KEY KNOWLEDGE FOR A BUSINESS OWNER
How would we ever figure out what information to apply with all the information out there about business? Various statistics show an average of over 15,000 books on business are released each year. Searching through the maze of data is a daunting task. With all of this data, how would you ever know you were on the right track? I went through this dilemma when I was building my businesses in my early years. It would have been great to have a guide or a mentor to help me work out a plan of action to build a successful organization. Whenever I would find a successful business owner that I felt had certain knowledge due to their success, they could not convey any kind of plan of action. They had great advice to give about different things if I brought something to their attention, but no one seemed to have followed any kind of plan. I continued on with a trial and error approach and learned by mistakes and application.
After 13 years and eight businesses, I began writing about what I had learned. People were asking me to help them in business and deliver seminars on different subjects. I was highly acknowledged for the material I imparted, and although I had discovered some incredible data that people loved, it still did not give a business owner a road map or plan of action for starting a new business or expanding an existing business.
Long story short, after I started consulting companies full time, I finally started to see the barriers to business expansion. When you are trying to understand something, it is always better to have a mindset of: "This is going to be simple," rather than; "This is going to be complicated." Things only seem complicated when we don't understand them. The idea that it must be complicated is why solutions to things aren't discovered.
In the movie industry, there is The Heroes Journey. This is the platform on which the most successful movies are based. When anyone making a film strays from this tried and true plotline, they generally fail, and box office returns are not good.
In football, the coaches teach their players from a Football Playbook. Without the Playbook, it would be very difficult for the coach and players to be on the same page.
When I looked at the simplicities of businesses, it was easy to see that all successful, privately owned businesses, went through four basic stages.
FIRST STAGE—OPERATIONAL (The Four Ps)
The first stage is getting operational. To get operational, a business owner would have to master the delivery of their products or services—Products. They would have been able to let people know they had their products or services—Promotion (Marketing). They would have to learn how to hire and train the right people to build the business—Personnel. They would have to master how to manage the money for further expansion—Profitability. Any business owner will learn, one way or another, that they can not have a weakness in any of these FOUR Ps of business for constant expansion.
SECOND STAGE—MANAGEMENT (THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN BUSINESS)
With a successful First Stage in hand, Management will be the next barrier to overcome. This appears to be the most challenging stage of building a business. This stage takes setting up the business with all the systems in place to scale and support, financially, a top-notch middle-management and Chief Executive level of Management.
This is usually the biggest problem in expansion. Business owners will have a certain limit of how many people they can manage by themselves, and if they have a full-time job within their business, it won't be many. The job of managing people is the hidden challenge. 80% of the time, people don't know what they don't know. This is why people change their minds about building big businesses and decide to keep their businesses small. If business owners don't know how to manage, how could they ever train their staff to manage? The result is that managers do full-time jobs within the business. The sad part is that when business owners don't know how to manage, they spoil their chances of having managers working for them. Any potential managers will get disgruntled and leave for another company where they have more chances of promotion.
With expansion comes the need to standardize all procedures to maintain the quality the company is known for. Standardizing the systems and ensuring the training of all staff on these systems is why scaling a business sometimes fails.
Replicating a successful business model is the easiest way to scale a business. When a business begins going into different states or countries, many other issues will often have to be dealt with. These new problems are more easily overcome if the other Stages of business expansion have been mastered. In other words, the business does not have to deal with internal organizational issues as well as new outside legal state and country rules and regulations.
It is not difficult to build an ever-expanding business. It is just a matter of having a good guide to get you through each of these stages. It can take years to understand and get through these stages without a guide. Would Sir Edmund Hillary have made it to the top of Mount Everest without a competent guide—Tenzing Norgay? Would Henry Ford have built the Ford Motor company without Thomas Edison as his best friend and mentor? We cannot say for sure we just know that they did have guides. There is no weakness in character in asking for help; it is really a very smart move.
Email or call me at 727-243-1336 to see if I could be that guide for you in your business and take you beyond new challenges and goals.