Do you remember a Snipe Hunt? One of the initiations into Boy Scouts was to send the Tenderfeet out on a Snipe Hunt. This was where the new guys were sent out at night to find and bag a Snipe.
From the Oxford Dictionary
- a practical joke in which an unwitting victim is sent in pursuit of something that doesn’t exist.
- “one or two gullible youths are selected to participate in the notorious snipe hunt”
- a foolish or hopeless search for or pursuit of something unattainable; a wild goose chase
You can watch the video or read the rest below.
I can remember my first hunt. I was a new Tenderfoot in Boy Scouts and we were out at Camp Nash. Joey and I were excited. About thirty minutes in, we knew something was off. And sure enough, the older scouts were having a hoot at our expense as we scoured the woods at night, looking for the elusive Snipe.
I see too many owners pursuing the elusive Snipes in their business. They are posting meaningless “look at me and my business” posts on Facebook or other Social Media sites. Or they are drinking gallons of coffee networking and wondering where the business is. Or they are spending dollar after dollar in one form of advertising or another without really knowing who their ideal customer is and where they are, in order to message them.
Or there is the business owner that has grown to the point where they now are working 60 – 70 hours a week trying to keep up with the workload of delivery and the back-office work necessary to keep the business running. All because they haven’t taken the time to hire the right people and then to have the policies and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) so the business can run while the owner is not in the shop.
I get it. Many owners are busy. And, if they can take an hour or so once a week to 1) Identify the key systems and processes that drive their business. 2) Start writing out the steps to fulfill each process. 3) Have each process reviewed by the people that will be performing the process. 4) Storing these where they are accessible for everyone that needs access.
For all of you gloriously self-employed, congratulations… you have a different kind of job. Creating a business requires that you step out of the business on a regular basis to work on the business so it can run when you are not there.
Being busy is a Snipe. You can’t escape being busy. But you can become more productive and focused by taking the time to identify and then to optimize the processes that drive your business. Do yourself the biggest favor. Schedule two hours a week to step out of your business to focus on your business. Your family and your bottom line will thank you.
And if you would like access to some resources to help, you can check out the resources at www.ras-squared.com
Let’s talk about the phases of growth your business will go through and how to get the most out of each phase, while also extending the life of your business.
The four different phases of a business life cycle are:
We’ll talk a little about what each one is and how they can each help expand your business’ life.
This is typically where the owner is doing it all and they are relying upon their expertise and specialty. In the book The E-Myth they would call this a technicians time. At this point, it is hard to separate the business from the owner. The business is dependent upon the owner to be there, to deliver, and to leverage their expertise.
But a business owner can’t stay here forever and grow. They have to understand the next steps.
In this phase you want to start bringing on your support staff and learn to delegate to allow growth to happen. You need to keep a strong emphasis on the technical skills that your organization brings to the busines and the deliverables. This phase really belongs to the manager. You now start planning for the future while managing the assets and resources you have.
There is a point of growth in every successful business where business explodes and becomes chaotic. This is referred to as the Transition. It’s a good problem to have. But it presents new challenges, nonetheless. You are now faced with a number of choices:
- Stay small avoid growth and be comfortable
- Go out of business as you can’t keep up
- Persist and move into the next phase
The last phase is maturity or developed, this doesn’t mean the end of your business. Your passion and drive for growth has to continue in order for you to succeed. You need to keep an entrepreneurial perspective in order to push your business forward. This is where working ON your business is crucial.
You see how all four of these cycles are connected and depend on a strong foundation for each one of them for your business to be, and continue to be, successful. Your three key roles (Technician, Manager, and Entrepreneur must also work together to work through these cycles. If you have read the e-myth, you know these roles as technician, manager, and entrepreneur.
If you are frustrated dealing with the transition from one phase to the next, and figuring out which of the key roles you fit into, try our FREE test drive and work with one of our amazing coaches.
There are three keys to business development. How well you can put the right keys in place can determine the strength of your business foundation.
These areas of business Development are:
Execute on these areas well and you build a solid foundation for your business. Let’s talk about each one of these for just a minute.
Innovation is not creativity. Creativity is the expression of ideas. Innovation is taking these creative ideas and putting them into action. Without action they are just ideas. You want to spend a large amount of your focus on how you can innovate your business. You want it to be different, to stand out, to draw in customers. Think about Domino’s Pizza. Before Domino’s, almost all pizza was either take out or eat in. They looked at the market and said who is hungry for pizza? (College Kids). Domino’s built pizza kitchens near the campus and delivered fast. They got creative ideas and they innovated.
Where can you innovate in your business?
What we measure tends to grow. When you can track the numbers related to your business and to your innovations, you can track success. The best way to gauge this is by your customer response.
- Did leads increase or decrease?
- Did sales increase or not?
Look to positive responses for what you are doing right-and keep doing it. Look to your negative responses to find out what you’re doing wrong-and fix it. This will enable you to keep growing and progressing with the needs of your customers and business climate.
When you find what areas are working, you can narrow down those areas and concentrate on making them the standout ideas. You shift your focus here to get the most out of your business and to meet the needs of your customers.
I can help you work through these three areas during your FREE test drive.
In the next few lessons we are going to transition to the 7 specific areas you need to consider in building your business for survival beyond you. That is building a business you can sell for more money and or one that you can franchise or license. These are:
- Primary Aim
- Strategic Objectives
- Organizational Strategy
- Management Strategy
- People Strategy
- Marketing Strategy
- Systems Strategy
These 7 areas will fine turn your plan for the ultimate level of success.
Image courtesy of https://es.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archivo:Business_idea_diagram_graph.jpg
Too often small business owners create a business and then want to sell it. But they have not taken the time to think through what is valuable in selling a business. When you consider scaling your business and eventually selling your business, it is helpful to think about how you will make it easy to step into. One way to think about this is the franchise model. There are 7 steps to consider as you scale. They are:
· Your Primary Aim
· Strategic Objectives
· Organizational Strategy
· Management Strategy
· People Strategy
· Marketing Strategy
· Systems Strategy
Today we will explore the first three.
Your Primary Aim
It’s essential in business development to set goals and see a vision for the future. This needs to go beyond the business. You also want to think about what you desire out of life. If you are just thinking about the business, you might as well be in a job. What do you dream about? How do you see your success unfolding? Who is with you to celebrate your success? What is the impact of success on you, your customers, your employees your family? Understanding these things will give you the momentum to get started and the stamina to see it through. Now take a minute to write them down and tape this to your desk for a constant reminder of what you’re aiming for.
My primary aim is to create a business that helps the business’ on Main street thrive so that regardless of what happens on Wall Street our community thrives. To do that I help a number of small business owners create millions of dollars in new revenue without spending more money on marketing or advertising.
The Strategic Objectives
These are essential in taking your business from surviving to thriving. These objectives should offer a path to get to your primary aim. There are many things you can use to set strategic objectives, but here are a some of the most popular:
- Money: Setting income goals is a simple way to see how you are doing at any point in the game. It’s easy to measure and easy to find adjustments to help meet this goal.
- Worthy Opportunities: When considering partnerships and other business opportunities such as new product or service development, you want to think about whether they will help you reach your primary aim. Those that will are the best opportunities to seriously consider. All too often I see small business owners distracted by the next shiny thing.
- Customers served: Tracking the number of people your business has served. I have a colleague that wants to reach 10,000 women through her work. And in the process of serving, you create a business.
The key to setting standards and goals is not to limit you or stress yourself out. You need to find some quantifiable things you can use to measure your progress toward your primary aim. I know one business owner that uses bananas as a measurement. You’ll have to ask me for more details. 😉 These are just a few suggestions, but make sure no matter what standards you set you are paying attention to the details, as these are one of the biggest keys to your success.
The strength of your organizational structure can make or break your business, so it’s important to take the time to put together a solid structure for your business to grow from. Generally, a company is organized around the roles and responsibilities that need to be taken care of daily and the personalities that need to fulfill those roles. These might be:
– Sales & Marketing
It might even be helpful to create an organizational chart and slot people in these roles. Even if it is a business of one right now. Understanding the roles and responsibilities of the roles will move your business forward. No matter what roles and responsibilities you’ve defined for your employees, you must always keep your own personal primary aim separate from your company’s primary aim or mission statement. Once you’ve identified the primary aim for your company, it will be easy to set up a position structure that will work.
Don’t forget to put together position contracts. Your employees should sign a statement of their roles and responsibilities. This leads to a key distinction that often causes strife. Expectations versus agreement. All too often people have expectations for their partners and employees. But they have not reached an agreement with those parties. Having a contract helps make this an agreement and it makes it easier to hold each other and ourselves accountable.
By now you can see how these areas all work together to build a solid structure on which to build your business. If you need help defining any of these areas, you can check out the resources and tools and then check out our FREE test drive.