Flows & Bottlenecks...💦💦💦 Do you know your cash flow pipeline How to never hit the brakes on growth Ep 115

Summary Notes


In a discussion focused on accelerating business growth, Speaker A emphasizes the importance of identifying and resolving bottlenecks in the five core functions of a business: lead generation, lead nurture, sales, fulfillment, and retention/ascension. By concentrating on the most significant bottleneck and applying the "three P's" (person, process, or project), businesses can grow more efficiently. Speaker A shares their own success in scaling to a $50 million run rate by prioritizing strategic resource allocation and maintaining performance across all functions. They also highlight the value of delivering exceptional service to encourage referrals and retention. Speaker B provides affirmations throughout the conversation, while Speaker C humorously urges listeners to rate and review their show.

Summary Notes

Introduction to Business Growth Strategies

  • The speaker is sharing their insights on business growth, emphasizing the importance of identifying and focusing on bottlenecks.
  • Five core functions of every business are highlighted as critical areas for self-assessment and improvement.
  • The initial resources allocated to all businesses are the same, including time.

"I wanted to make this piece of content to you, for you, by you, at you. I'm calling this flows and bottlenecks because I was feeling the flow and I'm showing you my flow, but actually, because I wanted to talk about one of the things that I think has been key to our continued rapid growth, and it is identifying bottle x and only focusing on those things."

The quote explains the purpose of the content, which is to discuss the concept of "flows and bottlenecks" as a key to rapid business growth. The speaker emphasizes the importance of identifying and concentrating on bottlenecks to improve performance.

Core Functions of Business

  • There are five core functions in every business that require regular self-assessment for improvement.
  • Identifying bottlenecks in these core functions can accelerate growth.

"So for those of you new to this, there are five core functions of every business, and if you are not rating yourself on them, then it is very difficult for you to improve on them."

The speaker suggests that there are five essential functions in a business that should be regularly evaluated. This self-assessment is crucial for identifying areas that need improvement.

Equal Access to Resources

  • All businesses have access to the same basic resources such as time, workforce, advertising platforms, and information.
  • The difference in business growth rates is attributed to how these resources are allocated and prioritized.

"And so if every other competitor in the space has access to the same workforce, right, they have access to the same things to advertise on in order to get talent, and they have access to the same information because it's the Internet, and they have access to the same amount of time per day."

The speaker points out that all businesses in a given space have equal access to resources, implying that successful growth is not about what resources you have but how you use them.

Prioritization and Bottlenecks

  • Effective prioritization involves focusing on the most significant bottleneck to move the business forward.
  • Concentrating on the biggest bottleneck can lead to faster growth.

"And it's by allocating and prioritizing the things that you're going to work on and making sure that the things that you are working on are not just things that you should be doing, but are the one thing that is going to move the ball forward, right?"

The quote emphasizes the importance of strategic prioritization where businesses should focus on the most critical bottleneck to ensure progress and growth.

Business Flow Process

  • The business flow begins with lead generation, followed by lead nurturing, which includes scheduling, showing, and warming up prospects.
  • The third stage is sales, where prospects are converted into customers.
  • Fulfillment involves not just delivering on promises but exceeding expectations to provide abundant value.
  • By delivering more value than expected, businesses can enhance referrals and retention.

"The business flows first from lead generation, like getting inquiries about people who want to work, want your service, right? The second thing is lead nurture... The third thing is sales... Once we have converted the prospect, then we have fulfillment... And then the last piece is how to lik"

The speaker outlines the business flow process from lead generation to nurturing, sales, and fulfillment, stressing the importance of each stage in the customer journey and the overall growth strategy.

Exceeding Customer Expectations

  • Providing value beyond what customers pay for can lead to increased referrals and retention.
  • An experiment suggested by the speaker involves considering what would be provided if customers paid significantly more, then attempting to deliver as many of those services as possible.

"So how do we deliver on the promises that we made, but not only deliver, deliver in such a way that is so much above what we promised, that they are blown away with the abundant exchange that we've provided. Meaning they gave us $200, but we provided $1,000 for the value."

This quote highlights the strategy of exceeding customer expectations as a way to create a sense of abundant value, which can foster customer loyalty and encourage referrals.

Core Functions of Business

  • The five core functions of a business are lead generation, lead nurture, sales, fulfillment, and retention/ascension.
  • Retention/ascension focuses on getting customers to repurchase or upgrade their service level.
  • HR and finance are additional functions but not always a concern for smaller, brick-and-mortar businesses.

"So you have lead generation, lead nurture, sales, fulfillment, and the last one is retention. Ascension, meaning how do we get them to buy again and again and again, or ascension, how do we get them to upgrade to a higher level of service?"

This quote lists the core functions of a business, emphasizing the importance of customer retention and the concept of ascension as a means to encourage repeat business or service upgrades.

"There's two other functions over here, which are HR and finance, which for most brick and mortar smaller businesses, you don't need to concern yourself with, but they are functions of the business that need to be mentioned."

Here, the speaker acknowledges HR and finance as business functions but suggests they may not be as relevant for small, brick-and-mortar businesses, although they are still worth mentioning.

Identifying Business Bottlenecks

  • To identify business bottlenecks, it's important to analyze the core functions and determine which area is underperforming.
  • Reed Hoffman's concept of a "lazy CEO" implies that effective delegation and focusing on the most critical tasks can be beneficial.
  • The bottleneck in a business that is not growing is likely within one of the five core functions.
  • Common misconceptions include assuming the bottleneck is always lead generation when it could be poor fulfillment or sales skills.

"So how do you identify which of these things you need to work on and then disregard everything else?"

The speaker is suggesting a focused approach to business management by identifying key areas that need improvement and ignoring distractions.

"If you're not growing, then one of these five things is your bottleneck, straight up."

This quote emphasizes that a lack of growth in a business is directly tied to a bottleneck in one of the core functions.

"Maybe you suck at sales. If you get ten people walk in the door and you're only closing two of them, you suck at sales."

Here, the speaker bluntly identifies poor sales skills as a potential bottleneck, using a hypothetical scenario to illustrate the point.

Solutions to Business Bottlenecks

  • Solutions to bottlenecks can be categorized into three types: a person, a process, or a project.
  • Hiring a person to handle a bottleneck can be effective if they can be trained to perform at a high level.
  • Delegating tasks to trained individuals can free up time for the business owner to focus on more valuable activities.
  • The goal is to achieve a positive return on investment (ROI) on the time saved by delegating tasks.

"And so once you identify which one of those things is the bottleneck, then all you need to do is literally disregard everything else in your life, disregard every other guru, every motivational manifesto, whatever it is."

The speaker advocates for an intense focus on resolving the identified bottleneck, suggesting that other advice or distractions should be ignored.

"So at some point, you will get good enough at this thing that you will be able to have a person do it for you for less if you are able to teach them."

This quote highlights the potential to outsource a business function to another person once the owner has mastered it and can effectively train someone else to take over.

"You're getting a positive ROI on the time, because ultimately, as a business owner, all we ever do is continue to trade up on our time."

Here, the speaker explains the underlying principle of time management for business owners, which is to continually seek a higher ROI on their time investment.

Call to Action for Listeners

  • The host encourages return listeners who haven't yet rated or reviewed the show to do so.
  • The host humorously implies that listeners should feel guilty for not taking action to support the show.

"Hey, if you're a return listener and you have not rated or reviewed the show, I want you to know that you should feel absolutely terrible about yourself."

This quote is a playful call to action, urging listeners to rate or review the podcast, implying a sense of obligation or guilt for not having done so already.

Podcast Introduction and Call to Action

  • The hosts encourage listeners to support the podcast by performing an action that takes less than 60 seconds.
  • Emphasis on the importance of word-of-mouth for the growth of the podcast.
  • The hosts are reaching out for help to assist as many entrepreneurs as possible, highlighting a community effort.

"I'm kidding. But it would mean the absolute world. To me if you guys would go ahead and do that. And you don't even have to pause the show. You can keep listening, and you can just do it with your thumb right now. It'll take you less than 60 seconds."

This quote is a playful yet earnest request from the hosts for listeners to engage in a quick action to support the podcast, emphasizing that it can be done easily while continuing to listen.

"And like I said, the only way that podcast grows through word of mouth, and this is you joining hands with me and helping as many entrepreneurs as we possibly can, because no one is coming to save us. It's just us."

The hosts underline the importance of community support and word-of-mouth promotion for the podcast's success, framing it as a collective effort to empower entrepreneurs.

Strategic Decision-Making

  • Speaker A discusses their role in making strategic decisions rather than being involved in sales or running traffic.
  • The skill of allocating resources effectively for the business is highlighted as a critical and valuable one.
  • Time management is mentioned, with Speaker A buying back time to focus on what matters most for the business.

"Because right now, what is the act? I don't do any of our sales. I don't sell launch, I don't sell legacy, I don't run our traffic. So the skill set that I have to have now that's higher is literally just like making strategic decisions, looking at the entire landscape of the marketplace and saying like, this is where we're going to allocate all of our resources for the next nine months and we're going to do nothing else."

Speaker A explains that their current role focuses on high-level strategic decisions, such as resource allocation, rather than direct sales or marketing activities.

Identifying and Addressing Bottlenecks

  • Speaker A emphasizes the importance of working on the business's bottleneck, the one thing that is holding it back.
  • They argue that any work not focused on the bottleneck is a waste of time.
  • The example of customer retention versus lead generation is used to illustrate how effort should be allocated to the most significant problem.

"If you are doing anything but working on the one thing that is holding you back, you're wasting your time."

This quote underlines the central idea that entrepreneurs should prioritize addressing the primary issue that is impeding their business's progress.

"If your retention right now is at 3% month over month, like churn, so you keep 97% of your clients month one month two month three, right. Then you should not be focusing your time on going from 3% to one and a half percent because your effort will be better allocated on generating more inquiries."

Speaker A uses customer retention as an example to explain that if a business has a high retention rate, efforts should be redirected from trying to improve that rate further to generating more customer inquiries.

Continuous Problem-Solving and Maintenance

  • The hosts discuss the ongoing nature of problem-solving in business.
  • They mention that after fixing one problem, a business owner must be ready to identify and address the next issue that arises.
  • Maintaining performance while shifting focus to new areas is described as the secret to successful business management.

"So you basically need to go create something that's going to create the problem again, because ultimately all we're ever doing is solving problems."

Speaker A points out that businesses are in a constant cycle of creating and solving problems, suggesting that this is a fundamental aspect of entrepreneurship.

"And so maybe you have a 3% month over month churn when you only have two new customers in because you can give all of them back rubs and you can sing to all of them and text them all everyday smiley faces because you don't have a ton of inquiries, right? But if all of a sudden you're signing up 30 new clients a month on EfT, then all of a sudden your attrition spikes. Why? Because now that becomes the biggest bottleneck."

This quote elaborates on how changing circumstances, like an increase in new clients, can shift what the biggest bottleneck for a business is, necessitating a change in focus.

"Can you put the person processor project in place after you have figured out the bottleneck and opened it up as a flow? Can you keep it?"

Speaker A challenges business owners to not only identify and fix bottlenecks but also to maintain performance in those areas while addressing new challenges that emerge.

Scaling Business Operations

  • Importance of maintaining operational flow while addressing specific business areas.
  • The challenge of fixing one business area only to have another fall behind.
  • The necessity to identify and fix problems systematically to avoid a cycle of recurring issues.

And that is ultimately how you're able to scale each piece of your business and continue to rise the whole thing, rather than saying, here's the five things that are going on in the business. I fixed lead gen and then lead nurture was a problem, and then you go to lead nurture, but then your lead gen stops as a problem.

This quote emphasizes the need for a business to scale operations by addressing each area without causing a lapse in others, illustrating the interconnectedness of different business functions.

The Three P's: Person, Process, Project

  • Evaluating the need for personnel, process improvements, or projects to fix business problems.
  • The role of the business owner in acquiring skills to address these problems.
  • The importance of identifying skill deficits to manage and resolve bottlenecks effectively.

And so when you are fixing the problem, use the three p's and figure out whether there is a person who needs to be there, a process that needs to get fixed or a project.

This quote introduces the "three P's" framework as a method for diagnosing and addressing business issues, indicating that solutions can involve personnel changes, process improvements, or specific projects.

Reframing Problems and Skill Acquisition

  • The concept of reframing business problems as personal skill deficits.
  • The need for business owners to acquire new skills to manage and grow their business effectively.
  • Creating consistent and permanent solutions by focusing on skill development.

And when you reframe all of your problems is what deficits do I have to fix this bottleneck and turn it into a flow?

The relevance of this quote is in its advice to business owners to consider their own skill gaps as the root of business problems, thereby focusing on personal development to create long-term solutions.

Addressing Growth and Bottlenecks

  • Recognizing growth problems as an inevitable part of business expansion.
  • The importance of focusing on the core functions of the business to identify bottlenecks.
  • The need to create solutions that allow for attention to shift to the next bottleneck without regression.

Growth problems are still problems, but they're much better than bankruptcy problems.

This quote acknowledges that while growth problems can be challenging, they are preferable to the issues faced by failing businesses, highlighting the positive aspect of growth-related challenges.

Continuous Improvement and Avoiding "Whack-a-Mole"

  • The strategy of continuous improvement in business operations.
  • Avoiding the "whack-a-mole" approach by creating permanent solutions.
  • The cycle of returning to previously fixed areas for further enhancement as the business grows.

So anyways, flows and bottlenecks. Look at your five core functions. Figure out which one of those things is your bottleneck. Disregard everything else in your life and fix it with a person, a project, or a process.

The quote advises focusing on the core functions of the business to identify and address bottlenecks using the appropriate one of the three P's, emphasizing a targeted and focused approach to problem-solving.

Engagement and Community Interaction

  • Encouragement for community engagement with the content provided.
  • The speaker's commitment to responding to comments and interactions.

If you can drop a like or a comment or anything, I will always, or I always do my best to respond.

This quote is a call to action for listeners to engage with the content, and it also expresses the speaker's dedication to interacting with their audience.

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