The Tornado Method
Over the last 4 weeks I’ve introduced you to what became known as the Business Accelerator Framework, or BAF for short. This last week has seen some major evolution in the concept. Before I show you how things have evolved, I would like to step back for just a second and look at why I’ve been sharing this journey with you:
Firstly, I’ve found the original 5-stage model tremendously useful in understanding where my business is doing well (or not). I’ve been sharing this with a number of people and feedback has been extremely positive - so I know that it is useful for at least some of you.
Secondly, this is an inside picture of a product or service in development. Chances are that you are or will be developing a new offering for your business, and my hope is that you will find this journey informative.
I hope that you find this journey useful as well.
That pesky name thing
As you know I’ve been struggling to find a catchy name for this framework. As I was showing the latest version to some of my advisors last week the word “tornado” seemed to get a lot of traction - so the latest candidate in the name competition is The Tornado Method. You will see why this is relevant in just a bit.
Back to the starting point
The very first version of the framework was my attempt to better understand how marketing and lead nurturing relate to business success. As I defined it:
marketing is what we do to attract potential customers before we know who they are;
lead nurturing are those things we do once we know who they are (and we can track their interaction with our content);
sales is the process of converting prospects into customers;
delivery is where we deliver our products and services; and
follow-up is the stuff we do to make sure our customers are happy with what we delivered (and get them to come back for more).
The rating scale
You will also probably remember that we used a 5-step rating scale to measure how well we’re doing in each stage. The rating scale is:
-3: we’re not doing well at all; this is a disaster waiting to happen;
-1: not a total disaster but not good;
0: sometimes good and sometimes bad;
+1: pretty good; and
+3: exceptionally good; very little room for improvement.
I’ve turned this rating scale into a series of “flags” as follows:
Is your business in the middle of a tornado?
When we put the flags on each stage of the customer journey we get a visual view of how our business is doing:
If your flags are flying in all directions you have problems in some areas of your business. A business that is doing really well has mostly blue (+1) or green (+3) flags; but in a tornado some are orange (-1) or even red (-3).
If you started your business based on your expertise in a specific area it is not uncommon to see green in the delivery stage (that’s where you are an expert, after all) and orange or red in the marketing and lead nurturing stages (the stuff we never learnt how to do).
The 5-stage framework is not enough, though
While the 5-stage framework helps us understand where we need to focus, it is not quite enough to help us understand why our business may be struggling. I already talked about this concept in last week’s newsletter:
A business built on a broken business model will always struggle.
Under the 5-stage framework are three building blocks that form the basis of your business. The building blocks are:
your business model;
your brand; and
your product ladder.
And underneath the building blocks of course are the people that are running the business - either just you as a solopreneur or you and your team.
This gives us the complete framework:
As you can see we’ve also now got better names for each layer:
the revenue engine is where you make money;
the building blocks are required to build an effective revenue engine; and
your team (just you or you and your team) needs to be effective at doing all of the work.
What about back office stuff? I’m tempted to add another layer to the model to address back office things like admin and finance; however for the time being I’m going to stick with just the three layers to keep the model simple.
A complete picture of how your business is doing
When we add our rating scale to the three layers you can get a pretty good idea of how your business is doing:
I will be playing with different ways of representing the layers and flags to make it both attractive and usable - but this is a working framework you can put to use right now.
How do you put the Tornado Method to work?
Depending on your feedback I may turn the Tornado Method into a complete methodology with workbooks and questionnaires - but in the meantime here’s how you can put it to work:
Start with an assessment: grab an empty sheet of paper, put the date on the top and draw the 5-, 3- and 1-stage layers. Rate yourself on each area using the 5-step rating scale and draw the appropriate flags (using colored pens or highlighters).
Pick one: Pick one - just one - area that you believe will get your business moving faster or better. Pick one thing in that area to do and focus on that (and only that) to get it done.
Rinse and repeat: When you’re done with that one thing, pick the next thing to do (just one) and focus on that.
Assess regularly: Repeat the assessment exercise once a month, dating each sheet. Keep the sheets somewhere you can go back and see how you’re progressing.
Picking one thing - and getting that done as fast and efficiently as possible - is what Britewrx is all about. I already have some products and articles that help with specific areas; more are coming up.
What do you think?
I would love to hear your thoughts on the Tornado Method and whether you find it useful. Drop me a note and let me know!