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Skill Gaps In You & Your Business

Introduction

Today, I’d like to drill real down on skill gaps in your business

I want you to start thinking about what that is costing you to not to fill those skill gaps.

So you may be a solopreneur, head cook and bottle washer, that’s fine.

Usually, that means you’re going to be skilled up in some type of trade, or discipline, whether it’s accounting or plumbing or anything in between.

And you may have got a few people like family helping you or whatever, now that’s awesome, the birth of the small businesses, and you’ve got some great journeys ahead.

You may have got a business partner, and or maybe a couple managers in your business, or you may be operating a full-blown ball.

  • Finance director
  • Ops director
  • Sales director
  • Commercial director
  • Finance director

The 5 Fundamentals

So, I always talk about the five fundamental disciplines in running a business.

Those really, just for the reminder is;

  1. Finance
  2. Operations & Systems.
  3. People, HR, Human Resources.
  4. Sales & Marketing.
  5. Corporate Governance.

So, as a business owner, if you’re not fluid in all five of those, or have a team yet to plug skill gaps in those.

Then, in reality, I’ve got another saying that is like driving your vehicle down the motorway at 70 miles an hour with the windscreen blacked out.

Why would you do that?

What’s going to happen is you’re not going to see where you’re going and you’re going to suddenly hit something and that’s going to be painful.

Potentially even fatal.

So, working with business owners over the last twenty-five, twenty-six years, running my own businesses, investing in businesses, exiting businesses all that type of stuff.

I usually find that business owners have an allegiance to one skill.

Whether that’s, oh, I’m a good sales guy or I’m a good accountant.

I’m good at getting things finished and implemented, a finisher, an implementer, an optimist.

But, they recruit to the demands of the business where it is there and then.

If you need a front line customer service people, it may make sense to get somebody on the phones.

If you need sales people to generate revenue, then, again, there’s no argument there’s benefits to doing that.

But what are the foundation blocks that you’ve got to look at is do I have the five fundamental skill gaps covered in my business?

Finance

Firstly, do I have somebody in my business who understands finance, and I’m not talking here about having an accountant who knows what he’s doing.

That’s not going to help you.

They’re usually historically, okay, there are some great accountants out there who are very proactive, who are going to be more involved.

But in the most, accountants are historical, they’re picking up historical things.

You need somebody in your business who can;

  • Look at the numbers
  • Can see trends
  • Can see what’s happening
  • Can tell if there’s going to be a problem
  • Who can interpret it
  • Who can run forecasts
  • Can check your profit and loss, who can manage your cash

So, do you have somebody who’s strong on finance?

Maybe that’s you, and you should have that because it’s the number one discipline of all business.

Operations & Systems

Secondly, who’s managing your systems?

Do you even have systems in place?

People say to me, people are the spine of my business.

Well, again, there’s arguments on that.

I tend to disagree.

Systems are the spine of your business.

People run systems.

That doesn’t mean they’re not valuable, of course they are.

But they can also be your biggest asset or your biggest liability.

Where they’re usually your biggest liability is because you don’t give them adequate training, adequate systems, or anything like that.

So.

  • Who’s setting up systems
  • Who’s managing and maintaining systems
  • Who’s running the KPI’s, the Key Performance Indicators to make sure the systems are working for you?

Again, if you follow my stuff, I talk heavily about McDonald’s, the greatest small business in the world.

Systemized number one business, no one will ever get close to it.

Not in my lifetime, and probably not in the next generations.

So, systems are important.

People

Thirdly, who’s managing people?

  • Who’s the people person?
  • Who’s put in the training system?
  • Who’s measuring the development
  • Who’s doing the reviews?
  • Who’s getting the best out of people?

I know at Infusionsoft we’ve got a guy called Dan Ralphs they call the dream manager.

And all he does is work with people to achieve their dreams.

Measure their performance.

Now, okay, they employ 650 people, a 100, 200 million dollar business.

Again, we’re not in that level and we can’t all afford that luxury, but you can have somebody who’s got a job share skillset who understands people.

Somebody who’s a finance director, but they’re a great people person.

Maybe they’re a salesperson, but they’re a great people person

Marketing & Sales

Fourthly, marketing and sales.

If you can’t get your message out there in marketing then who’s measuring that.

Marketing,

  • Who’s monitoring the marketing plan?
  • Who’s monitoring the return on investment for the amount of money that you’re spending out there on marketing?
  • Who’s coming up with new campaigns whether that’s strategic or tactical campaigns to get your message out there and business coming in?

Sales,

Do you even have a sales process?

The fact that you get an inquiry and you make it up as you go along is not a sales process.

Breaking down from new inquiry to left a message for callback to quoted or qualified or appointment set.

You should have a stage through your sales cycle so you can take a customer through a cycle, be in control of it, and go from there.

So who’s running that?

Who’s in control of those sales systems and measuring performance?

Corporate Governance

Finally, corporate governance, even for small businesses and sole traders, you’ve still got legal obligations to trade.

Whether that’s revenue, HMRC, filing your returns on time, making sure you’re running legal, that you’re insured correctly, you’ve got the right level of cover and things like that.

Your obligations to provide information to your banks, or your solicitors, or legals.

Have we got all that covered?

So, even if you’re just a team of two or three, or run your own, start to look at where you’re strong.

Start to look at where you’re not so strong and then start to surround yourself or get yourself into a personal development track to help improve on that.

So, start working on it, look at skill gaps, do yourself a favour, it’s a simple exercise, it’s not rocket science.

Ten points in each section, score yourself out of ten.

I’m a seven out of ten on finance, I’m a three out of ten on corporate governance, or, nine out of ten on sales.

Whatever it would be.

Do that, score yourself out of fifty

Mike Midgley

Mike Midgley is the Strategy Director at 6teen30 Digital and a dynamic digital entrepreneur, nxd, strategist, public speaker and host of TheOpenMike Podcast show & Co-Host at The Inbound Podcast. Mike has achieved successful six and seven-figure exits over a 25-year career, raised in excess of £1.6m [$2.5m] in Venture Capital and highly experienced with franchising.

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