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The Future of Marketing with Ryan Deiss, Ralph Burns, and Kasim Aslam of Perpetual Traffic

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Ryan Deiss was recently featured on the Perpetual Traffic Podcast to talk about the future of marketing and conversion.

 

Marketing, at the end of the day, is the crafting and amplification of a message—and the crafting piece is more important today than it’s ever been.

 

We’ve been receiving so much positive feedback about adding Ryan as a co-host on Business Lunch. We recently featured Ryan on another one of our podcasts, Perpetual Traffic, about the future of marketing and some cool things happening at Scalable. (One of those cool things is Scalable Impact LIVE. Get your ticket HERE.) It’s a great episode to listen to as a leader and entrepreneur—and to have your marketing team listen to as well. 

 

No one knows marketing like Ryan Deiss. Listen in as he chats with Perpetual Traffic hosts, Ralph Burns and Kasim Aslam, about what we can expect in the world of marketing in the weeks and months to come.

 

How Digital Marketing Has Changed in the Past Two Decades

Ryan has been in the digital marketing game since he was 19, and he’s almost 41. If you do the math, he’s been at it longer than he hasn’t. And he’s seen a lot of changes. When he first started, obviously there was no Google or Facebook or YouTube or TikTok. Over the first decade of his career, he watched it move toward marketers’ ability to target. There was this push when it was all about “right person, right time” (and the right message wasn’t as important).

 

In the past few years, we’ve seen a shift away from that. Things got harder, more expensive. It’s been fun with Facebook ads from 2007 to 2017. There was a new social channel coming out every other month. You could get in early, build your following. We watched influencers become celebrities. 

 

But paid ads have straight up doubled in the past year. The average marketer has to spend more, and it’s only going to get harder. We peaked, we crested, and now we’re seeing a shift back toward digital marketer looking like mass media marketing. Our ability to get our message in front of the right person at the right time is slowly getting taken away from us—through competition, algorithmic shift, and being priced out.

 

With all this mass media, the message matters more now. It’s the message that reigns. There’s always going to be an edge if you’re really a student of this stuff. It’s really important as marketers that we own our message and become good copywriters again. Bad copy used to work if your timing was perfect. The message could be “want this thing?” People would be like, “I do!” And it was as easy as that. 

 

Now? The sky isn’t falling exactly, but you have to realize that the 2015 playbook isn’t going to work in 2022. You have to build your own community, your own media brand. You need an email list, a podcast, a community of people invested in you and what you do.

 

The Best Message Wins

Roy Williams, one of Ryan’s mentors, is the author of The Wizard of Ads trilogy, which “everybody should read,” Ryan says. One of the fundamental themes is that the best message wins. Roy knows this because he’s done primarily mass media marketing, and there’s only so much targeting you can do through radio/TV. Roy always says, “The most valuable target is the untargeted target that you target through messaging.”

 

Why is this true? Because, the more targeting you bring into play, the higher the cost. The holy grail of marketing and advertising is the ability to craft a message, yell it out to the masses, and have people who didn’t even know they were in the market have their ears perk up. That is the greatest skill that has ever existed and will always work in marketing. 

 

Ryan says there’s going to be an absolute bloodbath in the digital marketing space. You had so many agencies and consultants who had their trick. Ooh, I can juggle. In a world where everyone wants juggling, that’s great. But now it’s like juggling sucks. Nobody wants juggling. You’re out of business. Because they weren’t actually marketers. They weren’t even really craftspeople or artists. They knew how to do one thing. 

 

Marketing is all about crafting and amplifying a message. In recent years, all of the emphasis has been around amplification, traffic. Now it’s going to be all about messaging. The folks who win will be those who see themselves as messengers and communicators first. Where the edge will be moving forward is on the messaging side. Most of these marketers have never learned how to craft a message. They’ve never learned how to dig in and figure out “what does this person really want?”

 

The Concentric Circles of Marketing

It’s easy to market to someone who already knows, likes, and trusts you and desperately wants what you have. Just show up. Then you go out to that next ring—people who are solution-aware and in the market and actively looking. But the biggest gains will come from the problem-aware market and the unaware market. That’s where you’ve got to learn to speak to people about their unspoken need/desire—things they aren’t even talking about.

 

Roy Williams once wrote a Rolex ad for Justice Jewelers, a regional jewelry company in the Midwest. When Sir Edmund Hillary conquered Everest, he got a Rolex. The whole point of the ad is that you, too, deserve a Rolex when you conquer your own Everest. This ad is for people who might never have even thought about wanting a Rolex. This is for someone who has conquered a mountain and they’re looking for a way to celebrate. You’re selling them identity reinforcement. That’s what great marketers understand. 

 

The New Marketing Playbook for CEOs

A lot of CEOs are struggling with this new world—going from being their own CMO to having others do it for them. Ryan says the days of running the company and doing all the marketing are over. And he says this as the CEO of a company called DigitalMarketer. He doesn’t market anymore. He’s not even in the marketing meetings. His primary job is communicator-in-chief. He’s good at messaging, and that’s where he’ll keep his focus.

 

Internally, they focus on messaging, and for all the mechanics of a given channel (Google, Facebook, YouTube), they work with external agencies and consultants. Everything has gotten so specialized. Let other people handle it. 

 

Back in 2016, DigitalMarketer set a vision and mission for the next 5 years. They wanted to be all about doubling the size of 10k businesses. It was a cool mission, but they had no way to track it. This year they reset their mission. They’re going to be all about serving and enabling marketers. They’re going to simplify and systemize marketing so marketers can freaking win and do their best work. 

 

See You at Scalable Impact LIVE

That shift meant they were no longer speaking to the small business owner and entrepreneur. So they started another company for that at Scalable.Co. Ryan tells founders to get out of the dang marketing meetings. As the leader, you’re not the person coming up with all the plans. You’re communicator-in-chief and questioner-in-chief. He knows it’s a hard one to hand off, but you’ve got to do it if you want to scale. 

 

They didn’t just launch a new company; they launched a new event. Scalable Impact Live is an annual event for the CEO and entrepreneur. It’s not T&C; there’s literally not a single marketing session. It’s all about asking: what does it look like to scale your business to the next level? Growth is not enough. 

 

It’s single track, old-school, highly interactive, with just 500-600 people. Ryan and his business partners, Roland Frasier and Richard Lindner, will be teaching and walking through different workshops with special guests Marcus Lemonis from The Profit; the NFL’s Emmitt Smith; and brilliant businesswoman, Kendra Scott. 

 

Come confused and frustrated; leave with a scalable impact plan

 

RESOURCES:

 

 



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    Using Data to Grow Your Business with Phillip Stutts, CEO of Win Big Media

    28:41

    What if you could use the same five-step formula that helps candidates win elections to win big at digital marketing?   On today’s episode, host Roland Frasier sits down with Phillip Stutts, CEO of Win Big Media to talk about using data to grow your business. Phillip worked in political campaigns for years, using a systematic formula to elect candidates (1433 victories!). When he turned 40, his answer to the stereotypical midlife crisis was to start a business in a new-to-him industry.    Five years ago, a business owner, a large landowner, came to him. He had hired a marketing agency and spent $50k on a marketing campaign and got one lead, not even a sale. After working with Phillip’s team, and spending just $5k, they got him over 700 leads, and he converted a bunch of them.   Phillip realized that the same formula used in successful political campaigns could be used in companies’ marketing campaigns as well. They just needed to take 5 simple, important steps.   Step 1: Know Your Customer’s Data (What They Care About)   Phillip can’t count how many times a business owner has come to him and told me they spent so much money on marketing and produced no results and fired a marketer. It’s like a broken record. He always asks them: what did you know about your customer data before you built your brand?    In politics, before he spends any of his candidate’s money, he has to make sure they know what the voter cares about. The voter doesn’t care about a 25-issue platform. You can do a survey, get some data in the field, and figure out the two main issues they care about, that would get them to vote for you.    Phillip is obsessed with Step 1 and formed a partnership with a data and analytics company. Before you spend any money, he can tell you everything you need to know about your customer. The data is the most important thing. He won’t work with any client who isn’t willing to do a deep dive understanding of their customers. It’s just not worth it to him.    His team started working with a title company that wanted to be #1. Their customer is the real estate agent, not the house buyer. Phillip’s team found that 61% of the realtors in their target market owned dogs. They started running campaign ads with dogs, and now they’re #1 in their region and #3 in the state. Realtors come into the title company to close on a house and say, “I saw your dog ads and loved them.” It’s all about making meaningful connections, because you know what they want.   Step 2: Put Together a Strategic Plan   Phillip says that Step 2 is where everybody screws up. Almost everyone is running a marketing campaign based on tactics. You have to put a strategic plan together that aligns the vision of the company with what the customer wants. You have to align your budget with where your customer actually is.   Step 3: Build the Brand   Building the brand is not Step 1 like a lot of people think. It’s a waste of time to build your brand haphazardly without first studying the data to figure out what your customer wants and putting together a strategic plan.   Step 4: A/B Testing    You’ve got to run test ads before you launch your campaign. You’ve got to compare at least two versions of something to see which one performs better. Successful political candidates run all kinds of test ads in all different versions. It’s the best way to get it right.   Step 5: Launch Your Marketing Campaign   Now that you’ve eliminated your risk in Steps 1-4, you can launch your actual marketing campaign.   Phillip says that any company of any size can use data. He was criticized when he first started his agency, because people told him he needed to go niche—all SEO, all Facebook, all YouTube, whatever. He had a problem with that, because he believes in following where the data tells him to go. He has no dog in the hunt on any certain platform. They’re going to do what’s best for each client based on the data.   They use data in messaging, marketing, and targeting. And they’ve already found ways to get around pesky issues like iOS updates and other privacy concerns.   RESOURCES: phillipstutts.com (get a free data assessment) winbigmedia.com   The Undefeated Marketing System: How to Grow Your Business and Build Your Audience Using the Secret Formula that Elects Presidents   The Undefeated Marketing podcast   OUR PARTNERS: Get a free proposal from Conversion Fanatics Get 3% cash back on your ad spend with AdCard Get Roland’s book, Zero Down, FREE Join Roland's next EPIC Challenge
  • Business Lunch podcast

    What to Consider When Buying a Company (Part 3)

    16:37

    The final steps to acquiring a company are very important. Do them well, and you’ll be the proud new owner of a business.   This is the third and final episode of an invaluable series where Roland Frasier has been walking us through some important questions to ask when buying a business. All three episodes are important, but this one in particular will help you finish strong.   Listen in, take notes, then go connect with Roland on social media (Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn). He’d love to hear what you took away from these episodes and what you’d like to hear next on the podcast.    Target Questions to Get the Data You Need   In the previous episode, you were finding common touchpoints and building rapport with the owner of the business you want to acquire. You showed interest, asked questions, got them talking, so you could take notes to help you craft an offer.   Once you’ve had that conversation, the next set of questions is more specific. Roland has a target data information sheet he fills out. You don’t need a financial statement to get these questions answered. Here are some of them:   What is the top level sales? What is the profitability of the company? What are the assets and liabilities of the company? What kind of cash is in the company? What are the accounts receivable/payable?  What is the long-term debt of the company? Does it own any real estate? What other assets does it have? Does it have inventory? How many employees do they have? What is the owner’s reason for selling? What will they do going forward?   The reason you ask that last question is because you want them to get excited about life after business. Then you’ve built a common goal.    How Do You Start the Research and Outreach Process?   A lot of people believe businesses to acquire can be found through online and offline brokers of businesses. The truth is, those are really the worst deals. Here’s why. Think about when you list a house. You’re emotionally invested in it, so you typically think it’s worth more than it really is. When someone goes to a broker to sell their house or business, the broker will say, “What do you want for it?” They’ll either say, “I don’t know” or “I want x.” The broker has to think of how to keep the seller’s expectations reasonable and get the deal. There’s a compulsion to let someone list something for sale at a higher price than they can actually get for it. You’re fighting against a seller’s expectation. Plus they need to get enough to pay the broker. If you have someone who has received multiple offers they’ve turned down, that will be helpful for you, but you’re still going to pay the highest price the broker can get.    Wouldn’t it be better if you could get off-market deals that aren’t listed? Or deals that were listed but the listing expired? They’ve gone through the “expectation curve” process and are much more reasonable in what they’ll accept. Keep in mind that 80% of businesses listed do not sell.   Roland recommends finding businesses organically. You’re probably not going to find businesses by running an ad. Most of this happens through word of mouth and networking. The more you meet people and tell them what you’re doing and what you’re looking for, the more likely it is that you’ll meet someone who knows someone who can refer you to someone who has that business you’re looking for.    Some places to ask about businesses for sale:   Friends and family Email signatures Social media contacts  Networking groups Meetup groups  Angel groups Contractors, employees, consultants Join masterminds Investment bankers, accountants, attorneys Trade shows/trade associations.   The more you plug yourself into the industry you want to acquire a business in, the more likely that you’ll get referrals. Referrals are the best, because you’re getting introduced to the person with someone’s arm wrapped around you saying, “This is a good person to do business with.”  Letting your whole world know is the best way to start.   If you’re doing cold outreach, there are several things you can do. The easiest in the U.S. is to go to secstates.com. This site lists all 50 Secretaries of State where filings of business entities are done and registered.   You can also find businesses on hoovers.com or zoominfo.com. Names, phone numbers, and addresses are often available. Call the company, ask who the owner is, and say you have to send them some information. Or go to the website and look at the About Us page or Team or Contact Us. You can also Google information about business licenses. Then send them information like Roland talked about in the previous episodes.   LINKS AND RESOURCES: meetup.com secstates.com hoovers.com zoominfo.com   OUR PARTNERS: Get a free proposal from Conversion Fanatics Get 3% cash back on your ad spend with AdCard Get Roland’s book, Zero Down, FREE Join Roland's next EPIC Challenge  
  • Business Lunch podcast

    The 7 Levels of Scale: Doubling Your Take-Home Pay

    25:52

    Over the next few podcast episodes, we’ll walk through the 7 Levels of Scale—everything you need to know to grow and scale your business. Today is about MONEY—doubling your take-home pay.   Co-hosts Roland Frasier and Ryan Deiss have developed a powerful and proven framework for scaling your business. It’s been a long labor of love. They had all the pieces, but they needed to tie it together in a simplified way that was transferable and repeatable. And they made it happen.   Here are the 7 Levels of Scale:   Level #1: Sell and serve 10 customers. Level #2: Build a growth flywheel. Level #3: Build an upgraded scalable operating system.   Level #4: Double your take-home pay.   Level #5: Build your board. Level #6: Complete an acquisition for expansion. Level #7: Hit your number.   They covered Levels 1 and 2 in Part 1 and Level 3 in part 2. Today is all about Level 4. Listen in for some actionable strategies to double your take-home pay (AFTER you’ve hit levels 1-3).   Scared Money Doesn’t Scale   People hear “double your take-home pay” and think, “If I do that, I’ll go broke and not have enough money to grow. Shouldn’t I be putting that money back into my company?”   Ryan says there are two things at play here. One is nerd finance stuff (which Roland loves and Ryan is learning to like). There’s a big mindset shift that needs to happen for many people at this point. It’s time for you to be feeling more abundant, feeling some of the gains of owning a business. Ryan’s first mentor back in the day once told him, “You’re doing well, but you’re not taking enough money. You need to pay yourself well, because scared money doesn’t scale.”   This step is so important. Roland and Ryan want you to have a plan to personally bring twice as much money home. If you haven’t brought home anything up to this point, you need to do more than twice, more than enough to pay for your basic expenses.    “But I could lose everything,” you think. “I need to make another sale or I could go out of business.” That fear is really good in the early days. The intensity of the lion chasing you is great for launching a business, but not great for scaling a business. That fear will hold you back, keep you stuck in short-term thinking. You need to make more money so you can start thinking longer-term.    One of the obstacles you face in business is feeling guilty taking money out of the company. You do have a tight situation when you’re boot-strapping, so you’ve got to think about your people you need to take care of, and the growth you need to get, and the resources, media, inventory, people you need. You’re spinning plates, and the plate that gets ignored is you. You actually deserve this. You need to take care of yourself. If you don’t build in some profitability for yourself, any ding in the company could end it.   Don’t Over-Parent Your Company; Let It Soar   Your company won’t scale if you don’t let it grow up. You’ve got to let it go out on its own and live and survive and perform at a level it needs to perform at for you. At level 3, we separated the founder/entrepreneur from being the brain of the business. We upgraded from you being the operating system to having an actual operating system. You’re no longer the brain; now you have to stop being the beating heart of the company as well.   There’s always another expense. If you don’t pause and say, “I’ve got to pay me,” you’ll never do it. Roland taught Ryan this lesson. Back in the day, he told Ryan to just double his salary, and Ryan freaked out. “I can’t,” he said. He set his first salary at $10k/month and thought to himself, “This is all I could ever need or want.” He has since changed his mind. Four kids and all the other stuff later, that money goes pretty quick.   He doubled his salary, and wouldn’t you know it, there was enough money. That felt good, so he doubled it again. The business didn’t miss it. The business grew. Because the person running the company was no longer terrified about paying his bills. He could think out into the future more strategically, less scarcity-minded.    If you don’t set that money aside, then the business is a gaping void that will suck up any extra money you’ve got. Your salary has to be like rent. The business can’t go on if it can’t afford to pay you to be there. You’ve got to take care of yourself. It’s not optional.    Seriously. Take the Money.   People always fight this. The guilt can be strong. “I need to put the money back in the company.” Ryan says that, when people are struggling, he asks them why they started their business. “To make money,” they say. “To make a difference. I’m passionate about this. I wanted freedom and to be my own boss.” All of that is great, and it requires money.    “We can’t afford it,” they argue. You need to structure the business in such a way that you can afford it. Look at your finances. Look at your expense ratios. Where is your money going? What changes can you make? Do you want to scale or not? You can’t go to level 5 until you’ve doubled your salary.   Also, go back and look at levels 2 and 3. What does your growth engine look like? Is it the right growth engine? Did you follow it correctly? Should you tweak it? Is your OS operating correctly? That’s the cool thing about the 7 levels. Each level supports the rest, so you can always go back to do simple tweaks and add in some things.    You really can have a lot of fun at Level 4. Roland and Ryan say that helping their clients solve the “problem” of doubling take home pay is a blast. If you’re early in this journey, you want to sprint to Level 4. It’s not just where you start to get paid more. It’s where your company starts to professionalize and become more profitable and grow. It’s where we can share the good stuff, because you’re scalable.   When you make the decision to double your take-home pay, you become a better leader, and your company becomes better.    RESOURCES: 7 Levels of Scale Workbook  Take a brief assessment to see where you’re at and what’s next. scalable.co (sign up to work with Roland and Ryan)   The Richest Man in Babylon (book by George S. Clason) Profit First (book by Michael Michalowicz)     OUR PARTNERS: Get a free proposal from Conversion Fanatics Get 3% cash back on your ad spend with AdCard Get Roland’s book, Zero Down, FREE Join Roland's next EPIC Challenge
  • Business Lunch podcast

    What to Consider When Buying a Company (Part 2)

    11:43

    Acquiring and selling businesses is one way to live a rich and happy life, but how do you convince someone to sell you their company?   In today’s episode, Roland Frasier walks us through some important questions to ask when buying a business. This is Part 2 in a series (be sure to check out Part 1!) where he’ll be sharing some of his extensive knowledge and acquisition experience as well as tactical strategies you can go out and implement right away. Acquiring businesses is Roland’s specialty. He’s actually written an entire book on it.   Listen in as he talks about the two questions he asks the target company’s owner as he’s starting the conversion about acquiring the company.   Question #1 to Ask the Owner   Roland says a lot of people create more friction than is necessary at the beginning. They jump in and say, “Hey, do you want to sell your company?” When you’re ready to talk to the owner of the company you want to acquire, hopefully you’ve determined your acquisition criteria and the profitability level you want. But “Hey, do you want to sell your company?” is a walls-up question.   If you’re going in cold, you might get this common angry response: “Who told you our company was for sale?”    The question Roland likes to ask instead is more investment-related. “Hey, I’m an investor. I’m looking for a company in [specific area] that sells [specific industry] and makes [x level of sales]. Would you be interested in having a conversation about the possibility of investment or working together?”   Coming in as an investor is very non-threatening, because almost all businesses need investors and capital. You want to be coming from a place of authenticity, so get clear on what an investment means to you. An investment doesn’t have to mean you have a pool of cash available. You can have other resources and assets to bring to the table.   If they say yes, another mistake people make is asking for a financial statement or tax returns. Don’t ask for that upfront. You don’t want them talking to their accountant or attorney and getting their walls up again, before you even know if you want to buy the company.   Instead, just say, “That’s fantastic. I have a few questions to see if we’d work well together. I’d love to know some basic numbers. Could we meet now, or do you need a few days to gather that information?”   Question #2 to Ask the Owner   This brings us to the next question: “Can you tell me the story of the company?” This one helps build rapport. You’ll get the long-form narrative response about the history of the company and how it has evolved. Take notes here, because they’re giving you priceless information. And it’s so much less threatening to them.   While they’re telling you this history, find places you can build rapport with them because you have commonalities of experience. Find common touchpoints that will build trust. Bring them up when they’re done talking.   Then say: “That’s great. So interesting. I love learning more about the company. I’d also love to know more about you and your entrepreneurial journey.” People love to talk about themselves. Find more commonalities. Ask more questions. Build more trust. And you’ll be well on your way to acquiring this company.   Stay tuned for Part 3!   OUR PARTNERS: Get a free proposal from Conversion Fanatics Get 3% cash back on your ad spend with AdCard Get Roland’s book, Zero Down, FREE Join Roland's next EPIC Challenge  
  • Business Lunch podcast

    The 7 Levels of Scale: Dialing In Your Operating System

    40:21

    Over the next few podcast episodes, we’ll walk through the 7 Levels of Scale—everything you need to know to grow and scale your business.   Everyone always asks Roland Frasier and Ryan Deiss “Where do I start?” when it comes to scaling their business. Their new framework they call The 7 Levels of Scale answers that question.   In the previous episode, they covered Levels 1 and 2. In today’s episode, they unpack Level 3, but here are all seven:   Level #1: Sell and serve 10 customers. Level #2: Build a growth flywheel.   Level #3: Build an upgraded scalable operating system.   Level #4: Double your take-home pay. Level #5: Build your board. Level #6: Complete an acquisition for expansion. Level #7: Hit your number.   If you haven’t listened to Part 1, go do that now. This framework doesn’t work out of order. Sequence matters in a big way. Then listen in for everything you need to know about Level #3: Build an upgraded scalable operating system.   Two Big Errors Entrepreneurs Make   The first error entrepreneurs make is setting up an operating system without going through the first two levels. You don’t need an operating system if nothing is happening in your business.   The second error they make is just go go going without putting an operating system in place. If you build your growth flywheel, then fail to build and implement an operating system, you’ll grow your business into non-existence. It will implode from system overload. You can’t serve the people coming in, because it’s all happening too fast, and you don’t have a system in place to handle it. This will wreck you, wreck your family, and wreck your business.   This happened to Ryan. He almost lost his marriage over it. To build something that’s actually working—but have it almost destroy you—is one of the worst things that can happen.   What Is an Operating System Exactly?   No one can actually agree on a definition, but Google says this: “An operating system is a set of algorithms and a common language that enables different components to communicate with one another in the support of the desired outputs of a machine.” It’s like a computer where the mouse, the CPU, the printer, and everything else has to communicate with each other in order for it to work.   What do we mean by a set of algorithms? Standard operating procedures. What is a common language? Communications and meeting rhythms. What are desired outputs? Your goals and objectives.That forms the foundational framework of what it means to have an operating system.   The business owner generally knows what the desired outputs are, but they haven’t really been fully flushed out. You need goals and objectives and a way to communicate them throughout the company. You need standard operating procedures (SOPs) where one person knows how to do something, and documents it so others can learn and repeat it.   Roland and Ryan built a tool for their company internally and now it’s available to people in their  Scalable OS Accelerator.    Document Your Set of Algorithms    Visualize how your company creates value. What is your growth engine? Once you’ve acquired a customer, how do you serve them? That’s the fulfillment engine. In the entire process, you might have half a dozen value engines. There might be 3-4 stages that are really important. These are the ones that need to be documented.    Start with the customer and work backward. Go all the way back to Level 1: sell and serve 10. How do you do this well?    Document the entire process value flow Identify the power stages and build step-by-step checklists/playbooks around those Assign accountability.   Then use that to build company scorecards and establish the meeting rhythm. When will you meet as teams, leadership, all hands? Figure out your meeting schedule once you know about the scorecards. The meeting and scorecards are your common language.    Map Out Your Weeks, Months, and Quarters   Roland and Ryan do 90-day quarterly sprint plans. They look at their scorecards and ask: how are we progressing toward our goals? What’s working and what isn’t? What do we need to optimize? That determines the activities you need to do in the next 90 days.   If you don’t have all these systems in place, then what do you do? Everybody just has their own ideas, their own pet projects, then no one can agree on what to do next. You have to have the OS in place.    One you’ve got your growth flywheel spinning, you’ll need to spend 8-12 weeks building your operating system. While you build, you’re also tracking and measuring. That’s all through the scorecards. Then, the way you install the OS is to host your first quarterly sprint plan. Day 1 is a clarity day. Day 2 is your first quarterly sprint plan. You’re looking forward but also back.    Every three years: clarity day Quarterly: sprint plan Monthly: business review Weekly: team meeting reviewing scorecards   Roland and Ryan aren’t big believers in annual planning. They plan in 3-year cycles and execute in 90-day sprints.    The 6 Primary Tools that Go Into a Scalable Operating System   Value engine (visual representation like a whiteboard with post-it notes) Playbooks (step-by-step checklists that drill down into power stages) HOT canvas (High Output Team, assigning responsibilities) Scorecards (metrics and tracking weekly, reviewed monthly) Meeting rhythm (how often each team is getting together) Clarity compass (visually demonstrating desired outputs)   Roland and Ryan want to create more Level 7 entrepreneurs. They want to help more entrepreneurs scale themselves so they can scale their companies. They’re sick and tired of entrepreneurs burning out and quitting on themselves. They want them to stay at the helm of their companies for as long as they want to. It’s better for the world.   When you pass Level 3, you pass the scalable line. That’s when your company is officially scalable. Next up: making more money. Stay tuned for Part 3!   RESOURCES: 7 Levels of Scale Workbook - Take a brief assessment to see where you’re at and what’s next.   OUR PARTNERS: Get a free proposal from Conversion Fanatics Get 3% cash back on your ad spend with AdCard Get Roland’s book, Zero Down, FREE Join Roland's next EPIC Challenge  
  • Business Lunch podcast

    What to Consider When Buying a Company (Part 1)

    14:57

    Acquiring and selling businesses is one way to live a rich and happy life, but how do you know which companies to buy?   In today’s episode, Roland Frasier walks us through some important things to know when buying a business. This is part one in a series where he’ll be sharing some of his extensive knowledge and acquisition experience.   Listen in as he talks about the first two questions you need to answer before you buy.   How Am I Going to Define My Acquisition Criteria?   That’s question #1. If you don’t know what kind of business you want to buy, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. You’re like a kid in a candy store. You’ll save yourself a lot of headaches by establishing criteria first. Roland uses a matrix for this. It can be as simple as a whiteboard or a piece of paper with four quadrants:   What you enjoy What you have experience in What skills you have What connections you have   Quadrant #1: Make a list of things you actually like to do. Being an entrepreneur is hard. It’s more motivating to go forward and deal with problems if you’re actually passionate about it. Take an inventory of your interests.    Quadrant #2: What do you have experience in? Brainstorm all your prior experience and things you’ve actually done in the past. Write down all of it, even if it doesn’t seem relevant. You might see connections later.   Quadrant #3: What do you have knowledge, training, skills in? This is similar to #2, but this time you’re writing down specific skills you have.   Quadrant #4: What are your connections? What networking resources do you have access to? What things are you a member of? What business contacts do you have? List all of them; don’t leave anyone out.   These four things will help you determine what kind of business you want to buy. You’re looking for common threads among things you’re passionate about, have experience in, are skilled at, and have connections for. What kind of business makes the most sense when taking all four of those things into consideration?  How Do I Select a Target Type?   This is the second big question to ask yourself. How do I select a target type of business? The type of company you’re looking to acquire can fall into several categories:   A company that no longer exists A company that exists but isn’t profitable A company that’s breaking even/profitable   Roland recommends focusing on that last category, unless you have specific skills in turnaround. Not everyone is cut out to acquire failing businesses and turn them around. It’s hard. There are plenty of profitable companies to acquire. In the break even/profitable category, if he doesn’t see things that could make it profitable in 30 days, he’ll pass.   How do you decide how profitable a company needs to be before you acquire it? Roland doesn’t care about sales. He cares about profits. There are two types of profit. The first is SDE (seller discretionary earnings). That’s how profitable an owner-operated company is. Then there’s EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) for a company that’s professionally-managed.   You might want a company with an SDE or EBITDA of a certain amount. What do you want that amount to be? First, ask: how much do I want to pay myself for doing this deal on a monthly business? Let’s say $10k/month. That’s his new target type—a company that’s profitable and making at least $10k/month.   In addition to that, ask: what am I going to do with this company? Let it go as is, or do you actually see growth potential and there will be a little bit of investment to help it grow, either to sell or to make more money to pay yourself more?   And finally, ask: how much money do I want to budget to spend on increasing growth? Let’s say you want to spend $10k/month on growth. So you need a profit of $20k/month total. You need to find a company with an SDE or EBITDA of $240k/year.   That’s how Roland selects the kind of company he wants to go after. He asks which businesses fit his four criteria and have a profitability of $240k/year or more.    Stay tuned for Part 2!   OUR PARTNERS: Get a free proposal from Conversion Fanatics Get 3% cash back on your ad spend with AdCard Get Roland’s book, Zero Down, FREE Join Roland's next EPIC Challenge  

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