Sep 5, 2019
Many people don’t realize the impact having a company vision will have on the success of the business. A clear vision helps dictate what clients you take on board, influences the company culture, and impacts the morale of your team. If you want to steer your company in the right direction—and have some fun along the way—listen to today’s tips from our guest Chris Yoko.
Chris’s Grandma taught him how to use a computer as a child. Throughout the years he learned how to code and how to build websites. Fresh outta high school—after reading Rich Dad Poor Dad—he decided to get his real estate license. He built a website for his business and soon learned he preferred that over Real Estate—and Yoko Co. was born.
Chris started his company because he enjoyed the creativity and flexibility the business allowed. He looked forward to meetings with most of his clients. A few bad apples started to derail company morale and they were dangerously close to shutting down and moving on. So he created an advisory board to help change the direction of the company.
And in 2015, they fired about 25% of their clients.
Why, you might ask? Because their advisory board asked a couple of simple questions: What do you want to accomplish with your life on a personal level? How can your business reflect that? These simple questions helped Chris and his team form a unified vision for their company that allowed them to forge ahead. In order to do that the right way, they needed to let go of the wrong clients.
As you are starting out as an entrepreneur sometimes you just have to take whatever work will bring in a paycheck. It’s not ideal but we all have bills to pay, right? You want your company to grow and continue to flourish—but you don’t want to end up rich and completely and utterly miserable.
You must learn that it is okay for your company to shift and change as it grows.
After they cut the clients who didn’t align with their ongoing vision, the business performed better. Not only did their business perform better but so did their clients! They were only working with organizations who had a passion and purpose beyond making a profit. This, in turn, impacted their morale and allowed them to personally connect with their projects.
So how did his team make this instrumental shift? With the influence of the advisory board and input from the entire team, they decided to be intentional. They all wanted to invest their time into something that was meaningful. So they set out ground rules for what exactly this meant to them and made sure they were all on the same page.
Their goal was to be able to amplify the impact their clients were making.
As they onboard new clients they talk about who they are, what their impact is, and what their aspirations are. The clients they work with MUST be working to make a positive impact and be willing to take direction as they’re building their brand. Chris has learned throughout the last ten years in business that learning how to say ‘no’ to the wrong clients can have a positive impact.
You need to care about the people you’re working with and about cultivating a culture where this is clear. Chris and his partner strive to create a working environment that they would want to be immersed in if they weren’t the ones controlling it. You need to have clear expectations for your team but create an environment where they feel motivated and passionate.
Your team needs to know that you trust them implicitly.
Much of their team works remotely with the option to come into an office if they choose. In allowing this flexibility, Yoko Co. treats their company like the adults that they are. They are completely trusted to do their jobs. They still have feedback mechanisms in place to keep projects on track and know things are being completed but have cultivated a level of trust.
To hear more about Chris’s story and building a vision for his company listen to the entire episode of Just the Tips now!
James P. Friel:
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