If you’ve ever had a flat tire, you know that it causes your car to give you a very bumpy and uneven ride. You feel as though you’ve lost control. You have to pull over to the side of the road and stop.
Well – imagine your business is that tire. Suddenly instead of rolling along smoothly – it goes flat and causes your business to stop.
Here’s what I mean….
What happens to your business while you go on vacation? Does it still make sales? Is it still profitable? Are there systems in place for it to continue to operate smoothly or is it totally dependent on your skills and connections? Or does your business have to stop?
What would happen to your business if you suddenly became ill and couldn’t work (not that I want that to happen but it’s possible)??? I heard a story not too long ago about a business that had to close because the owner developed a chronic illness. Will your business continue to roll along smoothly or will it come to a bumpy stop?
What if you wanted to SELL your business? Could it run without you? A prospective buyer would want to know that the profit isn’t tied directly to you specifically but rather to the systems that you’ve put in place so that the business continues to operate profitably. If you wanted to sell your business, you (and the buyer) would want to know that it would roll along smoothly even without you in the picture!
A flat tire causes everything to halt!!! You don’t want that for your business.
So let’s look at 6 spokes of a wheel and imagine each of the spokes were essential elements that you needed to have in place so your business could run without going flat (perhaps even without you).
Let’s look at each of these spokes individually!
1. The 1st essential spoke is STRATEGY – that means having an overall plan to grow your business. This is more than a business plan that you created when you first opened your business (and probably stuffed in a drawer). It means having a vision for what you want your business to look like and the action steps you’ll take to get there. Do you have a clearly defined and written vision for your business?
2. The 2nd essential spoke is FINANCE which means things like profit margins, cash flow, revenue & expenses. Who is responsible for monitoring these elements and how are they generated? Does your business have someone who regularly analyzes your finances and makes comments on the financial well-being of your business?
3. The 3rd essential element is MARKETING & SALES because if you don’t have leads or sales, you don’t have a business. It doesn’t mean which marketing tactic you’re going to use, but rather what your overall strategy for getting leads & making sales is. Do you have a rinse & repeat marketing system that allows you to have a predictably profitable business? Have or could any of these strategies be automated?
4. The 4th spoke of the business wheel is all about PEOPLE and the teams who support each of the business areas. Some businesses rely more on outside help as a team (i.e. outside bookkeeper, accountant, perhaps virtual assistant) while other businesses will actually hire employees. What kind of culture are you inviting these people to join? What motivates your people? Do you have high turn-over? Are team members on board to be your unofficial sales team – are they bound together with a common goal? Or are you, like so many business owners, trying to do all the roles in the business? One of the most difficult skills for a business owner to learn is to delegate! Are you acting like a CEO or an employee?
5. The 5th element is all about SYSTEMS. Having systems means that repetitive tasks are systematized and written down (i.e. SOP – standard operating procedures). And it can also mean that repetitive tasks can be automated. This may mean that you use automation such as a CRM, an email system, a calendar booking system, etc. SOP’s means that each task has been outlined (whether written or video) so that someone else can easily step into that job and do the job by following the ‘system’. How systematized is your business?
6. Finally, the 6th spoke of the business wheel is OPERATIONS. Are you (or your staff) being busy just being busy or are they productive? Are you, the CEO, spending sufficient time thinking and being the CEO working ON your business rather than in your business doing tasks that could be delegated to someone else. Are you busy being the bottleneck for decision making or are your PEOPLE sufficiently trained and mandated to make decisions?
Now it’s time to evaluate your own business!!! How do you rate?
Refer to the diagram below and imagine that the centre of the circle is ZERO and the outer ring of the circle is 5.
How would you score your business for each of the 6 essential elements?
Put a dot on the line for each of the six elements. (See turquoise dots as an example).
Then connect all the dots (black lines)
How round is your wheel? How smoothly will your business run without you?
Perhaps this exercise will demonstrate areas where you could improve your business so that it could run without you and still give you the income, impact and influence you desire!
Hopefully, your business ‘wheel’ isn’t like the one in the example above – because truly that’s a flat tire!!!
If you’d like some help improving any of your ‘spokes’ – please reach out and book a Growth Strategy Session. I’d be happy to look under the hood of your business and help you make your business run more smoothly. Book a call here.