Flows and Bottlenecks: Do You Know Yours?
Learning which core function is your bottleneck and disregarding everything else
One of the things that has been key to Gym Launch’s continued rapid growth, has been identifying bottlenecks, focusing on those, and fixing them. If you are new to this, there are five core functions of every business that experience flows and bottlenecks, and if you are not rating yourself on them, then it is very difficult for you to improve them.
Gym Launch went from $0 to $50 mil run rate in just two years. You may be wondering how we did that. If every other competitor in this space has access to the same workforce, to the same things to advertise on in order to acquire talent, to the same information because it’s on the internet, and they have access to the same amount of time per day, how can one business move faster than another?
It’s by allocating and prioritizing the things that you’re going to work on while making sure that you are doing the one thing that is going to move the ball forward. If all of your attention is allocated towards just the biggest bottleneck, then you will be able to grow faster. Think about it just like a flow.
The Five Core Functions
Lead Generation: This is the first place business flows from. This where you receive inquiries about people who want to work with you or want your service or product.
Lead Nurture: How do we get these inquiries and turn them into people who are ready, willing, and able, and likely to purchase services from us? It comes to two components. One is scheduling, the other is showing, and the third is kind of a soft component of that, which is, how we get them to show up with the intention to buy. In other words, warming up the prospect.
Sales: Being able to convert the prospect to a paying customer.
Fulfillment: This is where we deliver on the promises that we made. The key isn’t just on fulfilling that promise, but doing it in such a way that that goes above and beyond what we promised. It delivers higher value and leaves the client beyond satisfied.
Retention/Ascension: During this phase is where you get them to buy again and again. Or ascend them into upgrading to a higher level of service.
There are two other functions – HR and finance, which most brick and mortar smaller businesses don’t need to concern themselves with. But they are functions of the business that need to be mentioned.
So, how do you identify which of these things you need to work on, and then disregard everything else?
Every single quarter, we look at these functions and figure out where the bottleneck is. If you’re not growing, then one of these five things is your bottleneck.
Typically, in the beginning, most people think their bottleneck is lead generation since that’s the first phase of the pipeline. And sometimes that’s true, especially if you don’t get enough inquiries. But there are multiple reasons you may not be getting enough inquiries. Perhaps the problem is with your fulfillment, and so you’re not getting referrals. Or perhaps you’re lacking in your sales skills.
Once you identify which one of those things is the bottleneck, then all you need to do is literally disregard everything else and focus on fixing the issue at hand.
The Three P’s you need to fix the problem: Person, Process, Project
When you are fixing the problem, use the three Ps and figure out whether there is a person who needs to be hired, a process that needs to get fixed, or a project that needs to be worked on. And the project is a special one because most times, it’s you as the business owner.
The project may be the need to acquire a skill. If you think about things in terms of the skills that you lack or deficits that need to be filled, you will be able to identify bottlenecks and then put one of those three Ps in place. You will then put the skill set on yourself of managing it.
When you reframe all of your problems as, “What deficit do I have to fix to turn this bottleneck into a flow?” Then, you’ll be able to fix issues at a much faster rate. You’ll only need to focus on that one thing, creating permanent solutions, which will allow you to then grow all five of your core functions causing your business to enjoy greater flow.