When did you last take time to reflect on your business and social strategy? Chances are it's been a while and things have slipped out of alignment.
Wanita Z discusses how a brand strategy assessment could be just what you need to level up and grow your business.
The key moments in this episode are:
00:01:08 Why is it important to take time out to do a business strategy assessment?
00:02:45 How would you address the common misconception that strategy is solely focused on the future?
00:11:14 What areas do you recommend are included in the strategy assessment?
00:21:35 How often should businesses review their strategy?
00:26:28 The 5 Whys tool to assess products and services
Connect with Wanita Z on LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/wanitaz/
ABOUT MICHELLE J RAYMOND
Michelle J Raymond is an international LinkedIn B2B Growth Coach.
To continue the conversation, connect with Michelle on LinkedIn and let her know you are part of the community of podcast listeners.
Connect with Michelle J Raymond on LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/michellejraymond/
B2B Growth Co offers LinkedIn Training for teams to build personal and business brands and a LinkedIn Profile Recharge service for Founders/CEOs.
Book a free intro call to learn more - https://calendly.com/michelle-j-raymond/book-an-intro-call-15mins
LinkedIn for B2B Growth Podcast is a fully accessible podcast. Audio, Video, Transcript and guest details are available on our podcast website - https://linkedinforb2bgrowthpodcast.com/
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#businessstrategy #brandassessment #b2bgrowth
Michelle J Raymond: [00:00:00] Welcome everybody to the LinkedIn for B2B Growth Show. I'm your host, Michelle J Raymond, and I am joined by someone I call a friend who I met with thanks to Clubhouse what two, three years ago now, I think. Time's flown while I've been having fun. Wanita Z, welcome back to the show.
Wanita Z: Thank you so much, Michelle. And it's so lovely to be here. And to be here with everything that has been changing.
Michelle J Raymond: It sure has been changing. And today we're going to be talking about Rethink. Refine and Rise. And this is the power of brand strategy assessments. And I'm not going to lie, Wanita, I know that this is a topic that you're really passionate about, but the first time that I spoke to you the first time around, I was probably a little overwhelmed cause I was just starting in my business and I was a bit scared because I was like, I don't have a strategy. You know, I'm kind of figuring this out as I go.
So I think, I just want to put this out to the listeners. You're in really great hands here. There is no one better to talk about these assessments than Wanita. [00:01:00] So I'm just going to dive into this today, Wanita, because we've got so much to cover if that's okay.
Wanita Z: Yeah, absolutely.
Michelle J Raymond: Why should People that are listening in, why take time out of their busy days to do a business strategy assessment and what's involved in these?
Wanita Z: Yeah, that's a really great question, Michelle. And when somebody asks me that question, I love going back to Alice in Wonderland and there was that conversation that she had with a cat and she said, would you please tell me which way I ought to go from here? And the cat says to her, it depends a good deal on where you want to get to. And she goes, I don't much care where. And he goes then it doesn't matter which way you go.
And that's pretty much what it is. So if you are in your business, whether you're starting out, whether you've done six months, a year or whatever, and you don't have a strategy really, you're just going to carry on going around in circles and doing what you're doing and not necessarily moving forward.
Where a strategy makes you stop [00:02:00] and think about what is your goal? What is it that you want to really achieve in your business like a big goal? And then how do I break that down into three really great strategic goals to get there? So if you know where you're going in your business, you can plan properly to get there.
Michelle J Raymond: That is so true, but there's something that has stuck with me since you were one of my very first guests on this podcast, which I appreciate you because you are such a huge supporter of people around you. And when I asked you to be a guest, I, I didn't know what I was doing back then. I didn't even have a strategy for the podcast, but you said something to me in that podcast, which has stuck with me. It's still something that's in my mind.
You said, and I'm paraphrasing here, but along the lines of people always assume that strategy is looking forward, but that's not necessarily the case. Can you kind of refresh people and just give them insight into what that process is?
Wanita Z: Oh, yeah and that's absolutely true, [00:03:00] Michelle because bar if you're really just starting out and you're actually putting a strategy together, that's a little bit different. But most of us have been in business for a bit. And again, it doesn't matter how long you've been in business. When you look at your strategy, it really is about not just looking forward.
So not just looking at what is your goal and how you are aiming to achieve that goal, but what have you done in the past? What's actually happening looking back? So how are you changing? What are you doing at the moment that is working And is not working? And how do you adjust to shift and change to go back into the direction that you want to go?
And yeah, I think people just think when I write strategy or when I do a strategy, it's all about, are we going to do this? Are we going to do that? Forward thinking. No, it's about assessing what's actually happening in your business right now and understanding how you got here and how you pivot and change.
Michelle J Raymond: The [00:04:00] funny thing is I'm sitting here laughing and going those that have been listening to the show for a little while now, they will know that I've been going through what's called Operation Rebrand as I affectionately call it. And I'm going to tell you that I got to the point that I got to, and I'm really grateful I was able to figure out things as I went and I landed wherever I landed, but Operation Rebrand is my moment in time to stop and go.
Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. You've got a bit of experience under your belt Now. You've worked with enough clients, you've built up your credibility. What do you actually want to create? If I were to create this thing from ground zero again, what would I do? So I've literally almost burnt my business to the ground and relooked at everything and said, do I even want to do that?
Do I enjoy it is a big part of what I do. Cause you know, if you don't enjoy it, it's just such a drag, and I don't have the energy to be juggling everything, including things I don't enjoy. [00:05:00] And it's been such an interesting process and a time of reflection. The thing that I realised, there were probably some things two years ago, three years ago, when I look back Wanita, when we first met and I dived into things that I wasn't ready for.
And there's probably some other things I should have been doing back then instead. And again, I'm not beating myself up. I'm not making myself wrong or anything like that. But the wisdom of hindsight, investing in a strategy conversation with someone like yourself, it just would have, possibly shortcut some of my successes is what I'd like to say.
You know, I ended up where I ended up, but yeah, it's something that it's certainly top of mind for me right now. And I'm sure your clients go through that same process.
Wanita Z: Absolutely. I think, what you're talking about, Michelle, is most businesses do and most small businesses when they start out, don't even think about strategy. They're good at something and they'll go, Hey, I'm really good at this. Most of them leave a job [00:06:00] or are pivoting in their career and they're going do I really want to work?
Let me think of something else that I can do. So it ends up because you are great at sales and you are great at LinkedIn, right? And you're great at business pages. That's where you got known, but you boxed yourself into business pages when you were so much bigger than that. And I'm assuming this rebrand is going to be bringing all of that in or everything about you.
But the reality is we all start as a business. We all start there. And then at some point, you've got to take a step back and go, hold on a second. Is this really what I want to be doing? Is this really where I want to go? Is this really what I'm achieving? And a lot of the times, most companies haven't even set a goal. The goal is as broad as, Oh, I'm going to be really good. Excuse me, Michelle, I know this wasn't you, but if I use the analogy, I'm going to be really good at business pages. I'm going to dive in and, be a business pages expert.
And so I'll centre everything around that, but not thinking [00:07:00] what does that really look like from a business perspective? How is that going to help you? How is that going to help you grow? How is that going to help you get out there? I love your tenacity. Like you have been formidable in your tenacity, but a lot of businesses don't get to where you are and they get to a point where they burn out because they don't have the strategy and they close down.
Michelle J Raymond: It's a huge risk and you have absolutely summed up my journey perfectly. I have shared many times that I, I like to think of myself, I was the caterpillar, but I was stuck very tight in that cocoon, which was the Company Pages and being known for that. But then Michelle Griffin, she says to me one day, Michelle, you helped me so much, behind the scenes with selling and selling on LinkedIn specifically.
Why don't you ever talk about that? And I was like, Michelle, I don't know how I can do that and be known for Company Pages and teach people that, with all of my experience, my 20 odd years of working and [00:08:00] everything that I've done. I didn't know how to bring that in. And then, so what I did, Wanita, which I do not encourage any of the listeners. Do not do this.
I then went, I understand that my niche that I'm known for is putting me in a box. I can see that it's restraining me and it felt like that. It felt really uncomfortable. But then what I did is I decided. Okay. I'm not going to talk about that anymore. I don't want to be pigeonholed. I'm going to just start talking about sales.
I can highly recommend that you don't do that either people, because then what happens is the thing that brought me so many opportunities and open doors. And I was known for, and that's what I built my reputation. And it was an empty space that I wasn't in competition with anyone else. No one else wants to be a Company Pages expert.
And then, so what I did, I stopped talking about it. And then I was like, it took me probably a good six months before I went, how can I bring this together? And that is what [00:09:00] B2B Growth Co is for me, is that I've finally done the work. To work out how I can position myself and some of the other things that we're going to talk about in a second, but I finally figured it out.
But I got to tell you, it's been a heck of a ride to get to that point.
Wanita Z: Yeah. And that would have been the advice I would not have given you.
Michelle J Raymond: I bet. I absolutely bet. And I don't give it to anyone else that's listening.
Wanita Z: No, because here's the thing, you get known for something like don't just drop it. You're known for that particular thing. It's how you weave in again, strategically, how you take that thing that you're great at and weave around it now everything else that you want to incorporate and bring in.
And it's pretty easy to do that, once you know how, once you have worked it out. Michelle, I love that you've been on the journey and you have had the hard falls and you've worked it out. The one thing we say and I know that, you know, that I'm a massive Kaizen enthusiast and everything else.
But you have to make the mistakes to learn and the [00:10:00] mistakes help you to grow and to learn. Sometimes though, it is good to bring an expert in because you do shortcut the mistakes, but but they do help, making mistakes as part of life and I don't want to say mistakes because I think it's just learnings, it's just learnings.
Michelle J Raymond: I think it's been a big experiment for me. It's not like someone handed me a business and said, go for it, Michelle. I had a blank slate to create anything that I wanted, which I've got to tell you, even that process took six months to get to a point of what do I want? And I'd never set out to be an entrepreneur in the beginning as many people know my story, but it's certainly been something that's been interesting.
And again, I'm not here to beat myself up about it. I'm here to share with our listeners so that they can see that it's not this beautiful straight line. Sometimes it's squiggly. Sometimes I've had I feel like I'm on the Autobahn, Wanita. I feel like nothing's in my way. You can't stop me. I've got sales coming in. I've had periods like that, and it continues to [00:11:00] be like that for me more and more because I'm just getting better at all of this.
Now, one of the things that I want to ask you about when we're talking about strategy assessments for brands, so IE businesses, what areas do you recommend are included in the strategy assessment?
Wanita Z: Okay. This is a good question because I think this is the part that kind of scares people away. They're like, Oh, there's so much that needs to be included. But the reality is you do need to sit and think about what it is that you want to do in your business. And Michelle again, the one thing before I even answer that question, I want to stress is a strategy document is actually a living document.
So it's not a document or a piece of work that you put together and then throw in your bottom drawer. It's not. And a lot of people do that. They go like, we're going to do the strategy session. And then they get this beautiful document, goes in the bottom drawer, and then they forget about it.
What you need to do with the strategy document is actually have it [00:12:00] live, make it live, take the pages of it, create visual boards put your information up on those visual boards, track it, make sure that you're looking at what's happening.
So from a strategic perspective, of course, always we start with the executive summary and it's always the thing that you end up doing last when you're writing a strategy. You'll do the executive summary, the company description you want to do industry analysis. You want to know that. And then, of course, your competitors. Now, I always talk because I never believe in competition. I believe in co-opetition. But the reality is somebody is out there that is doing the work and is doing it well. There is nothing wrong with actually going and seeing what they're doing and doing well.
Now, I'm not saying copy because that will just throw you out of the water. It will blow you out in terms of, people will pick it up. They'll go, Oh, she's copying that person. You see that time and again, especially in the online space. So don't go copy. So look at your competition, look at [00:13:00] your target market. So that is all part of the strategy. Your positioning.
So what is your risk that you're taking in your business? And that is where SWOT analysis comes in. So the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats. I'd like to touch on that when we're finishing. Think of your marketing. So how are you going to do your marketing, your sales? This all has to come into your strategy, your operations, the company structure.
And then Two very important things that people get scared off and step out of. The one is your financials. So really understanding what your financial position is and how you move forward financially and that means where are you at the moment?
What kind of loans have you got? How you positioning yourself? Where are you going to get your business partners? If you're looking at expanding, but also You know, are you pricing your products correctly? Are you actually making a margin on your products and things like that?
And then the other thing is your exit strategy. So I always think that people [00:14:00] forget the exit strategy. And what that means is what are you actually doing with this business? So are you going to look, and I always say, look at your strategy as if you were selling it in five or 10 years time. So if you grew this big that you went, I could retire and sell my business for millions and millions and millions.
What would that exit strategy look like? And that's what you're going to work your business towards. And of course when I spoke about all of that, when we talk about the whole strategy is your goals. So what is it from a big vision? And then how do you break that down into three very strategic goals?
And then how do you take all of that and break it down into quarterly goals? So how do you take everything and go, okay, quarterly.
I'm going to take a pause here, Michelle, because I was going to say SWOT analysis is for me, it's one of the most amazing tools and people forget it or don't use it properly.
And when we [00:15:00] spoke previously about, looking back your assessment, that's where a SWOT analysis is so amazing. For those of you that have, and I think a lot of businesses have done SWOT, but I'm going to assume that you haven't. So SWOT S is strengths. W is weakness. Those two are everything that happens internally in your business.
Then O is opportunities and T is threats. And those two are everything that happens external to your business. Now a lot of times when I see people do SWOT analysis, they think the opportunities and the threats are things within their business, but it's not. You actually look externally with those two and go, Alright, so what are the things that are happening outside that could threaten my business?
Or what opportunities outside of my business that I could look at That could help me to meet my goals and objectives but when you're doing the strengths, weaknesses, and you've got to be very honest with yourself. With the weaknesses and I honestly hate the word [00:16:00] weaknesses, but that's just the SWOT analysis.
But when you're looking at the weaknesses, if you take each one of them and you really look at them, that's where you can start putting your quarterly plans in. So you can go, okay, what's the most critical thing here to fix up? What's going to get me to my goal? What do I need to do that helps me to shift pivot change in this particular area?
Do I even want to do this? Do we even need to be doing this? Do I take this out completely? And that's what the SWOT analysis allows you to do. So it really helps you to understand the business and then go back and assess all the things that are not working and all the things that are working. I think it's important to do the things that are working as well.
Michelle J Raymond: I think I've been through a lot of this process during Operation Rebrand. Cause as I said, I finally gave myself some time to have a look at what am I doing, where am I [00:17:00] going? And now I have a lot more clarity around those kinds of things.
Wanita Z: Yes.
Michelle J Raymond: Me, as an individual, I am by nature I view myself and probably pride myself as someone that's spontaneous and likes to wake up and do whatever I want.
As a business owner, that doesn't work. I can give people the handy tip. If I want to achieve the goals that I want to achieve. Now, if it's a hobby job and your business is just something you do, just a bit of cash on the side, but you don't need to earn money or you don't have big goals, probably this isn't the podcast for you.
But if you're like me and just want, something like world domination or something like that, along with world peace, I only want those two things, I want to be the best in the world and I want world peace which would be handy.
But, for me, when I want to play that big and I do, you can't just wake up in the morning and expect that to happen. Now I tried, and here's what happens, maybe you make a to do list and then you work your butt off. And then all [00:18:00] that you do is you end up burnt out. You realise that you go to bed later, that you are waking up grumpier, that you can't be creative because your brain is so tired.
It's just full of stuff. So I, for my own business Operation Rebrand, that's a six month project, which is broken down into smaller pieces. And I have quarterly goals now of bigger pieces that I'm trying to achieve in the business.
The other thing that's probably important for someone like myself, which I'm sure some listeners can relate to is that by doing this, I stop myself from taking on too much and trying to get too much done in the business or saying yes to too many other opportunities that I can't keep up with, when my goal and priority for my business is, it will only be Lil and I in the business for the foreseeable future.
I do know that at some point, if I bring other people in, B2B Growth Co, as my business is named has been built so that I can take other people on.[00:19:00] Has been built, so if I do want to sell it down the track, it's not all built on Michelle J Raymond.
You know, I even had to go backwards and forwards on that a lot of the time, which I'm sure you can imagine Wanita. Do I just build Michelle J Raymond personal brand? Or do I build B2B Growth Co? Do I build both? These are the kinds of things that Operation Rebrand has flushed out in my business, but I think there was one, you did a newsletter recently and it just captured my attention straight away.
Cause it was like review what products and things that you're using. How many things are you wasting? And I think I encourage other people take some time out to do that, cause how many subscriptions do we have? $10 here, $20 here, $10, $15 And then all of a sudden you're like, Whoa, do I even use that?
And I think it's a simple one, but an important one. Is there anything else you wanted to add into this section before we move on to my next question?
Wanita Z: Oh, the next question. No, I, what I love though, is just mentioning that [00:20:00] newsletter. You talk about waste in the business and, so many people haven't actually sat down and worked out the budget and worked out what is actually in their business in terms of products or services that they've purchased that are just sitting and ticking over month by month.
So it's a great exercise to get yourself to do time consuming, these things are time consuming, but they're so worth it once you've done them because it clears the space and the energy. So, you know, Michelle, I'm very much a person about, energy space. Cause the more you clear and the more energy you have, the more creative you can be, the more easier it is, the less time that are wasteful.
Michelle J Raymond: I'm just nodding my head because one of the goals that I had for, a quarter earlier this year was to put some tools in place to manage from inquiry to invoicing process and get some automation. Shout out to Irit Levi who helped me with that so much.
But what I didn't realise is just how much my [00:21:00] brain was fried, trying to remember everything. And I spoke with Steven Pope just on the previous podcast episode about just how much we try and remember instead of creating systems or reviewing if it's even working or not working like should I even be doing stuff?
So I have to say it was very liberating as one of those reviews. When I was like, out you go, Instagram, I don't care about your Twitter, but Hey, I want to go and play over here and I want to go and do this. It's so important. And I think this probably leads into my next question that I wanted to ask you is how often should businesses be reviewing their strategies?
Is this something that we do once a year and check against it quarterly, or is it every couple of years? How do you think this works best?
Wanita Z: Just going back to what I'd said previously, a business strategy is actually a live document. It's not something that you do put in the drawer and then look at again in a year's time or in two years time or [00:22:00] whatever. It's really taking that strategy and breaking it down like you're doing at the moment.
And you know that I'm a fan and I always talk about the quarterly goals. So it is take it and break it down into your quarterly goals, and then you're reviewing the strategy, the quarterly goals against the strategy all the time. So it's not something that it's stagnant and you leave it and go I'm coming back to it in a year's time.
What you might find is and at any point you might find that something accelerates. Okay. And that happens sometimes in business. For example, you launch an online product and it just goes crazy and suddenly, everything is turned upside down. What you thought was going to happen when you put your trajectory out that, that online product was going to maybe gather some sales.
And eventually after a year, you'd be at this point. But the reality is it could just take off and that could be an external factor. So for example, Social Media [00:23:00] Marketing World comes along and says, Hey, Michelle, do you want to come and talk at our conference? And you're going, Woohoo. Yes, please. And all of a sudden you're open.
That's an external opportunity. So we talk about the opportunities, Michelle, in the SWOT analysis. That comes along and suddenly that throws your business into a completely different trajectory. So when you asked me, how often do you review a strategy?
All the time, because that could, as I said, accelerate something. And when that accelerates something, you might need to revisit your goals. You might need to pull them forward in terms of dates. You might at that point go, Hey, I wasn't planning on getting any people on board right now. That was something was only in my, strategy in the next quarter or in the next, the second quarter.
But I actually have to start looking at that right now because of this trajectory that's happened.
Michelle J Raymond: Oh my God.
Wanita Z: In answer to your question, it's live. You have to be evaluating it all the [00:24:00] time, but every day you should be going, this is what my goal is like. This is where I want to get to. This is what I want to achieve. And that's what you're working towards. All the time.
And so when you have meetings or somebody comes up and says, Hey, can I be on your podcast or, Hey, Michelle, can you just come and talk or whatever for me? Now you think more strategically and you start going. Hold on a second.
Does that talk align with my strategy? Does the audience align with my strategy where I'm going? And how is that going to help me in terms of my goals? And if it doesn't, turn it down. Give the opportunity to somebody else. Like I always say, there's other opportunities, but when you're aligning yourself in talks and things in the wrong kind of audiences, the wrong kind of talks and things like that and we all do it, Michelle, because everybody thinks I've got to get out there.
I've got to be online. I've got to be seen. But the problem is you're going to be seen in the wrong space. So you want to be seen in the right space. So now [00:25:00] you start evaluating that against your strategy, it's a different conversation that you're having with somebody that's asking you to be on a podcast. Different conversation and sometimes you're turning it down and that frees up space for you to do the things that you really love and want to do.
Michelle J Raymond: Yeah, look talking about those external events, absolutely. Social Media Marketing World, going to San Diego in February, that was something that I was like, okay, we need to shift some timelines because now I've got different priorities about setting myself up for success to go to that event.
So all of a sudden have to have that website done. Rewriting Business Gold, the book, you know, it's only book on Company Pages. Want that to be nailed and perfect. So it means I have to say no to some things maybe at other times I could say yes to. Not taking on more so I can deliver a second edition of a book and a brand new website from scratch is, you know, it's powerful for me. I don't, you know, it's, what's going [00:26:00] to create the biggest business growth for me by having those kinds of boundaries in place.
Now there's one of the tools, which I saw also on one of your posts as I've been stalking throughout them because I love your content and I'm going to encourage all of our listeners. Wanita's LinkedIn profile link will be in the show notes. Make sure you go across and give her a connect or follow and reach out and let her know that you listened to her on this podcast and what you took away.
Now the 5 Whys. It's a tool to assess products and services. Now, can you talk us through what are the 5 Whys and why are they helpful?
Wanita Z: Okay. So actually the 5 Whys are it's a lean tool or a Kaizen tool. And Kaizen for those of you that don't know, K A I Z E N. Kai is change, Zen is for good. So it's looking at your business and looking at ways that you can change your business for better. For the good. And so there's very many tools that get used through lean, through six sigma and all of them.
One of [00:27:00] them is the 5 Whys and the 5 Whys are not necessarily just for products and tools. It can work in relationships. It can work in just high level strategy. It can work anywhere. And what it is often when you ask a question, people will give you the first thing off the top of their head.
But it's not the root cause of something. So if you're trying to solve for a problem, the 5 Whys help to solve for their problem. So coming back, I'm just going to segue into what you were saying earlier, Michelle, and you're talking about, you're getting a new website and everything else. And so we talk about the new website and now you're doing an evaluation strategy again.
Part of my strategy is that my website needs to work so that I can bring in business. And the way that I'm going to check that is I'm going to have my Google analytics up. I'm going to have my search engine optimisation on my website. I'm going to do all of that stuff and I'm going to be tracking it so that by the time I I hit three months, I can have a good overview and go. Okay. Yeah, my traffic is coming from this place.
I'm [00:28:00] doing this. This is working really well, but let's say, for example, you're looking at your website and I'm coming in as an external and I see that your website has got no traffic, no leads. So the first thing I'm going to say to you is why why does your website not have any traffic or leads?
You might say to me, Oh, to be honest, I don't know how to do it like I've been trying and I don't know how to do it. I'll go, but why is that? And then you'll go, Oh, because I've, I've been concentrating on a whole lot of other things. And then I'd be going why is that more important than the leads and traffic on your website?
You might be going just because I positioned myself that way, but I know the leads and traffic are important. So why are you not doing anything about it? And so you get people to and you're not doing this in an intimidating way, by the way, because when I've trained the 5 Whys in corporate with people.
Often you get them going why, why, why [00:29:00] it's not like it's a conversation that you've got to have. And in between the 5 Why's you might throw something else in and go that's really interesting that you're saying that. And then you might come back to a, so why then is that? And it's really conversation.
What ends up happening is the root cause here of this is that the person doesn't have the time to invest in their website, but they also are not Looking or they haven't pulled an expert in. So easily solvable go and get yourself an expert because you don't have the time So make a plan and go and get an expert in.
And when I say this Michelle I do want to share a quick story because often business owners spend time in places where they shouldn't. So if search engine optimisation and analytics and all of that is not your jam, just go get an expert to do it. And you really, in the online world, need to have that stuff in place so that it works for you. But if it's not, don't go spend time learning it.
I had somebody once [00:30:00] that told me And this was years and years ago that, they got a quote for a website and it was a reasonable quote and they didn't like it. So they went and learned how to build a website through WordPress. And when I asked the question of like how many hours did that take you? They went 50 hours and I went How much do you charge an hour and they said like $100 an hour and I went You realize how much you've spent learning a website where that person quoted you, an expert, nearly 1,500 less than what you've just spent. And that time in hindsight could have been spent going to look for more sales, getting more clients in. So it's double, triple the cost, the on cost of what you've lost in terms of business.
Michelle J Raymond: I know, you know me very well, but I'm sitting here with a guilty conscience going guilty as charged. And when you go to strengths and weaknesses, I think one of my, if I was to, reflect on myself, [00:31:00] one of my business weaknesses is that I love to figure out stuff for myself and learn how to do it for myself.
That's my personality away from my business. And that is helpful. And it's also a hindrance. And so I'm just sitting here thinking, Oh my God. Yeah. She knows me, she's watching.
Wanita Z: So here's the, here's the nice piece for you though, OK. I'm just saying for you, we could not for most other businesses. If you're going to take this, cause I'm like you, I love delving in and really learning the depth of it so that I can talk about it in a way that is knowledgeable and all of that, and I take on experiments.
I love experimenting with things. The thing is, if your business, the B2B business is now going to be adding that stuff in, then you can use that to your advantage from a training perspective. However, if it's not, then my question to you is, why are you doing it?
Michelle J Raymond: And I'm sure people can relate. In the beginning it was because I didn't have the money, that I wanted to just pay every expert. And to be honest, I [00:32:00] couldn't have gone to any expert cause I had no idea what I was doing or where I was going or what I was creating. So it would have just been burnt money.
Now I think it's further down the track, it's now literally me getting in the way of myself which is why now having Lil in the business, it's you know, Something that's okay, your jobs, my jobs. This is where we make most money when my time is spent training B2B businesses, rewriting LinkedIn profiles.
That's where I have to spend, you know, business development. That's where I need to focus. And so I'm lucky I've got Lil keeping me on track now, which is great.
Wanita Z: Amazing that you've got that.
Michelle J Raymond: Oh, you have no idea how amazing it is. And just the lightness that I can now do all of the things that are important and that will grow the business.
And I think that's what I want listeners to take away today is that taking time out and investing in strategy assessments for your business is where business growth comes from. You can't go and be active on LinkedIn looking to grow your business if everything in the shop behind the scenes is falling [00:33:00] over and doesn't back things up.
I can't help you with a LinkedIn strategy to cover that up and make that all pretty. We want to make sure that the business flows behind the scenes just as much. But every show, I always ask for one last actionable tip, Wanita, as we wrap things up. What would you like to leave listeners with?
Wanita Z: Michelle, I would say it's never too late to actually sit down and work out your strategy. It's never too late to do that. Take the time to sit down and work it out. It is not a quick thing, so it's not something that you're going to sit down and do in an hour. If I go into businesses, there'd be groups of people sitting there and, we'll have a whole day going.
If it's a small business, it is literally a whole day that we'd be going at it. But even leaving, there's actions and things to go and reinvestigate because sometimes when you're working with somebody, they don't even know what's happening in their business and they have to go back and have a think about it.
And, go and investigate and see what, what is happening in their business. I would [00:34:00] leave you with, it's never too late. Start today. Even if you just sit down and go, what do I actually want to do? Am I really loving what I'm doing? Is it a positive energy around me? Because we all do this in our business.
And if anybody tells me they don't, they're lying. There are times, and recently, I've been through the do I really want to do this anymore? Is this, something, do I want to change direction, focus? And then you get yourself back on track again. And that's where the strategy and the goals keep you in check.
And that's where the 5 Whys come in. So why are you feeling like this? Why is that happening? And you're just asking yourself the questions to get down to the nitty gritty. Oh you've been working too hard. You actually need a break. Take time out, go back.
Michelle J Raymond: For me, it's I've strayed off course and not doing the things that I'm passionate about or trying to be a version of myself that isn't, a hundred percent me. And so when I just keep coming back to that life is good. Business is good. And friendships with you, Wanita I am so appreciative of all the support [00:35:00] you've given me over the last several years.
You are a super supporter, especially of women on LinkedIn and beyond. And I just want to say to you while I've got you here, I'm completely grateful. You have uplifted so many people around me and we all appreciate you.
That's the beauty of when you create a business and a brand you love, you get to be surrounded by amazing people. And so that's where business growth comes from, because when you do go through those periods where you think, why am I doing this? I want to throw it all away. You got your cheer squad or your butt kickers, whatever you need on the day.
Those people are there in your corner to keep you going. So thank you for being that person for so many different people. I just wanted to say, as I said, I appreciate you and thank you for coming back on the show.
Wanita Z: Thank you, Michelle. And I'm gonna say, you're the same and I absolutely love and adore you. And I am grateful to be surrounded by so many amazing people. So thank you, Michelle.
Michelle J Raymond: My pleasure. This is the world of LinkedIn. When you grow an amazing community. That is the secret to business growth. [00:36:00] And again, please reach out to Wanita if you've enjoyed the show as much as I have let her know. It's always great to get feedback and don't be afraid to leave a five star rating on Spotify or a recommendation on Apple podcasts.
I appreciate everybody that takes the time to do that because it just lets other people know, and hopefully there's someone else out there that is looking for answers on how to use LinkedIn to grow their business and your recommendation might make all the difference. So appreciate you coming on the show and until next week, cheers, everyone.