64 - Streamlining, Partnerships, and Making the Best From a Tough Situation with Shelia Butler

starting a business | Dec 01, 2017

When unexpected changes come, we have two options.  We can be sad about them, and let it all get the best of us, or we can stand up, dust off our knees and make something better about the experience.

Shelia Butler was pushed out of a partnership after helping to build it to a multi-million dollar business.  It was completely out of the blue, as they went from doing really well, and then wanting her out.  Shelia took the higher road and sold her part of the business.

The good side of it, is that it took her full circle to where she is today, where she helps people really streamline their business and become more profitable.  Shelia talked making the best from her experience, and all about how it led her down the path to her new business.

When it comes to partnerships, what's one thing you would have differently when getting in?  When the 'break-up' was happening, Shelia hired a lawyer.  When she saw the buy/sell agreement, she just shook her head.  Instead of really dealing with the parts they didn't like, they just removed them when they initially wrote it.  It ended up not being very valuable when she really needed it.

Since she's approaching a new partnership, now, they went through an extensive process in creating the buy/sell and partnership agreement.  Shelia highly suggests that everyone does the same thing.  Yes, it will cost you some cash, but have an attorney to help you out with it.

What was the first step after the partnership ended?  At first, Shelia didn't really know what she wanted to do.  She had just adopted her 2nd son, and she was looking at a lot of kids furniture.  She decided to start a kids furniture line.  It started to do pretty well, but she found herself forcing herself into a place she didn't want to be in.  She hadn't been the designer in her first company and found herself doing a lot of the design work.

She thought maybe she would take the business online, and started learning about the online world.  So she immersed herself into that for two years.

It was at market where someone from another company asked her that when her non-compete was up, if she would come and fix their business. After that another company came and asked the same question.   The new business just came about as she wanted to get back in the side of the industry that she loved by helping others streamline their businesses.

How are you planning on scaling your business?  Shelia started out just 1:1 consulting.  However, she's found that what a lot of the companies that she's consulting with are struggling with the same issues.  She is now creating something that might be a course over an extended period of time, or launch it into something else.  It can work for really any company.

Shelia has found that many companies struggle from the same things when it comes to streamlining.

I love Shelia's points of how there are really only three ways to grow your business:

1.  Get more clients

2.  Get the dollar/value in your sale increases

3.  Increase the numbers of sales per year

What about marketing for your business?  She created her podcast initially as a marketing tool.  All of her guests are potentially a client too. The other way she plans on working the marketing is social media and on the web.  Referrals are important, but she's also creating the other side of it.

Shelia has run into the problem that many of the companies in her industry are a bit behind on the technology times.  So many of them don't listen to podcasts.  However, it's to her benefit because it is such a niche podcast instead of relying solely on iTunes to build her following.

What are your views on relationships and building them?  Shelia is HUGE on really providing amazing value for your current clients, and building incredible relationships with them versus consistently trying to find new customers.  You can't forget that even after the sale you have to nurture that relationship.  If you continue to add value to them, it can be huge for your business.

When it comes to streamlining what are some tools or tips you have?  One of the biggest things is to focus.  Focus on your main thing and make sure you get that done every day.  Each night she closes down, she lists the top 3 things she needs to do the next day.  She won't do anything else until that list gets completed.

The other thing is to figure out how to better use email.  The average person spends 13 hours a week doing email.  So you need to create a system for processing email and not just checking email.  There are a lot of things that you can do to improve that communication.

She also suggests Gmail for Work.  She takes advantage of the apps that are included in that.

Connect with Shelia on Twitter: @shelia_butler or you can find her at www.sheliabutler.com.

More About Shelia:  Shelia Butler is a growth strategist who shows entrepreneurs how to STREAMLINE and GROW their business. She works hands-on with To-The-Trade professionals to help them systemize, simplify, and streamline their core processes, daily operations, and business strategy.

After earning her MBA from Baylor University, Shelia joined Aidan Gray Home as a Co-Owner and was pivotal in the success and growth of the business. She sold her interest in 2010 to start her own consultancy, where she’s realized her true calling -- helping others reach their business goals.

Shelia’s is the host of the successful internet radios shows To The Trade Radio and Successful Women Talk.

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