There are huge opportunities to continue to improve efficiency in the way your business operates. Yet business owners are often unable to see past the way they’ve “always done things.”
Every business owner wants to increase their quantity — that is, the income and cash flow produced by the business. If you are striving toward that goal as step one, and keep repeating step one, it’s easy to get caught in a loop and miss the effect that quality of the businesses has on the quantity. Changes that help improve a business’s eight fundamental areas (planning, leadership, sales, marketing, people, operations, finance, and legal) act as a “gains multiplier.” By balancing these eight areas so they work together seamlessly, you improve the quality of the work done and create that magic “step two” that results in far greater quantities — in terms of product, customers, revenue, and business value as a whole.
If your business is doing well but you feel like you’ve hit a ceiling when it comes to gains, or if things aren’t going the direction you want and you’ve hit a wall, we can help you recalibrate and get you on the path to greater heights.
GPS: The Big Picture
This month, you’ll notice none of the eight fundamentals pie pieces above are enlarged for emphasis — because we are focusing on them all, and how they work together.
First, let’s summarize the eight fundamentals, in clockwise order as they appear above:
• Planning: This means having a strong vision and mission supported by a fully developed business plan, including steps required for product and service development and meeting the needs of increasing demand.
• Leadership: An active board of directors (or advisors) and a cooperative senior management team that effectively communicates within a positive culture is a mark of value — as is succession planning and a career advancement path for those who will fill these roles in the future.
• Sales: Nothing happens without a well-equipped sales team, using strategy that meets the needs of the marketplace in a systematic and process-driven manner.
• Marketing: The branding and marketing presence of your company needs to be implemented just as effectively as it is envisioned in your marketing plan, with accurate and timely information.
• People: A business’s value depends on its ability to hire, develop, and retain quality individuals who can strengthen culture, ethics, customer relations, production, and innovation.
• Operations: The systems and processes in place that ensure a business delivers on promises made to customers, along with the ability to scale up into new markets, are what increases value over competitors.
• Finance: The value of a business depends on the condition of that company’s financial matters and how well it follows best practices; these include clean, readable financial statements and operating reports, as well as adequate and sustainable tax, insurance and banking strategies.
• Legal: Keeping legal matters in order means maintaining proper filings, minutes, licenses, disclosures, and intellectual property protections, as well as contracts and investment agreements — this documentation protects a business against legal claims and liability issues.
The above fundamentals are the principal value drivers in growing your business. Balance among the fundamentals is critical to your success. After assessing where you stand, start with working to raise competency in the weak areas up to where your stronger fundamentals lie. Then, begin working to raise all tides.
Examining the eight fundamentals is about learning your own working style, too. By pinpointing your greatest strengths and hiring people who can make up the areas you lack, you are raising the bar among all the fundamental areas. An entrepreneur who is brilliant at four fundamentals but ignores the other four will only go so far and last so long.
Whether your company has a staff of five or 500, these fundamentals must be covered in order for all aspects of a business to work smoothly together. Remember, focusing on the quality and efficiency your business will produce the quantitative cash flow results you have dreamed of.
The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime. – Babe Ruth
Babe had it right: a team only has value when all the parts work together. If the Yankees had nothing but a lineup of all-star catchers, they’d still boast a tremendous amount of talent — yet that talent would be wasted, and they’d lose to teams that had acquired or developed players with different skill sets.
Likewise, if your business has excellent legal minds and a top finance department, but your sales people aren’t able to close deals, then the other departments might as well go home. Or if sales are booming but the operations department is unable to meet the need, you will end up with a very unhappy (and fleeting) customer base.
Starting with Eagle’s free Altitude Assessment, in 10 minutes you can gain a clearer picture of how your business performs in the eight fundamental areas.
From there, we can formulate a plan to meet needs in areas your company needs support and capitalize on strengths already in place.
When you’ve realized you cannot reach the next level flying solo, that’s when Eagle will work alongside you, leading your advances, keeping your long-term goals in mind at all times.
The greatest business transaction you’ll ever orchestrate begins with leadership from our experienced mentor-advisors who have your back, every time, and can put you on the path to understanding and covering all eight fundamentals for your business. Our individualized approach helps you confidently make significant changes and sound business decisions.