Who would like a business that operates without them, runs like clockwork and makes more money? The question really is, who wouldn’t? To begin growing a business that functions like this, we must be honest about, and analyse our starting point.
Recently we ran an interactive webinar called The Step Change to Significant Business Growth. In the session we talked through a 10 step framework to enable you to thrive as we emerge from lockdown.
Many of the problems people are facing in their businesses right now aren't exclusive to Covid.
Long before we were faced with a global pandemic, we worked with plenty of business owners who were feeling frustrated with their progress. It can become exhausting when you’re working in the business so much you’re unable to work on changing it.
We use the phrase ‘step change’, because we want the changes we make in the business to be considerable improvements. We’ve all been in the situation where we’ve made small changes but they still haven’t got us to where we want to be. A step change means stepping outside of your comfort zone and making big moves.
Knowing and analysing our starting point is step 1, which we’re going to talk through today.
- Knowing and analysing your starting point
- Making the time for your priorities
- Your mission, vision, goals and objective
- Knowing your idea customers
- Positioning your business
- Your marketing tactics
- How to win more customers
- Making your numbers work
- Maximising your people investment
- Making your business work like clockwork
Be honest about where your starting point is so you can fix the gaps in skills and knowledge
Are you ready for growth, or is part of the jigsaw missing?
Most businesses have a good collection of these jigsaw pieces, but they’re missing a couple. What they don’t realise is these gaps can be negatively impacting the success of the business (and the sanity of the business owner). This is why it’s so important to review where you are now, in order to identify the changes that need to be made.
Being honest about the starting point is one of the biggest challenges faced by the businesses we work with. Take a start up business, for example. Often we think startups have no business, no opportunity, no pipeline. But in reality we tend to get our first bit of work from friends, family, or associates we’ve worked with in the past.
With the initial rush of work, you can get excited and think “great, I have a business and it’s working” and then suddenly hit a stop, and find there’s no business coming in. This happens when we don’t figure out the business model first.
For a business in scale up or growth mode, you’ve got to be honest about your team and you (the owner) and identify the gaps in skills and knowledge. Business owners are notorious for wearing too many hats. The book ‘The E-myth Revisited’ by Michael. E. Gerber talks about the three roles business owners play in the business:
- The Technician
- The Manager
- The Entrepreneur
Most people set up their business because they’re good technicians, they know how to do what they do! And it’s common to bounce between these roles. But the struggle for growth often comes from spending too much time as the technician, when you need to be standing back and working on the business as an entrepreneur. The three roles must exist together equally, but you need a framework for making sure one doesn’t overbalance the other.
Create the right foundation on which to grow
Building a business is like building a house - if the foundations are weak, it’s going to topple over.
Start with a growth mindset
What’s your mindset for the business?
Covid has been particularly challenging for entrepreneurs, because they like to look and plan forward - and we haven’t been able to do that with the uncertainty of this pandemic.
- Are you in control of your own destiny?
- Or do you get impacted on things like covid overly negatively?
Entrepreneurs aren’t necessarily looking at what's in the bank account now, they’re looking forward to opportunities. Ultimately our mindset is a choice we have as business owners.
Think proactively about the roles you’re performing in the business
Create an organisational chart of all the roles in your business. You may find you’re doing most of the roles on the chart yourself. You’re Marketing Director one day, Sales Director the next.
When this is the case, what we tend to do is just get on with it - we firefight. It makes sense at the time to just do whatever we need to do.
Instead of just getting on with it, I urge you to think proactively about the role you’re doing today. If you’re the Financial Director today - what are you doing and why are you doing it?
When you’re assessing your role:
- It forces you to think about whether you get satisfaction from doing this role or not. Do you like it? Are you good at it? This makes it really clear when you recruit people, which tasks you need to let go of first.
- It helps you think about the job description you’ll need for a replacement - When you think about what you’re doing and the impact it has on the business, you can be clear with a new recruit on what you’re trying to achieve - and you can be very black and white when what you’re striving to achieve isn’t met. This will help you find the right people and build the right team for you.
Stop now and fill in your worksheet
We’ve provided a worksheet to help you think about your starting point, now you know how important it is for moving your business forward.
Remember, this is just Step 1 of a 10 part framework to help you make the changes for significant business growth. The ‘significant’ part is all dependent on you and what you want for your business and future. Whatever your goal, we’re excited to help you get there!
We’ll be releasing more blogs like this one, so stay tuned!