Episode #36 – From Chaos To Culture Episode 4: Fueling Growth - Teacher Zone

Episode #36 – From Chaos To Culture Episode 4: Fueling Growth

In this episode of the TeacherZone with Chris and Tyler, they discuss the fourth part from their five part series “From Chaos to Culture”. This episode “Fueling Growth” covers one of the most important aspects to long-term health of our lesson & learning businesses.

Fueling Growth with your business helps you change more lives and build your community bigger and bigger consistently. If you own. or run a lesson-based business, you will not want to miss this series or any content from The TeacherZone with Chris and Tyler!

Access the pdf to the ebook at: http://www.teacherzone.com/chaos​

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0:00:08.8 Tyler: So welcome to the Teacher Zone with Chris and Tyler. I’m your co-host, Tyler Marolf, and I’m here with Chris Bates. How are you, sir?

0:00:16.8 Chris: Tyler, I’m excellent, I’m excited about the topic. 

Tyler: We’re excited to be with you all again today, and if you are new and just popped into this episode, please do this first, go to TeacherZone.com/chaos, and download the free e-book because that’s what the series is about. It’s the five stages we must grow through as a business, and you’re going to have to back up to stage one, Are we in chaos or not?  We then talk about stage 2, getting organized, getting out of that chaos, Stage Three, engaging our students, which was awesome, and today we’re moving on to stage four, which is fueling growth, 

Chris:  Yep, being growth and the next two filling growth, and then stage five, which is building culture there, it’s really grown up stuff, and what I mean by that is that the first three stages, pretty much every small business in the world kinda goes to the first three, a little bit, there’s this idea of going from the chaos of just starting from dollar one of a business into actually having a business, and so then you start to get organized and then you start to work on engagement and all that stuff, these two… I would pause it, Tyler, that we talk to a lot of businesses that have been in business 30 years, and they still don’t tackle these two…

0:01:48.3 Tyler: They’re waiting to hear from people like us, that we’ve locked arms within all of the other industries of lesson businesses to find out what that current updated trick or system is to help them with that. A lot of them are very humble and realize they need the help, or Maybe this podcast helped them realize they need to help. Then Chris, there’s also folks that think that there isn’t any chaos or that they got this far already, it’s been 10, 20, 30… We’ve talked to businesses that are 60, 70 years old.

0:02:26.6 Chris: And so yeah, it just… ’cause you’ve been around a long time doesn’t mean you’re doing it right anymore, it means that at some point you probably were, and you’re definitely doing some things great, but we can always be better. And so feeling your growth gets into the transition between being a technician, which is how many of us start, in other words, you were good at something, and so you decided to have a business, to a leader. A leadership role is something that if you have an embrace that about yourself yet. I don’t know if you’re a director of a lesson business or if you’re an actual founder owner, but either way, leadership is imperative to actually taking your organization to another level.

0:03:09.4 Tyler: Lets face it, customers and staff are waiting for you to guide them. They want it to be positive, they want it to be, hopefully an impact on their lives because they’re taking and learning this new craft, or the teacher is like, Hey, this is a great place. I wanna make an impact on people’s lives here at your company, whatever it is, they’re waiting, someone has to steer the ship, and You don’t have to be by yourself, but the courage and the dignity starts at the top, and people are waiting for you to guide them. 

Chris: Totally. And if you haven’t, if you don’t know about Simon Sinek. Everybody needs to get “The Power Of Why”… Well, that’s an important topic, a book too, but the power of what is really excellent, and he gets to the fact that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. But then he has a new book that I love called the Infinite Game, and that’s really what Tyler and I are talking about with these last two stages. And I have to be honest, Tyler, everybody that’s listening to this, you guys are heroes, we’ve talked about it, but all of us that I venture out into the unknown, I’m trying to do something that hasn’t been done before, you’re a hero, but… And I say, but, do you have an identity issue, ’cause I know I have, and I know Tyler has, right? And that identity issue is… Well, I used to try to not be a leader and think that we could lead by committee where if everybody would just… just be all on the same page, I don’t really don’t want to lead you guys, and that’s basically me being chicken and me not wanting to actually take responsibility…

0:05:03.7 Tyler: Or… Lets all be friends. Let’s be friends first, while we design our policies, okay? And you know what, at our lesson business, our staff blow us away in regards to the culture and the knowledge of what it takes to run our lesson business, but we sailed the ship into port and got them onboard. 

Chris: That’s a leader’s job. So let’s talk about that. What does it mean to be a leader? because fueling growth which is what this episode’s about, starts with leadership. And so either idea is, what does it mean to be a leader?  Tyler, you and I really love the Jocko book, Extreme Ownership 

0:05:50.2 Tyler: It’s an amazing book, you guys haven’t read it yet, you’ll get it, if you’re already a fan of the show, you’ve heard us talk about it, It breaks things down, so simply like it is an easy read. All of our employees have read it, my wife has read it twice, it’s for everyone, and it’s about Extreme Ownership. Everything goes to the top. If vice president of a corporation are blaming each other for bad production, that’s not good leadership or extreme ownership. If we own it at the top and us at the top makes our commander’s intent so simple that everybody’s like, “Oh, I totally get it, Tyler, you know what? I got that, I got you covered.”  Okay, well, what if it’s not clear, what do we do and something went awry, and I had to have a talk with an employee and say, Hey, you know what, that didn’t go the way we wanted it. Well, I have to own it, right, Chris?  We have to own it in a loving way, and then say, This is how we’ll solve it in the future, and then we clear up the grey area on the clear and simple intent. All of a sudden, the employees start to follow the same principles of that extreme ownership.

0:07:08.7 Chris: Yeah, to give it more context. What he talks about in the book is a great analogy. He talks about basically a blue on blue flight, so where the Navy Seals… He’s a Navy SEAL, and unfortunately, they thought they were under attack and they were actually attacking each other, and so it’s the most horrible thing that you could possibly have in war, however, how he chose to lead in that situation was everything, because what he could have done was it really wasn’t his fault? In a lot of ways, because there were a lot of things that people just dropped the ball on that caused it a lack of communication and lack of connection… 

0:08:01.9 Tyler: They came forward and said it, he had his guys in the line in front of the jag attorneys and said, Guys, what went wrong out there? Why are these folks gone? Why are they gone? And His guys who are an amazing platoon, started to step forward and try to take the blame… It was me,  And he says, Wrong. And Jocko told each of them, Nope, wrong. It was me. And he owned it, right?

0:08:20.6 Chris: It was a powerful thing you can do is by owning it, you just told everybody, you’re not playing some kind of blame game in making people have to be defensive. You’re basically saying, Listen, it starts at the top. I’m owning this, so let’s just not worry about that part anymore, now that I’m owning it.

0:08:41.2 Tyler: By the waym for everyone that isn’t into war books, ’cause I’m really not into war books either. This is not war book, every chapter, he talks about a story like Chris just told, and then…After he reads the military part, he says, “Now applied to business”, and the chapter is actually about him and his co-author going to Fortune 500 companies and helping them work through these type of principles because they’re having the same breakdown of leadership.

0:09:15.5 Chris: So leadership is leadership. A good point, leadership is leadership, and we’re not asking us to turn our businesses into a military operation, but we can certainly learn from that accountability part, and that’s what I love about Extreme Ownership, so… Are you a great leader? So what does that actually mean? Well, I think with responsibility and playing the Infinite games, so if you raise your hand, and if you guys really think about it, if you look at your business, the first question I would ask is, Are you playing the Finite Game, do you see some sort of out? when this happens then, or in other words, if there’s some sort of condition…

0:09:56.1 Tyler: Like you said earlier, Chris, if I had 10 more students, we’d be good.

0:10:01.2 Chris: Yeah, if I just do “this”, everything’s great, okay, that pot that you have, and we all have it because we tend to wanna… We wanna feel safe, we want full protected all this. That’s a natural thought I have, but it is not Infinite Game thought, that’s finite, meaning, you’re pretty much making the limiting yourself. You’re capping your business on this conditional moment, you’re capping your happiness on that moment, and so the Infinite Game says I’m happy now, and I’m playing this game infinitely, and as soon as you start thinking that way, then you start realizing that part of playing an infinite game is actually affecting and impacting more people in your community, and so that’s where the fuel your growth part comes in, ’cause you realize that, Well, if I don’t actually impact more people and I don’t have a system for that, then my business is always gonna stagnate, it’s always gonna stay at a certain level. 

Tyler: Chris, What’s more attractive than a place where leadership is strong, morale is good, there’s trust points between owner to ops instructors, however your hierarchy is set up, and it’s healthy? That is the first thing that people will feel as customers, the ones that are funneling the money to you, ’cause the money keeps the bills paid the lightest. It also grows more marketing, which we’ll get to in a second, but if everything’s that strong, Chris, don’t you agree that that’s the first thing that they’ll feel that’s an unsaid trust point to any families or customers come in your way, that they will tell others about me, it’s just strong on its own.

0:11:53.6 Chris: The first part of trust, and this goes back to our number two in the chaos, getting organized. The first part of building trust is them knowing that they can count on you, and when you’re assuming the leadership role, you’re saying, Hey, you know what, not that I’m perfect, but that there’s someone here that is taking responsibility. Now, does that mean you have to do the work? It actually means the contrary. Responsibility means you can choose who’s best for all the work, it simply means that someone is saying, I’m owning this, and by owning it as a leader, what are the leaders roles… I had a friend once that runs a giant company, I asked her how she saw leadership, and she said… She said, My job as a leader is number one to basically figure out how to allocate resources to say who’s best at what, and let’s make sure that happens. So that’s number one, the leader’s role as allocating resources, that includes finances and all the other stuff we have to do. But the big part of a leader is giving everybody on your team what they need to be successful. 

That’s your job, your job is, how can I get you…How can I empower our team to be better? And one of the ways to empower that is with customers!

Tyler: It’s true, can we buy more equipment, gear, learning materials for our school if we haven’t grown in six months? No. By the way, education… And there’s different industries. We help a lot of industries at TeacherZone.com, some industries costs are more expensive than others, some choose that may get expensive, but either way, education comes with a cost, and in order for us to emboldened, we need those students coming in. We need that new teacher that heard about us and came over from a different company because they heard that there’s so much excitement going on at our here.  When the teacher comes on board then the morale of the team is like, “No way that guy is coming or that gals coming to work here?” You know, thats synergy, it starts to snowball from there.

0:14:12.0 Chris: That there’s people that won’t last in your company, if you’re new to business, it’s one of the sarts, Tyler and I… With an old company that I had, we had a graphic designer that I love to death, but when I had to let him go, he was my first employee in that company, it was such a sad day because we love that person, but the company had outgrown them bottom line, and it was… And we gave warnings and we gave right up, so we give all this stuff in the bottom line is that your company will outgrow some of your staff if you are truly leading and fueling growth. If you’re not feeling great, you’re not in it. I hear a lot of… We talked to a lot of you and you’re like, Well, my instructors are just… They’ve been with me a long time, and they’re bad habits and all this… 

0:15:01.1 Tyler: Wait, You don’t sound like that though? haha. That’s Chris’s favorite Bullwinkle style voice, so yeah, 

Chris: Haha! You probably have a much nicer voice. But the key to it is realizing that an infinite game, we’re always trying to get better, all of us. It’s not just your staff, It’s you to seek out leadership stuff, look into ways to be a better leader, and the way that I… Tyler and I like to describe it to our staff is we basically will liken it to the fact of… Our job is to also look into the future, it’s to give everybody what they need today, and then it’s to fly 10,000 feet up and to make sure that there’s not a hurricane coming in the distance, is to make sure that if there’s a threat coming in the distance, we have batten down the hatches and prepare everybody for it, so leadership has those two roles of empowering your current moment and then looking into the future and fueling growth is part of looking into the future, because if you’re not growing, then you’re going the other way. You’re decaying. I give it a metaphor to my kids, Tyler, all the time, that  money is just a metaphor for helping people, it’s basically… That’s true, I do. Basically, the more people you help, the more money comes to… We really directly related now, is it always really… Of course, you guys, you can find moments in history where there’s Robber Barons and jerks, and there’s zero sum game mindset where they fought to the death and the winner took all the spoils, fine.  But thats not the modern world.

0:16:33.8 Tyler: Right, In a modern world, especially in a membership economy that everyones used to that’s based on experience and community and being part of something and sticking around, so that that income keeps coming in, that’s where we are today. And if you don’t have a special culture, if you aren’t fueling the growth of your parents, students, teachers, staff, ops team, if you’re not helping them grow as people and you aren’t growing yourself, the company, it will just become stagnant and stop growing.

0:17:08.7 Chris: So that’s a good segue into this fueling your growth part so… Well, what does fueling  your growth start with… First it starts with a want to, with you realizing that you are a leader and that you have to stick to your guns and simplify, and there’s a lot of things that’ll help you grow. Number one, simplification. If you’ve got 52 different options. Humans don’t do well with that. Why? Remorse! We’re afraid that if you’ve got 52 different flavors, I’m gonna pick the wrong one, how can I possibly pick the right one? There’s too many choices. So the studies have shown that if you can limit your choices ideally three, then customers don’t feel like remorse come in ’cause how bad can I mess up on three choices

0:18:15.6 Chris: They unknowingly know that they’re going to probably pick on the wrong one, if there’s too many choices, how could you not feel that way? There’s just so many choices that certainly I could get a better benefit from another one, so I need more time, so if you’re looking to fuel  your growth, the first step is simplification, simplify your proposition, simplify your messaging, simplify all that to your staff and to the community, and to everybody you do, and if you’re not good at that, Tyler and I have finally gotten out of our own way, and we’ve hired professionals, hire people, there’s lots of amazing folks out there that will help you with your messaging, they’ll help you with your branding, they’ll help you simplify and clarify your message. That’s number one. Number two, your sales funnel. Do you have one? So now, as everyone has one, but a lot of us have one because it sort of  just did things a certain way and we never changed. A sales funnel basically is from the inquiry top of the funnel all the way down the bottom of funnel would be they become a customer or they become a student with you, so how do they get from the top to the bottom is an important part of fueling your growth, because if you’ve got a lot of people that aren’t getting through the funnel because they’re getting stuck somewhere, it’s probably because you’re bad at following up.

0:19:34.3 Chris: Or you don’t have a good system. So the element of that, I wrote down Tyler,  three things I said, just simply an easy way to look at a funnel is inquiry, follow-up, and then registration. So where people mess up is either A, they’re not feeling the inquiries with marketing and outreach, or B, they got that coming in, but then they’re not following up to not closing a deal to the registration.

0:20:01.9 Tyler: Those people, especially in the lesson business world, they want to go learn something now, they’re excited about this thing, now you know what my buddy talked me into… Brazilian Jiu Jitsu  you get… So I’ve been putting it off, I got the fire. Where do I go? I’m gonna call this guy, and then if two or three days goes by, you know, unless it’s a word of mouth referral and someone said If you don’t go there, you’ll keep trying… So there’s those customers, there are some customers that use the power of Google because there’s so much… And the chances that three decent businesses and five square miles of their house are on Google, the chances are greater these days, and it depends on your area.

0:20:44.6 Chris: And I hear this all the time, and this is something I wanna shoot down, if you think price is the lever, stop it, price and service businesses is very much that made up thing, it’s value given for price, so in other words, you could charge a million dollars and there are people that would, if you develop a proposition that supported it, there are people that could pay it, right. It isn’t about how much. So just remember, you’re not selling product in the lesson business, your selling a service, and so a service… There is no competition. But what Tyler just said is a very important fact. If they don’t know about you because you have bad follow-up, that creates false competition because now they’re gonna go to someone else only ’cause they didn’t know about you. So it’s very important that you have a really good system Tyler… Do they need to be the ones to follow up? No, not necessarily. You do not need to be the ones to follow up. I think that’s the info you and me a lot is we’re like feeling…

0:21:52.3 Tyler: And we now have… We use Calendly where they can schedule their own 15-minute call or watch a video that explains everything, and there’s just so much we could have done that we finally out of our own way with… But even you mentioned clear message, Chris. So prior to them calling in. One of the easiest things you can do, and we actually use a wonderful guy named Brad over at clear messaging, we’ll get his website to you, we’ll put it in the comment section, but he… Just one or two landing pages with really clear messaging, like really clear where you sat down with someone who’s good at that, helps the people reading it go, Wow, they wanna make me be the hero in all of this, and it’s so clear and so simple, it will make your job that much easier. More people will be already ready to be sold when they call in, because it was that clear. They may have a couple of questions. Sometimes people don’t even have questions, they’re just like, Let’s do What do next. 

Chris: So there’s the way you’re saying is 100% true, that the clearer your messaging, the easier it is to have the inquiry turn into a customer, also the clearer your way of doing things. So for instance, and if you’re accepting all payment types and you’ve got all these different ways you allow, you’re just muddying the waters, dumb it down, get it automated, get it simple. Because when it’s simple, do you know how many plans Tyler and I have at our lesson of business?

0:23:26.3 Tyler:  one.

0:23:28.1 Chris: People always ask me, Well, do… Don’t you go through this?… ’cause we have people with 100 plans, actually, we have a new TeacherZone customer that has 207 plans.

0:23:36.4 Tyler: That’s a record. I did not know that. Right. We have one flat fee. Is there’s no registration fee, there’s no cancellation fee, or a cancellation policy for auto-billing, just let us know two weeks prior you’re out… We from stage one, we want the rosters to be healthy. It’s perception, it’s culture, so it fuels growth when people see that and it’s that easy to choose and thats exciting, it’s… They’re like, I’m in, and they’re in with bigger and reputable.

0:24:14.1 Chris: Truly. And so the one thing impart that I think is important to part is that we’re not seeing our way is the best, but to give you an example, or we’re choosing the more boutique way of doing it, and what I mean by that is it’s more… This word, but it’s kind of a… We don’t even have price on our website, it’s  kind of like a country club. Okay, so think about it this way, country clubs get people to pay a crazy entrance fee tens of thousands of dollars, but to do so, you have to be referred by up to five people have to refer you to pay the money. We’re not that crazy at our lesson business, but I get where he’s going in the going with it, it’s like people that think price is an issue, it’s like, have you ever seen a country club, they actually for the right to pay them 50 grand and then a 1000 a month or whatever. You have to go find five current member friends to refer you, just so you have the right to pay them. So we have to remember that there’s different sides of the spectrum, are you a more volume shop where you choose to have simpler plans that maybe speak more to a volume mindset, or are you more boutique-type mindset where you do charge more, but you get more value and it’s more a long retention periods compared to burning at 90 days to four months, so there’s larger based…

0:25:43.4 Chris: There’s different ways of looking at it. Some of you guys actually have different revenue streams, like you have a store, and so doing the volume models in a meet… Because you have lots of people coming into the store. So there’s different ways to go back. We’re not here to tell you what’s right or wrong that side, but we are to tell, telling you that number one, simplicity and your messaging at the top of the funnel is everything, number two, once you dumped all that down and you have a follow-up strategy, so I have something that we did recently, just as a tip, is we actually have one of our seniors and high school students that’s helping us with the follow-up, who better to help and someone that’s been a part of your program for a while, and she’s doing amazing now, we all see what you… By the way, what did we miss that one, we have hundreds of potential follow-up folks that are already a part of our lesson business. The getting organized stage to find out what people are good at, 

0:26:45.2 Tyler: and I’m gonna just throw it out there, we’re a music performance-based lesson business. Not all of them are made for the phones, so we found someone who’s just this unbelievable, very talented drummer, her name is Sierra, and she’s always been so polite, she helps with the younger kids, she’s just that person. And then I was like, You know what, let’s see. Are you afraid of the phones? I’ve got an idea, and I sent Chris a little video of her doing her first phone call…

0:27:12.1 Chris: She’s so much better than Tyler and I… By the way, she… Salome professional, she’s got an amazing… Was I might be… If she called me, I’d be way more apt to wanna talk…

0:27:22.5 Tyler: You know, she’s scheduling calendly’s left and right, it’s already increased and we just started doing this a couple months ago, 

0:27:31.2 Chris: The point is to get it done, not that you have to be the one, as the point is to get it done however you take from the top of the funnel where you’re basically taking energy into an inquiry and then the follow-up that creates a sale, so let’s talk about fueling growth with regard to the top of the funnel. There’s lots of ways that you can bring injuring in. And the one thing I see with most small businesses, myself included over the years and yourself Tyler, is that most of us, we table and then we back off, we dabble and we back off because our pay is often related to the entire business’s income, and so more the marketing budget goes up, the less or pay… Our pay goes down and that scares us, but that’s not infinite mindset. Infinite mindset is the fact that you have to have… I had a CFO that worked for me years ago that kind of woke me up on this, he said, any good business has a sales and marketing machine, and at first like it rub me wrong, and I’m like, 

And then I had to go home and face it and say he’s not… He’s absolutely right, if we’re not feeling the machine, then we are doing a disservice or staff, we’re doing a disservice to the overall program.

0:28:44.9 Tyler: We’re doing a disservice to the people that try to call us… They wanted to talk to us and we wonder why. On day 8 in the CRM system that they’re like, Who is this? Oh, oh yeah. Not a great system. 

0:29:05.2 Chris: A minimum, every one of you out there has to have a CRM, which is a way to follow up with folks, and you have to have an email program, some of them are combined like Active Campaign, and some of them… There’s a myriad of them. Some of your bigger organizations love Salesforce, some of the smaller organizations can use one of the more 50 motion 

0:29:32.0 Tyler: Grasshopper phone system that’s… All of our extensions are tied there, And

So Sierra got her own extension, and then lo and behold, well, log me in, bought Grasshopper, we’ve been using them forever, but Go to Meeting, which is what we’re on right now. But them and all of us, and I look and you can enable texting through the phone system from that mass number that is your number, and so she is sending out… It’s not like a texting system, a… She’s doing it, she will fire off, a little text that, Hey, I left you a voicemail, here’s an easy way to schedule a call, and she’s fine, so we’re just using that. That is not rocket science. That is… And it comes as a month…

0:30:11.3 Chris: Yeah, and it’s so important to follow up because Tyler just said, You’re actually… People will thank you, you’re actually doing a disservice for that person that actually is interested in your program, if you don’t take the time to get to them, then… Shame on you, what happened with us? Years ago, we had a actually, a really popular local family in her town that had stopped in and inquired, and no one told us.

0:30:43.3 Tyler: So we found out three weeks later, we like as… It was in our front line because our teachers, we’ve tried on the fact that we have so many systems in place, our teachers just teach the coach only, no admin, no schedule stuff, just music, right. Well, we went a little overboard and our teacher was really stoic when they came in looking for answers, and we didn’t find out what about a week later, and there are people that… Friends of friends of yours, and it was just the whole thing. And so we learned from that.

0:31:15.0 Chris: Right. And what we learned is number one, leadership we hadn’t provided it, we hadn’t actually taught our staff how to deal with inquiries, and so that was an important lesson for us too, so lonely, I was reading a pre-ownership that would be… And everything got better after that, so let’s talk brass tacks, let’s actually talk about sales and marketing and let’s get into it. So Tyler, you and I were talking about this earlier, and when I first started in the business, I had a real estate company in Colorado, and we actually were senior specialists, and so we were really known for it and we had lots of knowledge, and we had materials and things… And so we got with a marketing person, and we actually got on this guy, Rick, who had a swing station, am spring Station, and we would… Yeah, we would go to his advance and Ric wood every day, he do a live for us, so I’d be like… By the way, if you called Chris Bates today, he’s the specialist at, and every time he did do that, our phone would just ring off the hook with people that were big fans of his, the thing is It was six grand a month, and so we were just like, Oh my gosh, and then we start to get really busy from it, and then as soon as we got really busy, we did what a lot of you that are listening have done in Tower and I’ve done too. And we’re like, Oh, the money is coming in. Now, let’s recoup. And so we turn it off. Then it hotel turn it off for a month or something, we just record a little bit of our costs, and what ended up happening, we didn’t just… We recouped, sure. Right then, but then it dried up, so then you didn’t get calls anymore, so then we had to tell between our legs four months later, whatever call our marketing person is, let’s start to back up with Rick again. Yeah, we blew it. So I think that the US turning things on and off is a big challenge for a lot of small business owners, because it’s

0:33:19.3 Tyler:  It’s like a big challenge to go take the leap for the first time ever, if you haven’t yet either Facebook targeting Google pay per clicks, SEO companies, companies that just design your SEO and keep putting content out for you so you’re more and more relevant in Google Search and whatnot, that can seem so foreign and expensive, you gotta keep doing it. We did it at los Rios Rock School, we lucked out our SEO guy, his kids came to the school, and then in the very beginning… No, they didn’t stay forever, they stayed for a few years, but when they left, part of their tuitions covered that bill, and so we had SEO being built, Pagar page after page for five or six years straight, and we never stopped. And it’s the best thing we ever did. And Chris is like, You need to talk to Steven. And then Steven ended up bringing his kids so that it was very serendipitous that we got to get in that partnership together, so… Go ahead, Chris.

0:34:29.9 Chris: Channel Partners. Well, I concur that you have to look at the big picture, we’re more fortunate today than we’ve ever been, for those of you that have been in business a long time, print was like the way back in the day, you’d have to spend money on mailers and print and all that, so you’re still doing access fully, but overall, everything’s gone digital, but it can get expensive, so it’s very important that you have a plan that you’re constantly tweaking and stuff, so what are some of the ways that you can market… Well, Tyler and  I call the inexpensive way, which a lot of you hanging your hat on, we call that gorilla marketing, and that’s basically… I’m not gonna spend much money, but I’m gonna put it a lot of energy out there, and so that could be flyers, that could be reaching out to the different businesses around you are the different schools, it could be doing charitable events, things like that, grilling really is so in my opinion, it’s important. But when it’s your only form, it’s small ball, because you’re only thinking in a finite mindset, you’re not thinking infinite of the fact that we need a consistent messaging going out all the time.

0:35:43.7 Chris: And so, I personally think the most powerful for a small business is to do both, is to do both guerilla marketing and traditional, which means that, Tyler, we see some of the greatest success right now from Facebook ads, and there’s instagram and tiktok and there’s… Google has always been a mainstay for people Googling stuff, we’ve worked on SEO and stuff like that, so you have to look at your channels, they’re called channels in the advertising world for a reason, because if you think about the old… When we had only three channels on TV, there’s very limited channel partners to get your messaging out there, whereas now you have a lot of opportunity and you can do micro ads, so for those of you that haven’t done paper click, what that basically means is that you’re paying, you can pay for impression or you can pay for a click, and so when you’re choosing how you wanna pay on how you wanna market, the main thing to remember with it is that you wanna start with something that doesn’t waiver, so it could be 200 bucks a month, right?

0:36:52.2 Tyler: It was so cool about paper click tellers that you can put in there like five bucks a day, and then when you both miles or these cities and you don’t even need a firm to boost some ads and you will get calls to me that’s not… That we used to do that and it wasn’t the consistent way we wanted, it wasn’t a full system when we did it ourselves, so we took it to the next level, but what we did do is we stayed consistent on it. We pay 400 a month for a year and a half and just never stopped, and one of the ads ran for two and a half years and has 100 thousand views on Facebook. It was a Facebook originated ad, and we got calls from it, and that was before the pandemic hit and stuff, so we were consistent on that, but we wanted a better system, we wanted more results, and so we have changed, we’ve gotten a team and we’ve gone… What Chris is talking about, there’s guys that are trained, because Chris and I were building stuff, creating content, we’re creating content right now for you, and we needed the help, so we have a budget, they’re helping with both businesses, and here we are.

0:38:12.7 Chris: So what Tyler saying, Guys, is that you can turn on the switch, that’s a good start, but he’s seeing the… Or what I’m hearing tellers, you’re saying the risk is getting stagnant, so that way in a digital modern world, you wanna be tweaking changing, it’s like… People’s attention spans are short. And so you wanna be like, I like one-minute videos, Chris, and now our team is like, cool, but before they get to the landing page where the regular video is 10 seconds, 10-second video.

0:38:45.3 Tyler: And so we have this whole awesome little set of little 10-second videos that you have to now think, how can we be creative in 10 seconds as you can… Everything’s happening so fast these days, not that I’m a huge fan of that, but it isn’t hard to get the content created and then the teams, they start to do what are called ad sets, they’ll take three versions of a video idea that you had to capture people’s attention, and they will run it to different target areas, maybe parents who love soccer or whatever, whatever the choices are, and they’ll run it against three different targeting sets, and after three to four days, they’ll see with the same amount of money on each set, maybe 5 a day, like Chris said, they’ll see which one had the best pay-per-click ad amount or the most clicks or the most views, and then they’ll kill the other two and they’ll bump and put 20 a day for a couple of weeks into the one that pulled the best so that’s been fun to watch as well, and so

0:39:52.2 Chris: You’re the term AB testing, and so what’s great is that there’s now a massive testing that they can do against ad sets and stuff like that, so if you don’t have a consistent way to email everyone, sign up for Constant Contact, sign up for MailChimp, there’s all sorts of great programs. You can schedule content, you can schedule emails. We send them out constantly, both have older set up that send emails to our current roster, and then we have other folders set up for prospects in those to get other types of content. It’s really important to

0:40:27.6 Tyler: Sometimes we do all 1500 at once, if there’s a show or an event, we just tell Spencer, Hey, that was that one. Everyone… Get it to everyone. Right, but

0:40:41.4 Chris: Those of you that don’t have that, I think one of the least expensive things you can possibly do is have a CRM in an email program, because those two ways for a couple of hundred bucks, you can literally transform your outreach and stop… I gotta say this, can you guys, please, if you’re listening to this, stop viewing marketing and sales as an expense, it’s not… Expense is like something that like, Oh, versus the light bill, it’s a fixed cost that you’re never gonna get out of… What marketing is actually… You should be looking at marketing as in theory increasing, like technically, as you have more and more revenue, you should take a percentage of your revenue that you always dedicate towards outreach, because what it does is it levels up your entire organization. It gives you so much more power. There’s a really interesting study years ago with Coca-Cola and in Atlanta where their base, they stop running ads, and sure enough, their sales went down in the…

0:41:55.2 Chris:  And who doesn’t know about Coke? Come on. So it isn’t an awareness thing, it’s that their advertising is drawing some people to make that all I’m in the mood now, kinda purchase that, that obviously went away when they stopped advertising, so we all have to realize where that threshold is, and then in a perfect world, we’re inching up our budget along the way, and in a perfect world, it’s an infinite game, you could infinitely in up your budget. Some of the… I got to meet on the Google campus, if you ever near Northern California, stop by Google, it is so cool. And they treat you real nice, you get to eat their free food, and what I learned was their bread and butter, are there like major advertisers, they have people spending 10 million a month, like 120 million plus on Google Ads. The point is, is that these are the companies that you all know of because they’re brand household names, so all we’re doing with our businesses is leveling up a mini version of that… Right?

0:43:07.3 Tyler: And so the tracking allows you to see who enrolled when, where they came from, therefore, how much that give you a year, maybe you’re a semester or whatever, and then all of a sudden we spend this amount and we go, Wow, okay. So I spent 1300 bucks, but I enrolled 2600 worth of students. Okay, cool, we’ll take the 1300 bucks, put it right back in and then take part of that profit, put it back into… And pretty soon, your marketing budget won’t even be relative to your bottom line of your expenses, is what Chris is trying to say is to build a little economy, just right itself.

0:43:54.9 Chris: There’s two terms that you need to know, get your pens out, one is lifetime value, LTV, what is the lifetime value of your average student… So in the lesson business, everybody’s got lifetime value at our school, we run average to be conservative, we run it at three years, but we actually… Our lifetime value of most customers get over four, so we’re really conservative with our numbers, but we run our lifetime value, and that’s basically your enrollments to quit day, and you could just do that in a spreadsheet or even software programs like TeacherZone… And when you start to understand your lifetime value, then you know that, okay, so if a customer is paying 100 a month, let’s just say, and they’re paying that for three years, then their lifetime value would be 3600 dollars, pretty simple. Now, how much am I willing to spend for every 3600 dollars… And that’s where customer acquisition costs, that’s the other one’s CAC, customer acquisition cost. So write that down, how much am I willing to spend to acquire the customer based on how much my average lifetime value is? So for a lot of folks, they’ll base it off because I know the average in the lesson business is 13 months.

0:45:13.0 Chris: So if you base it off of a year, let’s just say left in volume, so for you 100 a month, that means it’s a 1200 lifetime value that’s being really conservative, if you don’t know your actual numbers, and then you can say, Okay, so if 1200 in lifetime, and I wanna spend, let’s say, 10% acquisition cost is very reasonable, you can even go higher for some of you, but 10% to 20%, then I can spend basically 120 bucks for one month, a little bit over… Worth to acquire the customer. So the math gets better  the more you market because the other channels start feeding each other, and so that’s why it’s important to be consistent, to slowly be ramping up that budget to meet your goals, and then also have help… There’s a lot of help out there. If you’re not at the stage where you need help, what we’re trying to let you know is that you can do some of this stuff initially, we all have on our own, and then as you start to grow, typically tell her what’s the average budget for a firm I think it’s probably 500 or 1000 to them.

0:46:22.4 Tyler: It depends. If you find a newer firm, you can pay 600 to 800 bucks and then plus your ad spends, and they do all the reporting, they consult with you on what works and what kind of marketing they’re looking for, what kind of ads you should prepare some of them, will you prepare the ads, that will cost a little more, but remember, you can start small, some places are 1500 to 2000 just to have them on retainer plus your ad spend, but remember, there’s everything in in between, you just gotta look around

0:46:53.4 Chris: Some… Some are percentage, right? So in other words, if you spend 1000 there, 100, if you spend whatever their percentage of your ad spend, just know you get what you get, so another rest of the more you spend on the front end, the more work they’re gonna do, George, our campaigns in your AB testing and all you’re tweaking, which will get your customer acquisition costs down, which will allow you to create more energy and create more sales.

0:47:17.8 Tyler: They’re also going to match your current customers, they also update any new enrollments over the next couple of months, and they take those email addresses and Facebooks, and they start to see who the ideal customer is, and there’s algorithms in the ad creators inside Facebook and whatnot that help find people like them, it’s kind of scary, but it’s there. And so remember, so we just talked about a lot of ad stuff that might be brand new to you all, or maybe you dipped in here and there and didn’t get consistent, once you find that sweet spot and start to grow it, remember that’s not counting your gorilla marketing at the school district or a word at it together, plus you’re already creating a little content for it anyways, you’re out how to create a testimonial video. Oh my gosh, yeah, all of a sudden we take the testimonial videos, cut him up in a little 10-second guys to make them happy, our marketing team, but then to send the two-minute testimonial to every principle in Orange County, California or whatever, and say, Hey, we have something special, you may want your kids to know about this, it’s life-changing, and then there’s the testimonial of the kids and the parents talking about how great this performance program is or whatever, that’s actually stuff that we’ve done, so now we’ve done this one set up where kids came in, we spent an hour filming, Spencer edited it, and it’s now going to both versions and probably more me, Chris and I even share them on our personal Facebook pages, which counts as gorilla marketing ’cause we’re proud of it.

0:48:58.2 Tyler: We’re blown away by it, and that comes back to the leadership and the excitement and the energy, it all circles. It’s a cycle and we have to be excited about it, we can’t be in fear about it, Well, buckle and get  paralyzed, and we won’t do it, or we won’t put our best self into it, so you gotta find that center in yourself that is the why you even started wanting to change lives in the first place, shake it off, go back in time to when you were 12 and you first started learning karate, I don’t care what you have to do, then approach each project, you will get the energy back, the universe is totally waiting for you to throw it out there. 

0:49:45.4 Chris: The first step is transitioning from finite to infinite stop and end game. Stop it. Like if you really are thinking that way, then sell your business and move to the river, like just retire already, because in business, it’s just an adventure and it’s an infinite adventure, and so the fact that you’re on that adventure, it means that you owe it to everyone that’s involved your staff, your family, yourself, to actually keep leveling up, to keep pushing yourself to fuel your growth, because if you’re not growing… What are you doing? You going the other way.

0:50:24.0 Tyler: Right, right. Guys. When I started our performance program, I had nothing… If I can make something out of nothing. Then I didn’t do it by myself, and if you’re listening to this, you did that too, because… Yeah, you did it. I don’t care 40 years ago or last year, you did it, whether you just did it or a long time ago, and you made it up, I don’t know, maybe you bought a franchise, hello if you did, but a lot of you just created this stuff. Well, why not create it Amazing? Do you believe it can be another tier up from 3 star to four star?  whatever measuring system you have in your mind… Well, maybe you gotta break that up and look at it differently too, I don’t know, but can it be better… Can you affect more people? Can their lives change even more, will those people… Wanna help people change lives?  I know this sounds maybe crazy to some of you, everyone’s a little different, Chris and I are very similar in the regards of being excited about making something out of nothing and then having it change people’s lives for the better. Ours happens to be the young generation coming up going into our world to help run things, and if we can put a little bit of magic in their lives, character, personality, team work, and extraordinary results, have we made this place better? Yes.

0:52:01.0 Chris: Right. Your choice to be your tries to be an entrepreneur, a business owner, or a director or leader, your choice means that you chose to make a greater impact in yourself, so you’re already here, but… Did you forget that? Now, are you so caught up in the chaos? So you so caught up in the mess that you’re not actually feeling that vision and that growth, so hopefully this episode, I hope that all of you take away some of the points. Number one get into leadership, read leadership books, read the Jacco book. Look for the Simon cynic Infinite Game book, Michael giver, Emyth, if you haven’t read that. Read that

0:52:37.9 Tyler: Story. Brand. Story Brand is awesome. Remember guys, our job, and this is your job too, by the way, our job is to give you the tools to help you be the ultimate hero, so you can help your students be the heroes, and that’s what story brands all the time. If you look up Story Brand, I forget the author’s name, it’s all about clear messaging and creating that hero journey for your customers, read that one too, we got to mention that one…

0:53:06.3 Chris: Yeah, there, that’s a great one because stories are so important and impactful to all of us, and so it’s a way to take your messaging to another level, so the bottom line, everybody is, if you are looking for new ways to help level up what you’ve created, then you’re already on the path to the infinite game, and you’re already showing great leadership, and so we encourage you to let us know your thoughts, let us know some of the things that are working, because that’s the one thing about marketing and sales, is that in creating an engine, the engine has to constantly be worked on because it’s changing, it’s always changing.

0:53:46.5 Tyler: Chris, listen, here’s a little teaser. What if all of a sudden we’ve started fueling our growth and you know what, I made it through, I had the courage, I did something I’ve never done before, and now I’m on month four, and I’ve been paying for ads and they’re working. Awesome. Well, the next stage in the last stage five of this series is called building culture, and it says lives are being changed, community is being built, and people can’t wait to be a part of what you’re doing. So stage 4 and 5 are for sure together.

0:54:27.7 Chris: Because number five, building culture, if you don’t realize it yet, maybe you haven’t thought about it in a while, but it is essentially standing on the podium and getting the trophy, but that’s finite mindset. I mean, getting the trophy consistently over and over and over for your whole staff and everybody, it’s like you’re sitting on the podium, it’s the best part of the adventure, because when you have a great culture, that is what you think of often. So if you think of, think of something in your town that is… And it might be your business Bravo, but for a lot of you, it’s a local business that’s been around 50 years, like Tyler, the Wilton candy kitchen, something like in your town or something.

0:55:18.3 Chris: Chris, the point is, is that that’s a great example to all of us about an infinite game in an infinite mindset, and so… But that’s how culture is built, it’s built by us sort of emulating and mirroring, and so we’ll get it in that in the next episode. With this one, I hope that it was helpful, Tyler, help some… Some of those points can resonate with some of you that maybe are reticent to be a leader, or maybe you’re a good leader, but you’re reticent to actually spend money on marketing and sales or create a machine of some sort.


0:55:49.7 Tyler: We all have room for improvement and change, we are human beings, and if we don’t come from a place of humility and accept that no matter how amazing our company might be, you’re in the wrong business, so if the way I approach every day, is there something out there to create, to learn and to implement. Every day. Chris likes to say did we move the needle today and those are questions you asked so we’ll get into building a culture and that will be our next episode and we’ll fly 1000 feet above those four stages we did together and start to look at what that can mean how can we sharpen that so Chris thanks for being here today with me it was awesome seeing you again and to everybody else we’ll see you next episode.

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7 Things I Wish I Knew Before We Started Our Lessons Business

Our pain can be your gain! Here are 7 things we wish we could go back and do differently in running our business.