Primary Focus – Zero in on Your Strengths

Hedgehog Concept from an Atlanta Business CoachYour primary focus is what you do, and with absolute clarity, you should be able to define it in two truths: your reason for being and your niche. There is a concept, called the hedgehog concept that helps to put this idea together. Chapter five in the book Good to Great talks about it.

That point in the middle can be your company’s primary focus: what you love doing, what you’re the best at, and what makes your money. If you have those three, go to the middle, and that’s where you can define your primary focus.

Putting It Together

Take for example this scenario. One of our company’s last acquisitions was a business that did not have a primary focus.

We bought a multi-sport training complex, a $500,000 revenue business that the owners invested 1.5 million to get going, who after three years was ready to leave the business. He couldn’t figure it out. Why? He did not have a Primary Focus.

Instead of trying to reach a target customer, they were targeting customers all over the board. They did not know who they were or their niche.

What did we do to turn this business from a business valued at $150,000 to a business worth $1,500,000 two years later? We developed a primary focus. Seems simple, but it was not easy.

You remember it was a multi-sport facility. They were trying to be all things to all people. At a closer look, we realized that they offered six sports, but two of those sports brought in 80% of the revenue. So, we dropped the other four, focusing on the two that brought in most of the business, and we became the best provider of those two sports not only in Atlanta but also, I would say, the world. We were the best facility in the world at training only baseball and softball players only after ditching football, soccer, lacrosse, and basketball.

Then, we got even more narrowly focused. Again, we did a deep dive into the business. Of all the baseball and softball business, 80% of it was players between the ages of 5 and 12. So, we then became the very best at providing baseball and softball instruction to 5 to 12-year-old players.

As a result, we created a successful yet significant business that knew who our customer was, and we became the best at serving those niche customers.

Find Your Primary Focus

What do you want to be the very best at? If you can’t be the best, let someone else try and only focus on what you can be the very best at. Hopefully, its something you love and something that makes money, and then, you have the perfect hedgehog concept.

Are you struggling to find your focus? Contact us today to see how we can help you find your niche.

Creating a One-Year Plan for Your Business

Your Company’s Vision – Part Three

Creating a One-Year Plan

This part is when the work gets fun. You need a goal post to know where you will be going over the next year. Create a statement that says, “One year from today this business WILL BE.” I put that in caps because this will and must happen. If you ever want to get to your three-year or ten-year goal, you must hit the goals within that first year.

Review Your Ten- and Three-Year Plan

Remember that each of the goals works in tandem as you move backward through the plan. While the ten-year goal is an ideal place, the three-year goal is a more specific picture of where you want the business to be in three years.

Your three-year plan should be a S.M.A.R.T. one. Smart stands for


Remember to get the whole team on the same page; it may take a while, but the creating the one-year plan will be easier if everyone is on board with the ten- and three-year goals.

Your three-year goal should include one or two very specific figures that are a telltale sign of the size of the organization. Once you’re your three-year revenue and profit goal, you can begin to develop the roadmap to get there through the one-year plan.

Developing the Plan

Don’t think of this as an arbitrary date. It does not have to be one year from today, but it needs to be in a short time-frame.

Remember you want those in your leadership team to set these goals with you. Whenever you get with your team, you can pick a goal together. To do this step, just look at the numbers and decide on the revenue goal, profit goal, and how will you measure your progress?

Now, to make that one-year plan a reality, you and your team will need to decide the top things that must be done to make that goal happen. These could be anywhere from three to seven things that need to get done. These things, then, need to be made S.M.A.R.T just like the three-year plan, and the entire team must agree upon them.

How This Works

In 2012, I was running the day-to-day operations as an owner-operator of a 1.5 million-dollar business in Atlanta. I was the CEO, COO, CMO, and chief janitor (cleaning up all the messes). You name the role; I was probably doing it. I told myself on New Year’s Eve that one year from today I would get myself out of customer-facing roles. I would no longer be answering the phones, dealing with customer complaints, and taking payments. This plan was my S.M.A.R.T. goal.

One-Year Plan – Remove myself from day-to-day customer facing issues

Milestone 1: I needed to detail and document all of the items in our company that were customer facing. Anything that deals with a customer, I had to document it.

Due Date: January 15th

Milestone 2: I then wrote a manual that dealt with every single customer-facing situation that takes place and detailed what should happen and why.

Due Date: February 28th

Milestone 3: I developed a scorecard metric that allowed me to monitor my replacement to ensure the person was keeping the same level of service that I provided.

Due Date: March 31st

Milestone 4: I took the written manual and turned those into training videos. I did this so when we hired new employees I wasn’t just telling them to read a book (some people don’t like that), but they also saw me doing it in person. Even though I didn’t have the time to train everyone one-on-one, each person watched a hands-on video of me giving the same instructions.

Due Date: May 31st

Milestone 5: I created a people analyzer to ensure that I hired the right person for the customer facing role that I was about to hire. I needed to make sure I knew the specific type of person I needed to replace me.

Milestone 6: I hired, trained, and managed my replacement through a 90-day period to see if the new hire could duplicate my efforts.

Due Date: August 31st

Putting It All Together

Through this process, I was able to hire someone else to do the job that I was doing with a great system in place to train the employee and hold this person accountable. By creating this system, my replacement was able to perform at the same level I did.

If you need to do the same, it provides a great foundation for your plan to get someone to do the job at or close to the same level you performed it. Then, you can do what you do best.

Many business owners today are stuck working IN the business vs. ON it. This simple, but not easy, plan shows you how I got out from behind the counter and got back to what I do best, working on my business.

I hope that you can use this information to develop your own one-year plan that will help you get to a point where you can begin to work on the business rather than work in it.

Would you like to find help creating your one-year plan? Contact Legacy 4:12 today to see how can help you do what you do best.

Creating a Three Year Plan for Your Business

Your Company’s Vision – Part Two

Creating a Three-Year Plan

Three years from today, your business will be ___ (fill in the blank). You need to have an answer, or you are flying blind. You don’t need just any answer, though, you want a S.M.A.R.T answer. Smart stands for


Be Sure to Have a Ten-Year Plan First

But before developing your three-year plan, let us review the ten-year plan from our last blog. That plan is more of a wish or a dream scenario. It is your ideal point of where you want to be at the end of a ten-year period.

As great as the 10-year target is, spending a ton of time on that step isn’t as important as detailing your three-year picture. The return on developing your three-year picture is huge, however. The key is with the three-year picture; it ideally gives you a very clear insight of what you need to do in the next year.

Now, you see how it’s starting to work. The 10-year plan leads to the three-year plan, and then to the one-year plan (stay tuned). Eventually, we will get down to weekly plans. It’s a brilliant system and way to achieve your objective ultimately.

Starting Your Three-Year Plan

If you do not have someone in your business thinking and documenting what you want to achieve and where you want to be in three years, you are behind the eight ball. Now if you do have someone doing these things with your senior leadership team (and it’s on paper) as well as taking actionable steps, great job.

The first thing you can start to do is think of the revenue you want to generate as a company. You should be able to get a general idea of what you want that to be. You are probably going to get several different answers so stick with it. Ideally, it will take some discussion, but once you get everyone on the same page, they will be able to co-exist and work well. Be S.M.A.R.T here. Growing revenue often comes with added expenses and challenges. Be sure to address these issues with the team and agree on a solid revenue goal.

What’s revenue without profit? So, that’s the next step. Find what your profit goal is, and this should be much easier since you already know your basics margins. Then, after the profit is set, it’s time to discuss certain measurables. This discussion will give everyone scope and size. It’s key that every organization has one or two very specific figures that are a telltale sign of the size of the organization.

Resources for Creating Your Plan

There are several more steps to ensure a great three-year picture, be sure to pick up your copy of Traction by Gino Wickman today to learn more.

Would you like to find help with your three-year target? Contact Legacy 4:12 to see if we can help you create a S.M.A.R.T answer.

Create a Ten-Year Goal for Your Business

Your Company’s Vision – Part One

The Ten-Year Plan

What do you want your business to be like ten years from now? How do you want it to operate? What do you want your specific role to be? How many locations do you want to have, or do you have a revenue goal in mind? It’s hard to think this far in advance, and even stating a planned number of locations or amount of revenue might be daunting. What I like to do is start with the end in mind.

What does starting with the end in mind look like? I like to use the phrase, “In a perfect world.” We know the world isn’t perfect and whatever you get on paper for your ten-year plan might not happen as planned, but it’s a wish. A wish that if it came true would be your dream scenario.

The way I look at this is what would I want to do daily, weekly, monthly, or even yearly. I look at family first because isn’t your business supposed to serve you and your family? If your business isn’t giving you the time you desire to be the family person you want, and maybe go after those hobbies you love, then something is broken.

Imagine the Future

Now, what if your business was serving you. What would you do?

Would you like to speak at the company convention once a year and nothing else? Would you like to lead quarterly meetings with your team to keep everyone on track and still not be too far away from your business? Or, do you still want to be the operator in your business, leading, managing, and holding your team accountable? Would you want to mentor the young members in your organization and coach leaders to do the work while you sit back on the sideline and cheer them on?

No idea what your BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal – a Jim Collins term) is, put it on paper. Think about it.

If you are like me, you might be reluctant to plan this far out. I had to have someone dig this out of me. The problem was I didn’t start this process until after I started and then sold my first business.

Create Your Plan

Who knows what direction my business could have taken if I had really taken the time to put on paper what my big goal was?

I would encourage you to dream a little and write it down. Then, find others that have made a similar dream happen. Read their books, study what they do, and then create a S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timeframed) plan.

Would you like to find help with your ten-year target? Contact Legacy 4:12 to see if we can help you make your business serve you rather than you serve it.