Club Capital welcomes a guest blog post from Jared Dean, State Farm Agent and CEO of Simplifi Inc. to share his thoughts on the 3 key steps to become an operational superstar.
Author: Jared Dean – Portland,OR
In the insurance and financial services industry, data is paramount. You need data to analyze your most promising marketing strategies, setup and pay your team enough to keep them engaged – but not more than you need to earn the appropriate profit – and to make the best purchasing decisions to affect the most important thing of all: your bottom line.
Our industry is loaded with business owners with successful track records in sales, marketing, and leadership; but we are light on operational superstars. These are the owners who understand that value in analyzing their business and strategizing based on their findings. They are so rare that you can easily pick them out of the crowd. They are the owners who make up the top .001% of your industry.
Most, if not all, of the agents I work with automatically assume that they are not in the same class as these superstars. I often hear statements like, “I don’t like numbers,” “I get confused or overwhelmed,” “It’s frustrating,” or “it’s exhausting.”
Lucky for you, I am here to tell you that you can do it, and it doesn’t require more time or effort than you already spend thinking about how much you suck at it.
Like anything new, starting methodically and building new habits is fundamental to change. You want to become a different type of business owner? Start with these three steps.
- MASTER PERSISTENCE. Leaping into change is easy to do – which should be the first sign that it isn’t the right thing to do. When something isn’t working out the way you hoped, it is easy to change back to the original ineffective game plan or to try the new “plan of the hour.” For change to occur, you must realize that is takes one trait – persistence. Change is hard- stick with it at all costs.
- CREATE A 3 STEPS OR LESS PLAN. Three steps or less is fundamental to success in any process, including a plan for change. Identify the two or three things you know you need to change to become the operational superstar you want to be. Keep it simple. Here is an example:
- Step 1 – Hire a bookkeeper service to provide me with monthly reports detailing expense and revenue line items.
- Step 2 – Identify deviations in your line items, compared to your own historical monthly data, or against a group of similar organizations.
- Step 3 – Each quarter, choose the one area that would have the greatest impact on your bottom line.
- STRATEGIZE QUARTERLY. Know the difference between a strategy and a tactic. A tactic is a new word track, new team member position, new sales process, etc. A strategy is one or more of tactics that are put in place in a logical way to get a predetermined result. Simply put, a strategy has a goal or target attached, and the steps or tactics your put into play will, if successful, guarantee success.
Provide your organization with consistent opportunities to learn through regular training. Pick a training schedule that you know you can stick to, and then do it. Constant attention and focus on the area of change with ensure that your organization thrives, where in the past it whimpered.