Liberate Your Business

December 21, 2020

“Liberate your business; depart from what you know to be true and real.”

This is a phrase we’ve been focusing on here at TPI as we evaluate what 2020 taught us and develop/redevelop processes, programs, and partners. It’s true for most areas of our life. We’ve been forced to ignore what we’re used to, question what we came to rely on, and we’ll certainly no longer make decisions based on assumptions. Right? The “norm” is no longer the norm, and our rose-colored glasses have been replaced with high powered microscopes that would make any MIT scientist proud to own.

Whether you are reading this as inspiration for your next Fiercely Forward moves into 2021, or you have just started your business, the following strategies will serve you well, now and in the future.

Partner for IMPACT

More than any other time in the travel industry, we know 2020 has revealed what’s really important in a thriving travel partnership. The days of looking for the best “deal,” highest commission, or juiciest loyalty program are no longer the primary decision with who you partner. These things are now transparency, frequent communication, and relevancy with policy decisions.

We took this seriously at TPI and decided that in 2021 we wanted to ensure we were putting the right partner in front of our advisors at the right time for the right reasons. Without going into a ton of detail, there are several factors to be considered at the Host Agency level, but we narrowed it down to the word IMPACT.

We took this word and then graded our Preferred Travel Partners, utilizing seven characteristics that influence the IMPACT they have on our advisor’s businesses and, of course, ours. We gave each characteristic a numeric value and then graded each partner based on this. In many cases, we were surprised by our travel partner’s grade; some good, some not so good. This gave us a chance to have conversations with the not so good ones and help them understand where they can improve moving forward.

Our partnerships are liberated, and our 4100+ advisors will reap the benefits of a stronger relationship. Take a stab at doing this yourself – who do you think will make the highest and lowest IMPACT grade on your business?

Update Your Profitability Plan

We talk about this ALL THE TIME at our TPI events and educational Facebook Lives. How do you know if you’re going to be “profitable” in the next 12 months? Turning a profit is very different than making money, just as there is a difference between building a business and boosting a bank account. One has longevity, and the other is fleeting and left up to chance.

Setting a personal income goal, decisions you make with who, what, and how you sell, marketing plans you craft, and budgets you set all help to determine if you’ve met your goals at the end of the year. Don’t get overwhelmed with this; we’ve made it easy for you to figure this out. CLICK HERE to download our quick Profitability Plan and WATCH this video that will walk you through exactly how to do this.

Profitability is one of the most important factors in determining the longevity of your business.

Implement the Money/Joy Measurement

In business, a quick way to determine if you’re doing something that will help your bottom line is looking at the measurement we refer to as the “Money/Joy measurement.” If it makes you money but doesn’t bring you joy, then chances are you’re limiting your ability to GROW. If it only brings you joy but doesn’t make you money, well, then honestly, it’s just a hobby.

With that in mind, now is an excellent time to FIRE some people – including yourself! Fire those clients you don’t want to work with any longer. You know who they are. They shop you all the time. They call you over every little thing at all hours of the day and night. They ask you about destinations and travel types that aren’t in your “wheelhouse.” Most importantly, you cringe every time you see their name on your phone or in your email. Fire them…politely, of course.

To prevent this from happening in the future, we suggest that you look at a few things:

  1. “No” is a complete sentence. You don’t have to justify the “no.” Politely start declining those requests that do not bring you joy and don’t make you money.
  2. If you find you are attracting the “not so ideal” client, it’s time to check your branding, your marketing, and even how you ask for referrals. Chances are YOU are the culprit…if you talk about great deals all the time, you’re going to attract people looking for deals.
  3. Take a leadership role from the word GO. Share with your clients exactly how it works best when working with you. Set the expectations up front, and you’ll find they will follow your lead.

Next, fire your team. We find that one of the best ways our advisors grow their agencies is by adding Associate Advisors to their teams. We love and support this approach! However, just like many other decisions that can make or break you, sometimes you have to keep personal emotion out of it when measuring effectiveness. Just because your sister-in-law really thinks it will be cool to sell travel, doesn’t mean she will make a positive impact on your team. The question to ask yourself is, “Would I hire and keep this person if they were on salary?” Even with a commission-only program, people either add or take away value from your team. Be very clear with your expectations, why you want them to be part of your team, and how you are going to help them, help themselves.

Finally, fire yourself. When you walk yourself through the Profitability Plan, one of the budgets you’ll set focuses on hiring help, so you can fire yourself from doing those activities that take you away from focusing on the core of your money-making – SELLING!

The key to liberating your business is to commit to moving your mindset away from what you know to be true and real and replace it with a quest for curious questioning. Take a hard look at your business with an eye on creating a business that becomes a “legacy.” We know you are not alone in your quest, so we launched a Facebook Group just for those moving Fiercely Forward – we invite you to join us HERE.

You’ve got this, Rockstar!