In the Tinker Phase, the entrepreneur’s focus shifts from building their first business to building themselves.

 

At this level, the Founder of one company diversifies his portfolio to include cash-flow assets, second locations, and maybe new businesses. This requires a larger team, a management layer, and growth as a leader.

Tinkers work through the “valley of death”, when the entrepreneur has to make larger investments to grow. This could mean hiring ahead of cash flow, or buying a building, or scaling up equipment; and usually occurs between $1M and $3M in revenue. This is a stressful period, and Tinkers need both 1:1 mentorship and peer support.

Are you in the Tinker Phase? Take the test here.

 

Our Tinker program will launch in January 2019. In its first year, we expect that many members won’t actually be in Tinker phase yet. But they’ll be close: after reading this list, they’ll identify one or two key elements to overcome before 2020. And in 2020, everyone in the group will officially be in the Tinker Phase.

Here’s the basic list, from “Founder | Farmer | Tinker | Thief”:

Are You Ready To Be A Tinker?

Have you hired an “administrator” to oversee the Client Journey?

Have you begun managing staff instead of performing front-line duties?

Have you done an Energy Audit?

Have you launched at least one opportunity for intrapreneurship?

Have you hired at least one replacement for yourself in your primary service?

Have you done the “apples” and “weed” client exercise?

Have you fired one “weed” client?

Have you started hosting regular staff meetings?

Have you begun to extend your marketing to people you don’t yet know?

Have you started a retention strategy and taught it to your staff?

Have you budgeted for a staff development program?

Have you begun evaluating your staff quarterly?

Have you reached 33% gross profit margin?

Have you started tracking your enhanced metrics: leads, conversion rate, and revenue streams?

Have you started doing any paid lead generation?

Have you started attending a coached fitness program?

 

We measure success with different KPIs, like Effective Hourly Rate and Genius Time. But those are for entrepreneurs who are already Tinkers. If you’re just at the edge, the above are your priorities. If you can answer “YES!” to more than half of the above questions, you might be ready for the Tinker group!