Are you working too hard, feeling stressed but you want business growth? And, it’s just not happening for you? Did you know that successful business growth leaves a trail? Successful entrepreneurs follow these six steps to successful business growth AND maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Here’s how YOU can stimulate your Business Growth and enhance YOUR work life balance.
Are you working harder than your business, or is your business working harder than you?
If you are working harder than your business, you are among the numerous self-employed who have succeeded in purchasing or creating a job for themselves! The true definition of a BUSINESS is:
A Commercial, Profitable Enterprise, That Works, Without You. Brad Sugars.
So, do you aspire to be an entrepreneur and have a business that’s giving you income that’s not dependent on you working crazy hours? Well, you are still reading, so I guess that’s a yes…Then you must figure a way to create a business that works harder than you.
But, I Don’t Have the Time
Initially, your focus is to free up your time. And use this time for business growth activities. Or, launch another business venture. Eventually, to enjoy the lifestyle that typifies the successful entrepreneur typically, time with family and for personal leisure pursuits. So how do you get your business to work harder? By following the six steps to business growth.
So, here are the six steps to help you stimulate your business growth goals
These are the six steps to creating a profitable, successful business that works without you having to be there all day, every day.
- Mastery: Of time, money, delivery, and destination.
- Niche: Effective marketing to produce a predictable cash-flow.
- Leverage: Systematising the business for efficiency.
- Team: Getting the right people on the bus and in the right seats.
- Synergy: Constant improvement to grow a successful business.
- Results: Multiple streams of income, ultimate freedom.
Incidentally, each of theses six steps builds upon the previous. So, here is a high-level overview of the six steps to business growth.
Step 1 – Mastery: The objective here is to regain control.
The first stage of business growth in any business is about making sure you deliver profitably, productively and with enough information to make the necessary decisions about the future.
Mastery of Time
As I mentioned above, time is your most valuable asset. You can regain lost income. But can never recover lost time. In his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” author Stephen Covey argued there are four activity quadrants into which we can invest or waste our time:
- Not Urgent, & Not Important – Distractions (time wasters used for escape)
- Urgent, & Not Important – Delusion (time bandits that scream for our attention)
- Urgent, & Important – Demand (must be handled right away)
- Not Urgent, & Important – Zone (strategic issues that will determine our success)
Therefore, from a Business Owners perspective, quadrants 1 and 2 are time wasters for the business owner. And, quadrants 3 and 4 are the difference between working IN your business and working ON your business. Also, quadrant 4 is working in what I call the Zone. Ideally, representing 80% of your time. So, working in the Zone will prevent many of the urgent/important from occurring. In reality, time mastery is “Self Mastery” mastering ourselves to apply our time efficiently, to do what’s right to get what we want.
Mastery of Money
There are significant numbers in every business. Not only to review the past (historical numbers) but, also to indicate and create the desired business. If, Time Mastery was about productivity. Then, Money Mastery develops profitability.
There are four stages to money mastery:
- Profit Margin
- Test & Measure
Consider the following questions
- Do you know where your business is from a financial perspective?
- What is your break-even figure? – are you budgeting for profit?
- How about your cash flow – can you predict it?
- What is your profit position – how accurate and timely is your information?
- Is your most valuable tangible asset (your business) increasing or decreasing in value?
Mastery of Delivery
Delivery mastery is all about your customers, and their experience of your business.
So, is your business consistently delivering your value proposition to the marketplace? And, in such a way as to not just satisfy your customers, but create loyalty? In so much, many become raving fans. This level of service is called the WOW factor.
Mastery of Destination
And finally, is your business goals aligned with your personal goals? Meaning, that when your business is working harder than you, you are living your desired lifestyle.
Discounting your prices in the face of competition is devastating to your bottom line. Let’s, for example, assume that your gross profit margin is 40%. If you discount your prices by 10%, your sales must increase by 33% to maintain the same gross profit £s How does one avoid such damaging action? – By creatively crafting your marketing around your USP (Unique Selling Proposition). Done correctly, this will carve a niche in the marketplace that you alone occupy. Thus, insulating your business from the discounting frenzy produced by a market crowded with competitors.
Step 3- Leverage: creating efficiency = more time for the owner
If you are the typical business owner, you are the hub of a wheel. And, the spokes are the channels of decision making from all aspects of your business. Get the picture?
In our desire to control our business we have imprisoned ourselves, the owners. Additionally, because we have not implemented written systems to run our business, we have become vulnerable to certain key individuals within our organisation. These key players are excellent at what they do. But, if they leave the company, the consequences will produce a significant setback for the business. Therefore, the answer is to systematise the routine and humanise the exception. Which means, systems should run your business and people should run the systems.
By the way, the Japanese taught us this hard lesson in the 80’s. So, systematise your business, and you will leverage your capacity as the owner. But, until systems run your business, you have a job. Also, you will never be able to extract yourself to work on your business instead of in your business. And, your lifestyle improvement will remain an unreachable dream.
Step 4 – Team: having the A-Team run your business = structuring for growth
Ask business owners what represents their greatest headache, most will tell you “employees”. You have heard it said: “People are a company’s most valuable asset.” That is not true! The right people in the right positions are a company’s most valuable asset. In the book Good to Great Jim Collins writes:
Those who build great companies understand that the ultimate throttle on business growth for any great company is not markets, or technology, or competition, or products. It is one thing above all others: the ability to get and keep enough of the right people.
Step 5 – Synergy: a well-oiled business machine = freedom!
This is when 2 + 2 = 5. Too many business owners after experiencing a little success try to expand through duplicating outlets or franchising before they have completed the four previous steps. As they grow, because of insufficient systems or the wrong people on their executive team, cracks start to appear in the foundation. So they retreat and go back to when it was only one business location that they can control with their presence. In fact, if the owner carefully built a solid basis on the four previous steps, the cumulative effect of this smart work will be significant income with time to enjoy it. Congratulations – you now no longer have a job! You have a focus ON business growth – YOU are a successful entrepreneur!
Step 6 – Massive Results: diversification through multiplication or acquisition
As a result of what you have learned by taking your business growth through this process, coupled with the time and money to leverage, you can create multiple streams of income and wealth by multiplying your business concept or acquiring other companies and taking them through the six steps. Or, you can retire with a lifestyle that is the envy of most.