Nearing the 300th episode, Ken reflects on what has happened with his company as well as what he is looking forward in the future. Sharing one of four guiding principles, he talks about how it has pushed them forward. Ken says site partners are family. He gives us some insider information on how this guiding principle is being applied and ultimately shows us how treating work like family will make you offer better.
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Guiding Principle 1
It’s been weighing on me that this may be me wrapping up the series called Today’s Growth: Growing Business Today. I’m starting a new series, number one, under a new title. I might do one with my wife. I might continue this with a different name. More important to the timing is we just got done with a big one. I have a meeting with all of management. The team is going to deliver a two-and-a-half-hour meeting to my wife and I. Kerri and I are going to deliver a two and a half-hour meeting to the team. They’re going to tell us in two and a half hours if Kerri and I didn’t exist and they ran the company, this is what they would do next year.
We’re going to tell them if they weren’t here and we were starting fresh with new products and new people, this is what we would do. That’s called the Brian Tracy move. What we do is we take the best of both and understand that we have vision they don’t have. They definitely have vision we don’t have. It marries together a phenomenal business plan. Here’s the key. Going into these meetings, our company has an understanding of four guiding principles. I need to explain guiding principle.
Southwest Airlines has one single guiding principle. Whenever employee gets stuck, they can’t reach a manager, they’re unsure what to do, if someone walks into a manager with an idea, everything, every idea, every concept, every change gets measured against their one single guiding principle. Their guiding principle is, “We are going to make flying more fun and less expensive for everybody.” Does the idea brought forward make flying more fun or less expensive? If someone says, “It’s time we shift from regular oil for our trucks to a synthetic oil,” the manager’s going to say, “If that’s a good idea, let’s measure it against the guiding principle.”
Does it make flying more fun? No. Does it make flying less expensive? It does because the guy proved if he shifted to synthetic-based on all the oil they buy for their cars, their trucks, their rentals, their this or that, everything, it would save that department in extreme amount of money, which would save the top line an extreme amount of money. They would be able to offer tickets for less.
That company has one guiding principle. Our company, slightly tech, slightly marketing, slightly information-based, content-based, we have four. I’m not going to go too deep on what exactly we do as a product set, but know this. People give us money. We take that money. We go find a website somewhere in the world already making money. Our 102 employees buy the site. It’s already generating revenue. We split the revenue in half, give half to the site partner that funded the deal and then we keep half. We take a third of our half and buy more content. A third of our half basically buy our labor more marketing. A third of our half hopefully goes to payroll and profit.
We have a guiding principle that kick starts everything we do. Site partners are family. It means we have 900 plus contracts. We have a lot of site partners that had us buy a site for them in 2011, again in 2013, again in 2015 and again in 2016 and 2017. They got five sites with us. Some people have nine, some have 30 and some have just one. It doesn’t matter. If a member of our company runs into a situation where they can’t reach their manager, they can’t reach Kerri or I, they don’t know what to do in a situation, they go to the guiding principle. This site partner is our family. If this site that I’m working on, this site I’m writing content for, this site I’m doing the link building or the marketing for, I’m writing a strategy plan for or whatever, if this site was my uncle Mike’s, what would I do in this situation?Guiding principles are not the end all be all. Click To Tweet
If every person working here treats every situation like the site that they’re working on, the website they’re working on was owned by a family member, their parent or their sister, it makes everything much easier. It’s understood you’re going to do the right thing at all times. We look at guiding principles. That’s one of the four. We look at guiding principles as bumper bowling for children. When you take a five-year-old bowling, you’d see bumpers in the gutters a little bit. Sometimes they bowl slowly, the ball never gets there. It gets stuck in the gutters. Bumper bowling, they’re like blown-up bumpers or rails. They take the ball and they allow them to stay on the grain of wood, which is slippery. It ensures that at least hits one pin.
Guiding principles, they’re not the end-all be-all but they take an employee, a manager, a business owner, a board of directors, any person that has anything to do with decisions in that company. They give them bumpers or rails to ensure that during that situation, that idea, that business challenge, there is a guiding principle in place that ensures a better and more proper answer. I hope this helps. Take care.