Scaling Your Business, A WTR Discussion With Frank Bria
Often times, many people are hesitant to scale their business either because they think they can’t do it, or because they believe that the way to scale is to become a software company or a digital course company, for example. But the change starts with a change in mindset, and if the founder isn’t willing to grow, then how can the company grow? Frank Bria, book author and founder of High-Ticket Programs, joins WTR today. In this episode, we will be discussing three major roles that you need to “fire yourself” from, and how you could benefit from hiring team members to take over in order to drive a bigger version of your company.
Ingenious tactics to accumulate wealth, for people who see things differently.
Book author and founder of High-Ticket Programs, a consulting firm that helps business scale.
[00:27] Kevin: Today I'm joined by our expert guest Frank Bria. You will learn how you can scale your business even if you think you can't and especially if you have a service business. You will also learn how you can turn your business into an asset, the steps it'll take to be able to operate your business without you there, and the personal transformation journey you'll have
[01:28] If you wouldn't mind sharing with our listeners about where you came from and what inspired you to do what you do today
[01:47] Frank: I started out my businesses in tech and in finance and developed a bit of expertise, so it was just natural to have a consulting practice and it took me all over the globe
[03:07] I knew I had to begin transforming what I built
[04:06] Kevin: Why don't we start talking about the scaling of your business and transforming it through that to an asset
[04:13] Frank: So the theoretical definition of scale is that when you get a new customer that you don't have to spend any more time (that's perfect scale)[04:31] Not everyone reaches perfect scale, but that's what we're going for
[04:37] The thing you have to do is to remove yourself from the process ("fire yourself")[05:00] If you think about where you are involved in your business, there's probably 3 major areas that right now you're taking the roll and you have a hard time seeing someone else doing it[05:11] Sales and marketing[05:30] How do I generate leads and how do I close them without me?
[05:34] Customer delivery[07:02] You have to find a problem and solve it (narrowing it down)
[08:53] You want to hire an intrapreneur (same desire to build but they're willing to do it in your vision and structure and not for themselves)
[10:50] Intellectual property (the hardest thing to move off)
[11:42] These three things are so important because if I'm going to come in and buy your business, those are the three systems I'm going to be looking for
[15:10] In terms of the e-myth, the core message is that there's a difference between someone who runs a business and someone who is a practitioner and a lot of times service businesses start with practitioners who want to start businesses[15:22] The overall flow of the e-myth start with you have to decide which of those two things you want to be (if you want to run a business, you have to transform yourself from practitioner to CEO)
[16:10] We tend to work with service business owners that tend to deliver high value services (those are the ones that have the hardest time scaling because there's this siren song in internet land that the way to scale is to either become a software company or to become an information product company or a digital course company)[16:34] What ends up happening is that you have these high value service providers that charge $50,000 for a consulting arrangement and in order to scale they think what they need to do is to start selling $2,000 courses online[17:05] It feels wrong because it is wrong
[19:19] Scaling fundamentally requires creating order out of chaos
[19:39] Kevin: So let's touch on the next subject here before we close. During this process, a lot of time is put into transforming the owner, so this is something that I'm sure you've experienced that the people you're working with are going through (their transformation journey during this process)
[20:07] Frank: I say every business growth exercise is a personal transformation journey. There is a curve for founders where, as the company grows bigger and bigger, they change what they do and it makes logical sense
[20:32] At some point we grow because we hire people to manage those tasks for us and now we're managing project managers
[21:10] We look at a lot of examples with CEOs out there (ex: Mark Zuckerberg is the exception, not the rule)[21:28] Most founders don't grow up to be CEOs; most founders flunk out[21:33] As the company grows, one of two things happens: either the company stops growing because the founder stops growing, or external investors or other people are involved and they kick the founder out
[22:36] Kevin: So basically, if you're an entrepreneur and you start a business and you're scaling it and you want to be able to stay with it as it continues to grow, you have to understand that you need to change with the business (your mentality, your mindset of what you're doing has to change, and if it doesn't, then you're going to hold your business back)
[22:57] Frank: If I had to think about the most common conversation I have with a client, it's where they come to me about ready to fire us and they go "this isn't feeling good; my personality isn't really in the business anymore"[23:22] We say "okay you have a choice to make; first of all, I never told you this was going to be easy or fun (it's hard to grow and scale), and you're not going to be the same person or organization at the end of this process that you were in the beginning"
[24:19] There is an element of control whether it's a personality based control or if it's a real concern about quality (people have to start trusting and realizing that they can actually control but they do it through strategy and direction rather than micromanagement)
[25:28] Research shows us that the best way to lead is actually to change your style overtime based on the person and where they are in the growth process (we don't have a style we stick with... you have to adapt)
[25:51] Kevin: Do you have any tips that can help people with their mindset shift as they develop?
[26:00] Frank: It comes down to fundamentally the same problem over and over again. Let's use an analogous problem that people really are comfortable with. Let's say that you're a founder of a company and you need some capital to grow. So you go to Ventra Capital and they say they have $5 million for you to inject into your company and I just want 40% of your company. You're not sure you want to give up 40% of your company. So then you come down to the fundamental question:[26:34] Do you want 100% of a $100,000 company, or do you want 60% of a $10 million company (which is more valuable)
[26:48] You start to trade off. Fundamentally we have to go through the exact same mindset shift when it comes to the control of the business itself. You need to bring in really good team members that are going to take over some of the things you don't want to let go of (drives a bigger vision)
[27:45] There's a saying that's useful for this: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go in a group
[27:57] Kevin: Before we close for the day, I am going to ask for the WTR value bomb, which is in your experience, what should our listeners look to avoid doing when it comes to scaling their business and what can they do about it?
[28:12] Frank: The biggest mistake I see people make when they try to scale is to lower their prices (don't do that)[28:32] If you find that you're having to lower the price, that tells the entire marketplace that you're lowering the value proposition
[28:44] Really focus in on a core value proposition that people really want solved
[28:52] Interestingly enough, sometimes scaling is actually the thing that saves a lot of businesses from the cash flow crisis