Hands-Off CEO Podcast

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Stepping Out of the Day to Day with James Schramko – E57

James Schramko, bestselling author and host of the SuperfastBusiness podcast, invited Mandi Ellefson on his show recently. This is a cross-post of their enlightening conversation about scaling a service business.


You’ll hear Mandi and James talk about:

  1. How soon to start building a team and becoming a Hands Off CEO. “Please don’t build a solopreneur business if you can avoid it!” James cautions listeners. Mandi comments, “It gets to a point where you’re able to really take advantage of all the years that you have been building up your company, and it’s this point where this quantum leap that happens in your growth, when you’re able to let go…” [2:23]
  2. Much of the popular advice on scaling a business does not apply for service companies. They are usually based on creating systems and hiring people. “Here’s the problem,” Mandi tells James, “if you just go in and build systems, first of all it’s gonna take an enormous amount of your time… And then you hope that people you hire are then going to follow those systems and take on ownership for them, which is not really the way it works.” [7:30]
  3. Mandi’s tool rules: 
    1. “If we’re going to have a tool we should absolutely have to have it.”
    2. “It should be the best tool for what we need… And that’s certainly the team’s decision to research and discover that tool.”
    3. “We have to know how to use the tools.”
    4. The tools are constantly revised and updated. [8:40]
  4. Scaling a service business means making a bigger promise and getting more expansive outcomes for clients, Mandi says. This means you can charge higher prices and have the margin and profit to create the systems to scale your company. [11:28]
  5. The Power of One framework: one prospect, one painful problem, one promise. Get this framework right and you will attract high quality clients. [13:25]
  6. “What are those factors you need to have in place to be able to deliver your very best results and then eliminate every other prospect that doesn’t have those,” Mandi advises business leaders looking to scale. She and James discuss vision-based selling to clients. [19:23]
  7. James says, “The greatest goldmine is probably an existing database, and I even created a whole campaign around winning back old clients because your systems will change over time, there’s a good chance that your promise will change over time, and your serviceability will change over time, and the clients you work with will change over time..” [26:55]
  8. “One thing I do with anyone who’s got an agency is I discourage them from doing proposals; and we renamed that one to an action plan or strategy guide,” James tells Mandi. “It’s small semantics with big outcomes.” Mandi’s growth plan is a similar concept. It’s about focusing on the promise and what the customer really wants. [32:48]
  9. Mandi talks about the 5 exits a business owner must make in order to scale. These include exiting client management, marketing and sales, client strategy and high ticket sales. The final exit is when you can hire a CEO. [41:43]



James Schramko on LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook



Mandi Ellefson on LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook

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