Success Story: Todd’s Journey through a Business Transformation


800% Increase in Profit in About 12 Months!

Todd Bussey, owner of Bussey’s Florist & Gifts Inc, sits down with Darren Hopman, Success Team Lead at Tap the Potential, to share the impact working with Dr. Sabrina Starling and Tap the Potential has had on Todd’s business and his life.

Darren: Todd, what led you to reach out to us?

Todd: I felt like I'm working hard, putting in all these hours, and I was just not getting the income that I thought I should from running my business. I'm like, “There's got to be something. There's got to be another way. There's got to be something I'm doing wrong.” I stumbled across the book, Profit First, and I read that, and it was like a light bulb went off. I got my bookkeeper to read it. She was excited about it. I said, “We need to do this.”

I started actually looking at it, and I said, “You know, I'm going to see if they have someone that can help us with the implementation,” so I contacted Profit First. They put me in touch with Sabrina, and it's just been a great experience. I got four or five key recommendations of areas that we needed to focus on. Chief among those, which I'm sure this is probably the case with 99% of the people that go through it, was reducing operating expenses. Through Profit First, you have a system for doing that and a way to do that. That's really what I spent a lot of last year doing, is cutting expenses and coming up with different targets for each quarter.

Of course, with Sabrina, she walks you through the process, holds your hand, helps you to make smart decisions, and then you have your peer group and your small group coaching setting. The interesting thing about that is all of us are at different points in our journey. Each of us is on a different timeline for doing things, but if I'm facing a challenge with one issue, someone in that group has dealt with that before. It's nice to have a group of peers that have done things, and tell you good and bad things that they've experienced, and help you to make smart decisions as you go through that process.

Darren: What would have happened had you not moved forward with us?

Todd: I would continue to be on that hamster wheel, working hard, working harder, trying to do things more intensely, but still getting the same results.

Todd’s Top 3 Insights

Todd: Number one has to be taking the profit first and reverse-engineering the process, as opposed to the way that we're taught to do it, with the GAAP accounting methods. That would be number one.

Two, I think, would be helping me to move. I'm in the process of doing this, but moving towards working on the business more rather than working in the business. I think that would be number two, because that's where quality of life comes from. You build a business that supports that life.

Number three … So many I'm trying to narrow it down, Darren, but I think number three is one of the things that Sabrina and I just finished talking about. That's looking at Key Performance Indicators that help me to make sure the business is running properly at a high level, so that hopefully down the road … What I'm working towards is to be able to pull myself out of the business. I think that's one of the key steps going forward to help me achieve that end goal.

Initially, I was hoping it would be more of a one-on-one coaching process. I just felt like I would get more out of that, have more hand-holding, I guess, more accountability. While Sabrina's available and we do have some one-on-one time throughout the year, being in the small group setting I think has been more valuable. I know it's been more valuable than I ever thought it would be. That's been a big surprise to me.

I think one thing, we have a really good group. I think we have a good camaraderie, and we work together well. That's something. Participation in our group has been steady. There's been three or four of us that have been core to the group, and know each other well. We know each other's challenges that we've faced, and we see the growth in each other, and we hold one another accountable. It's been a really good, valuable experience.

Let me say this, too. I think you talked about the investment. For a small business owner, it's not an inexpensive investment. It's something that, to me, this is probably the one thing that I've done that I feel like I've gotten a really solid return on that investment. It's something that, if there's somebody out there and they're holding their breath, thinking, “Gosh, this is such a huge leap for me,” it truly pays off if you're willing to do the work and put the time in.

Darren: If I remember correctly, you have had some employees participate in Leadership Bootcamp.

Todd: Yes, I sent one of my employees through Leadership Bootcamp. That was real gratifying for me to be able to send her through that process. She has been a key employee for a number of years. Just to see how it had a positive impact on her outside of the workplace as well as in the workplace was just gratifying to me. I think the biggest thing was the Peoplemap™. I think she saw herself for who she is, and personality characteristics that she has, but in looking at that, she also saw how other personality types relate to her. Whereas I think she had seen people that either wronged her or judged her unfairly in the past, it was really just their personality type, and how they either clashed or how they needed to adjust and work together. That was just a pivotal point, I think, for her.

Darren: When I first spoke with you, Todd, and we were talking about getting things going with the SWOT and then group coaching, one of the things we talked about in that conversation is part of the SWOT is to set you up with a game plan for a one-and-a-half-year plan to double or triple your profit. Share with me a little bit about your experience, and if you've seen that take place in your business, and what that has meant to you in this process.

Todd: After the SWOT, we had, like you said, that 18-month plan, so six quarters of steps to reach the ultimate goal of profitability within the Profit First setting. It seems daunting when you first look at it. It's like, “Yeah, this'll never happen,” but it's just that systematic process of following your SWOT. I think, like I said, cutting expenses was a big part of that. To me, the key point is changing mindset, and looking at that, and looking at your numbers in a different way than what we're trained to do.

Last year, we cut expenses. Our profitability increased. I took home personal income than I had previously. All that has put me in a stronger position this year to really get some traction, and really make things happen. I think it's a cumulative process. It's not a magic pill. It's something that takes place over time. It takes place with consistent effort, and you've got to put that work in. You've got to be willing to do that, and you've got to be willing to confront old belief patterns, old ways of doing things, and make changes. When you do that, you're going to see results.

Todd: Sabrina is really incredible. She has a great skill in guiding conversations and getting to the heart of the matter you're discussing. She also has a very inquisitive mind, so I consider her part of the group, not just a leader of the group, because she wants to hear our experiences, and for us to share our experiences with the group and with her.

I have to say, this is a tremendous program, but it's not a magic pill. You've got to work. You've got to participate. You've got to carry your part of the load. You're going to see results and it's going to be transformative if you do that.

Thank you, Todd, for sharing your experience with us. Keep up the good work!

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Dr. Sabrina Starling, The Business Psychologist™ at Tap the PotentialDr. Sabrina StarllngThe Business Psychologist™ and author of the How to Hire the Best series is the founder of Tap the Potential. Tap the Potential specializes in transforming small businesses into highly profitable, Great Places to Work!

Never one to accept the status quo or back down from a challenge, Dr. Sabrina’s How to Hire the Best series grew from her desire to solve the toughest hiring challenges interfering with her clients’ growth and profitability. What sprang from her experience working with entrepreneurs in rural areas catapulted her into becoming the world’s leading expert in attracting top talent in small businesses — no matter what hiring challenges those businesses are facing — and earned Tap the Potential’s reputation as the go-to resource for entrepreneurs committed to creating Great Places to Work with thriving coaching cultures and highly engaged team members working from their strengths.

With her background in psychology, and years of driving profit in small business, Dr. Starling knows what it takes to find, keep and get exceptional performance out of your biggest investment — your team members.

Access Dr. Sabrina’s Hiring Masterclass here.

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About The Author

Dr. Sabrina Starling, The Business Psychologist and international best-selling author of the How to Hire the Best series and The 4 Week Vacation™, is the founder of Tap the Potential and host of the Profit by Design podcast. At Tap the Potential, we work to free business owners from the constant demands of a growing business.

We believe work supports life, not the other way around. Clients in our Better Business, Better Life coaching program have more time for what matters most and more money in their bank account than they’ve ever had. Next, we send them off on a 4 Week Vacation™ to celebrate their hard-earned journey to take their life back!

Dr. Sabrina and her team at Tap the Potential are on a mission to change the story of entrepreneurship from one of long hours, grinding it out, to one of sustainably profitable businesses that support and enhance life. The Tap the Potential Solution™ and our Tap the Potential Family of Business Owners are disrupting small business as usual. We are on our way to making the Tap the Potential Solution™ the mainstream model for growing business.

By 2023, 150 Tap the Potential clients will have taken 4 Week Vacations. These are the trailblazers, role modeling what’s possible for entrepreneurs. In many entrepreneurial circles, it is becoming more and more common for one entrepreneur to ask another, “Have you taken a 4 Week Vacation™?” (as opposed to asking “How many employees do you have?” or “What is your annual revenue?”). Taking a fully unplugged 4 Week Vacation is rapidly becoming the recognized symbol of entrepreneurial success.

Never one to accept the status quo or back down from a challenge, Dr. Sabrina’s How to Hire the Best series grew from her desire to solve the toughest hiring challenges interfering with her clients’ growth and profitability. What sprang from her experience working with entrepreneurs in rural areas catapulted her into becoming the world’s leading expert in attracting top talent in small businesses—no matter what hiring challenges those businesses are facing—and earned Tap the Potential’s reputation as the go-to resource for entrepreneurs committed to creating Great Places to Work with thriving coaching cultures and highly engaged team members working from strengths.

As The Business Psychologist, and with her years of driving profit in small businesses, Dr. Sabrina knows what it takes to find, keep, and motivate exceptional performance out of your biggest investment—team members.