In last week’s article I introduced you to the concept of the agency roadmap. The roadmap is a business plan with nine modules, that when followed will give you a systemised, profitable and sustainable business, with real value.
So what are the nine modules?
1. Customer defining documents
One of the most under utilised aspects of any business, often seen as wishy-washy American marketing speak. However I can categorically say I don’t know a successful business that doesn’t have some aspect of customer defining documents that are promoted within the company. The three main documents that are an essential part of any business are:
- Values and beliefs – How do you want your company to be ran? What is important to you and the staff and how will you make decisions? Values and beliefs are the integral part of any business and how you want to be remembered, run an organisation based on values and you will have a company to be proud of.
- Mission Statement – The end game for your business. What is it that you are trying to achieve and to keep everyone on the right path?
- Customer service charter – Essential for giving superior customer service. A list of promises that when followed both internally and externally will deliver on that promise
We all know a business is only as good as its staff, so we need to ensure we recruit and retain the right people. In short, we need the right bums on the right seats. But how do we do that. How do we recruit? And it may come as no surprises to hear that 99% of businesses are recruiting wrong.
3. Systems and processes
Now, I love systems and procedures, but it’s really one of the main reasons why we have grown the business to be as successful as it is. It’s all down to having a set of rules that the staff follow. Clearly defined rules that can’t be mi-interpreted.
4. Training and development
Once we have the best staff, we need to be able to motivate them and giving them bespoke training and development is the best way to do so. Not increased wages, not extra holidays not any other monetary or financial benefit. There is a reason that companies without structure in their training and development department struggle to retain staff
The weakest part of most SMEs is the lack of management. Business owners are either too soft or far too hard on their staff which results in lack of respect. Actions don’t get done, things get missed, and business is lost, all because of some of the very basic management skills are missed.
Vince Lombardi said it best, “If you aint keeping score then you are only practising”. How can we make informed decisions about staff when we don’t know how they are performing? Keeping a ongoing score of how your staff, departments and business are performing overall gives you all the information you need to manage and lead it. In my Agency Roadmap group I’ll show you how to design and implement your own bespoke KPIs and not generic ones that most agencies have
7. Financial management
It still shocks me that the majority of agencies I come across don't have a decent level of financial management. For absolute clarity, if you don’t have monthly management accounts (Profit and loss) cash-flow forecasts and up to date balance sheets then you are not doing your business justice. Apart from the fact your banks, investors would want to see that you have a reasonable understanding of your business’s finances. With a lack of KPIs, how can you make informed business decisions?
Like it or not, good businesses have leaders. Leadership is vastly underrated. I’ll go in depth on how to build a leadership-centric business so you can build a business to run without you and what qualities you need to look for in a prospective leader and when is the right time to promote or recruit.
Without prospecting then your business will not grow. Low fees and more competition has made “walk in” business harder to come by. You need to go out there and hunt for business. Take it from your competitor or they will take it from you. Business is tough, it’s not for the faint-hearted and if you want to live in a world where people don’t poach your customers or clients then you're not cut out for business I’m afraid...
These nine modules of the Agency Roadmap are essential to growing a sustainable and profitable business. Follow each step, put it into practice and maintain it moving forward.
Over the coming weeks ill be explaining in greater detail how to implement these modules into your own business to take it to the next level.
John Paul runs the Agency Growth Strategies group on Facebook. A great resource dedicated to helping estate agents and letting agents build their business. Head over and request to join today.