Ever had to deal with roller coaster sales or operational problems every time you get busy? These, and other growing pains, are telling you your business’ foundation is weak. If you don’t fix them, things could get ugly fast.
A house without a good foundation falls down. A business without a good foundation falters when you try to grow it.
As the owner, you are the leader. It’s your job to build this foundation for business growth. Once you do, you’ll have a sustainable business that can reliably function without your direct involvement.
The foundation for growing your business
When I work with my clients to grow their businesses, we focus on 5 things.
These 5 things, when put together, provide a rock-solid foundation. A foundation that will support the businesses growth now and well into the future.
Let’s take a look at each of them.
Purpose and vision
First, there’s the purpose and vision. This is all about getting crystal clear about why the business exists and where it’s going. Without clarity on these things, it’s difficult to make much progress growing your business.
The purpose is like the footings. It is the base that supports everything. It’s your reason why.
Think for a second…why does your business exist?
A lot of business owners haven’t ever thought about this. They usually answer this question with some version of “to make money” or “to support my family.”
These are fine goals. And they are the reason many people start businesses. But they’re not enough.
If money is your only motivation, you will reach a point where there isn’t enough money in the world to motivate you. To grow and be successful, your business needs a bigger purpose.
When you have a bigger purpose, you have a reason to get up every day and do the hard work of building something special. It gives you clarity and it gives you direction.
Speaking of direction, the vision flows from your purpose. It’s a clear picture of what your business will become. It is the destination on the map.
Have you ever tried to get someplace when you didn’t know where you wanted to go? Hard to do, isn’t it?
Only by knowing the destination can you have any hope of figuring out how to get there. That’s what your vision for the business does. It tells you where you’re going.
When you know where you’re going, you make better decisions about what you should and shouldn’t do.
Your Ideal Target Customer
Successful marketing is all about connecting with a rabidly loyal tribe. This step in our process is all about connecting with that tribe.
To understand your ideal market, you need to ask and answer two critical questions.
First, who is your tribe?
You need to know who your best market is. You need to know what their demographics are.
For those of you who sell to consumers, it’s things like:
- where they live
If you sell to businesses, it’s things like:
- company size
- job role
You also need to know what they do.
- Where do they shop?
- What do they buy?
- How do they spend their time?
- How do they make decisions?
- What interests them?
In short, you need to know them better than they know themselves. And, the more narrow this group is, the better.
Second, you need to know what their problem is.
Like you need to know who your ideal target customer is, you need to know their problems and pains.
- What do they need?
- What worries them?
- How far are they willing to go to end their pain?
- What type of solution are they looking for?
If you can talk about what they’re feeling and what they hope for, they’ll believe that you understand them and can help.
Your Value Proposition
Next, your value proposition for that ideal customer has to be spot on.
All that work you did to understand your customer lets you offer them the perfect solution to their problem. All you need to do is connect your offering to the outcomes your market desires. And deliver on those outcomes, of course.
When you know your tribe, and you put that knowledge to work in your offer, two things happen.
- You can charge a premium price for your solution.
- You crush your competition.
Think those things could help you grow your business?
Once we’ve worked through these first three areas, we’ve got a solid plan for a successful business. But plans are useless without implementation. The last 2 areas cover that.
The fourth area is creating the systems that make the business work. These, collectively, become your unique way of doing business.
What if you could be certain that everyone in your company knew exactly what to do and how to do it?
What if you could be certain that everyone in your company always did each task the same way every time?
What if you knew that everyone in your company was testing and improving the way they do things every day?
You’d be able to relax a little, wouldn’t you?
That’s the power of systems in your business.
Systems tell everyone how to do what needs to be done. That means you have consistency and predictability in your business. Systems are how you know everyone is doing each task the best possible way to get the outcome you and your customers want.
Systems mean your customers get the same result, on-time, every time.
Skeptical? Consider this. McDonald’s didn’t grow from one hamburger stand to what it is today because they make great burgers. They became what they are today by building a great system to produce the same burger no matter where in the world you order it.
The second most common thing business owners say to me, after “I need more sales” is “I can’t find any good people.”
The problem isn’t that there aren’t any good people. The problem is that there isn’t a purposeful plan of how to staff the company.
Building the team starts with understanding what the positions are. In team sports, there are specific positions with specific responsibilities. It’s exactly the same for your business.
You’ve got specific positions that need certain skills. Putting anyone into a position isn’t going to work. Or putting someone with the skills for one position into a different one isn’t going to work.
The first thing you need to do here is to define what all the positions are. Then define what they’re supposed to do. Then you can hire people with skills that match the position and be clear about expectations.
When you do that, you’ve got a team. Combine it with systems, and you’ve got a team with a playbook.
What do you get when you have a team full of people in the right positions executing a well-thought out playbook?
You get a well-oiled machine that produces the right result for the right people every time.
You get happy, loyal customers.
You get growth.
You get the business you were dreaming about when you first started it.
Does that sound like something you want? Schedule a breakthrough session with me to see how it can happen in your business.