Are you creating a sustainable business? One that is viable, continuous, worthwhile and supportable. A sustainable business is one that can operate without you being part of the day-to-day. This is a business that becomes manageable and sellable.
A sustainable business is what many business owners hope for, but hope is not a strategy. Is their day to day activity focused on achieving their dream? Clients and owners have told me that selling their business is their retirement plan, yet most owners will tell you they’re busy wearing lots of hats. Too often what gets overlooked are the fundamentals.
Years ago, when I was in hairdressing school, one of the first things we learned about cutting hair was not to lose sight of your guide. It’s the first layer that you cut. It’s what will guide you through the rest of the haircut. Without the fundamentals operating and growing a business is more difficult and time consuming just like getting lost in a haircut would be without a guide.
What a sustainable business needs to focus on are the 5 Pillars of Business.
Marketing – Do you know who your ideal customer is or are you marketing to everyone? When you are speaking to everyone, no one believes you’re speaking to them. Selling is more difficult because you don’t connect with or understand your customers problems. Do not fear creating an ideal customer and marketing to them.
Sales – It takes relationships to build the know, like and trust we all want before we buy. How do you build and nurture those relationships? Are you making the most of the opportunities available such as local groups and associations?
Operations and Technology – These are your systems and processes for efficiency and consistency. Many owners need to get this information out of their heads and share it with their team. Is your team involved in brain-storming new ideas? Technology tools can help.
People and Leadership – Do you value your team and customers? Are you open to new ideas and feedback? Is your business the one people want to work at? Your team’s skill set is a valuable resource.
Financials – Tracking the numbers in any business is important to its health and sustainability. You can adjust and make better decisions based on facts not guessing. If you’re tracking your numbers, you will know if you need to rethink areas of your business or services you provide.
You don’t have to be doing all of this yourself. But you need to learn enough in each pillar to delegate or outsource to the right people or company. Trust and verify. Have checks and balances in place. We’ve all heard the horror stories of owners who were taken advantage of by people they trusted with their business. Don’t allow those stories or experiences to defend or confirm doing it all yourself. Instead of wishing business was easier, wish you were better and take the action needed to learn or revisit the fundamentals.
Start imaging what a healthy business looks like day to day. It’s Profitable, Sustainable and Enjoyable!
- It understands its ideal customer and is attracting new customers
- It confidently sells the value and quality services provided to customers and the community
- It has the best systems and processes in place to for consistency and efficiency.
- It has a quality team who is on board with the company’s core values and is proud to work there.
- It tracks the financial health making better decisions for growth
Does this mean there aren’t challenges? Of course not. Life is full of challenges. Change is inevitable, so enjoy the ride. Keep up with training, industry trends and updates, and personal and professional development. If the owner doesn’t grow the company won’t either.
Enjoying what you do each day makes all the difference. Gain control of your business instead of it controlling you. Being the owner means you are responsible for all of it. By making your business independent you can leave as you need or want to, knowing that you are developing your team.
A friend of mine recently said, “people who fear life don’t enjoy life. If you worry all the time, there is no time for enjoyment.” I say Control what you can, trust and verify the rest and enjoy life’s journey.