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Episode 135 – Expanding Your Business with Lee McQueen


Expanding your business is the next best thing for your business but most of the time, it could be challenging. For this episode, we go back in time as we listen to Adam Stott’s Big Business Show on YouTube where he featured the Apprentice winner, Lee McQueen. Listen in as Adam Stott and Lee McQueen Talks about expanding your business and business decisions in football!

Show Highlights:

  • How maximizing what you currently have can play a role in your expansion
  • Hiring your most trusted people
  • How Adam Stott used effective communication to gain staff retention
  • Giving your employees monthly incentives can increase your employees satisfaction

Links Mentioned:

Big Business Events Members Network
Check out Lee McQueen on Facebook or check out his website

Transcript:

Please note this is a verbatim transcription from the original audio and therefore may include some minor grammatical errors.

Adam Stott:

I’m really excited because I’m with Lee today, Lee McQueen. Winner of The Apprentice, owner of the Royal Talent Academy. He’s going to be answering some of the business questions with me today. The business questions that you’ve written in about are fantastic and Lee doesn’t know it yet. 

Lee McQueen:

I’m actually really excited to be involved. It’s really good, good.

Adam Stott:

He’s going to be off the cuff so Jamie is going to start off behind the camera. One of these days, we’ll get him in front of the camera but right now, we’ll keep him off camera for the moment but Jamie is going to ask the first question. That one’s going to be, you’ll direct that to Lee first? Yeah, yeah, ok.

Lee McQueen:

I’m getting a bit nervous now. I’m getting a bit nervous. I’m like where will we go? What we got?

Adam Stott:

Fire away.

Jamie:

Rachel [0:45] from [0:47] which is a tea rooms wants to know how do you know when to expand your business?

Lee McQueen:

This is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make when you’re a small business owner looking to expand. I think it’s about making sure that you’ve maximized everything you currently have in terms of if it’s office spare or in your tea room itself if you’re getting bigger premises. Those are types of things, the expansion, it turns out that staff, it’s inevitable when you’re getting bigger shop or bigger expansion that you’re going to have to look at the staff. One of the things that I did was I hired people, or the first guy that I hired is still with me 5 years on.

Adam Stott: 

He’s a really good guy.

Lee McQueen:

Yeah. He’s marked in operations manager. One of the things I did was I hired people I trust because that’s the biggest thing I found as a small business owner starting up my business that I wanted somebody in my company that would be able to do the things that I need to do once I wasn’t there. For me, that was the most, I suppose, worrying thing. You’re going to hire somebody that actually when you’re out of the room or at the business, they’re not going to be doing what they’re meant to be doing.

Adam Stott:

A question back to Rachel would almost be have you got those people around you? To be honest.

Lee McQueen:

Exactly. That’s a really good point so, Rachel, for me, my advice would be to look, as I’ve just said, around you. Just see if you’ve got people who could actually come in and help out, start moving in that direction. Maybe it’s a family member or a family friend, something like that, that you know they’re not going to let you down and that’s probably a good way to start. In terms of actually deciding when you start hiring staff, your turnover, your business profitability will actually start to tell you that yourself, in my opinion. When you realize that you actually can’t physically take on anymore work and unless you have people, that’s probably the best time to do it.

Adam Stott:

I think it comes when Lee talks about expansion, is that it’s expansion of people, is that expansion of new premises and at the end of the day, you’re overrun with clients and you’re busy all the time then it’s natural. You got to expand but you got to deliver a great customer service to make sure those people keep coming back. In fact, if you don’t expand, don’t deliver that same level of service and stuff like that, sounds like a great answer to the question so thank you for that question, Rachel. Look at your staff, number one. Look at your premises, look at the amount of client coming through the door so fantastic answer there, thank you, Rachel.

Lee McQueen:

We now got another question. Have we got question number 2? I think this is going to be directed to you, I think. Question 2 is over to Adam.

Adam Stott:

Come on, challenge me! Let’s go!

Jamie:

We’ve got Cam who owns an automotive business in the Midlands. They do servicing and repairs.

Adam Stott:

Right, automotive questions, that’s good.

Jamie:

There is high turnover of staff when it comes to industry when it comes to technicians. How can they buck the trend and keep their staff motivated and how can they just retain their staff?

Adam Stott:

Ok, staff retention. Lots of things you can do for staff retention but I would encourage communication. One of the things I do within my business is we have an all-staff meeting every week and all of us our staff members come together. We discuss the issues in the business and you know what, the people who like all-staff meeting in my business the most are the mechanics because most of the time, they’re stuck in the garage, not getting the attention they deserve and not being able to actually be involved in the everyday running of the business so when we get at the meeting, the all-staff meeting, they’re the people who actually probably enjoy that the most and we’ll communicate different things, different messages. The other thing we do is we do monthly trophies so we have those kind of incentives where we give them an amount. Yeah, exactly and quite often, the mechanics, we have a people’s champion so the people vote for who their favorite employee is and often, they will vote for the technician because they’re helping the sales people out or their helping the sales managers out so things you can do for staff retention: look at trophy kind of incentive, you can look at other incentives as well. You can put some money behind it. it’s never a bad thing giving that. Make sure you communicate, maybe you all need an all-staff meeting to keep the culture right within the business. I’ll say look at the way you’re treating them. Make sure that they are valued. If you are the owner of the business, do you go and talk to them individually so you acknowledge them? Do you have a staff fun day? Do you have days where you let staff go on holiday?

Lee McQueen:

That’s what I was going to say on the back of that. That communication comes massively important. That you got to sometimes, you got to put your arm around them, put your arm on their shoulder, talk to them are they feeling valued? In my business, Royal Talent is a recruitment business as you guys well know. We put surveys out and majority of the people that will come back when we ask them the question is are you valued in your organization? Because I feel part of your organization. I feel part of that team. It’s all the things that you talk about there that is really bringing the business together. The Leicester city just won the Premier League and they’ve won it because not maybe they didn’t have a superstar on their side, not because they have hundreds of millions of pounds to spend but they were a really close-knit team and you can see that.

Adam Stott:

They got a great culture over there and the fight on occasion might have been part of that.

Lee McQueen:

Yeah, brings everybody together, go through the bad times.

Adam Stott:

And then they kept the culture and moved it onwards. What is fantastic is I think our next question is a football question but it’s business and football guys so certainly relevant. I’m sure we’ll certainly enjoy so myself and Lee are Tottenham fans.

Lee McQueen:

Come on, you Spurs!

Adam Stott:

Come on, you Spurs! Everyone’s switching off. They’re not getting there. The question, I believe, is about Arsenal so could you read the question out to us, Jamie.

Jamie:

James Robinson, who is a football coach, wants to know, from a business point of view, would you sack Wenger or not? 

Lee McQueen:

Interesting question. We’re looking, James, from a business point of view rather than from a pure football perspective so if you look at it from a football perspective, you’re kind of going should Wenger stay? We’re not winning trophies for several, but from a business point of view, I’d keep him. Certainly, as a Tottenham fan, I’ve got to keep him as well because we might finish above them as well but also, from a business point of view, I would definitely keep Arsène Wenger.

Adam Stott:

It’s interesting you say that because I’m speaking to my Pa the other day, who’s a Tottenham fan, and he said keep him, keep him!

Lee McQueen:

Exactly! For me, if you think of what, it depends of what your business goals are. If you’re looking at it from a business point of view, if Arsenal’s board and actually sat out and said you know what? This might be fans don’t like but the board is set out and they say look, we want to finish in Top 4 every single year. We’re going to make sure we get £30 or 40 million of revenue from the champions league and standing there and pushing some trophies and cups or whatever. If that’s what their business goal is and that’s what they want to achieve, then Arsène Wenger is doing a phenomenal job, isn’t he? Why would you want to get rid of him?

Adam Stott:

But you would hope they probably want to keep their fans in the moment. Lots of their fans are getting switched off, aren’t they and that’s the football universe in the business perspective. I’ll pivot an alternative answer or another answer as well. I would sack him. Wenger gone and the reason I would sack him is because when I’m running my business, I want my leaders to have ambition and I want them to strive higher. When I see him commentating and when I’ve watched him after the games, he’s happy with mediocre results and the reality is, even if the instructions in the board above say I want to finish in the top 4, where’s his personal pride? I want to win the title and I think at the end of the day, he’s not a strong enough leader anymore for me and back in the day, he was amazing! You can’t knock it when you had Vieira. He used to know how to set the team. Vieira knows football but he used to set the team up. He used to get those big guys. He got Vieira, Campbell that was kind of fighters in his team. Doesn’t have them anymore.

Lee McQueen:

Isn’t that the board, isn’t that the club’s ambition? You have to imagine is that he’s ambitious but the reality is that Arsène Wenger is so imbedded into the organization as a football club and is into that kind of business of football club, if you like, if that’s what his ambition is then he is actually realizing it. He’s doing the job he’s supposed to be doing. I think the point you make about fans is a massive one because when the fans start getting switched off, that’s where they got the problem because ultimately, the club should look on at the fans.

Adam Stott:

Let’s look at a couple of managers. Look at a couple of managers. Mariño, if he got told to finish in the Top 4, would he be aiming at 1st or would he be aiming at the Top 4? He would be aiming for the 1st . You have been clocked if you got told Top 4, he’s be aiming for 1st. Alex Ferguson, he’s told in the Top 4, he’d give you an F off in Scottish, probably.  

Lee McQueen:

It’s not about finishing above awesome. It’s about winning trophies but let’s put some caution to that win as well. He’s been in charge for, I don’t know, 19 years, 20 years or something like that. Look at what’s happened to Manchester United. Top 3 powerhouse in World Football and since they lost Alex Ferguson, look what they’ve done.

Adam Stott:

Do you want to be fearsome fans that scared the guy downhill or do you want to make the change? Business is about hard decisions. This is a hard decision. This is the best example of a difficult decision because he’s got stability and he’s got it all there and I’ve got the risk and reward and I’ll take it and I’ll do it. I’ll make that hard decision and I would do it and it could go wrong but it could go right and it could change the deal so I say sack him. Lee?

Lee McQueen:

I say keep him! I keep the Spurs perspective as well.

Adam Stott:

From a Spurs’ perspective, keep him all day long!

Lee McQueen:

James, from a business perspective, like you say, it is a very difficult one but if it’s the board’s ambition to do what they’re doing then the guy’s ticking all the boxes so from the board’s perspective, why would you? I think the alternative is the only way that Arsène Wenger’s going to leave is if he retires or if he quits. He’s never going to get sacked, in my opinion because he’s too much involved. Good question, Jamie!

Adam Stott:

James, fantastic question! Any other questions, that’s on the point. Me and Lee actually had a great time answering your questions today and we’d love more questions so anybody out there that wants to get their business profiled or showcased, write in, ask us a question, we’re more than happy to answer them. We really love to do that so thank you!

Lee McQueen:

Thanks very much!

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