Scott Hennen and I recently sat down together on the What’s On Your Mind Show on AM1100 The Flag on February 19, 2020, to walk through the the top lessons learned by the businesses that I work with nationwide.
Scott: Patrick Metzger is in the house! He is a professional EOS Implementer. He is a podcast host. He is a great consultant. He is a resource for your company. Patrick, how are you?
Patrick: I am wonderful today!
S: Glad you are here and we are going to talk a little bit about lessons learned in 2020 for business. There were ups, there were downs but in any crisis there’s opportunity too. Right? Not the kind of opportunity that’s say lets sell masks for $10 a piece but say hey lets rethink this…we’re going to lose some business, where are we going to make up some business. Big picture wise whether it’s Covid or anything what should businesses be thinking in the middle of a crisis?
P: It was amazing, Scott, over the last 8 weeks here as I sat down with all of the businesses that I work with nation-wide and we started out by saying obviously 2020 was beyond challenging to say the least, but it was really interesting looking at all of the silver linings that all of these companies had. All of the realizations that they came to, all of the different pieces within their businesses that they identified that needed to change, that needed to adapt and that they needed to be more flexible with or completely really change directions. So, it was really neat seeing companies across the nation…I had one company that was 10% over their revenue goal or a million dollars over where they thought they would be. One company I worked with almost closed their doors in April, ended up doubling their staff and ended up with a six-figure profit.
S: That’s a good story! In April, a month or so into the worst of the worst saying we’re not going to make it. What was the light bulb that said we can do this and lets double our business?
P: It was just getting their house in order, honestly. It was restructuring their team, we turned over some of their leadership team, actually their entire leadership team turned over. It was laying out the ideal structure, having a plan, holding them accountable to it and BOOM they ran with it and by December they were into the black big time and had actually doubled their staff from when we started.
S: The key point there is that you did basic things. You said lets get the leadership team right and we don’t have the leaders in place, lets change that over…that’s something we’ve got to be thinking about 24 / 7, 365 days a year. This crisis caused them to do this a little quicker but you didn’t exactly go in with rocket science here. You just said lets think about this. What’s the magic formula?
P: The crazy thing is there’s no silver bullet to it, it’s just having a solid plan and executing it. And too many business leaders struggle so much with working in the business, in the business, in the business and they never take the time to the time to stop, back up and say we need to work on the business instead to be sure the structures right, to be sure we have a solid plan, make sure everything it communicated from top to bottom throughout the organization and then make sure everyone’s being held accountable to it.
S: I would say the silver bullet is starting. The silver bullet is saying we’re going to do this…Patrick, help us in recognizing. So often when you’re in the middle of something like that you just sort of throw your hands up and say blame Covid, go home mope and you’re just down in the dumps. The silver bullet is saying I’m going to do something…and then the adrenaline flows and you get in that fighter spirit and you go. Could you do that and still lose? Yeah, but your chances of loosing are a lot less.
P: It’s amazing how it really exposed whether you have really good leadership or whether you have probably really poor leadership. Covid pulled the curtain back on everything and the companies that had really good leadership, they had what we call really good integrators within the framework I use with companies. The doers…every company you have that high level visionary that’s out in space and they have their 100 ideas and they love the culture and business development piece but the companies that had a really solid integrator, the person that really brought your team together, kept the communication really tight and really kind of calmed the seas for that organization…they did pretty darn well.
S: I stopped you at an example of a company that was about to close their doors and ends up excelling and doubling third staff once they replace the leadership…give me some other examples.
P: Another one that we had was they really doubled down on their meeting structure and their communication to get more creative and solve issues. So, one of the biggest lessons a lot of these organizations leaned is how big clarity and communication is within the organization. Just clarity around vision, focus, marketing, the plan and doubling down on sales and marketing is another huge one.
One of the businesses I worked with back in about May, they were really worried they were going to be about a half million dollars under, about 25% under their revenue goal that they had set in January pre-Covid. Long story short, we really identified and pushed them to keep adding sales people, keep marketing, don’t pull back on those dollars and they were really hesitant to do it but once we actually did that we knew that once Covid really started to turn by the end of the summer and fall, if you can say that really, they were the company that was in front of everybody and they actually ended up over their pre-Covid goal…over $400,000 over their pre-Covid goal.
And you know it was having a really solid plan and too many people pulled back on those marketing and sales positions dollars and they maybe trimmed in operations and things like that. The ones that doubled down on themselves, reinvested in themselves and had a great structure were the ones that did really, really well.
S: And there was, one of the plusses of Covid, was the Federal Government acting quickly to say we’re either going to shut down our economy or we’re going to get this to thrive and there was a lot of cheap money available. Right? And some back stabs on salaries and payroll protection and what not but more importantly the state of ND and the Federal Government put forth some really, really unique opportunities to give you a little cushion and low interest money helps calm the waters for a little while too doesn’t it?
P: Yes, absolutely, thank God for that PPP and you know it was neat because in most of these companies they didn’t even take into account the PPP for some of their success. And it’s good because you kind of have to look at that as really an outlier when it comes to the finances of your company. Yes, the PPP definitely saved some companies but it really identified how important it is to setting a foundation within your business to really reduce risk and volatility.
When I come into an organization, I am not only teaching a company how to scale up but we’re also showing you exactly where your gaps, cracks, weaknesses are in order to how do you lean down your company and run as efficiently as possible. Because it’s going to come…there are always ebbs and flows. You’re going to have low times.
S: And those low times could include Covid, beyond your control and nothing you can do about it.
There will be other thing where somebody is a disrupter in the market and they’ve disrupted your market. That’s why you need people like Patrick Metzger on your team that can come and you’ve seen it before…been there, done that whether it’s Covid or whether it’s anything.
Give me your best pitch on why folks should have you on their team and why they ultimately would benefit from it.
P: No question asked…it works! It works…it’s proven. I can show you a ton of results from companies I’ve worked with over the last year of anywhere from 10-60% revenue growth, huge profit margins, from moving from the red into the black. It’s just been really, really neat once you have a plan, once you execute it and you have that outside resource that’s calling out the elephants in the room and facilitating those tough discussions that you really have to have in your business, you truly start to get over those big humps that you may have.
S: We were not necessarily looking for a business consultant at The Flag Family Media, we have a great leader in Steve Hallstrom, The Flag President, who I would argue whether it be the business sense or culture sense, is just one of the best in the whole region without question. I’ve worked with a lot of them. But, we sat down with Patrick for an hour or more and the nice thing about Patrick is that first hour is free, you’re just having a conversation and then you soft of go to the next level and meet with others on the team. That’s an extraordinary thing you’re doing, with everything you have going are willing to delegate a free hour to other folks.
P: Our 90-minute meeting is offered completely free. A big value of ours is help first. So we come into a business and meet with their leadership team and talk through all the challenges and start to expose some of the things that are going on that they already know are there.
S: Like I said, we didn’t intend and thought we knew Patrick and knew what he was doing and thought we were fine but after that hour we were like WOW and what’s to lose, 90 minutes for free.
www.Patrick-Metzger.com, 701-412-1710 to call him.
P: You bet, thanks, Scott.