Special Guest: Alvin Narsey
Cash flow. We’ve all heard it before, but do you know what it really means?
It’s a term that gets thrown around a lot, so if you’re looking to start or grow your business, it’s important to understand exactly what cash flow means in order to maximize your business’ potential.
On this episode of Chasing Financial Freedom Podcast, we have a special guest Alvin Narsey. Alvin is a retail business expert who has a unique way of sharing his skills with business owners so they can increase their cash flow, provide value to their customers, and live a life of massive personal freedom.
Connect with Alvin
Looking to Share Your Story? Be a Guest on the Show
Uncover Proven Strategies to Maximize Your Business Cash flow with Alvin Narsey
[00:00:00] Ryan: Hey guys, Ryan DeMent from Chasing Financial Freedom Podcast. I hope you guys are having a great day this week on the podcast. We have Alvin Narsey and who is a business coach. I know he is originally from Australia and I think we’re in Germany now, Alvin, welcome to the show,
[00:00:19] Alvin: Ryan. Thank you so much for having me.
[00:00:20] Alvin: I really appreciate it. And yes we are at this moment in Southern Germany.
[00:00:25] Ryan: Awesome. So tell the listeners a little bit about yourself.
[00:00:30] Alvin: Yeah, sure thing. So basically I. Used to buy and sell pharmacies in Melbourne Australia. I was doing that for about 15 or 16 years or so. And had a really good time doing that.
[00:00:42] Alvin: My wife is from Germany and during the pandemic in Australia. And especially the state I was living in Victoria or Melbourne the capital had one of the worst lockdown situation rules in the whole wide world. So we were severely lockdown. We really couldn’t go anywhere. You could only leave the [00:01:00] house at one stage for an hour a day.
[00:01:02] Alvin: You could, you had to stay within a three-kilometer or five-kilometer boundary. It was really bad. And as such my wife, wasn’t able to travel to Germany to see her parents. So we decided to mix it up a little bit. So she decided to quit her job. I decided to sell my business and we thought we’d rent out the house, sell the cars, put a few things in storage, and come to Germany.
[00:01:24] Ryan: And how has that been going for you?
[00:01:26] Alvin: Really good fun. One of my top values is freedom and adventure. And for me at the moment, this is ticking all the boxes. So Germany’s a really great base to travel the whole of Europe and we’ve done fairly extensive trips and continuing to be doing we’re gonna be doing some more, of course.
[00:01:42] Alvin: Yeah, I love it. And it’s a new culture, Germany. It’s not what I expected. I of course am trying to learn the language, which is super fun. But it involves a bit of effort, but I’m working at it every day.
[00:01:55] Ryan: And are you a beer connoisseur?
[00:01:58] Alvin: Look, I am more of a [00:02:00] wine connoisseur, however, wine Conor, however, all my friends in Australia.
[00:02:04] Alvin: Love beer and Germany is famous for beers, as you rightly said. So I’m learning slowly. And I think I have a proclivity for the darker beers. They tend to excite my P a little bit more because I can relate more on a wine level to where the flavors are happening in my mouth. But yeah, it’s a good education for beer and wine.
[00:02:22] Alvin: Both of it. It’s all here actually.
[00:02:25] Ryan: So I’ll ask one more question. We’ll get into the meat of the conversation. Yeah. Are you guys planning to stay in Germany, for the rest of your lives, or are you planning to explore Europe or go back to Australia?
[00:02:35] Alvin: I don’t know. We are free styling at the moment.
[00:02:37] Alvin: We at the moment are happy to have a base in Germany. We’ve got a home base here. And then we’ll just see what happens really. Yeah, the world is our oyster. That is
[00:02:45] Ryan: that. Yeah, that is awesome. And most people don’t get to do that in a lifetime and you get to do it over your whole life.
[00:02:52] Ryan: But we were talking earlier about this and it’s digressing we’ll get into it, but it’s amazing how we live our lives. And. We [00:03:00] complain about the things that we don’t want to happen, but those things happen. But when you live a life of freedom and abundance, you get to experience life the way you want to.
[00:03:08] Ryan: And it’s, it just makes you happy. And it’s I don’t know why we’re so against being happy in today’s society, culture, whatever. I don’t how you wanna describe it, but it just, it does. It’s not a four-letter word. Happiness is true, it’s a great feeling.
[00:03:22] Alvin: Absolutely. And it is our natural state and we tend to overcomplicate it.
[00:03:28] Alvin: Stuff to get in the way and get caught up in the race of rats and all sorts of fun stuff. But yeah I’m super privileged to be able to do this. I know I’m super lucky, but as I said, it’s one of my highest values is freedom and adventure. So in everything that I do, so in, in the way I help clients and running a business, et cetera.
[00:03:48] Alvin: So I’m ticking all the boxes.
[00:03:50] Ryan: That’s awesome. So let’s get into your story. Let’s start from the beginning and what got you into being a business owner and that travel and we’ll work our way [00:04:00] backward, in how that gets you into where you’re at today as a business coach.
[00:04:04] Alvin: Yeah, absolutely. So I studied in Melbourne Australia as a pharmacist. I went to school, did my university and. It’s typical actually in Australia like after you finish a university degree, Good thing to go and travel. So that’s what I did traveled came back and I came back with a little bit more fire in my belly okay, now it’s time to do something.
[00:04:26] Alvin: So I instead of work, I worked and I hustled my way into a business partnership, which was really fantastic for me. With uh, two older gentlemen who were my business partners. And once, once I got into business with them, we just started expanding the pharmacies buying and selling a few.
[00:04:44] Alvin: And I think about 10 years into that relationship, we decided to go our separate ways and I was running my own pharmacy on my own, and, they had theirs and just continuing along with the journey and along the way, I was able to travel lots and really. It was really instilled in me through the [00:05:00] coaches and the mentors that I worked with in building my business that a business is meant to provide you with what you want outta life and not be a slave and you are not a slave to the business.
[00:05:10] Alvin: So I was very fortunate in, I was able to live that life. And then of course the pandemic came. It was a great time to be in pharmacy. Great time to have a pharmacy business. Super busy and it was a really good time to sell. So I sold and we decided to come here.
[00:05:26] Ryan: So did the pan, so what did the pandemic change in the pharmacy business in Australia?
[00:05:31] Ryan: Yes.
[00:05:32] Alvin: Absolutely. It was pretty frantic because everyone was obviously and rightfully so concerned about their health. People were also I had at that time, a suburban pharmacy, so out in the burbs and in Melbourne anyway, the whole central business district where a lot of the corporate types, weren’t able to go into the office buildings as a consequence, people were working from home.
[00:05:53] Alvin: The bur. Everyone’s coming to our pharmacy. So the business traffic foot traffic, everything went up [00:06:00] just as a matter of function, really, thanks to the pandemic. And then we obviously had to innovate very quickly to deal with an increased number of clients, but also this whole change in the situation with the pandemic.
[00:06:11] Alvin: Limiting the number of people in the store. We had all these regulations and, people, if you were sick, rightly weren’t coming into the pharmacy. So we had to quickly, ramp up our delivery services. Also, there was the issue of scripts, prescriptions, paper prescriptions were getting.
[00:06:25] Alvin: Really dangerous because, I’m not sure if I’m sure you remember, there was that whole dealer you couldn’t touch paper or mail or anything. Yes. So yes so we had to quickly the whole pharmacy industry had to quickly develop electronic prescriptions and so on and so forth. Yeah, it was a good time and, At one stage, there were lockdowns in Melbourne and in the whole of Australia actually, and not every business could open.
[00:06:47] Alvin: But because the pharmacy was a healthcare provider business and, an essential business, we were classified as we, we were open and, and of course, you don’t just sell drugs in Australia. You sell a lot of auxiliary products [00:07:00] makeup, perfume over-the-counter stuff, vitamins. We were just very fortunate in that respect to be able to.
[00:07:06] Alvin: Help people out and I guess capitalize on the pandemic.
[00:07:09] Ryan: So there’s a lot in there done PAC. So let’s start from the kinda like from the beginning, the pandemic shifted a lot of businesses. So how did your pharmacies, what did, what steps did you take to start that shift? And when did you see it?
[00:07:23] Ryan: So the pandemic hit you’re in a midstream in your business and you’re going well. What were some of those initial steps that you had to take? To be able to adjust to the pandemic.
[00:07:33] Alvin: Wow. We weren’t very articulate in the way we did that. It was literally playing catch up because all of a sudden it was here.
[00:07:41] Alvin: We’d heard about it in China and we’d heard about it around the world. It was never gonna come to Australia because Australia’s this really big isolated island, but it came. So basically the steps we took. So at that stage, I was only working in the business three days a week. So I. Yeah, it was really hard to get staff.
[00:07:58] Alvin: So I, I had to go back in [00:08:00] and start working and helping the team out. So that was one thing that we did, but that was really good because I was able to see firsthand all the little things that needed to be organized very quickly. And I was very fortunate. We had a great team. We were a large-ish pharmacy, so I could call on part-time staff, casual staff, and bring the team together and really execute all the fun things that we did.
[00:08:19] Ryan: You were only working three days a week, so I guess I’m gonna put on my I’m an operator. I run call centers, all that good stuff. My question is how did you work through the staffing? How did you work through your hours? And then how did you take on sounds like you took on a lot of business.
[00:08:35] Ryan: So how did you, how were you able to expand or be able to handle the different lockdown mechanisms of the pandemic? Yes.
[00:08:45] Alvin: So thankfully we had a big team that was not really underutilized, there was a lot of part-time staff. So as the business volume, more customers came in.
[00:08:55] Alvin: I was able to luckily call on all these extra staffs. And for [00:09:00] me, I used to spend, three days working in there or three or four days working on the business. And so just by me, going in on a daily basis on Monday to Friday, helping the team out, I was able to quickly piece everything together.
[00:09:15] Ryan: Did you find there were issues with your staffing when your midstream and the pandemic to where they didn’t wanna come?
[00:09:24] Alvin: I was, we were very lucky that didn’t happen. So all our staff was really good, cuz I was like, Hey guys, we need help. If anyone wants extra shifts and. Let me know. So I was very lucky in that respect, what I was really scared about though.
[00:09:37] Alvin: We had this thing, like if one staff member, if one of us caught COVID, we had to shut the store down and we had to go this, go through this extensive cleaning process as set up by the government, which was at that time based on the information that we had, probably the right thing to do. That’s what I was really scared of because when you shut down the shop for 36 hours, you’re losing income, et cetera.
[00:09:57] Alvin: But thankfully it’s a lot. Yeah, [00:10:00] thankfully that we somehow dodged that bullet. But I was very lucky because a lot of people were working from home. A lot of, my part-time or casual staff who were students, couldn’t go to university. And so I was able to call on them to fill the gaps.
[00:10:16] Ryan: Wow. I mean that it sounds like you dodged a big bullet cuz I’ve heard some horror stories from other business owners, in the states and it was pretty bad. It was. I mean for our business construction-wise as soon as here in the states that they started giving out unemployment and they were making more on unemployment than coming back to work.
[00:10:36] Ryan: Wow. We lost almost 50% of our staff. Yeah. And then getting ’em to come back off of unemployment was a challenge. It’s yeah, it’s been. It’s been an uphill battle here in the states when it comes to bringing employees on, is that an issue at all in Australia or did you leave before all that kind of came to a head.
[00:10:55] Alvin: Yeah, I think I ejected just in time. It is certainly an issue now
[00:11:00] because I am keeping up to date with what’s going on in pharmacy land anyway. But right at the time when I was there right in the middle of it, I was very lucky and, very lucky in the fact that there were pharmacies down the road within half a kilometer is what we use half a kilometer radius, they had to shut down.
[00:11:15] Alvin: So it was. Only a matter of time. We had plans in place. I knew exactly who to ring when this would happen. So we were all ready for it to happen, but thankfully it didn’t so super lucky like that. But staffing is a big thing. That’s continuing to disrupt the industry, especially on the professional side of things with pharmacists at this moment in time, they’re just extremely overworked.
[00:11:39] Alvin: And, because they’re just so busy. And so we are seeing from what I’m observing is like a drop off in pharmacy personnel who just burnt out. And I think this is a common theme with most healthcare workers around the world. Just, doing too many hours and just, wow.
[00:11:55] Alvin: You just reach a, reach, a breaking point.
[00:11:56] Ryan: Everybody’s gonna re every, I think everybody’s reached a breaking [00:12:00] point in some of this, but it’s the people that take care of us the most, we need to make sure we’re taking care of them too. Those frontline workers. Yes. Doctors, nurses pharmacists, whatever you wanna.
[00:12:10] Ryan: Everybody that’s taking care of us health-wise, they should be taking care of. And I know that’s tough. So I’ve, I gotta, I’m gonna ask a question and we’ll go back cuz I gotta get. in your business coaching segment. Do you work with other pharmacists or other pharmacies that you work in your practice?
[00:12:27] Alvin: Yeah, sure thing. I, my niche in a sense is I work with retail business owners and certainly, pharmacists and pharmacy business owners fall into that category as well. I haven’t got a pharmacy client at the moment, but yeah, I’m speaking to a lot of pharmacists and pharmacy business owners.
[00:12:43] Alvin: So they fall into that category for sure.
[00:12:44] Ryan: What is that like in, in the world of pharmacy or pharmacists, is, are they struggling with everything going on? And the reason why I ask is it’s just, that we have listeners and listeners who are struggling with their businesses and just some tips or tricks or anything to that extent, but [00:13:00] just more generalities.
[00:13:02] Alvin: Yeah, sure thing. Absolutely. A lot of pharmacy business owners are struggling with staffing, which I think is the main thing. And I think that’s mainly because as small business owners, they really don’t have any procedures in place or haven’t really thought about them because they’re too busy putting out fires.
[00:13:19] Alvin: On what their recruitment or their ongoing recruitment strategy should be. One of the things that were advised to me when I was running my businesses when I was getting coached and I do the same with my clients, is this thing of always be looking. So we always have an add-out for staff just in case.
[00:13:38] Alvin: So we’re always hiring. So just in case, we come along, we meet a superstar who we can then introduce into our business. So I think that’s one of them. Tricks. And one of the tips that would encourage business owners to always be doing is always be hiring, and always be looking for people. Cause you know, when you get to the stage where you are one man down, you’re like [00:14:00] climbing uphill, trying to fill the gap.
[00:14:01] Alvin: And you, most times you won’t, sometimes you won’t necessarily fill it with the right person. You’re just covering the bandaid. But if you’re really proactive about trying to find the right people, always you have a much better chance.
[00:14:14] Ryan: What about the I know in the states we’re struggling with wages and people are not coming back, because they wanna get paid 20, 30, 40% more.
[00:14:22] Ryan: How does a small business or retail business handle that in what, yeah. What would you suggest they do? Because I know there’s STR I go to businesses here in Arizona and they’re small business owners and they’re struggling. They’re there seven days a week cuz they can’t get enough people to come.
[00:14:38] Alvin: It’s really difficult. I don’t know if I have an answer to that. I think it’s about really understanding. What your business can offer to a potential employee beyond work. Perhaps trying to pitch the lifestyle and the other benefits that you would get from working with an individual retailer, but I get it.
[00:14:59] Alvin: [00:15:00] It’s really tough. This is so hard everywhere, that people really have followed the great resignation as such. Is that what they call it in the states as well? That’s what they’ve called it in Australia. Great
[00:15:09] Ryan: resignation.
[00:15:12] Alvin: And they’re moving and I know this is hit hardest in some of my buddies who own hospitality, venues cafes, and restaurants, and that kind of thing.
[00:15:19] Alvin: They’re really finding it tough. Some retail, because they’re not as specialized are able to flu on with part-time and casual staff from, junior staff and that kind of thing. But Ryan, I’ve got no answer. My friend, it’s a big struggle now. Sorry, dude.
[00:15:36] Ryan: no it’s no.
[00:15:36] Ryan: It’s a good conversation to be had because I, there’s not a day that gonna go by that someone reaches out or I talk to somebody that’s a small business owner and they’re struggling to get people in. I don’t know if you’re familiar with it. I don’t know if you’ve been to the states or not, but out here, we love our hamburgers, and on the west coast we like in and our burger.
[00:15:54] Ryan: Yes. Love it in and out. Oh, okay. You know it. Okay. So they’re offering [00:16:00] $20 an hour. Wow. So at 20 bucks to flip a burger, which, it’s a little step up than McDonald’s or burger king or whatever you wanna say. But at the end of the day, that’s still over $40,000 a year to flip a burger.
[00:16:14] Ryan: And that doesn’t include overtime. Right now. Yeah. They’re saying that they’re giving people anywhere between five to 10 hours of overtime, a. You start adding that up. You’re making close to $55,000 a year to flip burgers, and I’m not saying, bad, good, or indifferent, but at some point, all these additional costs get passed on to you and me absolutely.
[00:16:36] Ryan: And it’s a struggle and small business owners, not like in and out, but let’s, Joe pop, coffee shop or whatever has to pass those, no, that’s great. Yeah, how are they going to, survive if customers don’t keep coming back because the prices have gotten outta?
[00:16:51] Alvin: Yeah, totally.
[00:16:52] Alvin: I, yeah, it’s, I’ve got no real answer for you. It’s just a matter of, I think trying and
[00:17:00] testing and trying different things, trying to figure out what’s gonna work for your market and that whole pivoting thing and adjusting, but yeah, I’ve got no clear answer. My friend, it’s a really tough one at the moment.
[00:17:10] Alvin: And you wonder how long it can last, right? And where are these people going? Is everyone gonna work for Google or is everyone working online on their online business? I don’t know.
[00:17:19] Ryan: I saw an article and I don’t remember if it was the wall street journal or somewhere, but it was basically saying that People that are graduating from college are expecting to make between 140 and $180,000 a year.
[00:17:32] Ryan: Wow. I’m thinking, are you kidding me? So then I guess the article went a little bit deeper and found out that if you are an AI engineer and you work for Google, it’s the only place that you’re gonna make 140 to $180,000 outta. Wow. So is everyone gonna start becoming an AI engineer for Google so they can make that?
[00:17:54] Ryan: I don’t know. I’m guessing not, but no the expectations and this we will get into small [00:18:00] business, cuz this is leading me up to where I wanna go are yeah. Small business owner entrepreneurship people don’t realize how difficult it is and underneath everything is all the struggles that you get to handle.
[00:18:14] Ryan: The sleepless nights. I know I’ve had plenty of them. But the other side of this coin of what people see above the waterline is happiness joy, whatever, cuz you don’t try to share those feelings and emotions with your employees or others that are, within the business, whatever.
[00:18:31] Ryan: You as a business coach how do you play that into your practice? Cause I know you’ve gotta be more than just a coach. You’ve also gotta be a cheerleader. You’ve also gotta be a counselor. That’s all-encompassing. How does that play out and what are some tidbits for small business owners yeah.
[00:18:45] Ryan: To deal with that. Absolutely.
[00:18:47] Alvin: That’s a really good point. Yeah. So you’ll. You’re definitely as a coach and you’re working with business owners you’re definitely more than strategy. One of the tips that I think is really important is to, as a business owner, as hard as it may seem is try
[00:19:00] and really set some time for yourself and basically.
[00:19:04] Alvin: In times like this, it’s really about taking a step back and really working out a vision for you, the business owner, and what you want out of life. And then also working backward from there, and it might not be immediate large steps. Initially, but I think it’s really important that we start to get the business owners to business, to recognize like this business is here to provide me with a vehicle that’s gonna enhance my life and sure.
[00:19:31] Alvin: In the beginning, I’m gonna be doing all the hours. And it’s a tough time at the moment, but really where do I wanna. In be long term, how do I wanna set this business up? So it really starts to provide me and, right now, okay. It’s really busy and it’s stressful. And it may mean that you just start with just an hour.
[00:19:50] Alvin: or two a week doing something that really reinvigorates you, whether it’s going to the gym or doing a sport or something that really relaxes you [00:20:00] and fires you back up and reenergizes you is what I’m trying to say. So I think that’s a really important piece, but that also goes back to looking at your vision for yourself, what you want outta.
[00:20:11] Ryan: Then that brings up a whole nother conversation that we can go down is that vision and I’m I know that you tie it into your business, I’m sure you do. So you walk into, you build a relationship with a retail business owner. What are some first steps that you look at when you bring on a client?
[00:20:26] Ryan: And then after those first steps, how do you help that business owner? Implement those steps to one, grow, and get that time for themselves because I’m with you. I don’t want my business to manage me. I wanna manage my business and I want to be able to be free and enjoy my life.
[00:20:44] Ryan: Absolutely. But a lot of business owners don’t get to enjoy that. Yeah.
[00:20:48] Alvin: Yeah, so you, you are so the first part is the vision part is trying to get an understanding on what you want outta life. And it sounds a little bit woo, woo. Especially if you’re in business, but I think it’s an important step [00:21:00] that we need to take and that’s that step back to look forward and, it doesn’t need to be complicated.
[00:21:06] Alvin: It’s just really sitting down and thinking. What do you really want out of life? What do you really enjoy? What do you wanna achieve? And, if somebody needs help with that, we can start promoting them in other areas of your life. What does your free time look like? What does your sense of contribution look like?
[00:21:21] Alvin: What do you wanna achieve with your family and so on and so forth? We prompt, I would prompt business owners with this to get them to start thinking about all of that. So once we’ve got. Some sort of vision, and it doesn’t need to be perfect either. I think our vision can constantly change and adapt to where we are, but just getting that small win of getting it done and then working backward to try and implement that in our business.
[00:21:44] Alvin: And then one of the key things that need to happen so we can get from our vision to then working on the business is really to start. Looking at how you fit in relation to your business and really starting to work towards [00:22:00] delegating, all the things that you do or most of the things that you do.
[00:22:03] Alvin: And, step one would be just to do a process dump of all the things that you were doing. And we do that for a week. And we just write down all the tasks that we’re doing. So we really get an understanding of what we are doing ourselves. And then looking at that list and going, okay, what excites us or what really?
[00:22:20] Alvin: I what’s a chore to do what don’t I want to do and categorizing like that. And then it’s just a matter of looking, okay. Who else can I get within the business to help me with this? Or if we need to go outside, but we go down that road.
[00:22:33] Ryan: So I gotta ask the question, knowing I’m a small business owner been there, in that slot, how much resistance do you get from.
[00:22:42] Ryan: Business owner in that initial space where you’re putting all these steps down the vision, but then you’re now talking about all the things that you’re gonna do and delegation that’s huge. That’s a that’s big, that’s like a four-letter word in small business ownership.
[00:22:57] Alvin: Correct. It, there is a lot of [00:23:00] resistance and wow.
[00:23:02] Alvin: Why is that? So I think it’s that mentality when you are typically a small business owner and there’s nothing wrong because you’re typical, Michael Gerba says this really well, I think, and he says, you’re a technician and really well your craft. In my case, it was a pharmacist I’m really.
[00:23:17] Alvin: Dealing with patients and diagnosis, et cetera, but you’re a technician. And then when you transition to being a business owner you want to be a technician as well. And I think. That’s the key thing that kind of stumbles business owners, they just really don’t wanna let go because they think they are the best person for the job.
[00:23:36] Alvin: But when you work backward and you start to have a vision in your mind like there is more to my life than this business. There are all these other things. It makes it a little bit easier, but yeah, man, it’s really hard.
[00:23:50] Ryan: yeah. I know. It’s one of those, it’s one of those things, I can relate, but then I can’t relate because in my prior life, in working in corporate America, I managed [00:24:00] 1200, 1500, people in a call center.
[00:24:03] Ryan: There’s no way I can do everything. I literally, at times had to ask permission to go to the restroom because I was in meetings all day. Yeah. And it’s just no way you have to become a good delegator. But the thing that I learned in that process, one thing that corporate America taught me was to be a person that follows.
[00:24:20] Ryan: If you do delegate, you have to be able to work on the back. End of it also, and make sure that if you delegate that task to somebody and you give them a deadline, you follow up on it and make sure it gets done otherwise it’s just gonna fall through the cracks, and then you’re gonna want to pick it back up and do it.
[00:24:36] Alvin: Yeah, absolutely. Follow-through is really important. And I think from a small business owner sense, excuse me. We wanna make sure that when we are delegating, we have as a small business owners, we have standard operating procedures. We’ve really gotta take the time to say if we want this done, this is how I want you to do it.
[00:24:54] Alvin: Really take the time to articulate it, put it in steps. And then you hand it over to that person, but certainly [00:25:00] yes, there needs to be follow-through as well initially. Just to make sure that they’re doing it the way you want ’em to.
[00:25:05] Ryan: How many of your clients and I’m, not just generalities, do they actually have SOPs and actually have a business?
[00:25:12] Ryan: I call ’em business steps, business rules. Yes. In place when you come to work with them.
[00:25:17] Alvin: Yeah. I think a few do and not a lot. So a few of them do, and if they do it’s all over the place. So there might be a little bit on Google drive one in the folder over there, another one on the wall, in the staff room, or out the back
[00:25:31] Alvin: So I think as business owners we realized while we were in it oh, it’d be really good. If, I showed Mary how to do that. Let me just quickly write down something for her. So I, okay. We do that and we might follow it away or stick it up somewhere and then we’ll probably leave it like that.
[00:25:45] Alvin: Until another situation comes up where you have to put up another fire. It’s oh my God. Okay, I can show Ryan how to do this. Let me write that. So I think that’s a typical thing that happens. And it’s really just typical because we’re so we’re, so in the business that [00:26:00] we don’t take a step back to see how we can make it really smooth from the
[00:26:03] Ryan: top. I’m guessing they do not have job descriptions very often either. Oh
[00:26:09] Alvin: yeah. They, a lot of business owners, small business owners. Anyway, they, yeah, they don’t see the need for job descriptions. It’s really it’s frustrating. But once, once I can show them the reasons why, having a good job description just takes accountability, gives accountability a be pardon?
[00:26:26] Alvin: To the person that’s got that role and a really good job description also will help you clarify that role yourself as a business owner, but also makes it really easy when you go to hire because you’re super clear on who you want and you can present it to the potential candidate like, Hey, this is what you need to do.
[00:26:41] Alvin: So there’s, there’s no gray area, there’s a long while before you get there, like
[00:26:46] Ryan: oh yeah. But that’s that those are struggles all over the place. And I agree with you 100%. Those are all things that need to be done. Otherwise, I call it a hodgepodge and believe me, I’ve done that.
[00:26:59] Ryan: I’ve had [00:27:00] two failed businesses and I’ve learned from those failed businesses. The third that I’m in now, we’re doing, I can’t complain. We’re doing pretty well. But are there things that I can do better as a business owner? Yes. Believe me. I’m not afraid to delegate by no means whatsoever.
[00:27:14] Ryan: My challenge is there are only so many things I can do on a daily basis. And I know that I have to delegate those things. And like you said, you always should be hiring. I struggle. And this is just me putting it out there. I like to have somebody physically working with me and we’ve become a.
[00:27:32] Ryan: Society, not the society we’ve become in the business world right now. Everything is remote. I’ve learned over the years. I have two virtual assistants that have worked. One’s worked for me for almost four and a half years. The other one worked for me for two years. And now I have a project manager that I brought on, and working through that.
[00:27:50] Ryan: And it’s a struggle for me because I don’t physically get to see them like you and I am on video and I’m talking, but when they’re physically here, it’s just a whole different aspect. [00:28:00] And I know retail customers and your clients don’t have a lot of that. Have you had any experience with that in, in working through other small business owners and how to overcome some?
[00:28:10] Alvin: Yes, absolutely. This is a common theme that comes up and yeah it’s a, it certainly is a mindset shift because quite often we’ve just really gotta look at the reality of the situation. And, a lot of business these days involves a little bit of technology and a lot of sorts.
[00:28:29] Alvin: No, there’s a lot of rote mundane work, which you can successfully get an assistant to help you with. And once yes, once we do this time management, this daily time audit, which I do with business owners, and once we start to take off a few of the tasks, we realized that we can give it to a virtual assistant.
[00:28:47] Alvin: Once you start going down that path, I see the momentum, the lights start to, to turn on for the business. And I was like, wow, I can really do this. And it usually snowballs from there. They slowly open up to it, but it takes time. [00:29:00]
[00:29:00] Ryan: Yeah. It takes a lot of time. So if I’m a small business owner and I need.
[00:29:07] Ryan: What would you say? The top three things that I should do if I need help?
[00:29:10] Alvin: In, in what, anything in your business
[00:29:13] Ryan: in general, I’m just, I’m struggling with my business. I’m not where I’m at. Okay. Totally here. I’ll give you, I’ll give you, I’ll give you very specifically. I’m a retail small business owner.
[00:29:22] Ryan: I’m I know you’ve already not, you’ve already answered this, but I need more staff to, to grow. I have a business, but I can’t keep up with it. And the fourth thing is I’m living in, or the third thing is I’m living in the business seven days a week.
[00:29:36] Alvin: Yeah. Wow. Okay. That’s a very common situation. It happens a lot, unfortunately.
[00:29:40] Alvin: So the first thing we would do is I would encourage the business owner to start having some way of looking at the visibility of the numbers in their business. So basically it’s just small. Time each week, a small amount of time each week, just to start to track and [00:30:00] measure a few key things in your business.
[00:30:02] Alvin: And the first thing is cash flow because by understanding the flow of cash through your business it just it’s like wearing x-ray goggles. It really starts to open, open things up for you as a business owner, and really it can allow you to plan for the future as well. So I think having visibility of the numbers in your business is really important.
[00:30:20] Alvin: The second part is we touched on always hiring and always at least starting that process of, and before you’re always starting to hire, you need to take a step back and of course have an organizational chart for your business. Understand who slots, where, and also ensure that you have position descriptions for these individual positions.
[00:30:41] Alvin: I think that’s a key step that needs to happen. And then you can always be hiring as we spoke about before. The third part which you mentioned as a business owner to take a step back. I think I’ll reiterate again, is to have some sort of vision for your life, but to do that time order to really start to in a whole week, write down [00:31:00] everything that you’re doing, and then having a look at that and deciding what’s draining you, what’s taking up too much time.
[00:31:05] Alvin: What would you rather not be doing and start to delegate from there? So there would be some of the key strategies that I would be employing.
[00:31:13] Ryan: I gotta go back to 0.1, cuz it’s probably the biggest thing that I take away from this. You’re telling me that a lot of the clients and I, and you don’t have to say it.
[00:31:23] Ryan: I’m just, I’m being open and honest. Don’t understand their numbers or know their numbers as in their operating their P and L they don’t, they’re not looking at these on a daily basis, monthly basis.
[00:31:34] Alvin: Unfortunately not. And why is that? I’m not really sure why
[00:31:40] Ryan: hear this. I wanna hear this, but also encouragement too because it’s one of the things I look at almost a daily basis.
[00:31:46] Ryan: I, I need to know what’s going on. Yes.
[00:31:49] Alvin: Yes. I agree. We need to be looking at it. If not daily, at least weekly. I recommend weekly in the beginning. That’s just how I work with my clients. Why I think as a business
[00:32:00] owner a small business owner, anyway, we tend to. One be putting out all the fires in our business.
[00:32:05] Alvin: So we really don’t take enough time, cuz we’re too busy. Distracted. The second thing is I think we are overcomplicated as business owners. You don’t really need to look at it unless you’re interested in it, the full level of P and L reports that your account or your bookkeeper gives you. But you can just need to start to look at some key metrics in your business and some, just some key numbers.
[00:32:23] Alvin: So I think we overcomplicate. . And so what I think one of my skills that I’m really good at is to simplify the process and there’s just a couple of key things as a business owner. I think we should be keeping an eye on the cash. As I mentioned in our business. We should be keeping an eye on it.
[00:32:38] Alvin: If we’re a retail shop or any other, smaller business, we should be keeping an eye on our wages on how much we’re paying our staff, just to make sure that’s not going out of proportion. Clearly, we need to keep an eye on our expenses, but one of the missing pieces that I think we should be constantly looking at is our margins in our business.
[00:32:55] Alvin: And also our average sale per client or average customer sale, or some sort of [00:33:00] metric how that applies in your business. Just a handful of things that we keep an eye on just to not overcomplicate. But I think these are the things that will allow us as a business owners initially, to start to understand the dials in our business and start to drive the dials so we can really drive our business forward.
[00:33:19] Ryan: Those are all huge. That’s, those are all big pieces. I don’t know how else to say that. Then, if you don’t have those pieces together, I don’t know how you can be successful in business whatsoever. And I’m not trying to be Debbie Downer, but those, that’s what, that’s how you pay your bills.
[00:33:34] Ryan: That’s how you make money. That’s how you’re able to step back from the business and let the business grow. And if you’re not knee-deep in those items, whew. That’s,
[00:33:43] Alvin: that’s hard. That’s and that’s where problems start. This is why, when most business owners come to me, there’s some issue like that.
[00:33:50] Alvin: And that’s where we start. You gotta start with a snapshot, get an understanding. The real basics and the fundamentals and the things that we’ve just spoken about. They’re not [00:34:00] specific for retail ES this is the fundamentals of all business, right? Yes. Cash flow, KPIs, profit margins wages, percentages, all that kind of thing.
[00:34:08] Alvin: So this is just basic business. And I think we, as I mentioned before, as business owners, we overcomplicate it. We’re too busy putting out fires. And, really, quite often we just need someone to not really bounce ideas off, but someone to be accountable too, which is why I think, most times it’s a good idea to have a coach or a mentor or someone like that.
[00:34:28] Alvin: They can really just give you that little tap on the bottom to say, Hey, come on.
[00:34:32] Ryan: You can do it yes. In a coach mentor. However, if you wanna describe him or her is not a four-letter word in small business. Yes. So I’ll say it again. It’s okay to get help. Because we all wanna succeed and sometimes yes, we do have to reach out and get help.
[00:34:48] Ryan: That’s not the end of the world, at least in my book. It’s not.
[00:34:50] Alvin: Yes, no, it’s definitely not the end of the world. And hopefully, more and more people are realizing this. That they do need help and you’re right. It is okay to get help.
[00:34:58] Ryan: It is [00:35:00] Alvin. It has been great having you on. It’s been a great conversation before we go.
[00:35:04] Ryan: How can everybody get ahold of you? I know you can do remote coaching and so forth, so I’m sure you’re gonna wanna talk to some people in the states if you haven’t already. And I’d love to be able to connect our listeners to you. So how could they get ahold?
[00:35:17] Alvin: That’s fantastic. Thank you, Ryan. Yeah, so yes I coach really all over the world.
[00:35:21] Alvin: And so the best way to do that is to get in touch with new via Facebook. Look me up Alvin NA send me a message. Tell me that you heard me on here with Ryan. We can just start a conversation from there. Nice and easy.
[00:35:33] Ryan: Awesome. And I’ll also link that in the show notes. So when the episode does come out, everyone can get ahold of you.
[00:35:39] Ryan: I thank you for coming on. It’s been a healthy, happy, great conversation, but also opened up some ideas and some thought processes. I hope this will stimulate the listeners to say, it’s okay to have a business coach mentor. It’s not a four-letter word.
[00:35:54] Alvin: That’s right. Thank you so much, Ryan. I really appreciate it.
[00:35:57] Alvin: Awesome.
[00:35:58] Ryan: Tha thank you.[00:36:00]