Building Blocks of
Mark Wardell discusses how to use four basic building
blocks to grow your business. Learn how keep your business
on track with the following basic principles.
The Four Business Building Tools
When was the last time you were so impressed by a business that
you just had to tell someone about it? Sadly, it's probably been
a while, but if you're an entrepreneur, this represents a tremendous
opportunity. Just think of the business potential that's out there
just waiting to be realized.
So what's the problem? Why are there so
few outstanding businesses?
Well, the problem isn't a shortage of dreams. Most entrepreneurs
have more of them than they can count. The problem is the challenge
of turning those dreams into reality. Oh sure, every entrepreneur
starts their business with the best of intentions, but somewhere
along the way they loose sight of their dreams as they become more
and more consumed with the daily grind of running their business.
After years of helping people build their companies, I've
come to realize that growing a business comes down to two
main things... people and time. If you can learn to properly
manage both, you'll eventually be a success.
To do this properly, you must design your business to function
independently from you. It's the necessary goal of any organization
that wants to achieve success. Without this, you are stuck.
You are doomed to forever bump your head against what we
call the "glass ceiling" You'll recognize the
symptoms if you ever find yourself running out of time to
get your work done, complaining about your employees work
ethic, or feeling frustrated with your customers' seemingly
There are four basic tools you can use to confidently give
your business the independence it needs to grow.
1. Business Manual 2. Employee Manuals 3. Analysis Manual
4. Business Calendar
Used properly, these tools will form a solid foundation
for your growth. They are designed to give your business
its independence, so you can focus your efforts on guiding
it to the next level. There's a little work involved, but
I've never met a lazy entrepreneur. And besides, owning
a successful, thriving business is more than worth the effort.
The first business tool is your Business Manual. It functions
much like an operations manual does for your car. It houses
your strategies, your policies, your systems, and other
basic information. Basically, everything you might need
to run your company is located here in one central location.
The value of a well documented Business Manual is significant,
to say the least. Not only does it help smooth out the daily
management of your operation, it gives tremendous confidence
to a potential investor or purchaser, helping to raise the
value of your business in the process. Why? Because a business
that runs on its own is a much more solid investment. In
fact, it's a critical factor in determining its market value.
The second business tool is really a group of tools. These
are your Employee Manuals. Employee Manuals are the most
common of the Four Business Building Tools, but rarely do
they provide the value they should. A good Employee Manual
should serve double duty as a Training Manual. This means
it should contain not only your important company policies
and contact information, it should also contain a detailed
job description, complete with applicable systems. In other
words, it should show an employee not only what is expected
of them, but how to do it as well. The goal is to make the
process of bringing in a new employee as smooth as possible
and then empower them to take ownership of their work.
The third business tool is your Analysis Manual. Think
of this as your "business dashboard". Here you
will keep all the relevant numbers that you want to review
on a regular basis concerning the status of your business.
Certainly this includes your financial statements, but
those aren't the only numbers that are important. For example,
you may want to track the amount of overtime your employees
are putting in per month, or the number of new prospects
your salespeople are meeting with each week. It doesn't
need to be complicated, but it does need to be useful, so
take a little time to identify the numbers that mean something
to you. Then, share these numbers with your employees.
Not only is an Analysis Manual a powerful goal setting
tool (helping to keep you on track), it can also warn you
of potential problems before they arise. For example, if
you know that you need sales of $200 thousand next month
and you know that your salespeople tend to convert 33% of
their leads into sales, you'll want to be sure you've got
at least $600 thousand worth of quotes in place for next
month. Now you'll know with some certainty if you're on
track for a great month, or if you've got some work to do
to reach your target. And you can do this with all sorts
of numbers from your business.
The final business tool is your Business Calendar. This
is simply a place for you to track the annual cycle of your
For example, there may be times of the year when you want
to run various marketing campaigns... times of the year
you want to review your budgets... times of the year you
want to have employee reviews... and so forth.
It's not rocket science, but a good Business Calendar is
an essential tool for keeping things from falling through
the cracks. After all, when was the last time you had an
employee review? When is your next employee review? Do your
employees know this date? Can they count on it happening
on a schedule, year after year? If you implement a Business
Calendar you'll be able to confidently answer these questions
Recently I met a fellow who grew his business from $10
thousand to $100 thousand per month in just under 6 months.
Know where he was in month 7? He was bankrupt. He couldn't
keep up with his customers' demands and his business simply
imploded on itself. It's a sad story, but his problem wasn't
new. The number one killer of small business today is unmanaged
rapid growth. That's not to say that rapid growth is bad.
Growth isn't the problem, all businesses need to grow...
it's the unmanaged part that can kill a good business.
So take a little time to get your business in order and
then grow like crazy. Before you know it, you'll be well
on your way to building the business of your dreams.
About the Author
Mark Wardell is President and Founder of Wardell Professional
Development, a business consulting firm, focused on the
unique needs of small/mid sized growth companies.
Wardell Professional Development http://www.wardell.biz
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (604) 733-4489
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