How to use the Three “P’s” of Effective Management

The goal of any manager should be to create more leaders internally so the company and the team run like a smoothly oiled machine.

Part of that includes empowering people.

But also understanding how the rest of the company works, from the process to the product/service it offers.

In this blog, we’ll introduce you to the three Ps of effective management, provide insight into how you can manage them better, and show how the culture at your startup plays a role in this concept.

Before we dive into the 3 Ps, you might be asking yourself, “how do I start to be an effective manager?”

If this question still pops in your head, watch this quick motivational video and then continue scrolling through. 👇

What are the 3Ps and Why are they Important?

Marcus Lemonis is a Lebanese-born American businessman, television personality and philanthropist.

As a multi-billion dollar business owner,  Lemonis says a successful business is made up of three things: People, Process, and Product.

The three Ps, as they’re often called, act as a cornerstone for everything inside a business.

As a manager and head of a team, it is critical to understand how to manage people, the process and the product of a company to grow and succeed.

Why are the 3Ps of business so important?

Well, without good people in the right roles, your growing business will struggle to serve customers and clients, thus affecting your potential revenue.

As well, if you don’t have an effective process in place whether that’s for sales, production, billing, accounting, and customer relationship management, then your overhead cost will increase, reducing profitability.

Finally, if you don’t have a product or service that meets the needs of your market or ideal client, then it won’t be long before your company fails and it’s forced to shut its doors.

And we don’t want that, of course! That’s why we are going to break down the 3Ps and how to use them to be an effective manager.

The People

Even if you’re going into a business as a solopreneur or a digital nomad, people are an integral part of any business.

When we talk about “people,” it has to be put in the context of your workforce. For example, if you have on-site employees or remote freelancers.

👉 Here are some People Management Tips for First-Time Managers.

People also include the other relationships needed to keep your business afloat; such as customers, vendors, suppliers, advisers, partners, investors, etc.

As we’ve mentioned in previous blogs, people are at the core of ay businesses, they should be a priority; which is why they are the first component of the people, process, and product trilogy.

“Without people, your business would flounder.”

Investing time, effort and money into cultivating these relationships will be beneficial to your business.

Tips on People

“Businesses are based on relationships and relationships are based on people,” said Lemonis.

People’s issues can come to the surface at any point and level of the organization.

As Lemonis said, “if you have trust with somebody, it can survive any downturn, any mistake, any problem. And if you don’t have trust, it won’t matter how good the business is; it will fall apart eventually.”

That’s why the first level of high-performing teams is psychological safety, a stage where there is trust and vulnerability between people. Trust and confidence are so well established that regardless of conflicts, the business and team can continue to function.

Here are six tips for leading and managing people:

1. Recruit, hire and retain good people from diverse backgrounds.

To do this effectively, analyze your hiring process.

👉 Reinventing Your Hiring: How a Solid Recruitment Process Increases your Impact.

2. Put people in the right roles.

Understanding their strengths and where they fit best will be key for their success and of the team’s.

Don’t put someone in a managerial position if they don’t enjoy managing people and they would rather continue in a client-facing role.

If your company doesn’t have a dual path career development process yet, here is a quick graphic that can help you.

3. Offer your people opportunities to learn new skills and advance their careers.

👉 Develop Leaders: Three Effortless Steps for Transforming Employees into Leaders

4. Create a positive work environment that encourages people to do their best.

👉 Why a Culture of Learning Should Be a Priority at Your Startup And 3 Ways to Implementing Better Learning

5. Insist on accountability and monitor individual and team performance.

👉 A Manager’s Guide to Cultivate Accountability and Effective Feedback at any Startup.

6. Provide clear feedback and don’t play the blame game.

👉 How to Create a Feedback Culture in Your Startup.

7. Understand people’s personality styles and strengths.

👉 4 Employee Personality Types: Understanding and Managing Different Personalities in the Workplace.

The blog above breaks down the four personality types and how to manage each.

To better understand each person's personality style, have your team members complete this test.

Then read the blog and implement the tips to be a more effective manager.

Focus on Quality And Diversity

Managing the first “P” in the people, process, product chain begins with assembling the best team. For most businesses, that involves two critical factors:

Quality over quantity & Diversity over homogeneity.

No amount of unskilled team members can accomplish the same work as one quality employee.

Focus on hiring the right people with the right skills.

Don’t settle for less in the hopes that hiring more team members will make up for it in the end.

That’s a recipe for disaster.

Similarly, a diverse workforce is always more productive than a homogenous one. Diversity provides a whole host of benefits,

These benefits are extremely important for your business because they keep you competitive in an increasingly global — and diverse — world.

The Process

Process, as a large-scale concept, is the actions your business takes to perform a specific function.

Businesses of any size have myriad processes, including delivering a service, creating a product, making sales presentations, responding to emergencies and customer inquiries, keeping track of supplies, etc.

A process is the action plan if you will.

Having a process in place is essential to answer the questions, “how do we do X, when do we do Y, why do we do Z?”

A good layout process will ensure your business and team can run effectively without your overseeing every small detail.

Even brainstorming and problem-solving benefit when you take the time to create a process that everyone can follow.

Tips on Process

Why is the process the second of the 3 Ps of business? It’s because your people need to work in the most efficient and productive manner.

An effective action plan includes looking at your operational processes carefully to understand every step of the chain, from receiving orders to the finished product/service.

“Control your cash, stick to your core business, and know your numbers,” Lemonis.

Here are five tips for improving your processes:

1. Know your costs for labour and materials.

2. Track product waste and employee downtime to identify bottlenecks.

3. Talk with your sales team about improving the customer relationship management (CRM) process.

4. Pay attention to your daily cash flow, and don’t let any dollars disappear.

5. Encourage your front-line employees to offer suggestions for improving your processes, as they may spot inefficiencies you may be missing.

Plan For Change

All businesses start small. But, with the right management, growth happens quickly.

Growth also brings an array of new issues that your business might not be prepared to handle.

Also, keep in mind there are plenty of outside factors that might present challenges like lets say… a global pandemic.

You can prevent stagnation or crumble by giving your business the highest chance for success just by planning for change while your business is small.

Small processes are much more amenable to change.

That’s not to say you should restrict growth. Growth is a positive thing.

So, perfect your processes early on and build in strategies for growth before that time comes.

When you’re able to scale your processes up or down at a moment’s notice, you give your business more of a chance to respond to changes in the market and more of a chance to stay profitable longer.

👉 Read this blog to learn how Leadership Programs Helps Startups Meet New Challenges.

The Product

With your people and processes in place, now it’s time to take a close look at your products.

Your product is what your business has to offer.

The product could be a tangible “thing” that you can hold in your hand. Or it could be a service that is only visible by its results — software, tech advice, leadership coaching, etc.

Your product — including your brand and your image — is the most visible part of your business and, as such, deserves the lion’s share of your focus.

But not to the liability of people and process.

In fact, it’s crucial to view people, process, and product as a system in which each separate part depends on the part before it.

It’s a connected cycle.

People reinforce the process -> Process reinforces the product -> Product reinforces the people. On and on this goes in a spiral.

If managed correctly, it moves in an upward direction and leads to sales and success.

Tips on Product

Whether you serve consumers (B2C) or businesses (B2B), your small business needs to offer the right products for your customers.

As Lemonis said, your product line should be “practical, purposeful and profitable.”

Some businesses develop their products without listening to customer feedback.

Product-related problems stem from an unrealistic approach to the market.

That’s why so many startups fail within the first year.

Having a strong product line opens the door to new business opportunities as well.

Here are six tips for capitalizing on your products:

1. Sell to new markets, perhaps through sales representatives or an online store.

2. Consider licensing opportunities that could generate income from fees.

3. Conduct surveys and hold focus groups to identify customer trends.

4. Monitor customer rating and review sites to see how your products are received.

5. Look for ways to offer “new and improved” products to your current customers.

6. Create cross-selling and up-selling opportunities by expanding your product line.

Identify The Proper Market

At the early stages of your business, it’s vital to identify the proper market for your product or service.

As your business continues to grow in size and scope, it’s equally vital to constantly reexamine your market to ensure that your people and processes are focused on the right goals.

👉 In this blog, we cover How to Create a Shared Company Vision that Will Energize Your Entire Team.

As you do establish a shared company vision, don’t forget to evaluate the limitations of both your product and the market. As well as ways to care for your existing customer base while expanding into new areas.

Key Takeaways

As a manager, many of us fall into reactive patterns.

Now you’ve learned how to be proactive by using the 3Ps (People, Process, Product).

The three questions you must answer every day are:

  1. What do my people need from me in order for them to succeed today?
  1. What process do I need to build, fix, or take away to improve decision-making in my team?
  1. What steps can I take to improve our product in solving our customers' problems?

Most managers fail by not being proactive enough on the important, yet seemingly non-urgent, tasks.

The big rocks that actually move things forward.

If you are still looking to understand the 3 Ps, watch Marcus Lemonis break down how he views them in a daily life context. 👇

👉 Check out my leadership training for managers page to learn more.

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