If I Were to Launch My Business Again, Here’s What I’d do Differently

by JP Moery

If I could go back in time and relaunch The Moery Company, I’d make some key changes to my approach.

First off, I’d put more work into my pricing structure. When you first start a business, you are naturally concerned people won’t “buy.”  Here’s what I learned:  I was so worried people weren’t going to sign up for what we had to offer, I set my prices way too low.  I quickly learned you could be working your tail off and still starving to death. It’s also difficult to raise your prices once your clients are on board. So, you need to price yourself for sustainability – it’s critical.

Second, I would put more resources into selling our services. When you launch a business – as the CEO, Founder, or President – you become the #1 salesperson for the company. You’ll be selling more than you’ll be doing anything else – so, embrace that idea. And, if you don’t want to be that person, my advice is to reconsider whether you should be launching the business in the first place. Selling the company takes up 80% of my time, but what I learned is, I need help. I need support.

I didn’t put enough sales resources into the business early on to help sell the company, and we didn’t experience the robust growth I’d anticipated there in the first few years.  So, make sure you don’t stretch yourself too thin and hire the help you need.

Third, I would have created a distribution platform for information. If I were rolling out today, I’d spend 80% of my time on distribution channels like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube to launch all of our content. The telephone that most people consume their information is the remote control of our lives. I’d rather be pushing our message on social media than spending time building out a website. No one is sitting in front of a computer looking up websites anymore. Social media would be my #1 focus for promoting my business.

Finally, I would have spent much less money on real estate or office space. The people who want to work for you now – coming to the office is less important to them. Workplace flexibility is a top priority for these folks. Employees certainly want a place to hang their hat from time to time, but today’s  organizations spend an incredible amount of money on building out these incredible office spaces just to keep people inside of them.

That’s not where people want to be. In fact, we have a great deal here at TMC in Alexandria, and I love it. On any given day – out of our 12 staffers – we’ll have 2 or 3 people max at the office– and, that includes me.

So, that’s what I would change.  Hope these insights are helpful to some of you burgeoning entrepreneurs. Onward!

Follow JP Moery on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn.

A Fantastic Sales Tactic

Who Else Should We Talk to?

The best association executive I’ve ever been around was a master at business development.

He would close most meetings this way, “Based on what you have heard about this association and how we are helping businesses, who else should we talk to?”

With one question an endorsement was being asked, and a closing mechanism was being used.  I encourage you to build this into every business conversation.

Based on my experience, here is what happens.

1. They will give you a name – that is a serious prospect.

2. They will think about it and let you know – you’re never getting that business!

Workplace Flexibility + Empowerment + Transparency = Success

JP Moery

My philosophy has always been: “Work is what you do, not where you do it.”

During one of our recent morning “pep rallies,” Moery Sales Associate, Madeline Trabucco put forth to our staff a fascinating topic: “1) Why did you choose to join The Moery Company, and 2) Why do you stay?”

The answers were varied and very interesting, but the #1 thing that came back over and over – was workplace flexibility.

Employees are looking for the opportunity to keep their hours and come into the office when their schedule accommodates, but still be held accountable to a very high standard. Lives are much different than they used to be. We are not a homogenous group of people. We all have different priorities, different lifestyles, and different responsibilities outside of the office. Then, why do we have to all transport to the same location and the same time?

Workplace flexibility is the #1 thing to consider for your future workforce needs. And, those industries with workforce needs should really consider existing models.

The second part of the equation is empowerment. To ensure the success of this new workplace dynamic, responsibility and accountability is crucial.

Here’s why:  you’re not in the presence of employees daily. You’re not answering every question they have, and you’re not looking over their shoulder to ensure they do things right. Make yourself available to them as a resource, to be of counsel to them at any time, but be clear staff is accountable for business unit results.

Lastly – the overriding value guiding this workplace dynamic is transparency. Leaders should be open about organizational performance. What are the goals? I show my team the books. I share how we are doing financially, so they know and understand my business decisions and the various implications, which could affect their job.  And, everyone sees the impact of performance on the bottom line.

Ultimately, everyone feels connected to the success of the business – not just a cog in the wheel.

My experience is, if you offer flexibility and empowerment, with an overriding value of workplace transparency, you are absolutely on the right track. It’s the modern business model, and it works.

To further discuss workplace and communication strategies or other pressing association challenges, schedule a 15-minute complimentary phone call with me. I’d love to chat.

Has Complacency Become a Leadership Hurdle for You?

JP Moery

IStock/Credit:diego_cervo

As a leader, have you found yourself content with the status quo? Unwilling to make a growth change in your organization? Yes, you’ve had success in business – but hey, ask yourself, “What have you done lately?” When was the last time you ventured outside the comfort zone, took a risk? My guess, if this is the case it’s gnawing at you a bit. Time and again, I’ve seen complacency in leadership, which reverberates down to those you lead – and, this can be the decline of your association. If the people you lead aren’t pushing the envelope, how in the heck can your membership be fired up about what you’re doing?

Complacency stunts innovative energy, organizational growth, and can have a negative impact on your image as a leader – from your staff to your board – believe me, they’ve noticed. I’ve seen some very good executives out there that have an image or aura that they have played the last great game. It all comes down to you and your next move. The good news is, leadership stagnation can be overcome with some simple steps and a bit of initiative. Some things to consider to get a jump start:

Assess Your Leadership Muscle

Trace your career path – recognize the drivers that took you to the top in the first place. My guess is you took a risk, swam upstream or launched a breakout service. An honest self-assessment can quickly get you back on track. Replicate the characteristics needed during your most effective times.

Reconnect with Your Staff

This step is critical as staff will lose respect if your leadership muscles are in atrophy. One of the most powerful leadership tools can be weekly one-on-one meetings with your direct reports. These meetings should not be “weather reports” but equal parts of what the staff member’s needs are and your key performance areas for them. Listen. Hold yourself accountable and bring energy and passion to these conversations. When challenges are shared by staff, empathize and assure them you are in this together and charging ahead. By the way, ask your employees what they need from you as a leader. Again, weekly repetition is needed for optimum effectiveness.

Communicate over and over again

Be vulnerable and authentic that you want to revitalize leadership qualities. Be transparent about your efforts as this will rally the troops. Ask them to challenge you to address the best opportunities and the biggest challenges which must be solved. Update your staff on the progress made, and promise them your very best effort. These successes fuel your momentum and reinvigorate your staff.

The key is to consistently seek out the new challenge and forge ahead with a trusted team. Long-term success as a leader can be yours. Get moving.

If this content was meaningful to you, check out Hit the Reset Button or Life Hacks for Success in Business.

Keep Your Foot on the Gas

by JP Moery

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First quarter is about over. You’re into a business rhythm. You can see a nice upturn. But, don’t get complacent … Challenge your organization to be disruptive. Resurrect your creative appetite for new programs, intensive development and improvement.

This is the time of the year where the cadence of business becomes a bit repetitive and ordinary. I’m not really interested in that for your organization.

Here are three things to drive you through the next quarter. And, remember what racing legend Mario Andretti said, “If you feel in control, you’re not driving fast enough.”

1. Find the project where there was not enough bandwidth, budget or market research to launch a year ago … and, Go!

2. Look at your long-term goals and execute the efforts tomorrow.

3. Double your revenue goals on a particular initiative (conference registration, membership recruitment, etc.) and adjust your budget accordingly. Rally your team to go to a previously unmet, and perhaps unthinkable goal. Just think what will happen if you only get halfway to the objective – that’s 25% more than you may have ever anticipated.

Start today, not tomorrow.  As the old adage says, “Tomorrow is the Devil’s favorite word.”

My #1 Business Tip

JP Moery

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My daughter, Grace was home from college recently and we were chatting about business and some of things that make you successful. It heartens me that at her age – she has an active interest. But, from our conversation, one aspect came up that is so basic – you’re going to laugh. But, I’ve seen folks miss this consistently and I want to address it.

My #1 tip – RETURN PHONE CALLS. It’s that simple. This action contributes to the cadence of business and I absolutely guarantee you, if you consistently return calls, you will have more opportunities to work with people. Consistently returning calls (in a timely fashion) enhances your reputation and you will be known as a “go-to” person. Trust me on this.

I know some good people – excellent execs who are known as people who do not return calls. And, I know it’s cost them business. I also know someone else in the business who works hard and regularly returns calls – at like 5:35 pm. Now, he knows he’s calling at a time when folks won’t be there. He’s checking the “box,” with no intention of engaging you. Intent is really important here.

Return calls. Try to do so within 24 hours. With the variety of different methods to reach back out to people –  email, instant messaging, texts – any of these will do the job for you, but I can tell you this: the #1 tip to pass along to your colleagues, fellow business, owners, to your kids: Return calls! It’s a fundamental element of business that tends to be overlooked today.

Hope this is helpful. And, if you want to get in touch, give me a call. If I miss you – I’ll call you back.

If this content resonated with you, check out Life Hacks for Success in Business

What’s Kept Me From Being Successful

JP Moery

Istock/Credit:Thomas-Soellner

I’m 30,000 feet in the air on my birthday – it’s my second flight. Instead of whining about not being with my family, I reflected on the things that have kept me from success. These are items I work on every day, and am hopefully making progress on them.

Didn’t tell the truth. I come up short not telling people what I really think. “That’s not really good work.” “Your team is not working with us in full collaboration.” “We stunk up that project. It’s not okay” Do more people like me because I have sugar coated things? Maybe. But there is a lot of pain, anxiety and losses because of not being brutally honest. Leaders are really coaching people up. And, the best coaches call it the way it is, articulate the situation clearly and make sure things get fixed. Now. Business leaders, like me, should do the same. This takes constant attention and practice.

Didn’t ask the best questions, because I was afraid what someone might say. I have come up short so many times because there was a fear to ask the questions I knew had to be asked. “Is there someone else you’re speaking with on this deal?” “Why did we lose this deal so I can learn from it?” or this magical query, “Based on what you learned about our company, is there someone you know we could help?” The quality of questions you ask will determine your fate – someone already said that and I agree.

Didn’t learn to sell soon enough. Many of the most admired business people in the world can sell, or started in sales. I firmly believe if you can sell and are willing to do it, starving will never be a problem. Increasingly, I have also learned that selling is all about giving and delivering value and information. Unfortunately, for me I grasped this much too late in my life or appreciate the value of developing a skill many people aren’t willing to hone.

There are million more reasons I’ve not met my potential. But, thank goodness, I’m about to land.

How ‘Thank You’ Notes Have Changed My Life

JP Moery

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In the last few weeks, I’ve started writing a thank you note every day. I’ve been amazed by the effect on me.

In business, we can often get in a zone, or a roll, or have big mo and just move on to the next activity or sales presentation.  But, to pause and pen a note of thanks to someone who has helped provides an intimate opportunity to reflect.

The time spent writing can also cause me to experience gratefulness. Every “specialist” in the area of self-improvement like Tony Robbins mentions the importance of being grateful taking pen to paper is a way to show gratitude to other people on God’s earth. And, performed daily is just a wonderful experience.

So, if you get a note from me, please know I truly appreciate your help. But the process of reaching out in this way (and changing my life experience in the process) is what I’ve become increasingly thankful for.

If this content resonated with you, I invite you to read Life Hacks for Success in Business

Game Changer – Implementing the Power of Five

by JP Moery

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Early this year I was “firing up” about the prospects of 2018 – and, scouring my resources to find a new tactic which might add a gear to my productivity. Fortunately, I connected with @andyfrisella and his MFCEOProject – a series of advice podcasts and postings. Warning: Very explicit.

What resonated so much was his Power of Five concept. I’ll tell you about the impact, but to learn the details you might connect with his content. It happened for me this way.

  • List 5 actions to take every day. The same, non-negotiable actions – some personal, business, spiritual, etc. Write them down every single day.
  • Determine a Win or Loss every day based on completion of the 5 tasks daily. Write W or L on your action sheet.
  • After 21 days of consecutive completing a task it comes off the list. This action is now likely a habit.
  • Then, add a new task to the Power 5

Here are the results of this simple system in 16 days. 600% increase in my sales activity (and folks, trust me, I wasn’t sitting on my ass before) and a massive pipeline. Spiritual connection almost every day thru prayer and Scripture. Thought leadership posting up 500%. Increased workouts/physical activity.

And, this is with a “won/loss” record of 12-4.

An incredibly simple and powerful system. I hope you think about a similar launch program in your life, today!

One Tweak to Make to Your Sales Cycle in 2018

JP Moery

Istock/Credit:SunnyGraph

Every year, I take a good look at my sales approach with client prospects – what’s working great and what’s not. During 2017, I was losing momentum at the proposal stage, which really shouldn’t be the case at all. Once the proposal is out, we really should be at a point of confirming scope, pricing and overcoming objections for final agreement.

However, it wasn’t the case.  I was losing momentum after sending the proposal, even having some prospects “go dark” for long periods of time.

Looking back, I was working so hard to develop the proposal and so relieved it was done – I’d do a quick review and hit “send” to the prospect just to show activity and speed.  That way of thinking was not serving me well.

Here’s the tweak: 

Step 1: Complete the proposal.

Step 2: Send a note and a calendar invitation saying, “Hey, I’m very excited about the proposal. I can’t wait to go over it with you. Here’s a calendar invitation to discuss it for 15 minutes.”

This strategy enables you to really determine, first – if they are wasting your time (hopefully, not) and serious about considering your offer; but secondly, it ensures you have a defined environment to review the scope ; answer any questions; hear any objections to cost, and understand the steps in the sales process.

This approach maintains control and is particularly important if you’re in a shoot-out with someone else because you have a defined time to address any objections or competitive issues.

And, hey if they don’t respond to your calendar invite or decide they don’t want to proceed, they don’t get the proposal. It’s the ‘scarcity ploy’ – you won’t get the information or even know how much the service costs until you set up the time to go over it with me.

This approach will give you a distinct advantage in 2018.

For more advice on sales strategy and business development, schedule a complimentary 15- to 30-minute call to discuss association growth or any other pressing challenges.