Five Steps to Structure Your Business Foundation
Everything begins and ends with your business foundation. Your foundation begins and ends with Y-O-U at the center of it all. Your life plan comes before the business plan and your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being matters and integrates with the practical aspects of your business.
One – Understand Your Business Strategy
Often when people think about business strategy, they think, “Oh, this needs to be some very complex strategy with a whole lot of charts, spreadsheets, and other really complicated things that I don’t understand or want to look at.” Except this is not the case.
Your business strategy defines:
- who you are
- what you offer and how you deliver
- who you work with
- what value you bring to those you serve (problem you solve)
- how you want to show up
- what you want your life to look like
- what you want your business time to look like
- your pricing strategy and business model
Applying that to your day-to-day business operations means asking:
- How are you going to set your working hours?
- How do you want to show up energetically?
- Do you need vacation or free time for other pursuits? How much?
- What kind of flexibility do you need?
All these things lie at the business foundation of “How am I going to run this thing anyway?” Because you don’t have a boss telling you what to do. You need to define it for yourself. And then make sure it works.
Two – Know Your Business Numbers
A critical piece of building your business foundation is knowing your numbers and your metrics. Because you can’t improve what you can’t measure.
Back in the day, when we went to a mall, there would be a map. On that map, you would see all the stores, all the levels, and a big red dot. That big red dot says you are here.
You define desired metrics as part of your business strategy. Then you take action and do an assessment. What do your numbers look like? What is your profit margin? How are you working your finances? Your cash flow? Your outreach, your time? Are you getting a return on your energy, on your time, on your money?
You are here. That is the big red dot. Revisit this map regularly.
Three – Define Your Business Process and Systems
Processes and systems are the definable, repeatable actions you take (or automate) to run your business. This is not necessarily technology, but it may involve technology.
Listen here – you do NOT need an app for that! Most business foundations do not require more apps or more technology. They need to simplify and then apply the right dose of technology if and where appropriate. Technology only exists to solve a problem. It has no value on its own.
If the technology you use is not solving a problem and making your life easier or more enjoyable, then technology is the problem.
With that premise in mind, you must define your processes to carry out your business strategy.
Areas of your business that need well defined processes and systems include:
- Scheduling and protecting your time
- Cash flow and finance system
- Customer service and customer experience
- Lead generation
- Prospects and sales
- Nurturing existing customers and your community
- Bringing on a new client
- Completing a client relationship
Embedded in these processes and systems are your boundaries. Your boundaries define what behavior is acceptable, what behavior is not acceptable, and how you are going to show up within that framework.
Four – Take Care of You
The center of your business foundation is Y-O-U. Your own uniqueness. Who you are, how you show up – that is what matters.
As humans, we are evolving. We are messy. We have needs. Some days we are at our best. Some days the bar is incredibly low. Other days we don’t show up at all.
Who are you and what do you want from life? You have to design your life and business, and the processes and systems we just talked about, to fulfill your vision and your mission and what you want most in life. Then work and life integrate and function together in harmony.
Where are you getting in your own way? (We all get in our own way.) Execution is a gray area that no amount of DIY or tool knowledgebase can solve. Your mindset, habits, and getting coaching around these invisible realities can be incredibly useful. This way of working provides the guardrails, framework, and support for your business.
Five – Know When You Need Help
When I go somewhere or do something that is beyond my experience level, I hire a guide. Someone who can help, assist, and bring out the best in me. Someone who is ahead of me on the path, that can keep me out of trouble.
As a person and a business owner, getting support can keep you learning and growing outside your comfort zone. But not so far out of your comfort zone that you enter into shut down zone. A shut down zone is when something is so big, and so far outside your comfort zone, that it becomes potentially traumatic.
Many moving pieces all must work together to create your business foundation. You do not need a new app. You do not need the latest shiny new thing. Stop and see where you are, who you are, and what you stand for. Find that red dot on the map, because that is what you are after.
About Paula Gregorowicz
As a business strategist, Paula Gregorowicz owner of The Paula G. Company LLC, helps service-based business owners streamline and simplify the way they work so they can grow in a relaxed, expansive way.
Great stuff not only gets started with Paula, it gets finished! Learn more about her unique approach of practical action and inner awareness at https://thepaulagcompany.com