Entrepreneur Podcasts | Most Common Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make When Writing A Business Plan

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Get ready to enter the Thrivetime Show! We started from the bottom, now we’re here. We started from the bottom and we’ll show you how to get here. Started from the bottom, now we’re here. We started from the bottom, now we’re here. We started from the bottom, now we’re on the top. Teaching you the systems to hear what we got. Colton Dixon’s on the hooks, I’ve written the books. He’s bringing some wisdom and the good looks. As the father of five, that’s where I’mma dive. So if you see my wife and kids, please tell them hi. It’s C and Z up on your radio. And now 3, 2, 1, here we go. We started from the bottom, now we’re in. Started from the bottom, and that’s what we gotta do. David, I appreciate you for letting me visit you out here in beautiful Seattle. This was a great trip. There’s a lot of water, mountains. It’s beautiful, my friend. Yeah, Seattle’s an awesome place. How long have you been here? I’ve been here since 1982. Really? Yeah, a long time. And since 82, just to give a little context, you’ve helped over, when did you start Guiding Financial? What year did you start? We started in 2003. So since 2003, you guys have helped over 10,000 businesses gain access to over four billion dollars of capital. Yeah. Upgrading, I think we said 60,000 jobs? Yep, 60,000 domestic jobs. Domestic jobs. That’s huge. That’s US jobs. Unbelievable. So I’m excited to talk with you. I honestly am pumped up about this because as a business consultant, you know, it’s kind of weird, but like I started off as a DJ, which is kind of like a carnival guy. You know, so you’re working at the carnival. Nothing wrong with that if you’re working at the carnival. We all start somewhere. And then you kind of evolve and people say, you know, hey, could you help me with my business? And I get to become a consultant, you know, that kind of thing. But there’s still that inner DJ in me. There’s still that bad business plan just waiting to be pitched. And so I relate to people that have bad business plans, but I also want to help them. And I know that you see these all the time, so we’re going to get into it. But before I do, I have one question I want to ask you. I know your name is spelled differently. I know it’s David Nielsen, but are you at all semi-related to the TV movie star Leslie Nielsen? No. Don’t call me Shirley. The reason why I ask is because I feel like these are the kinds of things that happen on business plans where it just doesn’t even make sense sometimes. So we’re going to get into it. So here we go. Not a good start, by the way, if you’re spelling your own name wrong. Yeah, well, all right, so here we go. So business plan. This is the definition from our good friends at Investopedia, a written document that describes in detail how a new business is going to achieve its goals. A business plan will lay out a written plan from a marketing, financial, and operational viewpoint. My friend, when you’re talking about a business plan, without getting into all of the specific details, bottom line in your mind, what should it include? So clearly stated goal, what are we trying to accomplish? Clearly defined strategy, strong market analysis, demonstrating that the team that is building this business is the right team to build this business, a strong financial plan, and a good marketing strategy. Competitive analysis is probably something I’d also add there. And again, when you see a business plan, we’re going to go over the common mistakes that you see all the time. I’ve seen it as a business consultant, but not nearly like you have. So I’m going to go ahead and deep dive into these. And common mistake number one, the grammatical disaster. Somebody took a sabbatical from grammatical. They just started spelling everything wrong. Do you see this a lot? You do. And what it actually tells us is their attention to detail. If they’re missing the simple things, you wonder how prepared they are, how deliberate they are about their plan, whether this was thrown together at the last minute or whether they’re taking it seriously. So if you see somebody who has a ton of stuff spelled wrong, you’re going to be like, well, their attention to detail here is a little bit off. And maybe when it comes to paying us back, they might be off. Or maybe when it comes to providing the service they promised, they might be a little off. I think it more talks to, are they going to shortcut the process? And does it increase my risk? I mean, at the end of the day, the tools that are out there, whether you use Google Docs or Microsoft Office, they tell you when you spell things wrong. They highlight the sentences that don’t seem structured with correct grammar. So it’s hard for me to imagine somebody who would come into a presentation ready to talk about the business and why they’re an entrepreneur that we should be taking seriously if they’re not utilizing the very simple tools that are available to them. How long should a business plan be? What’s the maximum where you’re going, hey, stop making it? Because you know, you want to spell check it, you want to get it right. But I think some people have these massive documents where it’s huge. It’s a huge undertaking. Some people have small ones. How long should a business plan be in terms of numbers of pages? Yeah, length is a difficult one. I’ve seen some really great business plans that are under 10 pages. I’ve seen some that are over 50. I think it’s all over the board. I think what really needs to be demonstrated, though, is that they have clearly thought through all of the major components and have a strong and compelling reason for why they’re taking the approach they are. Okay, we’re moving on to common mistake number two. The team appears to not have what it takes. Example that I see often. A guy says, our company is going to grow from here to here, and I’ve teamed up with this guy. And I look at this guy. And who’s this guy? This guy is Johnny starts a lot of businesses, hasn’t had any success. Here we go again. The partner is, well that’s my brother. Maybe there’s nothing wrong with your brother, but maybe there’s something… When you look at a team that doesn’t appear to have what it takes, what does that mean in your mind if someone doesn’t have what it takes? What kind of things indicate they have the wrong team? So I think technicians, a great example, there’s a book out there called the E-Myth, Michael Gerber wrote it, and he tells this story throughout the book about a baker, a woman who has technical experience in baking and because she loves baking, she wants to open a bakery so she can bake all day long. The reality is, as the entrepreneur, you’re often not the one sitting there getting to bake all day long, right? You’re dealing with inventory, your cost of goods, you’re dealing with operational issues, and finance, and accounting, and marketing, and sales, and all the things that are not related to what you love. So I think the first thing we do is assess, does this person have the technical expertise in the areas that we expect them to play in their role? So that’s one thing. The other is just as simply as the team around them showing a pattern for success, even if it’s in unrelated industries. And one of the ways that you can actually supplement that risk is by hiring. So one of the things that we tell people if they’re looking to open a restaurant, whether it’s a franchise or not, somebody on their team has to have restaurant management experience in order for a lender to take them seriously. So even though they may not be a founding partner, you can hire in that expertise to supplement the risk. This is a really big idea here, and I want to dive into this just for a minute here. Let’s say that I’m watching this, and I have a really great technical skill. So let’s go with the bakery example. I can just bake like you wouldn’t believe. I’ve got processes. I have systems. I can teach you to bake, too. I mean, I can hire you, and in a week from now, you’re baking like I bake. I mean, we’ve got a system. It’s a great, great product. And I go, none of us have opened up multiple locations. None of us, no one on our team has that. So you’re saying that I can go out there and find somebody who does have the skill and just hire them, bring them on, kind of grow through acquisition, and now my team looks better when I present my business plan. Absolutely. Yeah, I mean, the initial team doesn’t necessarily mean the founding team. OK. Now, the next most common mistake we see, mistake number three, is solving a problem that the world isn’t willing to pay to solve. So they have a product where you’re like, woo-hoo, what is that product? Can you maybe, I mean, I don’t want to mention specific people, because obviously confidentiality, but have you seen some business plans where you go, I don’t know if people actually would pay for that? Yeah, I mean, we see that all the time. So one of the things that I do is I invest in a lot of startups, personally, as an angel investor. And oftentimes people come with a plan where they’ve got the greatest idea, and I actually believe it’s a great idea, but the right product at the wrong time is still the wrong product. And I see that all the time, where I see someone, they’ve got a great idea, and we think it’s got potential, but the market’s not yet ready, or the market isn’t large enough, or hasn’t developed to a place where we know. So oftentimes what we’ll tell people is to go back and validate some of their assumptions. Do a small test. Take something to market and see how the market responds to it. When you have, let’s say somebody has great feedback at an early stage. So let’s give an example. They come to you with the idea and you say, no, good product, wrong time. Because you want to make money on your investments, obviously. So you say, not right now. The guy comes back a year later with now a thousand customers that love the product. Here’s the screaming reviews. Here’s the actual reviews. I want to scale it. Will you look at it again with a different set of eyes? All day long. In fact, I’ll pay a multiple on what they asked originally because of it. Really? So somebody who comes to us pre-revenue and says, hey, I have this idea, and we say, you know what, we’re not ready to take that risk with you. Go validate that market. They come back a year later and they’ve demonstrated significant success or traction, the value of that business is greater than when it was a concept. And that’s okay. That’s awesome. That’s awesome. So if you’re watching this and you’ve been told your idea wasn’t a great idea right now or no, it doesn’t mean no forever. It means come back maybe later with more proof that your product is something that people will pay for. Absolutely. Now moving on to the common mistake number four. The supporting research is weak. I see this a lot where you see an entrepreneur comes in They say 80% of Americans surveyed so they want this then you’re like well Where did this survey occur who did the survey? Well some dudes and I yeah, do you see a lot of times you see poor research? That’s justifying the need for something is this kind of a all day long But the problem that we run into those were in an age of transparency, right? You Google something, you can find information. That helps you present a good case, but it also helps you discredit that information, right? So it’s a double-edged sword. We see people come in all the time that are asserting data based on a survey that they did. Surveys from your own work is going to be perceived with different credibility than a third party, you know, who has more objective perspective. So yeah, I think the market research is very important because it helps an investor or a lending institution determine the market size, the opportunity, and validate the business opportunity itself. One thing that was interesting for me as we were building Thrive, one of the guys I met was a guy named Bill Shofty every Thursday. He was cutting a business Yoda, and he’d help scale a company from a $20 million business to a $2 billion company called HRH Insurance. And he would say, do your research. And I’m thinking, why do I have to do my research? It’s gold. People need practical education. They’re paying 50 grand a year to go to a private school. Of course they’re going to pay 50 bucks. Bah. And he would say, do your research. And I would go back and do my research. And what I found is I started getting more pumped up because I found independent research that showed how many people are searching for some education that’s the gap between formal and practical. And so doing that research helped me. And in other times earlier in my career there was different ideas where I would do the research and I’m like this is a bad idea. I was like pummeling myself with bad you know so it’s almost like that research helps you validate or discredit the more you do. Absolutely. I mean the challenge is we always love our own ideas. I feel like this is a great idea. Why? Because I made it up and I love it. But the reality is, when you go out to the market and you start to validate that, you may find differently. Now, common mistake number six, overestimating the size of your market. They say, well, people like candy. There are people in every country. There’s three billion people over here, a billion people over here. There’s four billion people that want to buy my candy. Even babies want my candy. I mean, you kind of have this utopic view of that. How often do you see this where someone has their potential market size just way out of control? Not as often as you’d think. That’s one where I don’t see people overestimate the size of the market. The challenge is what we see is they’ll use other markets to validate it. So like, you know, if I’ve got a, your example of the candy industry. Well, yes, candy industry is huge. So if you’re going to go into candy, then really go-to-market differentiation product is going to become very important. But if you are in baby products using candy industry as an applicable or relevant example, and by attribution, that means that this industry should be large, that doesn’t work. Okay. Now, number seven. This is one of my favorite ones here. This is where the, this is, fabulous. The plan is mind-bogglingly detailed and hard to understand. I guess an example I would see. I see a lot of entrepreneurs will come in and can talk to you for a full hour and still you have no idea what they’re talking about. And there’s other people who can say it in just a few sentences. Talk to me about how bad it can be if your business plan has too much detail. So I’m going to speak to both spectrums because I just recently got pitched on a medical device, a business. I met with the guy for an hour and after that hour I tried to regurgitate back to him what he did and how they were going to do it and I was completely off base. He used so much industry jargon, he was sniper rifle specific on every little detail and ultimately I don’t think he really understood his value prop well enough yet. It doesn’t mean it’s a bad plan, it just means it needs to evolve a little bit more. I’ve also seen on the opposite side, Pollyanna pitches where oh my gosh everything is cupcakes and roses, this thing can’t fail, they don’t pay attention to some of the risks, they haven’t thought through some of the details, so I see both sides and I think there’s risks. So now this ties into move number eight, which is the too vague thing. Yeah. I see the vague. To me, the vague one is always a concern when there’s zero clarity as to who your teammates are. Well, these guys, we’re working with these guys and those people, and they’re very broad. Or we’re going to be marketing to these people and that people and this people. And there’s no detail in the plan. And again, I know I don’t want to quote you on the specific number of pages a business plan should have, but for the guy or gal watching this and they’re going, my plan is only three pages long or my plan is a hundred pages long. It just, I mean, if you could just kind of, you would just say, Hey, you really was a general rule when it get down to about 25 or less. I would say, I would say 25 or less on the plan. Your financial projections, depending on the type of business, could add some additional appendices there. You want to show that you don’t overlook important details, but you also want to demonstrate that you’re not going to get lost in all the details. Because you know, like running a business, you have to be able to make great decisions with imperfect data. But you have to do the best you can to get the data that you need to make that decision. This is one here, move number nine. This one has been hard for me, because as we’re building Thrive, Thrive is online education for entrepreneurs. The idea is it’s mentorship for millionaires and success stories, but for entrepreneurs. It’s not for non-entrepreneurs. So I remember talking to a family member of mine about Thrive, and they’re like, I don’t know why anyone would ever want education without a degree. I mean, and you’re talking to this person, and they really are passionate, but they would never start a business. And if I change the Thrive platform to appeal to them and try to appeal to the entrepreneur, it would appeal to no one. It would be just sort of blah. If Guidant tried to focus on everything, it would be nothing. How important is it to know your niche than to stay there, to appeal to a certain group? Extremely important. We’ve talked about this before in some of our previous conversations. Simplicity scales, focus scales, clarity scales, complexity, confusion, those things do not scale. So I think it’s very important that you know your market, you understand their needs, and that you deliver on their expectations. You know, one thing is you’re talking about, you’re talking about simplicity scales, complexity does not scale. One thing that just blows my mind, and obviously Everybody in the world knows about this now. But Uber, I mean, it just blows my mind. You say, I want to go eat. You hit the thing. A guy responds within 10 seconds. Next thing you know, you’re in the car. And you’re driving from point A to point B. You get done. The guy gets paid. You don’t have to bust out the credit card. You don’t have to wait for a cab. You don’t have to worry about having cash. All these things are just done. There’s a lot of details that made that possible, obviously. A ton of coding, a ton of… but it’s simple. So you can explain it to someone real quickly what it is. It’s like, this replaces cabs. And it’s just like, oh, okay. I mean, it’s just it’s a neat… The brilliance behind their model is they built a structure, an ecosystem that creates an amazing customer experience. If I’m a driver and I’m not super polite, very prompt, get you there on time, have a clean car, then you’re not going to rate me well. If you don’t rate me well, then I don’t get bumped up to the top of the list when the next request comes in. So they’ve built an incentive plan that creates an amazing customer experience and has helped them scale exponentially. And one thing I found out this week, which was awesome, from one driver, he told me that you can rate the customers as bad. So if I’m an idiot, he said he had a one guy, he said he was completely intoxicated. And he said he was just berating him. This is a guy in Tulsa. And he was saying that this drunk guy was just berating the Uber driver about driving too fast, driving too slow, oh, you’re making me sick. And he said, this was difficult. And he rated him low. And he said, when he went to do it, you realize there’s all these other people who are like, don’t drive this guy. He’s a crazy drunk. And it’s interesting how that ecosystem polices itself. Can you think of another product as an example where it’s so simple that it scales? Can you think of something else where you thought or I guess maybe where you said, here’s another example? Just because I think a lot of times as we’re watching this, we need a little context. What’s another example? Well, simplicity is also a relative term, but I look at the iPhone about simplicity. So I used to go on vacation. I’d bring my laptop, my digital camera, my mp3 player, I would have my day planner, you know, like I’d be carrying around a backpack that weighed about 10 pounds. Today, all I have is one phone and it takes care of all of those needs and it also makes it easy for me to download applications that make my life more simple as well. So I think they’ve done a great job of creating a very simple user-friendly tool that solves a lot of different needs. You know, William Shakespeare said that simplicity is the soul of wit. And I love that. I’m sorry, it’s brevity is the soul of wit. Brevity is the soul of wit. And I just love that idea that at the end of the day, being simple or being brief, that’s really what it’s all about there. Now, moving on to the next, number 10. You mentioned it briefly, but I want to hammer it again here. Using industry jargon. You know, you see it all the time. Well, you know, at such and such consulting, we file more TPS reports than anyone in the industry. And because of our blah, blah, blah technology, we do it. And you’re going, I have no idea what you’re saying. How big of a problem is jargon in business plans? It’s big, because the people you’re pitching to don’t have a thesaurus handy or a dictionary handy to be able to go through and interpret it is what you put together. So really important that you use the correct language but also distill that down into something that’s easy for people to digest and understand. I’ve heard people say if you can explain to a third grader it’s good. If you can explain your business plan to a third grader, maybe a sixth grader, but if you explain it to them with them, and that might be an exaggeration, but if they can kind of get what you’re talking about then you have a product that maybe… I think the intention behind that is just to say make it simple, make it easy for them to digest. But it’s also an educational process so it’s important to have the right industry language in there, but also be able to break it down so that people that are not from that specific industry can still understand. Now number 11 is lacking the confidence to sell your product or service. Maybe this guy has the best business plan in the whole world, just can’t convey something with confidence. Talk to me about how big of a problem this is. I mean leadership is about helping people understand where we’re going, why we’re going there, and how we’re going to get there. And if the leader themselves is not adequate at doing that, then they’re ripe for challenges. I mean there are inevitably going to be hard times in your business where you have to cast a vision for your staff, you have to cast a vision for your staff. You have to cast a vision for your customer, your investors, you name it. This is just the first of many challenges. I’ve noticed this that I’ve talked to many different investors who’ve told me this. They said that when you’re investing, you’re betting on this entrepreneur. They’re saying, if a guy can’t speak to me with confidence, albeit I know it’s an intimidating thing because I’m an investor and there’s other people in the room, but if they can’t speak with me, not without having, we all have nerves, but without being confident and projecting with enthusiasm what they’re trying to do, how are they going to be able to convince their malcontent employee to do their job? Or how do they convince anyone to deliver the products and services once we give them the money? Yeah, I mean, there’s so many situations that that becomes important. It’s the, how do I convince a talent to leave a comfortable job and come over and take a bet on me as an entrepreneur? Or this business as a small business. If you can’t sell an investor, it’s going to be difficult to find the right players. When you talk to Wall Street Journal, when they call to learn more about your business and you don’t come across as a passionate, confident, visionary leader, those things will transcend throughout the organization. I will tell you, we had an interview we did recently, and I won’t say the name of the publication because I don’t want to get myself in trouble, but it was almost like an ambush. And I had done the research, and I knew that one of the personalities would definitely not like Thrive 15. I knew the other one would love it. So I’d done my research, and I knew this going into it, but I just remember thinking, man, this person, like, you know, heading into breaks when you would go from, you know, they go into a commercial break, like, sounds like a bad idea, going into a break, and then they would just kind of like say, you know, and you were like, wow, and you had to be ready. And I know that, like, by the end of it, we ended up kind of winning them over. They ended up being like kind of almost agreeing that, well, hey, this is something we should check out, checking out, that kind of thing. But I know that if I hadn’t had a certain confidence there, how do you get the confidence? I mean, I don’t want to spend the two hours talking about it. But I mean, if somebody says, I know my plan is right. I know it’s right. And they can honestly say they’re watching this going, the last time I did a presentation, I didn’t have the confidence. Is there something you do to kind of coach yourself up when you have to give a big speech? No. I mean, at the end of the day, confidence comes because you feel like you’re grounded in where you’re going with your assumptions, with your business, right? So it’s not about passion. It’s not about being this bigger-than-life character or, you know, doing a run around the block. It’s about knowing your product, understanding your customer, and clearing your direction. So, you know, the people that you talked about, these two personalities you talked with, my guess is you won them over because you understand your market, you understand your value, you understand the opportunity. And that’s infectious. I mean, we funded businesses with people that were previously CPAs and attorneys, you know, not those that we would say are the most dynamic personalities by trade, right? But they’re great business people. This just blows my mind what you just said. This is great knowledge here. It’s not about being this charismatic person, it’s not being able to be do verbal cartwheels because of your mastery of the English language or your super exhilarating, but it’s your knowing your product, knowing your customer, and having clarity about your direction. I love that. I love that. So if you’re watching this, you can do it. You don’t have to be the most charismatic human in the world. Yeah, charismatic doesn’t mean credible. Another deep one there. Charismatic does not mean credible. Love it. Now, common mistake number 12, claiming to be the world’s first risk-free venture, where you’re just going, there’s no risk here, baby. I mean, we’re just, bam, just, woo, easy. You know, what happens when you see that? So that’s the Pollyanna pitch I referred to earlier. That’s the person that, you know, it’s all cupcakes and roses, nothing’s going to go wrong, there’s no competition, we’re the first to market, this is a guaranteed deal. Those are the ones we run for the hills for. We’re just not interested in those transactions. The people that impress me the most are those that come in with a very credible plan, a well thought-through strategy, and still introspective about how it can get better. So they’re willing to admit that this is a place where I think we’ve got some more work to do. That’s somebody you can work with. The person that just sees the world as pure opportunity, nothing can go wrong. They’re living in a different reality. So what’s the balance when you’re doing the business plan, when you’re doing a pitch, especially with an investor, of owning the challenges you might face and not coming across like you’re super doubtful? Do you just want to bring it up and kind of acknowledge, you know, acknowledge these elephants in the room, but not dwell on them? Yeah, again, it’s about resiliency. We want to see entrepreneurs that recognize that this is not going to be a perfect process, but we have perfect intentions going in, so we’re aware that these are some of the risks. The investors are thinking in any ways. They’re already a light year ahead when it comes to, we see this as a risk, so if you acknowledge that risk, you just validate for them that you’re being thoughtful about the process. So you want people to acknowledge the risk. Now the next question I have here for the next common mistake I want to bring up is the marketing is missing. Like where they the product’s gonna sell itself. I’ll tell you what this product will sell itself. If you build it they will come. And last night I was talking to the cab driver or the black car driver in an uber you know black car driver and he’s explaining how uber came to Seattle offered the guy, said, hey we’ll pay you. I think it was 40 bucks an hour for five hours a week if you’ll make yourself available for Uber time. Well, Uber had to come to Seattle and make that offer and they had to talk to, in his mind, the head of the black car group association and convince them this was a good idea. This is all part of the marketing plan. It wasn’t just the product is so good it will sell itself. How big of a concern, or I guess how common is it for you to see these great business plans with zero marketing plans? It’s not terribly common for no marketing to be involved. I think what’s really common is for them to underestimate how much work it is going to be to acquire a customer. So that’s where market validation becomes really important, unless there is a very clear, specific consumer need. Now mistake number 14 is the financial portion of the plan is missing. Like almost like, well, where is that? You know, we’re just putting stuff together here. It’s missing, the financial part. Do you see this a lot? Because entrepreneurs, you know, are very visionary. They’re usually looking for a problem. They’re solving it. We tend to be optimistic. We tend to be aggressive about getting things done. How often do you see where the financial part of the business plan is either missing or just very lacking? Missing, not very often. Insufficiently put together, fairly common. I mean, I think that’s, you know, when you’re going out to specifically a lending source, they’re gonna pay very, very detailed attention to has this person really thought through what are my customer acquisition costs, what is the cost of goods that are sold, you know, what other kind of service or partnership components like vendors and what have you are we going to have to engage in order to put this together, what equipment do I need, what is the cost of rent, those are very specific things because as a lender we want to make sure or the lenders want to make sure that you are adequately capitalized and can support the debt load. Now, the final one I want to bring up, number 15, is that the business plan is not actually a plan at all. It’s not a plan to get from A to B. It’s sort of just an arrangement of facts and research, but it doesn’t explain how they’re going to get from A to B. How common do you see where it’s maybe well put together and it’s a lot of stuff, it’s something, but it’s not actually a plan? Yeah, a lot of times what we see is people come to us with what I consider an executive summary, a two-page overview of the opportunity, or a PowerPoint presentation that they’re very comfortable building a 10-deck slide with five bullet points on each one. That’s not a plan. That’s a presentation. But we see that a lot. Okay. So if I’m watching this and I’m like, oh, that’s probably me. I don’t have a real plan here. We go back to the fundamentals. We want to have all the things we talked about earlier included in this. So it’s a summary of how to get from A to B, right? I mean, that’s what the plan should be. Yeah, and there’s some really great resources out there that are free. So like SBA.gov, SCORE, the SCORE website, SCORE.gov will have it as well. There are business plan templates out there that help you to kind of put together the right components and then from there it’s up to you to do the right research and fill in the blanks accordingly based on your business. So again, if it was watching this, SBA.gov, SCORE.gov, those are two places where you can find business plan templates that can help you to at least follow the right logical sequence, put things in the right order so it looks like it’s well thought out, right? Yeah, those are free. Now, there are other organizations out there that will actually write your business plan and they range anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000. So if you’re one of those people that really wants to stick to your own competency or choose things that you personally want to produce or not, you can also hire someone to help you put that stuff all together. Final question here. We’re putting the business plan questions aside. Final question. You are a great American. You are a super citizen of Seattle. So I want to ask this question. Just be candid with me on this. I can’t wait. This is the one people want to know. At his peak, at his absolute prime, how good was Ray Allen as a Seattle Supersonic? When he was at his peak, on a scale of 1 to 10. 10 is Michael Jordan. 1 is Michael Oluwakandi. How good was he on a scale of 1 to 10? Ray’s an 8. An 8? Ray’s a dangerous outside threat, so he opens up the post game by having him out there on the perimeter. He’s a great defender. So I’d say he’s an 8. And who was your favorite, maybe not the best, but your favorite Seattle Supersonic? My favorite? Gary Payton. Gary Payton. Yeah, Gary Payton was always my favorite. I loved watching him talking a lot of trash, playing hard defense, running the fast break. It was just a lot of fun. Well, I guess to summarize it, David has a lot of love for the glove. So, David, I appreciate you letting us come here to your office here in Bellevue, Washington, and taking the time out of your schedule, which I know is packed all the time, to help mentor people all across the planet. So again, thank you so much. Thanks for coming. The number of new customers that we’ve had is up 411% over last year. We are Jared and Jennifer Johnson. We own Platinum Pest and Lawn and are located in Owasso, Oklahoma. And we have been working with Thrive for business coaching for almost a year now. Yeah, so what we wanna do is we wanna share some wins with you guys that we’ve had by working with Thrive. First of all, we’re on the top page of Google now, okay? I just wanna let you know what type of accomplishment this is. Our competition, Orkin, Terminex, they’re both 1.3 billion dollar companies. They both have two to three thousand pages of content attached to their website. So to basically go from virtually non-existent on Google to up on the top page is really saying something. But it’s come by being diligent to the systems that Thrive has. By being consistent and diligent on doing podcasts and staying on top of those podcasts to really help with getting up on what they’re listing and ranking there with Google. And also we’ve been trying to get Google reviews, you know, asking our customers for reviews and now we’re the highest rated and most reviewed Pest and Lawn Company in the Tulsa area and that’s really helped with our conversion rate and the number of new customers that we’ve had is up 411% over last year. Wait, say that again. How much are we up? 411%. Okay, so 411% we’re up with our new customers. Amazing. Right. So not only do we have more customers calling in, we’re able to close those deals at a much higher rate than we were before. Right now our closing rate is about 85% and that’s largely due to, first of all, like our Google reviews that we’ve gotten people really see that our customers are happy but also we have a script that we follow and so when customers call in they get all the information that they need that script has been refined time and time again it wasn’t a one-and-done deal we it was a system that we that we followed with Thrive and in the refining process and that has obviously the 411 percent shows that that that system works. Yeah so here’s a big one for you. So last week alone our booking percentage was 91% We actually booked more deals and more new customers last year than we did the first five months or I’m sorry the first week We booked more deals last week then we did the first five months of last year from before we worked with Thrive So again, we booked more deals last week than the first five months of last year It’s incredible, but the reason why we have that success is by implementing the systems that Thrive has taught us and helped us out with. Some of those systems that we’ve implemented are group interviews. That way we’ve really been able to come up with a really great team. We’ve created and implemented checklists. Everything gets done and it gets done properly, both out in the field and also in our office. And also doing the podcast like Jared had mentioned, that has really, really contributed to our success. But that, like I said, the diligence and consistency in doing those in that system has really, really been a big blessing in our lives. And also, you know, it’s really shown that we’ve gotten a success from following those systems. So before working with Thrive, we were basically stuck. Really no new growth with our business. And we were in a rut, and we didn’t know. Okay, the last three years, our customer base had pretty much stayed the same. We weren’t shrinking, but we weren’t really growing either. Yeah, and so we didn’t really know where to go, what to do, how to get out of this rut that we’re in. But Thrive helped us with that. You know, they implemented those systems, and they taught us those systems, they taught us the knowledge that we needed in order to succeed. Now it’s been a grind, absolutely it’s been a grind this last year, but we’re getting those fruits from that hard work and the diligent effort that we’re able to put into it. So again, we were in a rut, Thrive helped us get out of that rut, and if you’re thinking about working with Thrive, quit thinking about it and just do it. Do the action, and you’ll get the results. It will take hard work and discipline, but that’s what it’s gonna take in order to really succeed. So, we just wanna give a big shout out to Thrive, a big thank you out there to Thrive. We wouldn’t be where we’re at now without their help. Hi, I’m Dr. Mark Moore, I’m a pediatric dentist. Through our new digital marketing plan, we have seen a marked increase in the number of new patients that we’re seeing every month, year over year. One month, for example, we went from 110 new patients the previous year to over 180 new patients in the same month. And overall, our average is running about 40 to 42 percent increase month over month, year over year. The group of people required to implement our new digital marketing plan is immense, starting with a business coach, videographers, photographers, web designers. Back when I graduated dental school in 1985, nobody advertised. The only marketing that was ethically allowed in everybody’s eyes was mouth-to-mouth marketing. By choosing to use the services, you’re choosing to use a proof-and-turn-key marketing and coaching system that will grow your practice and get you the results that you’re looking for. I went to the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry Graduated in 1983 and then I did my pediatric dental residency at Baylor College of Dentistry from 1983 to 1985 Hello, my name is Charles Kola with Kola Fitness today I want to tell you a little bit about clay Clark and how I know clay Clark clay Clark has been my business coach Since 2017 he’s helped us grow from two locations to now six locations. We’re planning to do seven locations in seven years and then franchise. Clay has done a great job of helping us navigate anything that has to do with like running the business, building the systems, the checklists, the workflows, the audits, how to navigate lease agreements, how to buy property, how to work with brokers and builders. This guy is just amazing. This kind of guy has worked in every single industry. He’s written books with Lee Crockrell, head of Disney, with the 40,000 cast members. He’s friends with Mike Lindell. He does Reawaken America tours where he does these tours all across the country where 10,000 or more people show up to some of these tours. On the day-to-day, he does anywhere from about 160 companies. He’s at the top. He has a team of business coaches, videographers, graphic designers, and web developers. They run 160 companies every single week. So think of this guy with a team of business coaches running 160 companies. In the weekly, he’s running 160 companies. Every 6-8 weeks, he’s doing Reawaken America tours. Every 6-8 weeks, he’s also doing business conferences where 200 people show up. He teaches people a 13-step proven system that he’s done and worked with billionaires, helping them grow their companies. I’ve seen guys from start-ups go from start-up to being multi-millionaires, teaching people how to get time freedom and financial freedom through the system. Critical thinking, document creation, organizing everything in their head to building into a franchisable, scalable business. One of his businesses has like 500 franchises. That’s just one of the companies or brands that he works with. So amazing guy. Elon Musk kind of like smart guy. He kind of comes off sometimes as socially awkward, but he’s so brilliant and he’s taught me so much. When I say that, Clay is like he doesn’t care what people think when you’re talking to him. He cares about where you’re going in your life and where he can get you to go. That’s what I like him most about him. He’s like a good coach. A coach isn’t just making you feel good all the time. A coach is actually helping you get to the best of you. Clay has been an amazing business coach. Through the course of that, we became friends. My most impressive thing was when I was shadowing him one time. We went into a business deal and listened to it. I got to shadow and listen to it. When we walked out, I knew that he could make millions on the deal. They were super excited about working with him. He told me, he’s like, I’m not going to touch it, I’m going to turn it down because he knew it was going to harm the common good of people in the long run. The guy’s integrity just really wowed me. It brought tears to my eyes to see that this guy, his highest desire was to do what’s right. Anyways, just an amazing man. Anyways, impacted me a lot. He’s helped navigate any time I’ve gotten nervous or worried about how to run the company or navigating competition and an economy that’s like, I remember we got closed down for three months. He helped us navigate on how to stay open, how to get back open, how to just survive through all the COVID shutdowns, lockdowns. I’m Rachel with Tip Top K9, and we just want to give a huge thank you to Clay and Vanessa Clark. Hey guys, I’m Ryan with Tip Top K9. Just want to say a big thank you to Thrive 15. Thank you to Make Your Life Epic. We love you guys, we appreciate you, and really just appreciate how far you’ve taken us. This is our old house, right? This is where we used to live a few years ago. This is our old neighborhood. See? It’s nice, right? Right? Right? So this is my old van and our old school marketing. And this is our old team. And by team, I mean it’s me and another guy. This is our new house with our new neighborhood. This is our new van with our new marketing. And this is our new team. We went from four to fourteen. And I took this beautiful photo. We worked with several different business coaches in the past, and they were all about helping Ryan sell better and just teaching sales, which is awesome, but Ryan is a really great salesman, so we didn’t need that. We needed somebody to help us get everything that was in his head out into systems, into manuals and scripts, and actually build a team. So now that we have systems in place, we’ve gone from one to ten locations in only a year. In October 2016, we grossed 13 grand for the whole month. Right now it’s 2018, the month of October. It’s only the 22nd, we’ve already grossed a little over 50 grand for the whole month and we still have time to go. We’re just thankful for you, thankful for Thrive and your mentorship and we’re really thankful that you guys have helped us to grow a business that we run now instead of the business running us. Just thank you, thank you, thank you, times a thousand. The Thrive Time Show two-day interactive business workshops are the world’s highest rated and most reviewed business workshops because we teach you what you need to know to grow. You can learn the proven 13-point business systems that Dr. Zellner and I have used over and over to start and grow successful companies. We get into the specifics, the specific steps on what you need to do to optimize your website. We’re going to teach you how to fix your conversion rate. We’re going to teach you how to do a social media marketing campaign that works. How do you raise cap? How do you get a small business loan? We teach you everything you need to know here during a two-day, 15-hour workshop. It’s all here for you. You work every day in your business, but for two days you can escape and work on your business and build these proven systems so now you can have a successful company that will produce both the time freedom and the financial freedom that you deserve. You’re going to leave energized, motivated, but you’re also going to leave empowered. The reason why I built these workshops is because as an entrepreneur I always wish that I had this. And because there wasn’t anything like this, I would go to these motivational seminars, no money down, real estate, Ponzi scheme, get motivated seminars, and they would never teach me anything. It was like you went there and you paid for the big chocolate Easter bunny, but inside of it, it was a hollow nothingness. And I wanted the knowledge, and they’re like, oh, but we’ll teach you the knowledge after our next workshop. And the great thing is we have nothing to upsell. At every workshop, we teach you what you need to know. There’s no one in the back of the room trying to sell you some next big, get rich quick, walk on hot coals product. It’s literally, we teach you the brass tacks, the specific stuff that you need to know to learn how to start and grow a business. I encourage you to not believe what I’m saying, but I want you to Google the Z66 auto auction. I want you to Google elephant in the room. Look at Robert Zellner and Associates. Look them up and say, are they successful because they’re geniuses? Or are they successful because they have a proven system? When you do that research, you will discover that the same systems that we use in our own business can be used in your business. Come to Tulsa, book a ticket, and I guarantee you it’s going to be the best business workshop ever. And we’ll even give you your money back if you don’t love it. We’ve built this facility for you, and we’re excited to see you. And now you may be thinking, what does it actually cost to attend an in-person, two-day interactive Thrive Time Show business workshop? Well, good news, the tickets are $250 or whatever price that you can afford. What? Yes, they’re $250 or whatever price you can afford. I grew up without money and I know what it’s like to live without money, so if you’re out there today and you want to attend our in-person, two-day interactive business workshop, all you got to do is go to thrivetimeshow.com to request those tickets. you got to do is go to thrivetimeshow.com to request those tickets. And if you can’t afford $250, we have scholarship pricing available to make it affordable for you.


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