We are thrilled to host Shannon Miles. Shannon co-founded Miles Advisory Group (MAG) with her husband, Bryan in 2010. She serves as COO at the organization, which is the parent company for eaHELP, MAG Bookkeeping, Render Virtual Webmaster Services, and Ellipsis Virtual Writers. Shannon and Bryan left their high-paying jobs to start MAG in 2010 and have experienced amazing success, including eaHELP’s recognition as the 131st fastest growing company in America in the Inc. 5000.
Connect with Shannon on Twitter & Instagram: @shannonkmiles
IT’S ABOUT DOING LESS, NOT DOING MORE
Delegation is the tool that has uncapped the lid of leadership in MAG’s companies. Practically, delegation means looking at the components of what you do and figuring out who else could be doing them. “Replace yourself” should be the mantra for you AND your leaders.
FINDING YOUR COO
Bryan (MAG’s CEO) is the visionary, while Shannon is more process-oriented. You need both types of people to make a company instead of a hobby. Oftentimes, the best way to find process-oriented leaders is to look inside your company. For example, Bryan’s former assistant started at 5 hours per week writing proposals and is now the President of eaHELP! Find someone in your company that gets stuff done and has ambition, and change the way you look at them.
In order to be successful, you must focus on what you’re passionate about, what you do really well, and what’s resonating with the market. If you’re focusing on something that is not all three of these things, you need to reevaluate.
You have to track everything to know what’s working and where your focus should lie. Know your margins, isolate your variables, and test, test, test!
Document your full customer lifecycle from the first interaction with a prospect to when they leave. Use this to learn and improve. Hire relationship managers that are dedicated to customer care and success. Budget for frugal WOWs – very inexpensive ways to show someone you heard them and that you care about them.
Just don’t suck at what you do! Don’t try to be all things to all people. Care about your culture and focus on what you’re good at. This will help you alleviate your fear because you’ll know you’re in your sweet spot.
CAUTIONS AND ADVICE
- Replace yourself. Begin to view delegation as leadership development.
- Creating and operating off a budget is crucial to growth. A budget is simply aligning dollars with your plan.
- Always go with your gut, both in hiring and bringing on new clients. Don’t let clients in that will hurt your culture.
- Use video instead of phone calls to conduct interviews – what comes across in non-verbal interaction is vitally important.
- Thoroughly test each candidate during the hiring process. Give them a sample assignment to prove that their resume matches their execution.