goal. How do we measure this goal? I learnt this years ago and it’s so true: People + Process = Profit!
So the first step is ensuring the people are in the right position, performing the tasks they are skilled at and delegating the rest, and their mindset is in the right place. Let’s do this!
The first week Dean was back we let him find his feet, it’s tough after being on holidays trying to get your groove back again, so we drip-fed him some projects and tasks to focus on for the week while I focused on the rest. By the end of the week he had his head around most projects again.
It must have been a good break for Dean as he approached me right at the end of the week with a clear mind asking to continue the conversation from 12 months ago, buying into CROFTi and becoming a shareholder. This was always an option for Dean as when we first hired him this was the discussion right off the bat as we just didn’t want just an employee in that role, we wanted someone with a vested interest. At the time Dean was appreciative but declined and said maybe in a few years when his son was older. I guess that few years has passed and now he is ready.
Continuing on from the conversation last month, reviewing our 2016 goals and planning our goals for 2017!
These were the questions asked by my mentor, Bryan Worn;
Did the company achieve its goal for the year? Firstly we didn’t have set goals but whatever they might have been, No we didn’t hit them.
If not why not? Process and People were not in the plan and therefore we didn’t hit our profit target.
What did you learn in the year? We didn’t have the right leadership in place, there was a lot of Internal bickering and politics as our processes weren’t defined clearly enough. It was a great platform to learn what not to do and what we need to do for next year.
What do you need to learn? Leadership is key. Foundation of process. People in the rights roles. Accountability. Work more on the business.
What is the goal for this year? Split the two businesses (UIT and CROFTi) and aiming for a $100k Profit for both businesses with an increase in salaries and staffing.
Systemising CROFTi and UIT to allow ready for investment next financial year. Dean will go on trial in the next 12 months with the aim to buy in officially next financial year. We will start the process of bonus structure/shareholder ship over this financial year.
Dean’s Personal Goal:
- 1 week off with no phone contact and at a moment’s notice (the dream all business owners want right!)
Amy and Lucas Personal Goal:
- Multiple Long weekends off with no contact via email and phone
- Example Cruise from Friday to Monday
- Hire a UIT Coordinator
- This hire will be in Brisbane
- This will allow Amy to step away more from the business to allow for personal goals like starting a family
Create software applications to systemise the business and sell on the App Store.
First one being;
- Automated system for product research and business case creation to allow systems to implement the right systems at the right time in their business
Productise our business transformation product to allow use and access for small to medium business. More on this later.
The biggest business goal is to work on the business more and stick to a 90 day reset plan!
90 Day Reset
The 90 Day Reset plan hones in on Focus, Structure, Discipline, and Persistence. Goals and priorities change over a period of a year and yes having annual goals are key, these are often very high level and far out in terms of time and urgency. Smaller 90 day goals create urgency in a good way. Also the 90 day plan is great for helping everyone in your team to see progress and stay focused as usually the high level goals and aspirations don’t mean anything for your staff as its not realistic to them. The biggest pro and con in rolling out this 90 day plan is having your staff be 100% accountable and responsible. As with anything, great intentions don’t achieve great results – committing and doing what it takes to consistently achieve does. Let’s see how the next 90 days roll out for us (we have backtracked this to July 1st, to keep it trackable with quarters). So for Quarter 1, 90 days reset goals are as follows;
- Split two divisions and have Amy and I run each division as our own
- Focus on Process and People
- Conceptualise the new product
We flew to Sydney again twice in August for more of The Entourage 2 day events. The first workshop was on Systemising your business. As the topic is something we do for a living I was able to use this time to implement automation into the tools I already use. We did though learn about a lot of marketing tools that we sent onto Jerlie our marketing assistant who got super excited. We also learnt about taking the systemisation of our business to the next level using AI and bots. This tech is now in our fingertips and it’s up to us to now implement it. The second workshop in August tied in really well with the first which was on Disruptive and Innovation. This was awesome as it allowed to focus on what I spoke about earlier, systemising and productising our products even further. By the end of the two days we came up with two new ways we could productise our consulting products offering better value and outcomes to the client while switching the product rollercoaster method on its head and building in monthly reoccurring revenue (MRR). I’ll be harping on about MRR a lot over the next few months with going into stats and what works and doesn’t work.
I attended the fireside chat with Dean @ Fire Station where Steve Jobs was presenting on the basis of this startup investment offering and so I got onto it straight away and informed Amy we should apply. The application expires on September 8th so will keep you posted.
I also attended the largest BNI group I have ever been to, and I’ve been in BNI for 10 years. They had 100+ turn up, absolutely nailed the plan and timeline at the same stage running it like their own. $13m turnover a year. Boom! We have lots to learn in our group at BNI Central!
I’ve tied up a few good first meetings with potential clients in Sydney where we are going through the rendering process. These first few clients will kick start our Sydney campaign. I’ve also got Sydney podcasts lined up next month where I’m being interviewed, stoked!
An epic morning racing in Bridge2Brisbane with my mate Stu, dodging all the people as we started super last due to Uber not being available and I needed to go to the bathroom so had to wait for 45mins in line lol, so it made it crazily busy on the run! I was super happy with my pace, keeping it under 4min pace for the first 6kms but unfortunately my left calf broke down on the Story Birdge so I could only jog the rest of the way. I was happy with this anyways knowing Stu and I only put in 6 weeks of sprint training. That afternoon I headed down to the pub with Daryl and his partner Gil to watch the boxing match, Mayweather vs McGregor, which was cool but afterwards I didn’t feel so well, thinking it was the run, food for booze, I laid down for a while and ended up going to bed. I literally woke up during the night sweating like crazy so I knew now something was up. The next morning I was crook as a dog and ended up getting Man Flu which had been going around and so I was in bed for an entire week. Wow this sucked! I had some pretty important and big meetings on this week but there was nothing I could do, needed to cancel everything. I still pushed through and completed what I could. By Thursday I was feeling slightly better so I kept my lunch date with Chris Baskerville @ Moo Moos as we shouted him for saying thanks for helping us through the administration matter I spoke about in the last few months. We still enjoyed it as much as we could.
All in all it was a solid month with a lot on and a lot being actioned.