The secret to nailing small business goals

The goals of small business owners are as many and diverse as the industries they operate in.

For mortgage brokerages, one business owner’s goals or pain points can be completely different to their competitor’s.

Business owners know when something needs to change, but sometimes don’t know what that something is. At other times, they might try and change everything, which ends up achieving nothing at all.

Loan Market, ranked the top aggregator for Training and Education by an industry poll*, addressed this problem with the help of one of the world’s top business coaches, recently.

Change is achieved when:

  • You clearly outline a goal
  • You dedicate time to its achievement
  • You encourage buy-in from colleagues
  • Your accountable through measurements

Do you have a WIG?

No, we’re not talking about following your uncle’s lead and sporting an ill-fitting toupee.

Your WIG is your Wildly Important Goal: the one thing you can’t ignore if you want to change your business.

The WIG is the brainchild of global business coach and Wall Street Journal’s #1 National Bestselling author, Chris McChesney who recently ran a summit at Loan Market.

The network members were fortunate enough to hear McChesney speak in-person when he travelled to Australia as our guest.

As he spoke, you literally saw brokers and their support teams have their ‘lightbulb moment’. They couldn’t wait to get back to their office and tackle their WIG.

So often, brokers who want to drive change in their business try a whole heap of improvements at once.

But addressing one pain point with a plan with measurements and accountability will deliver so much more value.

Taking stock for real change

I often have brokers coming to me looking for advice to push their business through to the next level. They have multiple WIGs. They want to; increase leads; they are committed to finding a loan writer; moving to a high traffic office precinct and launching a digital branding campaign to achieve this.

That’s a lot of work.

At this point, I tell them to hold fire.

I ask them to do a stocktake: specifically, I ask them to write down everything they currently do in their daily activities (every little or big thing). It might be banal, it might be productive or it might be strategic.

I then look at their activities and assess them against their business goal.

In the instance of getting leads, analysis of the broker’s activities might show it’s actually their back-office that’s the problem.

Once we dive even deeper we find that the broker is personally still chasing valuations, escalating urgent files, following up NPS surveys and Google Reviews, maintaining their website, sending communications to pre-approved customers and a myriad of other tasks that are stopping them from making the calls, meetings and relationships that deliver leads.

If the broker spent less time doing administrative duties, they’d be able to focus on meeting more people and making more deals, making their dollar-making activities more productive.

Measure, measure and then measure again

McChesney talks about the need to make the goals and the measurements to get there easy to understand and identify with. “You can’t execute on a concept,’’ he says.

WIG’s are a strategic aspiration that changes business operations for the long-haul, which is able to be measured, designed by stakeholders, and acted on.

McChesney outlines how to:

  • identify the WIG;
  • identify the ‘levers’ to get there;
  • engage staff to contribute to the path;
  • make a commitment to accountability.

In this example, the WIG is generating more leads.

The ‘levers’ (2) are doing less administrative work and instead focusing their time on curating referrer relationships.

They need to get an admin specialist who is committed (3) to taking on duties that free up the broker to concentrate on lead generation

They then need to set up a dashboard for accountability that everyone (the broker and the admin specialist) is committed to (4).

For the broker, this could mean they have to make 20 referrer appointments to convert four into referral partnerships.

These four referral agreements could generate 10 additional leads. The broker may meet five people and convert 2-3 to deals.

For the admin specialist, it’s taking on the duties the broker used to perform and executing them with efficiency and competency.

Support to achieve the WIG

Employing anyone in a business takes time and energy. They need to learn the systems, ways of doing business and benchmarking their capabilities.

In terms of admin support, Loan Market’s online education and training hub, Springboard, accelerates the knowledge and capacity of admin staff through modules, collaborative learning, courses and more that enable them to free-up the workloads of brokers so they can concentrate on their WIG – in this instance, generating more leads.

One goal at a time

It’s natural for small businesses to have a number of things they want to change. But focusing on them all won’t change a thing.

You need expert advice from people you can trust who have seen hundreds of businesses make change for the better. You need someone to help you find your WIG and commit to the steps to achieve it.

PUBLISHED September 27th, 2019 IN Stories and insights

Lisa Phillips

Lisa is Loan Market’s Chief Marketing Officer and leads the marketing team with a mission to be the place where brokers grow more profitable businesses. Lisa has over 13-years of experience in building brand value for companies across Australian and international markets, and understands what it takes to cut through the noise when marketing for small and big business. Lisa lives by the ‘kaizen’ mantra of continuous improvement.