There are 7 critical areas that need to be addressed when putting together a plan to build the business of your dreams.
The first 4 of the 7 pillars are about moving from Chaos to Control.
This is where most business owners get stuck in the rut of survival, rather than building their business.
If you don’t know what you’re building, it’s impossible to put a plan together. Try asking your GPS to give you directions without putting a destination in, sounds crazy, but that’s how most people run their business.
Even though you may not have enough money to pay your bills, and all your focussed on is cash flow and getting the next client, it is critical that you begin with the end in mind.
How will your business look when it’s finished? Will you have it running under management, sell it, just shut the doors? These are all very real options, your job is to decide what you are building and get it in writing.
Action Step: Create a written description of what your business will look like when it’s finished. Be as specific as you can with numbers and size.
One of the greatest myths of time management is that we can actually manage it. We all get the same amount of time, 24 hours a day 7 days a week. The only thing we can manage is the things we choose to do during that time.
Here’s the real issue, you cannot work out your priorities without having a goal. Without a goal, we are destined to be in crisis management, that is, dealing with other peoples issues and priorities.
I have read hundreds of books on time management and found there is only one tool you need to manage your time effectively. The famous philosopher, Vilfredo Pareto discovered the 80:20 principle. In simple terms, 20% of what you do produces 80% of the results. Accordingly the remaining 80% only produces 20% of your results. The trick here is to work out what the top 20% is? You do this by having your business goal clear in your mind so you can easily determine if an activity it moving you towards or away from your goal.
We can now begin to plan our days, by making sure we are working “ON” the business rather than “IN” the business.
Action Steps: Write a list of all the activities you do in a week. Identify the top 3 things you should be doing more of, and the top 3 things you need to do less of. Commit to changing your activities to work on the high value activities.
The next thing we need to focus on is the numbers of our business. This is because the numbers don’t lie! They tell us exactly how the business is going.
There are 2 components to this… Budgeting and Reporting.
The speedo in your car becomes pretty meaningless if there is no speed limit. So too, your numbers can be pretty meaningless if you have nothing to compare them to.
Creating a budget, is not just about cutting costs, it’s about projecting revenue, profitability, conversion of prospects and leads. Knowing your revenue and profit in not enough. Creating a dashboard of numbers that tells us how the business is going both from a financial and activity perspective will tell you and where the issues are is the best way to keep tabs on things.
Action Steps: Determine the numbers you need to know on a weekly basis to be able to make better decisions in your business. Create a dashboard so there numbers are presented to you every week.
It may sound obvious, but making sure you deliver a great customer experience, regardless of how busy you are, is pivotal to moving from Chaos to Control.
Providing great service does three things…
Make sure you don’t need to waste time fixing errors.
Make sure your customers keep coming back.
Make sure you get a constant stream of referrals
Action Step: Create a workflow for your service delivery that provides a spectacular customer experience and make sure your team are following the process.
Now that we have control over the business, we can turn our attention to building. This is where we roll our sleeves up and start building our marketing system and team. This is also known as working “ON” the business.
There are 3 crucial steps to this part of the plan…
Building your marketing system can be one of the most rewarding part of building your business. The problem is that unless we have structure for growth, we will either not invest enough or use the stop start method which is very inefficient.
The first rule of marketing is that “Marketing is Maths”. That means, if you can’t measure it, don’t do it.
Your marketing should be an investment, not an expense, meaning that for every dollar you spend, you need to see a return. In order to do this you will need to measure performance and test new strategies.
To do this effectively you need to calculate two things…
Your ”Acquisition Cost”, that is, how much you spend to buy a new customer.
Your customer “Lifetime Value” or how much the average customer spends in a lifetime.
With these 2 numbers, you can quickly and easily work out which marketing strategies are making you money.
The second rule of marketing is that you need to “Eliminate Price Competition”. Yes, you heard right. Price competition only exists when there is little or no differentiation between your product/service and your competition. This can be a margin killer.
Working on your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and Guarantee will help you move away from price competition. If you cannot answer the question, “Why should I buy from you and not your competition?” with anything other than “we provide better service” or “we’re competitive”… you are in trouble.
Understanding what differentiates you, means dealing with price objections. Your job as a business owner is to get crystal clear on this and make sure you are using it in all your marketing.
Action Steps: Calculate your Acquisition Cost and Lifetime Value. Add them to your reporting dashboard.
Do the research and develop a powerful USP and Written Guarantee to set you apart from your competition.
Develop a marketing plan that has multiple strategies running without your input to create a resilient stream of quality leads.
One of the biggest issues you will ever face when building your business is finding and keeping good people. The secret to attracting high performers, is to develop great business systems for them to follow.
They will also give you the leverage you need to grow and sustain your revenue and profit.
Systems start with your Vision, Mission, and Culture. This is the core of your purpose and passion. Then we can move on to your Goals, Functional Organisation Chart, Job Descriptions, Key Performance Indicators and Reporting. Developing a comprehensive system will ensure you can find the right people and develop your team to produce spectacular results.
Action Step: Identify the key processes in your business and create flowcharts so you can easily train and develop your team.
Now you are ready to build your dream team. Most people don’t realise the costs of making poor employment decisions. If you are struggling to find good people, it’s usually because you haven’t developed a good recruitment strategy.
It all starts with you. In business you get the people you deserve. So if you’re not attracting great team members, start by looking in the mirror. Ask questions like why would a peak performer want to work for me?
Some industries simply have a lack of good team members looking for work. If this is you, you need to take a serious look at growing your own. Develop a training and recruitment system that can take new entrants to your industry and make them productive.
A few basic rules around building your team… 1. Everyone who works for you will leave. 2. There is no such thing as the perfect recruit.
Action Steps: Develop your star attraction system. Make sure there are real tangible reasons for the peak performers to work for you, or even better, create a training program that will develop superstars.
– David Byrnes, Andave Shopfitting Pty. Ltd.