377 – How To Scale And Exit Your Business With Tony Whatley
Accelerating Sales to Scale your Business
Whether you’re planning to scale and exit your business or not, you always need to keep your business in good shape. Why? If at some point you are forced into a selling position, you could get the highest valuation of your company, based on a multiplier of your profit.
Tony Whatley, the founder of 365 Driven, is here to explain everything around a successful scale and exit strategy. In this episode, you will learn the number one asset that most business owners ignore, how processes can make your life-changing money, and what you need to prepare to maximise an exit.
6:44 – The most problems Tony Whatley solves for his clients. The number one problem is cash flow mismanagement.
9:37 – How to improve profitability. Focus on lead generation and marketing rather than branding.
12:01 – Things you could do for free to grow your business. Cut costs.
14:58 – How do you start a community? You have to have a reason for people to want to be a part of a community.
21:39 – How to get into the exit mode? It’s all about maximising profits.
29:03 – Tools for small business to project management tasks. Google calendar is a great start.
31:02 – How to get your freedom back when scaling. Once systems, processes and people are in place.
36:36 – The Sales Deep Dive. Tony’s sales habits.
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What are some ways to improve profitability?
According to Tony, small businesses spend too much money on branding, trying to follow what bigger businesses are doing. But having the best brand isn’t going to guarantee you any leads. You should put that budget to lead generation and marketing to generate sales. And that can result in a higher profit, which can afford you branding later. People overemphasise branding at that first one to two years, while you should be working on organic outreach, creating the products, promising what you’re going to offer and delivering that at a high level. That will build enough profit to do the branding campaigns later.
How should business owners grow their business?
– People have extravagant expectations of what they should have as business owners. They think they need an office building, a fancy desk, a car and all those corporate behaviours to feel they’re running a real business. All these expenses aren’t adding up and making any profit. And at the end of the day, the profits are what tell you if you’re a real business or not.
– New business owners relied heavily on their knowledge base or skill set to start their businesses. They were really well compensated in corporate, and they are an authority, so they think they are going to be very successful. Tony says that is a huge mistake because that knowledge and skill set is only worth 50% of the potential success. He recommends investing in business management knowledge equal to the skill set or the knowledge base you bring to the table.
How do you start a community?
Not all business models or products require or warrant a community. Should you decide that your product or your service warrants starting a community that you think people would like to be a part of, it should be something bigger than yourself. What does Tony mean by that?
There is a huge difference between a follower type of platform, like social media, where you are at the top of the pyramid. When you build a community, you’re not at the top of the pyramid. Tony visually describes it as an upside-down pyramid, but you’re at the bottom holding it up because you’re the leader. The community is not about you, and, as a leader, your duty is to facilitate and create opportunities for the group members. And as your group starts to grow, you want to have more direct communication with your group. Look for external apps like Mighty Networks.
The exit price of your business is based on a multiplier of your profit
Most people don’t understand that. Small businesses sometimes are forced into a selling position for many reasons, and they think their business worth is higher than it actually is. Yes, they had a really good living. They had been making $150,000 a year for the last 10 years, and we’re doing X amount of millions in sales. But it’s not making enough profit. Why?
You’re still working in the company where you pull the levers and push the buttons yourself. That severely hurts your valuation because people buying companies aren’t looking for a job. They’re looking for a money machine with processes, systems, employees and leaders in place that they could just take over and invest the money into.
The most important part: It has to make a predictable profit over and over and over. When you get into exit mode, there are a lot of different operations you need to put in place: cutting costs, maximizing profit, putting more systems and processes. And then you’ve got to start firing yourself if you’re still involved in the company.
The Sales Deep Dive
What are the sales habits that help you accelerate your sales?
Follow-ups, follow-ups, follow-ups. There is so much gold in follow‑ups, and most people avoid it because it’s uncomfortable. You just need to be polite, sincere and be yourself. A lot of times, people simply forget to reply. Don’t be afraid to reach out and have the follow-ups because getting that initial lead is very hard. And most people, unfortunately, waste that on one point of contact because they don’t even do the follow-ups.
What are some of the tech tools you use to accelerate your sales?
I do like to use Evernote to keep mental notes on my phone. It replaced all the post-it notes that we usually have on our computers and our desks. I don’t have any post-it notes anymore. It’s all in Evernote. And what I like about it is that it’s on my phone and it’s on my computer, and they’re linked together. It’s so handy because I think the more I can write down, the less I have to remember, making me less anxious and less stressed.
What’s the best source of leads for your business?
My best source of leads is just really helping other people on social media and different groups and communities. And I’ve been doing this for 20 years. So I’m that person that will not scroll past somebody’s genuine question. If somebody has got a question and I know the answer to it, or I know a source or a referral who has that answer, I’ll just take a few seconds and respond to people. People will eventually start coming to you for the questions they have, which could ultimately become people who joined your community or buy your books, enter your courses, buy your products, or refer businesses to you.
What is one action that someone can take to 10 X their sales today?
I would say that you need to become better at using social media as a marketing tool. My world changed when I started to put my purpose ahead of my fear. And it’s not easy to do because most people think public speaking or video content creation is scarier than death. So I had a near‑death experience and realised that it’s not scarier than death, so why am I not doing it? We have insecurities, we worry about what other people are going to think about us. The way you hear me speaking right now is not how I spoke in 2017. I joined Toastmasters, which is a public speaking nonprofit. I showed up every Monday.
- 365 Driven
- The 365 Driven Podcast
- Side Hustle Millionaire Book
- 365 Driven Entrepreneurs Facebook Group
- 365driven Instagram
- 365driven Facebook
- Tony’s LinkedIn
About Tony Whatley
Tony Whatley became known as “The Side Hustle Millionaire” after his book with the same title became a #1 best-seller on Amazon. But, this book title isn’t just fiction; it is based on his actual story.
Tony once led a successful corporate career for over 25 years, but that is less interesting than the side-businesses that he created, which generated millions in profit.
As an active entrepreneur himself, he still owns a few businesses. But, his real passion is teaching entrepreneurs how to start, scale, and sell their business, within his podcast and consulting brand 365 Driven.
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