Have you asked yourself the question lately, “Is my business on track to deliver the outcome I dreamed about when I first started it?”
Many new clients and people I meet in everyday business life have long ago been so worn down by the reality and intensity of running and building a business; they have left behind their dreams for personal freedom. Even if you have a plan for financial freedom, when and how are you going to get set up so you can actually choose how you spend your time today?
Surely both profitability and freedom together is the point of starting a business, yet so many of us haven’t set up our businesses up that way from the beginning.
Well, there is no time like the present.
The right business model is the foundation to producing the business of your dreams. I use three steps to break down the core process of setting your business up for maximum profitability AND time freedom for you as a business owner.
Clarify Your Strategy
- Seek inspiration and stimulation daily to help you see new clarity and new solutions that weren’t available to you yesterday.
- Be clear about your purpose for being in business and the difference you want to make. Your business is always a direct reflection of you and you need to be able to enjoy it and keep finding the energy to launch yourself over the hurdles, one by one as they arise.
- Be clear about your Secret Sauce and the thing you love to do, that is unique to you and that you do particularly well. You might start with a shortlist of things, and then narrow it down later when you are looking for a perfect match in the market place.
- Choose a business model that fits your lifestyle needs into the future and allows you a graceful exit from the day to day running of the business.
- Create a clear strategic plan, with not too much detail, but including key milestones and accountabilities to help keep you on track. Measurable milestones will help you to see where you are not on track so you can make timely adjustments along the way.
- You might need to stage out the development of your ideal business model to ensure you have the resources you need to grow.
Magnetise Your Business
- In order to attract more of your ideal and most profitable customers, you need to define them and understand them at a micro level.
- Choose a narrow niche target customer that has the greatest potential for your business and get to know them really well. Warning: This is the step that business owners struggle with the most, and the number one thing that will make the most difference in your quest for profitability and freedom.
- Get clear about the problem that customer has that you are solving, and demonstrate to them how you solve their problem in your unique ways.
- Consider who else in the market place is solving that problem for that customer, and are you the one who is able to do it best, with the lowest cost base. This will impact your pricing, your ability to stand out, and your potential for profitability.
- If you don’t come up with the answer you need for profitability, then consider redirecting your focus and solutions to a different customer, or give the original customer a different solution.
- From here, it is much easier to craft a successful Unique Selling Proposition, consistent messaging, the right marketing channels, tools, timing and campaigns.
- Most of all, promise remarkable value and then deliver what you promise, every time.
Amplify your Impact
- Articulate your Secret Sauce – so you can consider what will be necessary in training others to apply it when you are not physically present.
- Be prepared to let go of control, and replace that personal control with systems and checks and balances.
- No one ever is likely to be able to do exactly what you do 100%, and 85% or 90% might still represent incredible value for the customer and make them very happy.
- Define your 85% or 90% and then train and develop and support others to deliver that.
- Be very clear about the values and culture that makes your business work, and seek a match for those values and behaviours when you take on staff and strategic partners.
- Determine what production capacity is required, what’s in the way of acquiring that capacity and then brainstorm you way through alternative strategies.
- What automation and technology is available?
- What shortcuts can you learn from others?
- Identify the resources you need to fuel your expansion – Business Partner? Investor? Banker? Staff or Contractors? Strategic Partners? Acquisition?
- Know your own weaknesses and hire or partner to complement them.
- Keep investing in yourself as a leader and entrepreneur – an expanding mindset makes anything possible.
Naturally, it is much easier to make this a reality when you set your business up the right way from the start. However, it is entirely possible to plot out and implement a business model restructure while continuing the day-to-day running of your existing business model. At the appropriate stages of development, and with careful planning, you can begin to implement new activities and processes to the business without upsetting the apple cart.
If this is something you want to take on, it will be important to have a mentor and some expert assistance, in order to avoid the common pitfalls.
Remember, there is no certainty when you are dealing with the future, ever. Be open minded about how tomorrow will look; embrace the adventure; believe in your dreams; and most of all, be kind to yourself and to others throughout the process.