The early years of running your own business is about creating a foundation, a solid jumping off point to propel you onto the next stage.
Often this next stage is sparked by your desire to scale the business in some way. I’d even argue you are always creating foundations for the next step of your journey.
What is a foundation to scale?
They’re the fundamental elements that form the basis for a business’ operations and eventual success. Yes you can succeed without creating a foundation, but you have a better chance with a strong base, otherwise you risk ending up with a business that is reliant on you. As I’ve said before, plan to exit your business from day one!
NB: A business that is reliant on you to operate will eventually drain your enthusiasm and passion. It can mean constant interruptions for help, multiple emails, phone calls and meetings that you needn’t spend time on, missing out on holidays and returning to piles of hard work, and even dwindling revenue…
The best kind of foundation is one that is holistic. A holistic approach is required to cover all the elements of your business. Much like building a house, if the foundations are poor, what you build on top may wobble and even fall over. It’s like going out and winning loads of new business, but not having the operations model to deliver on your promise.
How to create a strong foundation to scale your business
Here’re my thoughts on some areas that go towards creating a solid foundation.
- Know where you are heading with a clarity of vision
- Have a strategic document and an operational plan
- If you need a business partner, choose someone who will complement your existing skills/personality and add to them
- Choose the best advisers, especially in areas that are not considered your strengths
- Create your organisational structure with a strong purpose and maybe appoint a senior leadership member/team
- Be in the right place mentally
- Be 100% invested in effective leadership
- Reflect on valuable research that confirms where and how you are launching your next stage
- Analyse your customer segments and profile your ideal customers, so that your messaging is relevant, on point, relatable and empathetic
- Be invested in tried and tested lead generation channels and tactics
- Understand your customer journey, how the relationships evolve, and create a matching sales process
- Know how you truly add value to your audience and why people lean towards you with interest
- Understand your money flow and use that knowledge to create a positive cashflow and reserves
- Know your numbers and those critical ‘success drivers’ – your activity and outcome KPI’s
- Have the talent around you who support your plan and execution of it
- Every day, ensure you and your business are operating to your values
- Have systems and processes in place that capture how you and the team are best performing in your business
- Create performance review documents in a format that allows your teams innovation and creativity to continually improve them.
Every business is different, and a foundation plan may well be different for you, but every business will benefit from one! If I can help you plan and strengthen your foundations to scale, then let’s have a conversation.
In the meantime, explore some of the ways I may be able to help:
- One to One Mentoring, tailored advice
- Business Oxygen, a business improvement club
- Online business mentoring, a programme you work through in your own time.