Welcome to our fifth blog within our series dedicated to helping businesses successfully navigate the challenges and critical milestones at each and every phase of the entrepreneurial journey.
Today’s blog focuses on the importance of building systems and processes to accelerate the growth of businesses and ensure that they successfully navigate each phase of the entrepreneurial journey with greater operational effectiveness and organisational efficiency.
Too Many Hats & Not Enough Time
In the early stages of running and building a successful business one of the most common challenges for entrepreneurs is the fact that they’re having to wear multiple hats all of the time.
Having successfully navigated the launch phase they’re often still responsible for all of the key functions across the business, namely Sales, Marketing, Finance and Operations.
The primary challenge then becomes one of time and prioritising where to focus first.
As Michael Gerber pointed out in his celebrated bestseller The E-Myth Revisited, SME business owners typically begin their entrepreneurial journey from one of 3 backgrounds, namely;
- Technician i.e. they’re an operational expert in a particular line of work
- Manager i.e. they’ve been a manager in a specific industry
- Entrepreneur i.e. they’ve amassed funds to invest in new ventures
In all 3 cases, however, the business owner is rarely an expert in more than one or two functions and hence managing tasks in the others take considerable amounts of time until such time as they learn how to be proficient in all of the other areas.
Successful entrepreneurs recognise that time is without a doubt their most valuable asset. They understand that Entrepreneurship is all about the ability to convert knowledge and effort into money through the investment of their time into value-add activities.
They equally recognise that there is no such thing as Time Management. They recognise that in reality, it’s all about self mastery in so far as it’s all about where entrepreneurs choose to invest their time.
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As businesses grow, they invariably face some very specific challenges. Understanding how best to address them, in what order, whilst also identifying the opportunities associated with these challenges is a critical part of unlocking your business’ true potential.
The most successful entrepreneurs manage to spend most of their time in what is commonly referred to as The Zone focusing on Important tasks that add real value to the organisation as opposed to tasks that have simply become urgent. They successfully avoid getting distracted and maximise the returns from the hours that they invest in their work.
Conversely, many entrepreneurs who lack the clarity and focus from the outset find themselves wearing every hat in the business, working excessive hours and therefore finding little or no time to work on the business let alone spend time with family and friends.
Systemise the 80% & Humanize the 20%
As well as investing significant time and effort into developing robust business, financial and targeted marketing plans, successful entrepreneurs also invest heavily in systemising their businesses from the outset. They learn the benefits of Systemising the 80% & humanizing the remaining 20%.
In one of his better books (“Instant Systems”), Action Coach’s Brad Sugars summarizes the 9 Steps to systematizing a successful business, more specifically through;
- Vision Statement
- Mission Statement
- Culture Statement
- SMART Goals
- Organisation Chart
- Positional Contracts
- How to Systems
- Management Systems
The net result of implementing these individual systems is much higher consistency of activities through process and procedural excellence. These, in turn, bring about improvements in operational efficiency resulting in significant increases in both revenue and margin growth.
For entrepreneurs that are still wearing too many hats, learning how to avoid these common problems is a critical step in building a successful business with an ability to grow year after year.
By investing in our Online Growth Accelerator Membership Programme entrepreneurs learn how to build a winning set of business, financial and targeted marketing plans. They learn how to prioritise the important value-add activities whilst delegating and/or outsourcing those others that require lower skills to deliver and add less value.
In the same way as the members of our successful One to One and Group Coaching Programmes participants in our online membership programme learn how to systemise their businesses through tried and tested tools and techniques whilst being guided again by our team of top coaches who remain on hand should you ever need extra help & support.
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We’re truly passionate about supporting business owners like you overcome your challenges and unlock the true potential of your business. If you’re looking to drive your business forward, get in touch today!
Building A Consistent & Profitable Customer Base
From the outset of every entrepreneur’s journey, the challenge of consistently winning profitable customers is paramount. At the heart of every successful business is an ability to consistently generate the required level of target market leads and more importantly convert them into profitable and loyal customers in line with a business’ growth targets.
Whilst this sounds both simple and obvious, in practice, this is undoubtedly one of the areas that early stage businesses, in particular, find most difficult to establish.
Successful entrepreneurs know how to develop effective strategies to generate a consistent supply of target market leads, convert them efficiently and effectively to build a customer base that simply continues to grow and grow at ever increasing rates.
They equally understand the importance of segmenting their potential customer base and focusing their efforts on the most valuable opportunities in order to drive repeat business, increase the lifetime value of their customers and ultimately drive profits.
Having built a targeted marketing plan that includes real clarity and specificity around WHO the business is targeting, it’s vital that the business is then able to differentiate itself in the eyes of the customer through a compelling set of USP’s (unique selling propositions) and wherever possible a strong service-led GUARANTEE as well.
The most successful entrepreneurs know only too well that in order to build the trust and confidence of the buyer the key points of differentiation simply have to really matter to the customer in order to CONVERT them and more importantly RETAIN them in order to create a sustainable competitive advantage over their competition.
Alongside a winning marketing plan invariably sits a great SALES PROCESS that is designed to qualify and progress prospects quickly and efficiently through to a sale. Each step of the process should be designed to have a clear set of objectives and a pre-determined set of outcomes.
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The challenge many businesses have with this approach is that business owners and sales teams alike tend to be overly keen to progress prospects to the next stage of the process that they rarely qualify the prospects properly. This in turn ultimately leads to a situation of false hope and ultimate disappointment with the end result.
Consequently, the most successful businesses see the sales process as more of a disqualification process by focusing their efforts solely on those that are most likely to buy and those that most closely match the organisation’s ideal customers. In adopting this approach consistently it is those same organizations that ultimately realise the biggest and most profitable sales month after month, year after year.
We hope that you’ve found today’s blog useful and informative. DON’T MISS the sixth and final part of this mini series. In our next blog we focus specifically on the importance of building a business with a clear sense of direction and purpose as a means of maximising its growth potential.