In 11 years I built a business network that spans 21 cities with 10,000 entrepreneurs, which generated over Rs. 3,000 crores (US$450 million) of business in 2015. Globally we were considered to be one of the best operations of the organisation. The photo below shows team India winning 60 awards in 2014. On reflection I would say that 3 things underpinned our success that can be applied to any business:
1. Have a Powerful Vision & Articulate It – When I first started BNI in India I had a vision of having 100,000 members. At that time, the whole of BNI worldwide had 90,000 members. After one and a half years of working on it, I had a total of 2 chapters and just 48 members. It was going painfully slow.
I re-evaluated my vision and dug deeper. What would it mean to have 100,000 members? How was my company helping these clients? As Simon Sinek, leadership guru, says you have got to figure out your WHY. Suddenly one day it became clear – we wanted to create 100,000 crorepatis (millionaires) so that each of them could million jobs and impact a million families.
I started mentioning this as often as I could in various conversations. I used this compelling vision to enroll and attract new clients, sub-franchisees, team members & vendors. In year three the business growth was almost 360%, and I attribute it to being clear about the vision, articulating it and enrolling people using it! This vision allowed my team and me to take inspired action.
2. Create Systems, Not Goals I identified five key variables that would impact our growth. I have found every business has something similar. I call these the Income Producing Activities (IPA’s) of our business:
(a) Get new clients by starting new regions or new chapters
(b) Growing our average chapter size – for you it may be selling more to your current customers,
(c) Retaining good clients – It’s always easier to sell to existing clients than get new ones. So always look at what
you can do to improve retention.
(d) Building and training a team that could do the first three things well.
(e) Share success stories about our clients, team and progress we are making. I started to create systems around each of these variables so that we could replicate the results. Once you have systems in place that produce consistent results, then you can begin to have goals. Be execution focused in your thinking. We always looked at how could we improve these variables on a quarterly interval.
3. Batch Your Days We began to grow at a phenomenal rate! At the same time, my father was diagnosed with oral cancer. My wife and I were blessed with a baby boy in 2012. Things started to slip between the cracks. I had to find an effective manner in which to manage the business and also give time to my family. I started studying productivity rituals of super successful entrepreneurs. To be more productive I started to batch or theme my days. For example on Mondays, I would focus on management & key meetings with my top managers. Tuesdays I would look at focusing on franchising and launching new chapters. Wednesday would be focused on recruitment, training and developing my team, etc. Each day of the week would be focused on one or two key income producing activities. There were obviously interruptions all the time, but with the batching concept, I could quickly remember “Oh it’s Tuesday, today I’m working on franchising and launching new chapters” and get right back into what I was doing.
My productivity and results multiplied with this simple approach. We grew even faster while I had time to give my family when it mattered.
So I have three questions for you:
(a) What is your VISION? What is your WHY? Have you articulated it so that everyone knows?
(b) Have you identified your top 5 IPA’s? Have you created systems around them?
(c) If you could batch you work week into similar types of work based on your IPA’s how would you batch your days?
Leave a comment below with an answer to any one of the questions or maybe you are a Superstar and want to answer all three. I look forward to reading your comments.