Darren Lawes

 Episode 1 of the Darren Lawes Podcast…

EP1: How to Generate Business Results!

In the coming episodes we are going to dig down into how to generate Business Results.

  • Improve performance
  • Reduce problems
  • Set up for long term success

In this first episode we set the stage, who am I? why should you care? and what to expect going forward.

As I mention in the episode I mainly work with Engineering and Manufacturing Businesses over £1m in revenue.

But Make no mistake this absolutely works for any business, it’s business 101 fundamentals.

It’s what the worlds biggest companies do to generate results consistently.

Only distilled into what works for smaller businesses – without the fluff, you don’t have time for.

What this podcast is not about…

Latest fly-by-night gimmicks!

    • Double your business instantly

    • How to put a million pounds in your pocket by 3 o’clock next Tuesday

    • How to use AI sack all your staff and work on the beach

This is less sexy but works every time in every business.

We will get into how you could double your business in an afternoon – by thinking bigger and looking at acquisitions as a strategy.

We will also discuss using AI to save time or brainstorm, this technology is coming and you need to stat thinking about it, testing it and getting ready – because your competitors will be soon.

We will also get into ‘financial engineering’ making the numbers work in your favour to have more money in the business.

These are some additional tricks I’ve picked up over the years by being open to learning something new, by operating small businesses. 

But at the same time I’ve banged my head on a lot of nonsense!

The good news is you don’t have to!

Lets get into it…


Highlights from This Episode:

Full transcript further down the page if you want to go word by word!

How I Help Businesses

    • Reverse Engineering Success: I start by reverse engineering what a successful and scalable business looks like and uncovering the hurdles that might be hindering growth.

    • Identifying Challenges: Every business faces challenges, be it in marketing, sales, production, or finance. We work to identify these issues.

    • Optimising Processes: After identifying current hurdles, we optimise the business by implementing effective systems and processes aimed at achieving desired results.

Achieving Efficiency and Scalability

By executing the above strategies, we equip the business owner with:

    • A Business Blueprint: This is a comprehensive guide on how to run the business, covering everything from lead generation to customer follow-up.

    • Operational Efficiency: We transform the business into one that is efficient, easier to manage, and free from daily operational drama, often the trap where many owners find themselves stuck.

Overcoming Business Owner Challenges

Many business owners find themselves overwhelmed with daily tasks and decision-making, which can stifle business growth. I address this issue by:

    • Implementing Governance Systems and Procedures: By applying simple Governance Systems adn Pocedures, we allow the business to operate more autonomously, giving the business owner the freedom to oversee rather than being involved in every detail.

Business Blueprint and Growth

The business blueprint we create covers:

    • Comprehensive Strategy: From generating leads to making decisions and training staff.

    • Customer and Product Management: How you interact with customers and handle your products.

    • Long-term Planning: This blueprint not only helps in immediate improvement but also sets the stage for future growth and scaling.

Hidden Opportunities and Autopilot Operations

This process helps uncover hidden opportunities within the business and provides:

    • A Roadmap for Growth: Offering a clear plan for the next three to five years.

    • Autopilot Operations: Enabling the business to run independently while focusing on scalability and exit strategies, if applicable.

Next Steps

If you’re interested in learning more about how I can help your business or just want to gain valuable business insights, please drop me an email at darren@darrenlaws.com

I am looking to work with a select few on a close basis, but through this podcast, I aim to reach and help a broader audience.

If you want to revolutionsise your business join the Business Optimisers Newsletter, this is my weekly newsletter with more tips, insider content (not shared anywhere else) and more help to optimise your business (and it’s free). 

Join Here

In future episodes, I’ll dive deeper into everything I do to reverse-engineer business success so that you can apply these strategies in your business. Whether you’re directly in engineering and manufacturing or in a different field, the principles we discuss are applicable across all industries.

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Original Transcript.

Hey everybody, this is Darren Lawes and this is the Darren Lawes podcast.

This is the first episode and what I want to do in this episode is to go over a little bit about who I am,
What I do,
How I’ve got here,
Why you might want to listen to me

and

How that might help your business.

I help engineering and manufacturing businesses over a million pounds in revenue to grow their companies and scale to enable an exit if they want one.

Now I do this by reverse engineering what a successful and scalable business looks like, uncovering the hurdles that are holding back that growth.

Every business has these hurdles, whether it’s the processes for marketing or sales or manufacturing the product or how the finances are handled.

There’s always opportunity to uncover  problems. Remove the problems and optimize processes further.

Once we’ve identified what the current hurdles are and we’ve mapped the business out, we then optimize the business by implementing the systems and processes to generate the results that we’re going to be looking for.

This leaves the business owner with a business blueprint

Also with a business that is…

    • wildly efficient,

    • much easier to run,

…and enables them to get out of the day to day drama of running the business,

which is often where a business owner gets stuck.

This is also What is holding the business back,

This problem of the business owner being stuck in solving all the problems, being the point of contact for everything.

We build these businesses around ourselves and it’s very difficult sometimes to get ourselves out of that.

So that’s kind of what I help a business owner to do.

And I do this by implementing the structures that the multinational would have in place, we can reverse engineer what success looks like, and then implement this into any business.

It then allows the business to run on autopilot and gives the business owner that headspace back the freedom and the ability to then look at the overview of the business and…

Focus on the business rather than working in the business.

So as I’ve said, part of this process also creates a business blueprint.

This, this is the blueprint on how to run the business and it covers everything in the business from how you – generate your leads to how you turn them into customers,

    • how you recruit your staff,

    • how you make decisions in the business,

    • how you train your staff,

    • how you deliver the result that you deliver.

    • How you keep in touch with your prospects and customers,

    • how you manufacture your products
      and

    • how you follow up with your customers

      and everything else.

      It covers way more than this, but this gives you a, a snippet of what we’re going to do and how we, how we can implement all of this stuff into your business to optimise it.

    • extract you,

    • generate more growth,

    • set the business up to scale,

Then move forward from there.
This whole process then helps to uncover the hidden opportunities that are lurking in the business and gives you a roadmap to materialise those hidden opportunities.

It also enables the business to run on autopilot and gives you, the owner, the

The Plan for the next three to five years of growth.

This leads to a business that is much easier to run and scale and exit for a way better price and in a faster timeframe than usual.

So if you want to find out more about, about this process and how I can work with you, then just drop me an email at darren@darrenlawes.com

But here’s the thing…

I can only work with a few people at a time and to enable me to help more businesses, and because I’m only looking for a select few that I can work with closely, I’ve created this podcast, which enables me to get out to a bigger audience and help more people.

This enables me to do more of what I believe I was born to do, solve problems and optimise processes

In future episodes, I’m going to dig into everything that I do in a business to reverse engineer that success, so you can implement the same into your business and optimize your business.

So look, I work with engineering and manufacturing businesses, and if you’re not an engineering and manufacturing business, right, Now you might be thinking,

Is this going to work for me?

Is it applicable to my business?

And I can tell you, it absolutely is. It’s applicable to every business, whether you are a

    • manufacturing business,

    • service related business,

    • e commerce business,

    • software as a service business,

This is business fundamentals and it works in every business, it just needs to be implemented, thought about and structured correctly.

The structure, the process and everything that we’re talking about, it’s

How you set up guaranteed results

It’s how the biggest companies in the world do this time and time again, and as regular as clockwork.

It absolutely works in any business that you have.

Before we get into too much about that, let’s, let’s just dig into a little bit about me because it’s relevant to you and how I got here and why I’m here, why you might want to listen to me.

Look,  I’m, I’m a natural entrepreneur. I’ve always been interested in business. When I left school, I started to go down the classic entrepreneurial route.

I had a business, a local gardening business. We were, going door to door and selling gardening services.

I grew that business, took on a bit more work than I could handle on my own.

Then started getting a friend to come in and work with me and really for that point in time.

I had just left school I was earning decent money but at that time I didn’t have the confidence in my own abilities in knowing the path that I needed to travel.

I caved into that noise that I needed to go and get a job  I didn’t have that confidence to say…

Screw you I’m going down a different path.

Now, a few years later, I did go get to go out on my own and I built a large property portfolio, the job route led me to engineering and manufacturing and working with big corporates. And it led me to skirt in both sides of the business owner entrepreneur pathway, and it’s led me to learning a lot of the fundamentals that underpin everything that I’ve done since.

So it possibly was valuable, but definitely one of my biggest regrets, is not seeing how far I could have pushed that business because I certainly had the ambition and the ability and I would have, with a bit of coaching with the right people around me, I would have been able to grow that to significantly.

We have to find our own paths. Sometimes it takes us a while to, to learn the route that we should be on and develop that confidence in ourselves and the headstrong attitude to just keep pushing forward and prove everybody wrong. I certainly didn’t have that when I was younger. The route that I went down initially, it gave me that corporate structure.

It trained me as an engineer working in manufacturing businesses.
It trained me in focused improvement and lean manufacturing and the processes and systems I learned in the corporates.

I then applied into my first successful business and I was able to see the synergies between a small business and a corporate what worked and what didn’t.

I applied this in my first successful business and this enabled me to build a large property portfolio and effectively retire before I was 30.

As I said, it underpins so much of what I do now to generate results consistently in smaller manufacturing engineering businesses and other businesses as well.

One of the things I currently do is work with multinational manufacturing corporations. They hire me to generate results because of my skill set and because of my experience, the systems, the processes, the improvement process.

One of the things working with the huge corporations has enabled me to do is see what works and what doesn’t. 

These corporations will spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on consultants, sometimes millions,  and I’ve been able to sit on the shoulder of these guys, see what works and what doesn’t, and then boil it down into its core, remove all the fluff and nonsense, and deploy it into small businesses, most of which I’ve started myself, and mainly because as I’ve said, I’m an entrepreneur,  I have to be running my own thing  on a certain level at all times.

But I also like to see what works. What is applicable from a multinational corporation? What can be taken from their  huge Processes and structure, what can be implemented and what works to move the needle of small business. That’s kind of where, that’s where my passion is. The small businesses is absolutely the  bedrock of the economy.

There’s so many small businesses that don’t have the opportunity to learn all of this kind of structure, how to systemize their businesses, how to make them more efficient, how to grow them. Small businesses employ so many people that we have a obligation to help these businesses survive and to thrive and  keep delivering for the future.

Local community, a small local business, you know, the money in them businesses goes directly into the local community. It doesn’t go back to a different country and a corporate head office.

It’s spent where the company sells its product and we really should do more to, to encourage more business to enable them to, to survive and thrive.

So that’s kind of  absolutely one of the passion areas of what I do and why I’m doing this  podcast, one of the examples of, of what works in small businesses and what, what doesn’t and things like that.

One of them is, Lean Six Sigma. Now this is the kind of standard for business improvement in the corporate world.

Now I’ve done black belt training, this is the sort of highest level of, of. Of Lean Six Sigma. Six Sigma, it’s quite complicated and I would say that  possibly the most of it isn’t that relevant and applicable to a smaller business. f

It works if you are a multinational manufacturer.

If you are a Honda, or a Battery manufacturer with millions of units being made every year Then this kind of thing  you can implement a lot from it and make a lot of gains, but we’re not talking about those 5 percent of gains that are still left in the company.

We’re talking about the 80/20 Pareto view of the

20 percent of actions to create the 80 percent of results.

Taking a business quickly from where it is now to, a sizable  leap forward by implementing, by harvesting that low hanging fruit.

I’ve used this time and time again to generate results in in Multitude of businesses.

A few years ago. I was helping to set up the engineering team of a brand new factory, this was a Over £200 million pound build of the factory.

It was a big factory. A lot of money had gone into it. A lot of thought had gone into it. And we were designing the engineering function of that manufacturing company.

So if we’re developing something from the ground up, there’s kind of two ways of doing it.

You’ve either got a blank piece of paper or you’ve already got a process in place and you’re trying to improve that.

This, this time, I had the benefit of having a blank piece of paper.

I could do what I wanted.

I also had the experience of having worked in several engineering companies, engineering workshops in manufacturing.

The approach that I took with this was trying to iron out some of them frustrations, some of the waste that I see in most processes and most engineering workshops and teams.

What we want to do in a lot of our processes is reduce waste, reduce rework and , waste of time.

If we’re searching for things like tools, if you’re an engineer, you need access to tools.

If you’re spending time searching for that tool, that’s time that you’re not spending on another task or fixing the machine or the job that you’re meant to be doing.

It’s wasted time, wasted effort.

We want to remove that as much as possible.

What I like to do. Is just to sit and think… 

“In this scenario, in this process, what would great look like”

if you’re building a team following this process can really help you set up for success, think about the team, think about how they’re going to be doing their job, where are they going to be doing their job?

How can you make that job easier for them?.

This is, this is one of the things that you can get to spend your time doing if you optimise the business and get out of the day to day running.

So often, as we said, the business owner is everything around the business and they’re flying around all over the place, spinning plates and solving problems.

This means there’s not a lot of thought that goes into building these processes and  processes build themselves, but this isn’t  a route to guaranteed results.

It’s a little bit hit and miss. So spending some time on this is going to yield us results. 

So if we sit and think what would great look like. 

What does the team look like?

How and where are they going to be doing their work?

How can we make their job easier? 

Can we make it faster, more efficient, and allow them to get more work done in the same amount of time? 

In this example of the engineering workshop, we put shadow boards up around the walls of the bench where they were going to be doing a lot the work.

In this part of the engineering workshop, there was a small work bench and this would be were they would be bringing in valves and pumps and things that they could get off the kit in the factory.

It was a process factory manufacturing sauce as a product.

These the smaller items they’ll be taken back to the workshop overhauling them repairing them doing various works and that would be done on this bench.

Around the bench, we put the shadowboards on the wall, which would allow them to  access the tools that they needed quite easily,  so that the shadowboards had tools all the way around them.

You have a spanner on the wall,  you’re probably aware of a shadowboard, but if you’re not, the whole process is that your items/tools are held on the wall (shadow board).

 

If it’s a spanner or you could put a phone on the wall, you draw a picture around the phone and then you have a different color. 

Manufacturing Shadow Boards

So you take it out and it’s silhouetted or shadowed so you know that something should go in that place.

 

 

 

Ideally, you use it, you put it straight back.  That sometimes takes a bit more management.

So you can easily visually see that something’s missing, then you can go and find that tool.

The principle is that everything has a place – this is a Japanese lean manufcaturing principle.

Everything has to have a place. 

As I’ve mentioned, one of the great wastes is time.

 

Time moving around,

Time looking for items,

Time walking to different locations and then back again.

This adds frustration, it’s unnecessary, and the time just builds up we lose a lot of time that could be spent in other places. 

To remove all of this additional complexity and allow your team to access the tools that they need easily, ideally at arm’s reach,  is going to make their job easier.

 

We want it to also be well lit, so they can see everything. In this example of the engineering workshop, the tools are on the board, everything’s well lit, everything they might need to do the tasks are easilly reachable.

If we think about what tasks they could be doing on that bench, the thought process we had with this one was, 

What work are they going to be doing on this bench?

 

What are the tools, the hand tools or specialist tools that they might need to perform those tasks?

Can we get them on the shadow board so they are within arm’s reach so if you’re doing a job you just reach out grab the next tool you you’re down

You’ve lost very little time in doing that you haven’t had to go and walk and root through a toolbox that’s somewhere and at a different location in the in the workshop it’s all there.

 

In front of you, visually,  easy to see, well lit.

This is the kind of depth of thought that you want to put into creating your processes. All of this makes the job easier. It allows people to get more work done in the same time, it also means they have more energy.

A burnt out, tired workforce that needs to walk more, or needs to put in a lot more steps due to inefficient processes is not a successful one. 

 

If your guys can get to the end of the day with nearly as much energy as they started with, their day will be way more productive.

Now this is just one example, hopefully you can see the benefit of having this approach and thought process and put spending some time on  optimising these these processes.

 

Hopefully it’s also given you some ideas that you can take away to implement straight away into your businesses.

This is what I want this podcast to be.

I want it to be useful, instructional, interactive.

I would love to hear from you guys.

I would love to get some information about your businesses, what you might be struggling with at the moment, some of your problems and see if we can do some live work shopping.

 

That would be fantastic.

Let’s get some results.

If you found this useful, then please like subscribe, share. I’m going to be back in the next episode where I’m going to go deeper into my background in business, some of the successes, some of the failures, some of the, business partners go into prison.

 

It’s been a bit of a wild ride. I’m going to see you next time. So stick around for that one. Cheers. 

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