There are a lot of people who aren’t quite sure where they are with the whole business growth thing vs. just maintenance. Some people are content where they are. And if you’re okay with just maintaining, then none of this applies to you. Right?

You’re not required to grow your business if that’s not where you’re going. But there are so many people that I talk to that really want to do it. They want it to grow. They want it to be more than it is.

They want to be able to create better lives for themselves, for their employees, for their families, for everybody they impact. And they know they can’t do it without growing. And when they use maintenance as an excuse, that’s a tough one to overcome.

David: Hi and welcome to the podcast. In today’s episode, co host Jay McFarland and I will be discussing business growth versus just maintenance. Welcome back, Jay.

Jay: Hey David, once again, it is a pleasure to be here. And it’s so funny, oftentimes we choose these topics and I’m like, “man, I am right in the middle of that!” So, again, I’m excited to discuss this with you.

David: Yeah, I think the reason that I wanted to talk about it, this came to mind fairly recently because I’ve had so many conversations with people, business owners primarily, small business owners for the most part, some sales managers, who say, “listen, I really need to grow this business. I need to grow my sales. I need to grow my profits. I need to make that happen now. This is a priority for me.”

And then we talk about some of the incentives and we talk about some of the things that they’re going to need to do. we talk about some of the steps they’ll need to follow and nearly all of it is designed to save them time, save them money, generate more revenue, just make everything a whole lot easier and a whole lot better.

And one of the things that I find extremely frustrating is when I’m talking to someone like that, who then says, well, I really don’t feel like I have time to implement this because I have so much that I’m dealing with on a daily basis, maintaining the business, essentially.

I’m busy doing this and I’m busy doing that. And I’m doing all these different things that are allowing me to stay just underwater, a little bit, where my nose is just barely peeking up and down above the water, but I don’t have time to do the things that are going to get me out of the water and make sure that things are still functioning the way that they need to function.

So in most cases, I believe that growth is the solution to maintenance, but it doesn’t work the other way around.

Jay: Yeah. What is it? Winning gets rid of all the stink or, you know, whatever. Winning is the best deodorant. That’s what it is. Winning is the best deodorant.

David: That’s true.

Jay: Yeah, you know, it’s funny, this last year, I’m kind of reliving everything that you’re talking about, because of our seasonality, we have times where we have to be all growth, all the time, we have this influx of customers. We can’t be worried about maintenance at that moment, but then all of a sudden, it practically dies instantly, so now we’re asking the question, “How do we maintain our current base?”

Because we want them to be back and so what maintenance things do we need to do? But not only that, what about the people who we talk to who might be interested in the future? Can we reach out to them on a regular basis?

So now that we’ve died down, we’re talking about drip programs, we’re talking about newsletters to our existing clientele.

So we’re kind of in this process between maintaining, we still want to grow during this time so we can pay our bills. But we’re really kind of in this mode where we’re trying to do both, but a certain part of the year we can’t do one. We just don’t have time.

David: Right. Yeah, it’s hard to grow when the business is just coming in. And in seasonal businesses like yours, that’s particularly true.

We had a retail mail order catalog business and around the holiday season, that’s when a lot of the business came in. And yeah, at that point, just struggling to maintain, but it’s the growth that you accomplish in the non seasonal time of year, that is going to allow you to generate the extra revenue that will allow you to pay for the times when you are just maintaining and not growing.

And once again, with small businesses, this is particularly true. Because if we’re not growing enough to accumulate extra revenue that will help us to get through the more lean times, then we’re really going to have a problem.

So the growth aspect of it is necessary. And you raised a really valid point. It’s not always possible at every point during the year, particularly in a seasonal business. But it has to be a priority whenever it is possible.

And when it’s done correctly, it actually ends up saving time because it doesn’t always take more time to make more money. And in fact, It shouldn’t, right? When you get your processes dialed in, it takes less time.

And I’ve talked to people on the phone who are like, Hey, listen, I’d love to do your Total Market Domination program. I just don’t have the time. I’m like, “if you don’t have the time, that means that you need to do this because every hour you put into this is going to be two to three hours you’re going to get back on any given day.”

It’s just, ridiculous , well, it’s not ridiculous, because not everybody understands it. People can’t always see it, but it’s ridiculous to expect that when you get to a certain point of growth, that you’re going to be able to grow more by pedaling faster. It’s just not going to happen. You have to switch gears.

If you’re on a bicycle, you got to switch gears and switching gears means some things have to change. Your inputs have to be worth more. They have to create better outputs. And that happens when you are not just changing the volume of things you’re doing. It’s not about doing more things. It’s about doing everything you’re doing better so that it produces better results.

Jay: Yeah. You’re just speaking my language here. I’ll tell you, there’s two bad feelings in the world that really get me. The one is I have dissatisfied a customer and I know it was our fault.

You know, there’s customers that you’re never going to please. But when I know it’s my fault, that is the worst feeling to me in the world.

The second worst feeling we experienced this last peak season is when the phone is still ringing, you know you have more sales to do, but you can’t handle it. And you literally have to tell them, we’re full.

A lot of people I know they’re listening to this and they’re like, “man, I just want to get some sales, right?” And that’s a terrible problem too. But during our seasonal peak, we had to send a ton of people away.

But guess what? Every single place we had a bottleneck, I’ve got a notepad right here, I wrote it down. And so I have a list, a huge list, of things that we’re going to now create during the off season.

Our expectation is that we’ll be able to bring in twice the sales. We won’t be adding any staff. We’re just changing our system so that we can take in more people. That is a great feeling, to know that we’re ready. Will we be completely ready? Of course not.

I’ll have my notepad. Every year we’re going to get better at this. We’ll be able to take in more money. And so I have a lot of confidence moving forward, because I’ve learned exactly what you’re talking about.

David: Yeah, and I think that maintenance is absolutely required. You have to be able to maintain a certain high level of service because your customers have to be able to expect that.

So when I talk about growth versus maintenance, I’m not saying don’t do maintenance, right? I want to be clear about that. You have to do that. You have to be able to maintain that. But you also have to be able to grow.

Sometimes I talk to business owners who say, well, I’m doing all I can and I don’t have money to hire anyone.

That to me is a screaming red flag. Because if you’re putting in all these hours and you’re doing all this work, and it’s not generating significant enough profit for you to be able to hire the help you need, then there are a lot of things going wrong there.

And a lot of times when we schedule calls with people, when we have these strategy sessions with people, we can point to one simple thing that they can change, that will completely alter the trajectory of their business.

Because now it’s not about trying to accomplish the impossible. It’s about recognizing that simply by tweaking the way you’re doing this, you can get a completely different output.

Jay: Yeah, you’ve identified a very important piece of the puzzle, and that is, you have to be open to change. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. What you’ve done, there are people like David, there are people out there, sometimes just a conversation with somebody is enough to open, even your mouth moving and articulating the problem causes your brain to start moving again.

It’s those people who are so confident and prideful in their systems. They’re the ones who are going to get bogged down.

Ask for help, seek guidance and opinions. Also do the same with your customers. Ask them, okay, especially the ones that are disgruntled you know, and you’ve lost the business. Would you take a minute and at least tell me, what you saw and where we fell down so that we can solve the problem?

Get it from everywhere and be open to it. Otherwise you’re going to get stuck in a place where you can’t do the maintenance. And when you can’t do the maintenance, you’re not going to grow. Right? Just that simple.

David: Absolutely. I think one of the other reasons that I wanted to talk about this topic is that I feel like there are a lot of people who aren’t quite sure where they are with the whole growth thing. Some people are content where they are.

And if you’re content where you are, then none of this applies to you. Right? You’re not required to grow your business if that’s not where you’re going. But there are so many people that I talk to that really want to do it. They want it to grow. They want it to be more than it is. They want to be able to create better lives for themselves, for their employees, for their families, for everybody they impact.

And they know they can’t do it without growing. And when they use maintenance as an excuse, that’s a tough one to overcome. It’s a tough hurdle to overcome because some people struggle with the belief that you can maintain everything you’re doing and you can also grow if you’re willing to make those type of changes.

And when you don’t know what those changes are, you can’t even imagine it. You can’t even picture it. You just basically say, “oh, well, I can’t. I’m too busy. I don’t have time for that. I’m already working too hard. I’m not generating enough revenue. I can’t grow right now because I don’t have time to do it.”

And it’s like, “Well, I can’t help someone like that. I can’t help you. If you are absolutely convinced…” You mentioned that person’s way of doing things. If that’s your way of doing things, then you’re absolutely right. I’m not going to be able to help you because you’re in that mindset. If you’re not going to change the mindset, it’s not going to work for you.

But so many people have such a great experience when they take that leap of faith and they say, you know what? I want to try this. I want to, implement this. I want to see what happens.

And so many times when I’m working with our clients inside the Total Market Domination program, we have conversations and I mean, I tell a lot of them, listen, if it’s not fun, we’re not doing it right.

And what I mean by that is, the changes we’re making are so impactful that it’s like, “wow, all of a sudden this thing that I thought was a real big problem for a really long time is now no longer an issue.” And it’s exciting when that kind of thing happens.

Jay: Yeah.

David: And it is doable in nearly every situation. That’s why we offer these free strategy calls. Because If we can help you, we’ll tell you. If we can’t, we’ll tell you that too.

I mean, a lot of the calls that we get on, it’s like, “okay, based on your situation, I don’t think we can help with that.” But normally they get a lot of great tips from the call, and a lot of good pointers that they can implement based on what they’re doing.

So I think anyone who is really serious about making the necessary changes to be able to grow and scale their businesses the way that they want to. If you feel like you’re stuck, if you keep hitting your head on the same ceilings that you’ve been hitting your head on for a while, it’s definitely worth a conversation, whether it’s with me or with somebody else that you trust.

If you’ve got somebody that you know who can help you with this, have a conversation.

Jay: Yeah, well, such great information. How do they have a conversation with you?

David: Just go to, schedule a call with myself or my team. Everybody in our team is actually very nice to deal with, very fun to deal with. We enjoy what we do. We love what we do. We love our clients. And it shows.

And so when we’re talking to somebody who is considering becoming a client, we will never try to convince or persuade you to do anything. We just basically want to have the conversation, see if what we’re doing is a fit. If it is, we’ll tell you how we can help.

If not, we’ll tell you that as well. And it’s just a good experience.

Jay: Well, fantastic. David, as always, it’s been a great pleasure.

David: Thank you, Jay.

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