Crystal Gregory: How to recover businesses from the pandemic.
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Steve Werner: Welcome back to grow your impact income and influence the number one show helping you reach millions on the Internet.
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Steve Werner: My name is Steve Warner i’m your host today, we are going to be talking about the income, specifically when it comes to business growth.
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Steve Werner: I have a business growth coach with us, she specializes in executive coaching and helping businesses grow online during the pandemic she’s helped more than 15 businesses.
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Steve Werner: grow their income but it wasn’t always easy crystal actually start off the pandemic being unemployed crystal welcome to the show how are you doing.
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Crystal Gregory: i’m doing really good thanks, how are you.
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Steve Werner: i’m doing great so I mean it’s awesome you help 15 businesses grow, not to mention you build your business during the pandemic, I think a lot of people kind of use the pandemic as a way to shift.
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Steve Werner: To get something going for themselves, but you blew it out of the water, you went and you help 15 different businesses but take us back to where all this started for you.
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Crystal Gregory: sure it started one day in July 2020 when I had a phone call that was a clarity moment from a cruise advisor and I had been on welfare after a really hard.
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Crystal Gregory: bit of time, and it was in the pandemic and I was looking at what options I needed to go forward with, and she suggested a program for executive coaching and mentoring at the local university.
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Crystal Gregory: And she said, and her words really woke me up out of my complacency, the worst thing you could do is come back on welfare, and you know you hit rock bottom when that’s the worst so that’s why I decided to go for it.
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Steve Werner: Nice, so I mean that’s that’s it having Somebody tell you that and realizing that I feel like.
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Steve Werner: I don’t know I tell people that all the time, like what’s the worst that could happen here like you end up right where you started, maybe you get a little egg on your face maybe like.
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Steve Werner: I don’t know, maybe things don’t go perfectly, but at the end of the day, it’s really rare that you end up worse than you are to start with, at least you learn something right.
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Crystal Gregory: Exactly exactly and you have a lot of fun along the way, and get help lots of people, you know worked out.
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Steve Werner: I mean that’s pretty awesome so you took college classes on executive coaching I know right now there are definitely some people in the coaching environment that have no.
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Steve Werner: background whatsoever, so I am super happy to hear that you actually went and took classes.
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Steve Werner: before jumping in I feel like the pandemic has brought some people out of the woodwork i’ve actually turned down shows from people that have said, you know i’m an executive coach or i’m a marketing coach or I work with Facebook ads i’m like how did you learn.
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Steve Werner: And their answer is pretty much that so I had is off to you for going and getting getting the skills, so what happened.
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Steve Werner: First off when you started taking classes, because I think some people would be like wow this isn’t fun or, this is an exciting well as like some big what were a few of the big Aha that you had when you were going through the class.
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Crystal Gregory: Oh that’s a great question, I think the Aha was that I could actually do it and because previous to be an unemployed i’d worked.
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Crystal Gregory: As a teacher, for a long time and actually there’s a lot of skills in coaching that you use in teaching but.
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Crystal Gregory: I was really shy to actually work with like adults and then executives and actually signed up for my course by accident, I thought I was just doing a coaching qualification, but.
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Crystal Gregory: The I showed up for the first class and the guy was like well actually No, this is for executives so you’re going to have to find Director level people to work with to do the coursework and.
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Crystal Gregory: That for me threw me for a loop, for the first couple months but it actually really was cool and with me to realize that people are the same, no matter what level they are and.
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Steve Werner: I bet that I mean I can imagine, I can think of like two or three of my friends that would have been scared to death, like if they found that out, so I mean you had to go out and you had to find executive level people to work with for the class, am I understand that correctly.
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Crystal Gregory: Yes, I did and actually i’ve done most of my coaching hours but i’m still working on the papers for the class, because it was that in depth.
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Crystal Gregory: To the qualification, but it’s good it’s a good learning experience and it really made me challenge myself to be more confident and to connect with people.
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Crystal Gregory: in different areas and different walks of life, and it was and that, in a way, empowered me to start my business because I found one director action on Facebook.
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Crystal Gregory: In January of 2021 that I started helping and then that led to 15 and see when we started working together, she was ready to close up her organization and by the time and we finish these grown hired staff and and has a growth plan for five years, so.
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Steve Werner: that’s awesome.
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Steve Werner: yeah I mean that’s a pretty huge turnout you got to be pretty proud of that, I would think.
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Crystal Gregory: I am but it’s still kind of surprising to me because I feel like all I do is ask questions and I let them kind of have find the space create the space for them to find the answers for their organization, but yeah it’s been fun.
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Steve Werner: Well we’ll come back to what some of those questions are because I want to hear a little bit more of the story, so you started working with her You helped her grow her business.
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Crystal Gregory: But.
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Steve Werner: Then you also found other companies to work with So my first question is, you said you found her on Facebook, where did you find the other companies, because I know a lot of people would say like I would love to do something like that, how do you can get in touch with these people.
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Crystal Gregory: Just in Facebook groups and linkedin really.
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Crystal Gregory: So I just connect with people in a couple of different Facebook groups and.
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Crystal Gregory: Areas there and then on linkedin as well, and although linkedin is more the long game in terms of building authentic relationships, because there’s a lot of sales enos I find with the pandemic that’s going on on linkedin.
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Steve Werner: yeah I would second that i’ve pretty much exited linkedin just because it’s such a.
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Steve Werner: cesspool I think might be the right word I think there’s I mean.
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Steve Werner: people’s profiles are great, but then getting in touch with them is almost impossible, I will say this is going to turn a lot of people right away, but if they have a phone number, I found just picking up the phone and calling them.
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Steve Werner: I had one guy he was like you actually called me and said well your number was there and I thought that would be the best way to get in contact with you because.
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Steve Werner: i’m sure you just like me, you probably get 150 messages a day, and he was like you’re hired like I don’t care what you do you’re hired the fact that you picked up the phone and called me um I don’t know if you’ve ever called anyone on Facebook, but.
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Crystal Gregory: um I have actually and that’s I guess the other secret sauce my businesses I just try to get people to connect and to talk whether it’s on the phone or on messenger or on zoom.
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Crystal Gregory: Because I think really authentic human connection is we’re selling is that but it’s also where connecting and to business happens.
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Steve Werner: that’s, that is, you are preaching to the choir so okay.
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Steve Werner: Take us through.
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Steve Werner: First off you reach out to somebody you connect with them, what do you say to somebody.
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Steve Werner: Because I I would imagine, one of the things that I hear a lot in my realm is I don’t want to come across as salesy and you’ve touched on that it’s a connection like true businesses connection So what do you say to somebody to open up the conversation.
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Crystal Gregory: And yes, I try to find some kind of connection with them in a personal way that.
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Crystal Gregory: It takes it outside of the business around my guests, but then also just try to see if I can answer one of their problems or answer one of their questions that they have and then give them a small quick win and that, for me, has been a better sales budget than Facebook ads or.
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Crystal Gregory: lots of things like that, and then that way, if you help somebody else and they feel like they want to help you out and so then that’s how I can network and grow.
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Steve Werner: Nice I like it, I think that, like so many people are like i’m scared to be I don’t want to be salesy, but I also don’t want to give away all my time for free and I always tell people make sure they know what you do.
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Steve Werner: But offer to help them a little bit so you know I don’t I don’t do everything for free but i’m happy to like have a conversation with you i’m happy to talk about your goals i’m happy to put you in touch with somebody like.
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Steve Werner: it’s just It really is networking like old school networking, which I feel like so is lost on so many people these days.
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Crystal Gregory: It is 100% and I guess.
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Crystal Gregory: yeah I get the inspiration from my family that there’s one side of my family that is still be farmers actually and they’ve been.
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Crystal Gregory: farming and they have the farm club good beef in Ohio and it’s been going on for a very long time and it’s kind of that old fashioned family values and being of service.
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Steve Werner: So you’re actually in Wales, I hope, it’s Okay, that I give.
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Steve Werner: It away.
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Steve Werner: How did you get there, did you get there during the pandemic.
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Crystal Gregory: um no i’ve been here for seven years, actually in the UK, and I have British family so that’s.
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Crystal Gregory: Okay.
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Steve Werner: got it okay that’s an interesting I travel.
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Steve Werner: I travel all the time, sorry I don’t know why my phone.
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Steve Werner: When i’m I travel all the time, like I love I love international travel, so I just wondered if that played into your business plan at all.
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Crystal Gregory: um I haven’t really thought that far ahead, I guess, just kind of been.
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Crystal Gregory: focused on the next couple years of stabilization and raising a family and stuff like that so seeing where that goes.
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Steve Werner: gotcha so okay let’s dive into the business coaching part because you said.
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Steve Werner: Even it’s still surprising to you that all you do is ask really, really good questions so when you start working with the business one of these 15 businesses that you’ve helped.
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Steve Werner: What are some of the first like call number one what are a few of the first questions that you ask or some of the information that you start to get on them to move them forward towards their goals.
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Crystal Gregory: Sure, so called number one is kind of the where we do what I call a deep dive company audit and it’s where we look really closely at five key areas of the business we look at.
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Crystal Gregory: I asked for their last couple financial reports and income and we focus there first, because most of us who run a business it’s not a charity, and we do need to have some kind of profit coming in.
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Crystal Gregory: Because that’s one big major mistake, I see that lots of people make online and say, I want to help lots of people and so they’re not charging enough or they’re charging too much, and then we also go ahead and look at what products they’re using or services and what assets, they have.
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Crystal Gregory: In their business looking at digital assets, like their email list their marketing assets and then we look at the people and the time.
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Crystal Gregory: And then we look at where so we kind of establish that baseline for those five areas, and then we look at the vision for those five areas and look at the gaps.
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Steve Werner: Okay, so you’re looking at like what their vision is and then you’re establishing the gaps and asking questions that get them to realize what they need to do to get there is that the is that the methodology.
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Crystal Gregory: yep, that is, and I have lots of templates because I used to teach I love to make a good powerpoints and a good worksheets so lots of templates that kind of help them take.
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Crystal Gregory: The gaps from the vision to where they are and to kind of bridge that gap with some strategic actions and planning and because lots of people kind of feel overwhelmed it seems like.
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Crystal Gregory: Several the business owners have come to me saying that they feel burnt out or they feel like they don’t have enough time.
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Crystal Gregory: Or that they’re really bored with it because they’ve been doing it for a long time and.
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Crystal Gregory: They feel like it’s just become a job to them, but their clients don’t expect it really good level of service, and they need the income for their families and for themselves, and so we look kind of at.
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Crystal Gregory: Business 360 I would say, and then from there, we kind of break it down into.
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Crystal Gregory: Some.
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Crystal Gregory: What key area to focus in on first and the next and implementation and things like that.
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Steve Werner: So you touched on a couple really big things.
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Steve Werner: There I hear the same thing, like overwhelm is one of the biggest things that I think you hear from entrepreneurs, whether they’re solo printers or even I feel like.
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Steve Werner: Sometimes, as they get a larger team, they still feel more overwhelmed because they’re trying to manage everybody and then maybe their management skills aren’t what they need to be.
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Steve Werner: What would you see as across the businesses that you’ve worked with as being.
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Steve Werner: Probably the first biggest thing that they need to if somebody’s listening to this and they’re just like I just need some help.
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Steve Werner: I just need some clarity I just need to get my business back on track, what would you say is one easy win that they could do right off the BAT to like simplify their lives, bringing a little bit of income, something along those lines.
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Crystal Gregory: I would say kind of three things the first one would be to do what I call a time audit or a time diary.
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Crystal Gregory: So to write down, where the time goes because that’s one of the things as business owners, especially if we have a team and.
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Crystal Gregory: We also have families and we have really busy lives and when we sit down to work on the business or working in it to help our clients and our customers.
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Crystal Gregory: oftentimes we can get up from our computer two or three hours later, and not know where the time is gone not know what activities that we’ve done.
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Crystal Gregory: And a lot of the activities that we do we don’t actually have to do, they can be delegated or automated or eliminated, and so, if you can get rid of some of those tasks like about 30 to 40% of.
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Crystal Gregory: The stuff that you think you need to do in your business that can then create the space for less overwhelmed and to get over out of that panic mode and into more productivity.
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Crystal Gregory: And another thing would be to take a look at what services, you have, and because the other big complaint, I hear a lot is how to find repeat customers and how to get kind of really loyal buyers and so.
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Crystal Gregory: We take a look at some of the services and how can we product test them and how can we kind of create.
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Crystal Gregory: Different offerings on different levels, and I really am a huge fan of some kind of retainer or subscription model because that helps all kinds of businesses, create stability of income so that’s a huge thing.
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Steve Werner: Well Okay, so I, I agree with you.
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Steve Werner: um I think repeat business is when I go in and I work with a company we work on the marketing side, usually on like storytelling social media on the sales side.
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Steve Werner: But one of the things that we always always look at is like it’s much cheaper to sell to a client that already knows likes and trusts you that has already bought from you, once then to go get a new client, but they.
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Steve Werner: i’ve seen so many companies just pour thousands and thousands of dollars, whether it’s Facebook ads or PPC ads or any kind of marketing.
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Steve Werner: When i’m like if you put half that budget towards a repeat customer and just building something, but nobody wants to keep like they say that oh yeah that’d be great, but I don’t want to do that, they don’t want to buy from me or.
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Steve Werner: there’s a whole host of reasons right so i’d love to hear, do you have any tips or tricks maybe a tactic that.
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Steve Werner: Either you can go back to a repeat client with like a client that you want to get more business from or how do you move people on to the retainer model, I know you said that you work with some accounting firms.
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Steve Werner: Some bookkeeping, so that maybe that makes sense for retainer but how lay out how that would work or how would you talk to a client about that.
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Crystal Gregory: And we would make a list of the top 10 to 20 really raving fan customers that they’ve had and we then kind of create some sort of survey or some sort of way that the.
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Crystal Gregory: client could talk to those customers about what they loved about the service what other problems that they might have so it’s kind of like market research but.
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Crystal Gregory: In a very warm and friendly way and then we’ve tried to create some a couple of beta programs or beta services that might work.
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Crystal Gregory: For these customers at a significantly lower costs and then go from there.
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Crystal Gregory: And so, then i’ve had a couple of clients who are coaches are consultants and they have a very big kind of.
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Crystal Gregory: Signature program and then at the end of that program they’ve created like a group program or a almost like a retainer kind of retainer coaching service where they can.
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Crystal Gregory: Have the clients check in over six months or over a year and that’s been really powerful.
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Crystal Gregory: And it it’s kind of like a gym membership, but for coaching or for the consulting area where they kind of check in when they need to and so some months they have lots of calls with them and other months they don’t.
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Crystal Gregory: And I guess the key is to set really clear boundaries on it and to be really just listening and and relating to your customers right, you can think of other ways that you can help them.
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Steve Werner: I think that’s.
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Steve Werner: Like finding new ways to help your customers, especially the ones that know like and trust you is great the.
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Steve Werner: How would you balance that with people because i’ve also seen people go the other way and they’re just always creating something new and not even serving the people that they have have you seen very much of that.
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Crystal Gregory: I have, and I don’t like it, and so that’s The other thing that I really encourage.
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Crystal Gregory: The business owners, that I work with is to stand their own lane and I worked, especially with I think three of them on that this year.
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Crystal Gregory: Because when they first came to me they had a lot of different services and a lot of different offerings and their businesses were just scattered and they weren’t powerful and they weren’t focused.
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Crystal Gregory: With excellence on what they were doing, and so we really simplified and and that radical simplification down to one or two services.
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Crystal Gregory: It was powerful, but it was also painful for them, because they were called attached to these other things, and they were known for these other things, but once they simplified, then they were up to the level of service that they provided, and then it was really powerful.
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Crystal Gregory: And they got better results.
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Steve Werner: Well that’s, that is the key after all it’s all about results.
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Steve Werner: On so you’ve kind of take us on a broad sweeping journey of the different things that you do I love the time study, I think it is one of the hardest things to do, but it is one of the most powerful.
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Steve Werner: By far if you can figure out what is what you can get off your plate to put time back in your pocket because it’s one thing that we don’t have.
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Steve Werner: I also really like the idea of building lifetime client value finding new ways to serve your best customers.
00:18:31.560 –> 00:18:39.930
Steve Werner: What i’m going to ask what is one of the biggest mistakes that you see over and over and over again, because I think that’s one thing like.
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Steve Werner: In our own business, I mean I i’m a business coach I still know in my own business, like there are days that I, you know i’m pulling my hair out and i’m going crazy like just trying to keep it in line and get things done.
00:18:52.560 –> 00:19:01.530
Steve Werner: We don’t always see our blind spots, so what is either a mistake that you see over and over and over again, or a blind spot that a lot of people out of business owners have.
00:19:02.070 –> 00:19:08.940
Crystal Gregory: hmm that’s a great question I think it’s probably two things, it would be feeling like they have to serve people who are like them.
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Crystal Gregory: And this is oftentimes businesses that i’m working with that are in the growth phase beginning to scale and they haven’t totally systematized what they’re doing and they still feel like their audience has to be like them instead of the fact that.
00:19:27.270 –> 00:19:36.510
Crystal Gregory: business owners conserve really anyone and anyone with a problem and the other big mistake that I see and business owners, making is scaling too fast.
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Crystal Gregory: and hiring loads of freelancers, and a big team without actually thinking through the implications of that and how to do it with excellence, because that’s.
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Crystal Gregory: One of the major areas i’ve worked with people on is kind of creating those fops and those standards.
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Crystal Gregory: of training and ways of doing business internally, as well as externally, so that you maintain kind of the same high level of standards that you did when it was just yourself, or just the business owner.
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Steve Werner: So you said something kind of cryptic I could see some of the.
00:20:09.720 –> 00:20:11.370
Steve Werner: listeners being like what does she mean by that.
00:20:11.940 –> 00:20:17.070
Steve Werner: Is there such a thing as scaling too fast, because I think most people would just say just bring the income.
00:20:18.270 –> 00:20:23.010
Steve Werner: But I know I, I want to hear your version of of what what this means.
00:20:23.370 –> 00:20:32.100
Crystal Gregory: Well, in my view, multiple streams of income are good in a business or in a family or in whatever you know that you’re looking at for.
00:20:32.550 –> 00:20:42.990
Crystal Gregory: finances and i’m a firm believer in growing a business in a sustainable way and not in a way that is just to kind of jump ship from your day job to quickly.
00:20:43.290 –> 00:20:56.010
Crystal Gregory: I think a business kind of goes through three phases, the startup phase, the growth phase, and then the scaling face, and I see a lot of businesses it’s kind of the myth of the online world that you can become an overnight millionaire.
00:20:58.020 –> 00:21:13.710
Crystal Gregory: Or you forget well millions that is important than it’s amazing to aim for high income in a high impact, but you also have to do it in a way that is sustainable and realistic for the business, but also for the people that you serve, because otherwise you become a one hit wonder and.
00:21:14.730 –> 00:21:19.830
Crystal Gregory: In six months, the business is gone and you’ve fizzled out and burnt out.
00:21:20.880 –> 00:21:25.680
Steve Werner: that’s I think the burnout there, there are a couple of things i’ve seen go wrong The first one is the burnout like.
00:21:25.980 –> 00:21:31.110
Steve Werner: If you have something that is a great offering but you scale too fast, you either.
00:21:31.380 –> 00:21:36.540
Steve Werner: you’re going to have to bring a lot of people on which then you got to train a bunch of people and, like not all of them are going to do a great job.
00:21:36.870 –> 00:21:46.260
Steve Werner: And you’re burning the candle at both ends because you’re working in the business and trying to work on the business and trying to train people like that’s going to lead to a lot of stress, if you do it too quickly.
00:21:46.980 –> 00:21:55.920
Steve Werner: The other thing is i’ve just seen like like quality just go out the window right like you do something really good, with a few people or a few things.
00:21:56.250 –> 00:22:02.490
Steve Werner: And then you just lose track of all of it and you have a huge meltdown like i’ve seen that happen in the coaching space.
00:22:02.820 –> 00:22:13.470
Steve Werner: Over and over and over again over the last eight years, like somebody i’ll do really great out the gate everybody will really like rush to them and then they don’t know what to do with themselves and it all falls apart.
00:22:15.090 –> 00:22:15.330
Crystal Gregory: yep.
00:22:15.390 –> 00:22:24.810
Steve Werner: Just never, never fun to watch so crystal if people wanted to find you, I know that you had a free call setup Is that correct.
00:22:25.350 –> 00:22:39.330
Crystal Gregory: It is yes, so it’s a free 15 or 20 minutes and 32 attacks and call where people can book in and connect with me about one aspect in their business that they’d like to get some clarity around and we could move forward from there.
00:22:40.530 –> 00:22:48.540
Steve Werner: Thanks so that call link is in the show notes, if you enjoyed this conversation you’d like to reach out to crystal please click on that link and.
00:22:49.410 –> 00:22:56.790
Steve Werner: She definitely can help you like she’s got the skills and they’re not just some you know something she pulled out of the air or she read a book on.
00:22:57.270 –> 00:23:07.110
Steve Werner: She actually has helped businesses and she went to college for this on, so I would definitely recommend her crystal Thank you so much for coming on and sharing with us, I really appreciate it.
00:23:07.680 –> 00:23:09.120
Crystal Gregory: you’re welcome thanks for the chance.
00:23:09.810 –> 00:23:15.810
Steve Werner: No problem to everybody else out there till next time take action change lives and make money we’ll see you soon.