Ask Effició: How can I get a hold on our business; we are at a crossroads and I’m not sure where to start?

September 28, 20130 Comments

Getting to the CORE of Business Hotline Case StudyGetting to the CORE of Business Hotline Business Question:  “How can I get a hold on our business; we are at a crossroads and I’m not sure where to start?  I’m only a two year old business.

This is the question I got from a GTCB Hotline Caller.  After talking a little more about the issues that the company was facing, they needed help with being clear about what business they are in and who could pay them what their worth.  We also found that the foundation the business was built on was not solid enough to support the goals of the business; therefore the business operations were not efficient.

Here’s a quick overview of what I shared:

One must understand their business to understand how to profitably implement efficient operations and a solid business strategy.

When you understand your business your strategic efforts will be  effortless.  I shared nine basic business principles that an existing small business owner should know.  In sharing the conversation (with permission of course!), I hope it will also help you think about your own internal infrastructure so that you can adjust as necessary.

(Here are the first five we spoke about)

Principle One — Know why you are in business
You should be in business to make money (a profit), or if you have a non-profit, you should be in business to serve the community.  It is then your responsibility to define what making money or serving the community means to you.  Having a passion for the business is wonderful, but make sure it is a profitable business.

I once had a client tell me she is in business because she wanted to be financially free.  Guess what –that is what we all want!  After we talked a little more, she revealed that she wanted to have kids and be there for her kids, but she also knew that she did not want to be a stay at home mom.  With this information, we worked on creating the infrastructure that will keep her from getting bored; one that will allow her the time she needed to have a new baby and to be with her family as it grew.  Her business will be exactly what she wants rather than another stress that keeps her from what she really wants.

Principle Two — Know what industry you are in
Imagine for a second that you sell equipment.  Are you a manufacturer, a distributor or a retailer?  Understand what business you are in so that you can make better business decisions.  It all starts with understanding your industry, then understanding that industry on multiple levels.  Start by getting your North American Industry Classification code (NAIC).  You can use it for research, but the process of finding your code proves for good reading and brings about some interesting thoughts and ideas.

The second piece is changing your definition of what you do.  Are you in the business of selling door locks or are you in the business of providing security?  Changing your definition can open up new opportunities.

Principle Three — Clarify…are you in business to pay bills or to create wealth?
There is a difference between making enough money to pay bills and creating wealth in business.  In business, just paying the bills is under-pricing your services because you need a client to make payroll, or promoting your business in a way that you are not quite sure of but you’re keeping the lights on so you must be doing things right.  Not at all!  Basically, you are making money but it has no value.

Creating wealth is creating cash-value in your business.  Creating wealth in business is about setting the right price, picking the right target market and speaking about the business powerfully.  In other words, creating wealth is all those activities a business owner must do to be successful.  The challenge is that we do not always understand how to put these activities into a format that works for our unique business situation, one that will put us in a position for creating wealth.

Guess what, it is time to cut through all the clutter and get to the CORE of what it really takes to get your business up and running and positioned for not only making money but a business that will allow you to create wealth!  It is time to be SWIFT, get to the CORE, and focus on execution and profitability!

Principle Four — Understand the infrastructure your organization needs to support business activities.  
There are a lot of ways to build and grow your business. However, one of the easiest, most proven ways to grow a business that is perpetual (or everlasting) is to build a strong infrastructure that not only prepares your business but also allows your business to create wealth, become profitable and grow exponentially.

Most entrepreneurs and business owners do not focus on this critical area; not because it is hard but because it requires an intangible process – which means you cannot immediately feel it, touch it or smell it; it takes time to build.  We all know that it is hard to work on something that does not give us instant gratification, but it will give you long-term stability, if that is what you want.  This infrastructure is your armor against outside forces that can deter, hinder or even break your business success.  We call this infrastructure the CORE.

Principle Five — Understand the key functions of your business.
When I say ‘functions,’ I am referring to any activity within in your business that supports the development of new products or the sale of your products.  Some people see these as departments, but as small business owners it is more effective to think of them as functions since some of us are solopreneurs.

The key functions of business refer to the internal operations of that business.  Make sure you know what functions are needed for your business and ensure you create the right processes for executing these functions to support your business activities.

There are a number of additional principles I could share but I am hoping this is enough to get you thinking differently about your business.

Your Transmogrifyer,

Sherese Duncan

© Effició, Inc.

Step by Step: Want the entire road map to business success, laid out in an easy-to understand format? Then learn more about our Entrepreneurship Education.


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