Debbie Boone’s Bio
Debbie Boone graduated from NC State with a degree in animal science. Though she loved the field, she decided to be done with school. In that time, she began working for one of her family’s many businesses. As young as 15, Debbie was managing profit and loss statements. Years after working with her family business, she decided to combine her love for animals and her involvement in business. She began as a part time receptionist at a veterinary hospital. Again, she stepped away.
After some time, she bumped into an old associate that asked her to become a hospital administrator. And that’s what she did for 19 years. After that, she moved to a larger hospital that managed the shelter for the county as well as a large animal section (new skills, more connections). Then the 2008 recession hit. She and her husband had just bought a second home. He was an entrepreneur and she was supposed to be the one with the steady job. And, of course, Debbie was let go.
Through the years she had done some consulting and key opinion leader work. She loved it. So, when the decision was made for her, she decided it was time to take the leap. In a recession. There was no second thought. She had to act quickly because she was about to lose a lot of emails, contacts, and other significant information. Two minutes later she decided on a business name. So, she set up an email address so she could have emails forwarded, reached out to her network, and those relationships sustained her. She’s been doing that ever since.
Debbie recommends you start by making three lists.
- Small things you can immediately delegate
- Bigger things you can train someone to do
- Things only you can do
You Drive the revenue. So you need to be available to do all of those things. Because there’s only so much time in the day, you need to make some pretty big judgement calls. Because you’re the revenue driver, make sure those activities can move forward unhindered, which means you delegate the rest.
Delegation is hard for several reasons. This is emotional for you. Letting a piece of it go to someone else can be tricky. Many of us are also familiar with the phrase, “if you want it done right, do it yourself.” But Michael E. Gerber, author of The E-Myth Revisited,¹ talks about how to best do this.
You would think you may need to pay highly talented people. Or at least one. And then they can do the hiring and managing for you. But if you remove yourself too much, new hires won’t be taught the right processes and they won’t know you from Adam. So, instead, you hire someone with the lowest level of skill/capability and you teach them the system and processes you use to run the business tasks relevant to their position. Because it’s the system that will help them succeed. In the process, you end up saving money, create better moral, and positively impact your sanity because you built the system/processes your employees are doing. Leaving you free to take care of the most important revenue driving responsibilities.
Make A Good Brand
What do you stand for? What is the feeling or sentiment you want customers left with? Many companies use vision statements to capture these thoughts. However, a vision statement is only as good as the systems that support it. Or else it’s just fluff. You can begin by assessing every moment in your customer’s journey. No matter who your customers/patients encounter, know how each of those individuals is representing your brand. Don’t forget to think out of the box. Many interactions go unnoticed. Word of mouth referrals. Google search. Encounters with reviews. (see the section below for more detail)
You’ll want to think through scripts or trainings provided to those answering the phone, messaging you use on your website and other online platforms, internal communications, and so much more. How are you being represented?
Establishing that brand will give you an emotion to tie yourself to, because execution will change. You can’t keep doing the same things you’ve always done. Think specifically about how your execution is evolving to make sure you’re portraying the same important brand that has been the lifeblood of your company for so long. Technology is a huge opportunity. There will always be new tools you can use to execute on your brand. If you don’t want to stay up on those, hire someone to do it for you, to think creatively about how they can deliver your same great brand using different modes and tools.
Your Customer’s Journey
Look out for the Launch a Business challenge coming in October! Even if you’re not starting a business, you’ll find several helpful templates, videos, and eBooks that will go over this in more detail.
But think about all the touchpoints an individual can have with your business. Ones you can control and ones you… may think you have zero control over. We mentioned a few above– word of mouth, reviews, etc. Start to map out all of the possible points into a rough chronology to show how a lead (your specific target buyer) might hear of you, how many times they may hear of you before acting, what might be going on in their life, etc. With this mapped out, you can hone in on how to deliver a great brand message every step of the way.
Face it. Companies not only have to deliver a better product or service, but also a better experience. Throughout that journey, especially once they’re a customer, how are you delivering a 5 star experience? How can you be constantly refining that?
Remember, though you’re expanding your thought process here, make sure to retain a focused effort. Stay focused on that target buyer.
- Pay attention to the humans in your world
- People want to help
- Address your consumer’s pain and overcome that first
How to Connect: