• Welcome to Brandon J. Wright

This world is full of everything that looks and acts the same.  Want to stick out of the crowd, be yourself.  Each person in their natural state is unique.  When you are the same person at work as you are at home your strengths will be maximized which increases performance.  As I work my program of self development one thing I look at is my natural behavior and my adaptive behavior.  My natural behavior is how I act or react in my natural state which is typically how I normally act.  My adaptive behavior is how I am at work or in stressful situations that would change or alter my natural state.

To identify yours take a DISC profile.  My friend Craig Jamieson with http://adaptive-business.com/human-resources-services/ can send you the link.  It’s worth the $90.  You will see after asking you the questions through the assessment how each of your behaviors fall into what category.  You will learn more about yourself through this assessment then any other tool I’ve seen.  On the items that you think are wrong or incorrect have your spouse, or parents look at those and see what their response is.  You may be surprised, my wife shared my assessment with my Mom and said “that’s Brandon to the point”.

BullseyeIdentify your strengths, and use those in all areas of your life.  Focus on being unique and comfortable with yourself.  The more that you are the more attractive you will be which helps you in your success in all areas.  Boring is exactly that, boring.  Be unique and someone that will be remembered.

Look at those that are acting as themselves that have made a name for themselves.  The guys on Duck Dynasty act as they do even when the camera’s aren’t around.   Look at Lady Gaga, she expresses her creative side which helps promote her brand.  Now look at those around you, the confident and motivated guy who is always working, helping others, always seems to be happy, he looks like he has a great life.  He’s comfortable with his natural behaviors, he is who is he is, and people around him either accept it or not.  To him it doesn’t matter.

Focus on your program of self development.  Get the DISC profile, have your spouse take it also.  It will help you identify how to better communicate and to understand each other.  Be unique, be different, be proud of who you are.

Have you ever walked into a public place, a store, a restaurant and just felt alone?  Did you wonder why everyone was preoccupied with whatever they were doing rather than acknowledging those around them?  Have you ever noticed something that someone was doing and admired them for what they were doing was above and beyond, but didn’t say anything and wished you had?

There is something about saying hi to a stranger.  I workout in a gym 6 times a week in several different gyms.  Typically I don’t know most of the people.  I do try to acknowledge the other people working out.  It’s almost as if it’s a rule not to make eye contact.  I noticed my friend Derek acknowledge each person and the difference it made in each person.  They went from no eye contact to casual conversation and friendly.  I saw how this helps the atmosphere become more enjoyable for everyone.

Make a DifferenceAnother time I experienced a young 20 year old trainer helping her client that was extremely overweight.  She looked at her in the eye, kept telling her how good she doing, and spent the time to instruct her on each exercise.  She would even crouch down to be below her so that as the ladies head was down they could still maintain eye contact.  This young lady did this naturally.

As I was leaving I made mention to her that I noticed how she interacted with her client.  I told her that I admired how she communicated with her client and motivated her, I could tell that it was genuine.  I ended it with “you really do make a difference in her workout, keep up the good work”.  She thanked me for the kind words, and I could tell it made her day.  I also know that when I’m working out there her motivation comes from helping those that she makes a difference in.  I wonder who else recognizes her personality and how she makes a difference.

The natural effect upon me recognizing other people and the good things that they do does something to me.  It raises my spirit and makes me feel good.  By practicing this it helps me focus on finding the good in others.  This really helps when your going through tough times, because life is more about helping others than just things like money.  If you want to make a difference in someone else’s life, even a stranger, recognize something special about them.  You will make a difference in their life and yours, so just try it.

When you decide to take your company out of the rat race of competition and to focus on a specific market, you leave the competition behind.  Increase your success with more focus, clarity and strategy.  One of those steps is to clarify what target market you are developing or expanding into.  Once you identify that group, then comes the strategy followed by implementation.

Target MarketOver the last 14 years of my business UltraClean offering multiple services has had to have many streams of lead generators.  Some of those require relationship building with a business development person and others are forms of paid advertising.  We’ve had subscriptions to online lead generators, memberships to organizations that charge you per lead, event building to generate relationships and brand building advertising.  The list goes on and on. In order to market our small business to our community we’ve had many types of sales and marketing strategies.  They all require time, money and many don’t produce results.

Developing a target market allows you to narrow your focus.  In our business we offer one service, water damage restoration.  Narrow it down even further, we provide emergency response and structural drying for water damage in residential homes and commercial buildings.  Now that we have defined our service we need to define our client.

In a residential home market I ask the question “who would the homeowner call first?”.  Some would call a plumber or their insurance agent, friend, family, neighbor, contractor or their 1-800 claims insurance company number.  Then I look who I can target out of that group, develop the strategy and then focus on getting results.

The friend, family or neighbor would be mass marketing so that would be to hard to get them to know our company and then for them to remember us when the service need is there.  The insurance company 1-800 claim number will go to a franchise who has low price vendors performing their work, so there isn’t any opportunity there for a local contractor.  A contractor in a high end community may be the go to person for the homeowner who relies on their contractor as the go to person.  Targeting a contractor would be easier, but the results that they would provide may not be cost effective.   That leaves us a plumber and an insurance agent.  There are lot’s of plumbers and insurance agents.  Some agents care about who serves their clients and will refer directly the contractor to their client.  At the same time there are lot’s of plumbing companies that may get that first call.  Decide who you want to target that your company will work well with.

There need’s to be a match.  To develop a referral source you must understand their demographic and target market.  If an agent or a plumber works on price only, then chances are the client they are serving will be price orientated.  Many times these will be your more difficult clients, consume more of your time and cost more because they are expecting a deal.  Leave these for your competition, low profitable customers aren’t worth the time.  It’s ok to not focus on getting every available project just focus on the right ones.

We just identified identifying the right referral source that will get you to the end consumer of your services.  The next question for us is how do we develop a relationship with those that they turn to so that we can then have them refer us.  Developing a strategy and executing is where those that succeed in small business grow their business.

Break out of the rat race from your competitors and focus on a specific market.  In the example that I’ve used, narrowing who you want to focus on that will produce enough volume for your company is crucial to maintaining the level of revenue your business needs to stay profitable.  Any business that has too many focuses on lead generation can get caught up in not maximizing the return on any of them.  Find your target market, then generate all your resources to building that specific source to produce for you.

Once your target market is producing the results you want then look for another target market.  If you don’t focus on maximization on one before starting another you won’t get the results that you’re looking for.  The key to getting results is your execution, a strategy that isn’t strong can still have results if you put the action to start it and keep with it.  Develop your target market and become the company that they turn to, become a trusted partner, you will get results.  Experience the freedom of breaking away from the competition by dominating in your small profitable target market.

Jack Welch says only compete in a market where you can be first or second.  That has always stuck in the back of my mind because if your company isn’t close to being in the top 5 then you need to stop and pick another market.  If you’re in 3rd, 4th, or 5th then you can strategize on growing and making your way up to 1st or 2nd.  But if your company is in that group of everyone else you will be stuck.

Water Damaged Hardwood Floor Drying FanOur company has grown smaller over the last several years because we are following what Jack Welch suggested.  We can’t compete as the biggest so we went out and found another market. Our company UltraClean used to provide water, fire, smoke damage restoration, content pack out and cleaning, with cleaning services of carpet, upholstery, tile and detailing of autos, bloodborne pathogen cleanup, handyman services, and our construction department for our restoration projects.  Today’s model is different.  We offer water damage restoration emergency services and structural drying only.

As a small company if you offer many types of services you can only afford to have so many staff.  This means that you must cross train your people to perform other trades that they may have to do.  Unfortunately if you learn multiple trades you can become good at them but not great at them.  I want greatness, not only do I expect it from myself, but from my employees.  In order for any of us to become great at one thing that means we must focus and simplify.  Focus on one trade, simplify how many responsibilities so that the focus can be easy and simple.

If your company has one focus, one trade, you turn yourself from a contractor into a specialist.  Once you’re a specialist you create a demand for your services and you can charge more.  If you charge more than you will become more profitable, and then you can afford to pay your employee’s more, which means better and happier employees.  If you’re a specialist you’ve taken yourself out of that rat race of competition and developed your own market with a focus on being great.

Developing your market you must develop a specified target market.  We will cover that in the next blog.  It’s too expensive and everything becomes about price when you compete with other companies.  Develop your own market, stay small and profitable.  You can build great things when you ReDesign your company.  Experience the freedom of breaking away from the competition.

Niche MarketMost businesses that are having success in today’s market have one thing in common.  They have developed a niche market with a unique differentiator.  Look at the average business life.  A service based business starts up with a motivated owner that is excited to start this new venture they have created.  His energy, focus, and the few contacts he came into the business with allows him to start having some success.  The first couple years there is growth, and it’s when the expansion starts their world changes.

An expansion requires getting funding which means loan payments, new employee’s to run the new equipment and now there is a need for sales to help pay for all of it. It’s at this point that you start growing you realize you are making more revenue but your personal income isn’t growing.  Eventually your business get’s into the top 10 but you can never break into the top 2 companies of your demographic.  Here is where the businesses that have grown, downsized and know the market have developed themselves into.

They find a niche market.  A niche market is a focused area where your services are needed that allows you to become the best in that area.  The big boys get business from many types of sources and it cost them a large penny to get each lead.  A niche market allows for a higher price point, which means more profitable jobs.  The customers are more loyal, and it doesn’t take as much work to maintain your customer base.  This means you focus on becoming great at what you do not spending your time trying to find customers.  Higher profits means more money for the company to invest into it’s equipment, employees, and it’s image and service.

Let’s look at a normal restoration company business model.  They typically will offer fire, smoke, water, bio medical, wind, structural repair, emergency service, carpet & upholstery cleaning, contents pack out and contents cleaning.  The list can then be broken down within each of those services.  It’s difficult to pull enough volume to have employees for each service so you need to cross train them which then leads to those trades as secondary trades which in turn means low quality of service and less profitable.  These can also be broken into commercial and residential to even further complicate it.

Now let’s focus on one trade.  My company does water damage mitigation and structural repair of those water damages that we mitigate.  That’s it, we’ve done all the other trades in the past, our employees can do them now, we have all the equipment, but this is why we don’t.

When we say we are a water damage company we all know what it is that we do.  When we talk to someone as we do each day it’s easy to tell someone what it is that we do.  They know who we are, what we do, and we haven’t complicated it with 5 other types of service.  In business the more people that know you the more business you will get.

Process and systems can be built and improved as each day many of those tasks that we do are the same.  Each project may be different but what we do overall is the same.  We can teach and train our employee’s how to understand what the client is going through which will help with having compassion for the client as their home has been flooded.  As systems and processes improve so will profitability.

Your marketing brand will tell the public who you are and what you do.  The message is clean and clear. Those that refer you do so because they like you, they look at you and your company as professionals, not just another company.  You will find that the relationships that you build with your referral sources become more than just referral sources they become friends.  Maybe only business friends but you have a connection.  That’s what builds the loyalty.

Develop your company into a specialist.  Pick a niche market, provide a great service.  Stop competing with your competition, make your own market.  The smaller you focus the greater the success you will have and the higher your profits will be.  It works.  Start looking at successful businesses that do really well but may not be real big in size.  Compare bottom line numbers you will find those in niche markets make the same as the big boys just doing it a lot easier.  Find your niche and dominate.

Wednesday September 4, 2013 – Wednesday September 4, 2013

1303 E Central Drive

View MapMap and Directions | Register

Description:

Disaster Response Team11 times a year, some of the most connected people in our business community come together to eat, educate and network. With the relevant education, and the networking focused on helping each other.  This group has produced an opportunity for people to connect for two hours a months and build enough leads, introductions, and relationships to make you thousands. This is unlike other events because this is put on by small business owners and leaders that make sure this event is unique and productive. We want results.

Here’s a little bit about our speaker: TBA

Register

Let’s look at the foundation of doing business with someone or them giving us referrals.  They must know, like and trust us.  That only happens when we reach a point in a relationship that we have put forth the effort for them to get to know us, us to know them, and we have started the relationship to get a chance.  Once we have received that chance we must excel at what it is that we do and that will build the trust.  Trust can be broken and rebuilt but it is very difficult.  Let’s try to get it right the first time.  How to get a chance is the behavior that we must practice to get them to that point.  We’ve talked previously about Step 1 identifying your Top20, Step 2 which is develop your system, and now Step 3 is manage your system.  Here are the four behaviors that we use in our business with the action item needed.
Phone Call- a phone call into your prospect or client to have a quick chat of how are they, what’s going on in your world, I was just thinking about you so I called…….
Drop By- (scheduled or not scheduled) stop by, visit with your client or prospect, make it about them, get to know them, use your listening skills, use that time to help them with what they need and talk about yourself so they get to know you.
Personal Note- this is something that is rarely used anymore but when used has a personal impact upon the receiver, hand written note with a personal message will touch them
Value Item- once you identify the likes, hobbies and interests of your client or prospect then you can find an item relating to that topic to give to that individual, it could be as simple as an email about a topic of their likes, hobbies, or interests.  For example I found a Larry Bird book in my collection and gave it to a State Farm agent, just this week I noticed it in his glass case above his desk, I’ve received thousands of dollars of business worth that book many times since then.

Put all four of these activities as daily tasks for your business development or marketing reps and you will have them developing those activities into habits.  They will be developing relationships that build the foundation of doing business with another.  They must get to know, like and trust you before they will refer you.  22Touch.com is the program that we use that makes it easy, once you enter in the client or prospect, the program tells you who your going to touch and the activity each day.  There is also video tutorials to teach your people the basics of building relationships and how to develop those activities.  With our markets being as competitive as they are we all need a competitive edge and for our people to excel.  All they need to do is log in, see who they need to touch for that day.  If you don’t have an automated system make sure that your people have an index card, excel list that they are rotating their Top20 every two weeks. It may seem like every two weeks is quite frequently but breaking it up with a different activity every two weeks helps keep variety and builds the relationship beyond just a drop by visit.  Now all you have to do is do it.  Once you do it you will see results in no time.  You will also see non performing sales people getting results.  This is the backbone of my business, without it I am inconsistent with varied results which effects your cash flow and sales.  If your interested in an online version check out 22Touch.com.

Business is all about relationships. Step 2- Develop your system

Develop your system. Everything is a system that you do. You may be so accustomed to doing your normal activities that you don’t realize you have developed a system for it. It’s just like getting up in the morning. I wake up, check my phone for emails, social media, shower, brush my teeth, dress, cook breakfast, pray with my wife, and then leave for work. It’s always the same routine and it doesn’t vary. In all that we do it’s our activities that become habits that will produce results. Results only come about by our behaviors and activities. So let’s talk about developing our system for building and managing our relationships of our Top20. My system is going to have four action steps that I will perform on a biweekly basis. You can use an index card or an automated system like 22Touch.com. Here is my system.

Write down on index cards, excel spreadsheet or enter into your online system your Top20. I manage about a million dollars worth of revenue based off of 36 people in my Top20. As a business owner I really don’t have time for to many more people. With 36 people it typically requires 1-2 hours a day of activity. Once you’ve entered in your contacts you now have to profile them. Look at each one and see what additional information you can about them. Look them up on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and Google them. The more you know about them the better. This type of research will pay off. If you show up with some information about them rather than none, you will already be a couple months ahead of the process compared to starting with nothing. Having a profile will allow you to know them better. Lou Imbriano who is the author of Winning the Customer talks about building the profile and actually has an online sheet that is very descriptive of what your looking for. Once you have entered in your information on that individual you only need to maintain their profile as this is the majority of work up front.

Now let’s look at the action steps. How are you going to build a relationship with these individuals? Here are the four steps that I use, you can pick and choose those that pertain or add your own behaviors. I call these touches, a touch is a form of relationship building activity that I perform to become closer to the individual that I want to do business with or get referrals from.

The four basic touches are phone calls, drop by visits, personal notes and value items. As most companies just put their business development person or sales person on a route of stopping by their office on a 4-6 week rotation. This is their only relationship building activity with that individual by dropping off useless items. You can expect the time from first visiting a prospect to the time they start referring your company will be a fraction of the time it takes doing it with traditional methods by using these four activities. Now that we have identified the four activities we will cover the action steps in Step 3.

Business is all about relationships

Step 1 Develop your Top 20

80/20 RuleI believe that business is personal.  That isn’t always how I used to feel.  I used to think business is business and personal should be separate.  But then as the economy started to decline, customers changed their buying habits and my referral sources started to dry up.  I had to look at what was working and what wasn’t.  I found that the referral sources that were providing me referrals were the people that I was close to, that my relationship with them was personal.  This changed my thinking of how I did business with those I wanted to do business with.  This means I must connect with them on a personal level or we won’t establish the three foundations of doing business together which is they must like, know and trust you before they will refer you.  Here is my system on how I develop relationships that then turn into a friendship that works for both parties.

Step 1- I develop a list of my Top20, you have heard the 80-20 rule.  Identify the top 20 percent of your clients or referral sources that give you 80% of your current business.  Then identify who your dream client’s are.  Lastly, identify who you would want to do business with or get referrals from, best idea are those that already know you but don’t refer you yet.  Get their name, address, email, website, phone number, likes, interests, and hobbies.  Once you have this information you are ready to develop your system.

Step 2- is Develop your system-

Step 3- manage your system-

We will cover Step 2 and Step 3 in future blogs.

A book can be the greatest influence on your learning. Buy a book and give it to someone who needs to hear the book’s message

ReDesignExperience the Freedom to Grow Your Business Your Way

No matter where you go or what you do with your business, you must learn how to ReDesign it. Adapt, overcome, strategize  and maximize the fun, freedom, and profits of what your business could be.

Real strategies. Real Simple. Real effective.

Brandon J Wright is a small business owner who has overcome a challenging economy by redesigning his business. He has taken a business with more than 25 employees from near bankruptcy to a very profitable bottom line with only six employees. Among his many accomplishments , he has received the Governor’s Brightest Star Award, the IBR Accomplished Under 40, and the 2010 Meridian Business Person of the Year. Brandon strives to motivate business owners to deliver not only a service, but an experience. He lives with his family on an acreage in Middleton, Idaho.