You Can’t Make Profit Without The Right People

What’s the most important aspect of any business?

Sales? Marketing? Efficiency?

The correct answer is actually something that all these elements have in common: People!

But although people are the most important aspect of any business, they’re also the most difficult. If you can harness the power of your people effectively, it will be the most fulfilling and lucrative asset you’ve got. If you can’t, it will be your greatest headache.

Don’t leave it up to guesswork when it comes to securing and keeping the right people on your side. Keep reading to learn how to work with (and for) the best fits for your business.

Why People Are Important
When I talk to business owners, one of their most common frustrations is always people. I get it: people are impossible to control. They’re not just numbers you can crunch or a problem you can solve by following a set of simple steps.

They can be unpredictable and confusing sometimes.

But without people, a business is nothing. People are the lifeblood of any entrepreneurial endeavor. Without them, who’s going to buy from you, who is going to help you reach your goals, and who is going to deliver your final product?

The truth is, you’re never 100% alone in the game of business. Not on the production end, and definitely not on the sales end. For example, even if your entire brand is centered around crafting DIY products at home, you’re still getting your materials from somewhere.

So let’s dive into how you can perfect the People you surround your business with. But before you can focus on finding the right People, you need to know what you’re trying to accomplish. You have to lay some groundwork first.

Getting To The 4th P
If you know me, you know how much I love the 5 Ps framework for business: Promise, Product, Process, People, and Profit! If you can go through this list of core concepts step by step, clarifying and optimizing each area, your business will thrive like never before.

Your Promise involves reaching the right people with effective messaging. Your content marketing should clearly communicate what problem you can solve for your target audience. It should set you apart from the crowd and show your unique value.

Your Product can be an actual product, or it can be a service. This is the stuff you sell, and you should stand behind it 100%. Align your Product with your Promise and deliver high-quality solutions that work for your client base.

Your Process should be documented and consistent. If the daily procedures of running your business only exist inside your head and not on paper, there’s a problem. To operate seamlessly even when emergencies happen, get your Process down.

Once you’ve refined these 3 areas, you’ll be ready to set yourself and your People up for success. And after that, you’ll finally be making lots of the 5th P: Profit! So let’s get into the nitty gritty of working with the right People for your business.

After all, you need People to help you deliver on your Promise, create the best Product, and carry out an effective Process.

The 3 Types of People You’ll Work With
When you surround yourself with the best people for your business, you give yourself freedom. Freedom to do more of what you love. Freedom to move from management of your business into pure ownership.

But in order to achieve this, you need to look at three key groups of people who contribute to your business and then put in the effort to make sure they align with your goals. Those three groups are your ideal customer, your ideal teammate, and your ideal outsource supplier.

Here are some smart strategies for getting the most out of each category.

Ideal Customer
I’m sure you’ve heard of this term before. This is someone who it is a true joy to work with. If you could have all and only this type of customer, you would be over the moon with happiness.

Here’s an easy way to determine what this ideal customer looks like for your business: think about someone you already know! You probably know them by name, one of your regulars who is easygoing, pleasant to interact with, and has a genuine interest in the product or service you’re selling.

Take a piece of paper and write down all of this ideal client’s traits on the left side. And then, think about the worst client you’ve ever had. Chances are, you know them by name too.

On the right side of your paper, list out all the traits that this bad type of client has. Now take a look at your two lists and ask yourself– what can I do to align my business, my Promise, Product, and Process that will attract more of the best type of client? At the same time, how can I design my business to repel the worst type of client? 

Alarm bells might go off in your head when you think of repelling a client, but trust me: it’s a good thing. Bad clients drain your profitability. So take some time to figure out exactly who your target audience is and how you can cater to them.

Ideal Teammate 
As an entrepreneur, one of your biggest dreams is to live by the saying, “Love it or leave it”. When you hire the right team members to support the work you’re doing, you gain the ability to actually put this into practice. It’s not about making other people pick up the dirty work that you hate, it’s about finding people who are skilled and passionate about the subjects where you lack.

Maybe you’re great with numbers and stats but you need someone who can formulate killer creative ideas. Maybe you’re great with abstract idea generation but you need colleagues who can ground you and execute those fantastic ideas from a level-headed perspective. Maybe you are the most outgoing people person in the world but you hate sitting in the office and doing paperwork.

No matter your strengths, a smart entrepreneur finds team members who can build them up and make up for their weaknesses. That is how you achieve a well-rounded, unstoppable machine: a dream team. A team is about far more than just having lots of hands on deck: it’s about curating a strong and diverse force of complementary talents.

When you’re hiring, make sure to ask questions that give you an idea of how much of a team player your candidates are. Will they be able to seamlessly integrate into your existing employee base, collaborating and communicating with their coworkers? Or, will they throw a wrench into your fine-tuned system and jam up your productivity?

Creating an interesting mix of different personalities will also mean your clients get the best possible experience. When you have the exact right person to help a client through their entire journey, that client won’t ever need to look elsewhere for solutions.

Ideal Outsource Supplier
This is everyone else who helps you deliver on your Promise. It’s where you get the things you need to craft your Product: your materials, your inventory, even your additional labor. To better understand this concept, I’ll take you through an example from my own business: Shoetopia.

At Shoetopia, we Promise our clients that by buying from us, they can get footwear that makes them look great and feel fantastic. So when I’m buying my Product, I have to make sure I’m purchasing from the right People: outsource suppliers who make high quality, comfortable, stylish shoes.

I really take the time to look into each potential supplier before I make the decision to carry their footwear in my store. I ask myself if the brands I’m considering actually care about the mission of Shoetopia and if they are willing to be a true partner going forward into the future. Or, are they just trying to sell their wares and be on their way?

It’s not just about the inventory you’re purchasing from these suppliers: it’s about the People themselves! Are they passionate, are they knowledgeable, are they reliable, are they trustworthy, do they have a positive reputation? Say you’re working with a content marketing agency: do they truly understand your goals and the unique voice of your brand?

If they don’t, there is going to be misalignment in your business and your messaging will be inconsistent. So whenever you work with an outsource supplier, whether that be a bookkeeper, an accountant, a lawyer, or anyone else, they must have your best interests at heart. Take these things into consideration not only when hiring, but when deciding who you want to keep around long term.

Make People a Priority
We’ve all heard the saying, “You are the sum of who you surround yourself with.”

So it follows that your business will be a culmination of all the People you include under your umbrella. Not only will surrounding yourself with the right individuals increase your profits greatly, but it will also increase your daily job satisfaction. And that means tremendous freedom.

It’s all about making your sphere of influence as powerful as possible for your business. The right People will be different for every entrepreneur, but when you find them, it will be the best feeling in the world.

Start by writing down the qualities that your best and worst People have in all three categories: your clients, your team, and your suppliers. This will get you started on the first step of optimizing your People from the inside out.

Who you don’t want is just as important as who you do want. Start having these discussions within your existing team so that everyone can be on the same page when it comes to aligning your People. Once you are, you can start adjusting your strategies to attract the right ones and repel the others.

The Bottom Line
A lot of business owners are still tempted to operate under the old mindset of:

If you want something done right, do it yourself.

But to help your business reach its full potential, you need to focus on more than just your own vision and abilities. Because those can only take you so far.

It takes time for your People- from your clients to your team to your outsource suppliers- to become a well-oiled machine that hums perfectly in tune. But don’t worry, it is not about getting there as fast as possible. It will take more than 7 days. It will take more than a month!

Not everyone achieves this balance, so when you do, it will be an enormous asset that sets your business apart. As long as you’re always trying to slightly improve with every new person you add in the three key areas, you’ll be getting closer to ultimate success.

The lessons in this blog post were taken from an episode of the Business Owner Breakthrough podcast hosted by Peter Mohr. To get the full scoop on perfecting your People and explore more about the 5 Ps of Business, listen to the show here.

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