We’re excited you are here and we can’t wait to tell you more about our company, our people and our platform. Why are we so excited? Because we believe that the future is small …. And small business is beautiful! OK, but what is sixty:forty? Did you know that more...
No matter how big or how small your business, there are 9 Factors that need to be covered in order to make sure you are building an asset.
And attention to these factors is the difference between being a business owner and just having a job.
Building a business that is independent of the owner is absolutely critical. Otherwise you have built yourself a job – actually it’s worse than that, because with a job you can quit. You can’t just quit and not come back with a business. You have responsibilities and you have commitments.
As Michael Gerber of E-Myth says, just because you understand the technical work of a business, doesn’t mean you can successfully run a business that does the technical work. Just because you are great at what you do – outstanding in your job even – it doesn’t necessarily mean you can be successful in your own business.
Sometimes you have to walk before you can run and putting in place the fundamentals make creating a scalable business so much more efficient.
That is our goal with the 9 Factors – to cover the 9 key areas that you need to master in your business to truly create a small business that is independent from you. So you can spend your time doing the things that you choose to.
Factor 1 - Leadership
Why are you in Business? What do you want to get out of it? How will you communicate your vision and lead your team? And, how will you know you are there? That is just four questions asked of small business leaders.
Taking it one step further, how will you use the cash from your business to build the personal life of your dreams? Using your small business to generate financial independence, all while providing for your day to day living, is an essential objective.
Tying your personal goals to your business goals will help you reach your desired end state all that much faster. But to get there you have to know what you want.
Small business can make you big money … if you can identify the issues that hold small business back. And a big part of that is … small business thinking. Don’t let limiting beliefs hold you back – change your mindset, change your business and leverage thinking big!
Factor 2 - Management
What gets measured gets done. Small Business Owners generally don’t have the resources to manage the never-ending capturing of information with no end outcome or use. That makes the key word here “proportion”.
Let me ask you a question – what are the 5-10 key things that matter in your business? If these are truly the drivers of your client and team satisfaction and profitability, then what KPI’s have you established to monitor these?
Factor 3 - People & Culture
There are so many quotes on staffing matters but at the heart of it, employees are there to make the business run. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun. Set boundaries, provide your staff with your Vision and they either find it uncomfortable and move on – or they stay and they thrive.
Working in small business is not like working with big business, NGO’s or in government. Accountability is an essential part in the day to day role of any employee. So finding A-Players is essential. But what if you can’t afford to pay competitive salaries? How can you find and develop the best people for your business? Do you want to learn how you become a workplace that attracts and retains A-Players?
Being able to identify the right staffing mix is a big part of managing the people and culture aspect of your business, along with the tools that you will use to keep alignment between everyone working with you.
But this isn’t all about your team – self leadership and liberating you from the Business through systems and training is also critical.
Factor 4 - Brand
This is more than just your corporate colours, logo and website. This speaks to who you are as a business.
How can you build predictability into how your business can both make your brand promise, and then deliver on that promise – every single time?
The ability to see the business from a customer’s perspective, and not your own, is invaluable.
Michael Gerber also says, “Your business, not your commodity, is your product.” He means that what you truly sell and deliver is the experience of buying from you, not your product/service. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your business runs smoothly.
So we’d love to know – what’s your story?
Factor 5 - Product
Without a product (physical, service or digital) you don’t have a business. Your business is also more than the commodity that you sell. When thinking about the services and products that you supply, what is the experience that you have built around servicing your clients? This ties directly into your brand.
How do you establish your pre-eminence in the market place? Being clear on what you are really selling is also useful to help understand your point of difference from the competition.
Do you have a clear path for your own clients to get to know you and to ultimately build trust in you enough to buy something? Have you developed marketing assets that work for you and support all of your products? And do all of your team members know what you sell?
Factor 6 - Marketing
This is about making your business known. You can do it the old-school way with print media, radio and television, or new media like digital marketing and through social channels.
Before you can scale your business though you must have the foundations in place. Fast growth without having the foundations in place just leads to problems. So let’s not do that.
Does your marketing produce predictable and consistent results week after week? And do you have an overarching strategy surrounding customer acquisition and conversion, or are you running with just a bunch of different tactics?
Seriously though .. what marketing assets do you have in place that can run 24/7 and consistently produce results?
Factor 7 - Sales & Delivery
This is closely aligned with Factor 6, but separate because this is where you are face to face with your clients and are enabling and supporting delivery of your product. This is where customer service and operations come together to serve the client.
The actual sales process is not about closing – it is about opening the relationship with that client so that you develop something long term, built on helping them achieve their objectives.
These two disciplines are grouped together because the promises made by your sales team must be delivered through your fulfilment systems. This is critical otherwise you will not deliver on your brand promise.
Factor 8 - Operations
Operations cover the practical areas of actually servicing your client and all of the back end things to make your business work. What facilities do you use or need to have access to? How are you insured?
If you manufacture or hold inventory there are a number of other considerations that you need to take into account as well, including buy/make decisions, stock levels, trends and changes. Your supplier selection and contracts management processes will also become important simply because supply chain issues can break your business.
Factor 9 - Finance
Without cash flow the business will die. Managing cash flow is one of the single largest stress points.
With all of these things, being proportional is key. There is no point having a 4-week project to develop a cash budget when you won’t even look at it again for the next 12 months.
How do you get money when the bank won’t lend it to you? You need to think outside of the box, which is where Alternative Finance comes in.
Small business owners need to see profit as the driving force and themselves as entrepreneurs and not just as technical experts.
We believe strongly in having an effective communication path between operations, technical and corporate (or leadership) – the reason is so that the corporate intent is delivered through the on the ground workers.
Mastering the 9 Factors of your business will show you how to turn your company into a turn-key money machine.
Our goal is to give you information and ideas that you can implement into your small business along with suggesting new ways that yo can tackle that long standing problem in your business.
At sixty:forty we want to transform the way that small business owners grow their companies.
Do you want to just get by in business … or do you want to build the business into what you know it can be?
Join us on our goal to help 10,000 small business owners to double their net profit and cut their time working in the business by 31 December 2022.