The Boost Hospitality Podcast is back for another season! We are now in Season 7, and we are currently on the fourteenth episode! Today, I’ve invited James Sinclair to talk about why you should sack yourself from your business.
I’ve invited onto the show James Sinclair, who was one of Britain’s best entrepreneurs. He started at the age of 15, and now he has built an empire, which is huge. If you want to find out more Google James Sinclair, go to Jamessinclair.net. What he wants you to do is go to his YouTube channel, he is on a mission in 2020 to grow that YouTube channel.
Today we’re going to dig into a whole host of issues and topics including why business owners should be taken out of politicians, which is an interesting one seeing that it’s the general election coming up very soon in the UK the time of recording. We’ll also delve into why you should sack yourself from your business. He goes over why he wrote about certain topics in his books as well as many other things. This is one that you should not miss, and although it is not hospitality, related, I think any business owner can get on this and can learn something.
James Sinclair and his book
The full title was called Getting Customers Easier, Faster, and For Less Money Than You Ever Thought Possible. Because in the world of LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and all of them, I think most business owners that don’t understand fundamentals of marketing become very lazy by putting something on Instagram, they post something on any social media platform. The results they’re getting and not the results that they would dream of getting.
So I wanted to write this book to give business owners the fundamental basis of marketing. So if you understand the policy in here, you’ll be able to get a far better response from your posting on the media. So it’s about the method of marketing that I believe to which is market message media. And I believe people have forgotten about their market. They forgot about their message because media is so freely accessible, they’re just posting stuff without any real understanding of marketing. We talk about copywriting how to write the best copy to get people to take action.
Actually, what is a call to action, stuff that we put in, basic business as a whole chapter on basically understanding average customer value, lifetime value, transactional value, why you must market, why Customer service is king and what product first and marketing second is the way to go? Because you have these two extremes, they’ve got people that market well, or these cards that have a great product that doesn’t market, so you got great mouth being terrible product or a great product, terrible marketing.
And it’s all about what should the business owner be doing in their business? You know, from my point of view, the business owner should be the master care of the business, rather than the operator of the business. And if they can get that fundamental shift when you look at someone like Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Stelios, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, they spend a big chunk of their time on the marketing of their businesses and the super success that they have around them Jeff Bezos also, there’s a reason we know those people’s names. They’re great marketers rather than operators of their businesses.
And this book gets you to understand that stuff and how a personal brand is very different to a business brand and why you can build a personal brand now within three years with some effort and not a huge capital costly investment. I think after three years of consistently putting effort into building a personal brand that can turbocharge your marketing, in terms of return on investment to get you comfortable.
And it talks about also like some of the great things out there, especially at what’s going on right now, where we’re heading next Friday, of who’s the new prime minister is going to be when this video comes out, but who knows. Right now we’re looking through the looking glass, and we haven’t got a clue the polls wrapped them down. But there are some great things that business owners can learn from the marketing that politicians do to get votes whether you’re left-wing, right-wing centrist politician stuff that they do like knocking on doors and leaflets through the post getting on the radio, getting PR opportunities, writing articles, but all of that stuff they do to get votes. The business owners focus their mindset about that, you know, I’m running to be MP of my local town.
All of those things that they do, there are very similar things that business owners should be doing to get customers for their business. It’s all in getting customers. With examples of everything that I’ve done. It’s all based on experience that most theory, it’s 160-ish pages. There are some great things about most customers, ideal customers. And it’s really good if you got teams around you. It’s not going to teach you how to do Facebook ads. It’s not going to teach you about the latest phase of organic reach on LinkedIn or anything about TikTok. It’s all about before you get any media, whether it’s radio, TV, film, video, posting on social media, it’s all about the basics. Good stuff with marketing.
What was the biggest lesson that you learned in those first few years of having a business at just 15?
Well, it’s funny I had a couple of months remortgage their house coming to see me yesterday, and they’re building an app, some new sexy thing that pop businesses want to do is build a tech software company and compete with people that have got billions of pounds and think that it’s just easy to build a website and make loads of money. The smart thing that I think I did and got into my head was you don’t build a business that has instant cash flow now will be profitable. But it’s got to from day one had some form of cash flow.
And I think all startup entrepreneurs need to understand that the first business that you do might not be the one that you want to do. But the first thing that you do has got to give you some basis of understanding that you’ve got to bring cash in pay some bills and teach them back to invest into the things that you want to do. I always wanted to try and visitor attraction. It was something else passionate about doing, but I realised at 15 I couldn’t go and open a theme park within the capital to go and do it. So you know, I know where my end in mind is. I want to try a visitor attraction. Let’s start now. By doing magic shows, I’m doing kids parties. I’m going to visitor attraction for being the Entertainer of this to attraction to build up my knowledge base of that industry. I learned how to get cash-in and get comfortable, and I feel that’s what I was pretty good at, you know, being unusual in a very usual world at 15. And you know, I was the youngest kids entertainer on the block, I did wear a bow tie in a bloody waistcoat.
And yet, so I went out and done all those things, and I focused on getting customers and getting some sounds and then the excess that I kept from those sales after running the business, I just invested in the biggest stuff,
And I think I was lucky enough to do that. And I chose a business that had margin in it, i.e., if I build 200 pounds, I could keep close to that 200 pounds whereas, you know, most businesses you build 200 pounds and you’re, you know, you profit the most businesses make it sub 10% and you need some huge turnover to make money, and I didn’t have to do huge turnover to my money.
What is that one bit of advice that you wish that you would receive?
I think people need to understand how much money they want to make to go into their bank account and not keep growing business just like he goes purposes. So if you you know, you think right, I need only to want to make 50 or 100 or 20,000 pounds and live the life that I want to make that I want to have? Do you need to go and open that second business? Could you get another 50,000 in revenue out of the existing business, make that money that you want to make? Most people think that opening a second venue, a second restaurant is just going to double your profits in reality, it can be the other way around because you’re splitting yourself across two. I don’t think having two is a great place to be I think you either have one great restaurant or 20 great restaurants in three or four. It’s just, you know, history tells us that those people usually reverse and go back to having one again because they can’t afford the middle management to go and run it and stuff like that. Now, I thought it would be easy, and it wasn’t. The only reason I got through was I didn’t have a family. I didn’t have a relationship. I didn’t take any money out. I carried on doing gigs that we can to live off of the business could bring, and we nearly lost it two or three times
And if you’re not adequately funded, it’s nearly impossible to get through that growth curve of becoming a multi-chain operator of anything whether it’s a dentist, doctor, shop, restaurant. It’s very difficult because usually, hospitality work because it’s owner-managed and you know even chain restaurants are struggling now you know there are loads and loads of stories, you know, lots of people watching this will know about that. You know where to chain restaurants are struggling.
The great restaurants that we all know the love that around us is usually an owner-manager that passionate about the menu passionate about customer service puts in seven days a week. They work so hard, they created their new days of the week, Monday and on the day, you know, they created time to do stuff that most people won’t do.
This book is all about what you’ve just asked me how you build a business with margin because if you haven’t got margin, then you cannot sustainably reinvest back in the cut back in the business your customer cuddles and the whole chapter in there called Bad Cop McArdle where you know like Apple give you customer cuddles when you go into one of the shops there’s always loads of staff around you don’t ever have to wait to see someone that’s a customer cuddle. But you know this thing is Apple iPhones it you know it cost them 100 quid to make the toilet for 1200 quid there’s 1100 pounds worth of knowledge you need so that you do always have the best shopping experience if there is a problem you can go and speak up on the phone a fantastic you get a Genius Bar appointment, my soul, to one of my EarPods wasn’t working they just gave me a new one. You know, and I thought this is fantastic you know, but you know you paid 250 quid, whatever it is for one of these EarPods things
You know that it’s probably cost them 15 quid tonight that so you know I think that’s fantastic and given me back when you’ve got a low margin business you’re very Profit and Loss protected, so you don’t go and look after customers because you know that if you give them back something you’ve lost your money.
What I just said there is crucial to the answer to the question that I’m about to give you. If you don’t have margin in your business, you are never going to afford to employ other people. Yeah, because you’ll be scared to go well my profits got any more margin so important.
The sheep, the ox and the eagle
When I was younger, and I started that business, I always thought, Why doesn’t everyone do what I do. And a few lawyers have come along my forehead and under my eyes. I’ve come to understand people a little bit more. And now calling them where anyone would want to live my life.
You know, have nicer things the most people I get that I drive a nice car, I have not the holidays. I live in a house. I get all those things. But the reality of it is Live to work.
And I don’t know if that is the right way to live your life. I can’t help the way I am. I regularly work till one o’clock in the morning. I periodically work seven days a week. Because it’s like an illness, it’s like a disease. It’s who I am.
So when I wrote this book, hustle, I’m constantly plugging, but I’m not. But all I’m doing is making Jeff Bezos more money because every time someone buys one of these books, Jeff gets more than me.
And I wrote about in the book, the sheep, oxen and eagles, which is what I refer to as the entrepreneurs’ pyramid, which you just mentioned, I realise there are three types of people and three tops, business owners of the sheet that do the same day in day out. They wait for it to happen.
The oxes these guys work incredibly hard. By the time they’ve got 65 they paid them all good job, have a nice holiday every year. They work 70-80 hour weeks they’re control freaks and their business, but for all intensive purposes they are quite successful. They are business owners, and to describe them, they are managing directors of their businesses.
And then there’s top guys the Eagles that would say that share chairman or shareholders of their businesses. And you would call some of the investors even if they’re in their business 100% they’re an investor in the business.
And then they the three main key differences there the supervisor type business owner, which is the sheep. Be a plumber electrician during the same day in day out.
Then there are the ones they will become managing directors of a plumber or electrical business. And then there are the Eagles. Let’s say they’re an owner of an electrical business may be employed a managing director to run it.
The two types of businesses are experienced businesses or scale businesses. They’re the two that make money. The scale business needs, you know, have low margin but has huge turnover and therefore can implement all the policies that I teach. This will be a Tesco and middle that’s all business making 2% of billions of pounds worth of turnover it all works well there’s the experienced business that makes 40% of half a million turnover. They can still employ great people and have a life. Then a different stream the sheep, oxen and the eagles and the Eagles are people that know what they want the business to look like when it’s finished have incredible vision thing with the end in mind great joint ventures they do not control freaks. Do they think about how I can employ as many people as possible to do everything for me? The oxes are control freaks; they’re always scared of delegating because they are control freaks, they’re superheroes of their business. They they’re the only I can solve the problem type people. They say things like if you want a job, well do it yourself that sitting in that category with so many people now where the Eagles would say if you want the job done well let’s create a system or hack me for the best possible people to create the order. The sheep are the people that you know turn up the same day in day out. That’s what makes the world go around.
What is the biggest mistake that you see that these small business owners are making right now?
They have battle plans or no war plan for simple most business owners do what I call World War One style of business when they need to do World War Two start a business what does that mean?
Well, one knew no one knows really what that was about, you know, they were fighting for Marla land and lost the Marlin and fight and from all of that lost the model and World War Two you know, everyone could turn around and say that the vision is we get rid of this mark the globe and they will liberate Germany. We get rid of the fascist, and then you have the battles to do that, but everyone knew why they were doing it. Whereas World War One you know if you know it was just the result everyone’s just plotting these battles with no real end in mind, no purpose.
In these two months. I had done some video with yesterday. I said, what would you want your business to look like when it’s finished? We want it to be a brand.
What? What you want it you know what profits you want to play? What revenue Jeff, like, couldn’t tell me what profits I wanted to make. They can only they said we want a million-pound turnover, which is everyone’s going to the thing you know what they say if they’re on when they put on the spot, like a million pounds wherever possible? Because that’d be an awesome achievement. That’s not good enough. That’s not good enough.
You know, because you can turn a million pounds to lose half a million pounds. Would you feel that’s a great achievement. Not. So, you know, you know, the greatest entrepreneurs always know what they want it to look like when it’s finished. And that’s the people as well, you know, I always say some people go for university, the kid or the guy that says or the girl that says I want to be a doctor, what? They’re going to go for education far more successfully than the person that goes to university. Yeah, I don’t know what There’s just done a photography degree, you know, like, come on, you know like that What a waste in life that is, you know, where, if you thought about what the end in mind is, but you know, not everyone can do that.
But that’s what successful people do. They tell you what it looks like when it’s finished. And I believe if you can, succinctly say, this is the finished out of the businesses in the profit revenue, what am I team look like when it’s finished? What’s the culture that is but it’s finished? What do you do for that business? What have you got to become? What do you got to do to have everything that I’ve just listed above, then you’ll be far more successful than most people?
What’s your favourite business book that you have read
I’ll lose my virginity, Richard Branson.
What is your favourite podcast or YouTube channel?
How to get rich Felix Dennis because those two books are both equally as favourable together one in both the book and you can also get it on audio. It’s great to listen to on a long journey as well.
Are you a podcast person, or would you more listen to the audible?
I do the podcast, But I would be audible rather than listen to the podcast.
What’s your favourite purchase under 100 pound in the past year?
The CDs on the back of my iPhone is the extra battery it’s 100 pounds only is 99 pounds and 95-pound think is the apple shop but the apple one, not some not costing my phone never runs out charged now literally my stress levels
What is your biggest pain point in the business right now? Or what was the thing that is keeping you up at night?
Put so much effort into my YouTube channel, and I’ve only got 3700 subscribers. That is constantly on the map I think I’m going to smash it on Boxing Day with our brand new when it comes out by them we’re doing we’re buying a million pounds worth of property or attempting to with hardly any money, and we put a teaser out on that last night we got 500 views that’s the quickest we’ve ever got any views, and I’m in the YouTube view is real instrumental
At the end of that documentary, whatever money we need to put into it, I’m going to put the money in and then within three months, four months, six months, whatever it is, we’re then going to make that money.
That will be a challenge too, and we’ll be using business tactics to do that from scratch. That will build a business that makes 70,000 pounds worth of profit in three months.
How much sleep do you get at night?
Everything else is here, and sleep is here. I think you’ve made it in life. If you can wake up naturally every day. I do. Not and I want to get. I do not subscribe to anyone getting up before the birds to be. I genuinely believe an extra 90 minutes in bed. If you can do that will make you a better person and a healthier person and live a longer life. I get between 6-9 hours every day.
Know more about James
YouTube: James Sinclair