The idea behind Themes or Swim Lanes was to organize all of our knowledge and tools. Our original research on fast and sustainable small business growth created 4 clusters: Market Intelligence, Brand & Strategy, Systems & Process, and Human Performance. Without getting into the weeds about the research process - these made the most sense to us. Over the last decade as we worked with business owners around the world, we recognized it should have been organized from the perspective of users, not creators.
We have reorganized our library of best practices into 4 themes PLUS 1: Finance, Operations, Sales, and People, Ownership is our last track and covers the demands of Living The Life. This includes covering special issues in the Consulting & Coaching industries.
THE 4 TACTICAL elements of working IN the business, THE 1 STRATEGIC element of working ON it
Finance - "KEEP IT" Financial management is one of your main avenues to success as a business owner. Financial management is how you know if you are making a profit, help make decisions on buying assets, and taking on liabilities. This requires accurate and timely information. Also early stages of growth needs to be financed from sales, not loans or investments.
Determining the right ownership structure;
Creating accurate accounting systems that meet external requirements;
Creating accurate accounting systems that allows for real-time decision making;
Managing cash flow and credit to ensure money is available all year, all the time;
Determining the right method for handling payroll;
How to finance growth from sales.
Operations- "BUILD IT" How to organize the company by building systems and processes to run it and produce the products and services sold to customers. This includes using technology to establish a backbone where all relevant information is available on demand.
How to create a structure that efficiently achieves results;
How to use existing technology to build the backbone of a company;
How to use technology to collect and share information inside the business;
How to engage customers and suppliers in the development of a new product or service offer;
How to test a new product or service before making it available to everyone;
How to design processes that build it right the first time, every time;
How to run efficient projects that are on time, on budget.
Sales 'SELL IT" How to develop the account. This is bigger than figuring out how to get somebody to buy something. It looks at the customer’s or client’s total situation to identify the root cause of their pain points and provide solutions for today plus building a long-term relationship to upsell your entire offer and become the supplier of choice.
How to create a compelling picture of the company's future to attract customers, employees, and investors;
How to find high margin customers that fit your process and offer;
How to clarify the role of sales as Business Developers, not just selling;
How to effectively use the business owner and executives in the sales process;
How to build compensation systems that drive the sales force to do the right thing;
How to use technology as the backbone to maximize sales efforts.
People "STAFF IT" How to attract, select, develop, and compensate the best people. Nobody has a farm where they grow employees, instead the best are attracted to companies that meet their needs - their pain points. How do we take the CREATE and BUILD themes to become the employer of choice. Topics:
How to create a motivating and challenging work environment to attract and keep the best employees;
How to develop skill mastery in all employees;
How to get employees on the same page for executing the companies mission, operating principles, and business objectives;
How to balance authority and responsibility so employees can successfully complete their jobs;
How to build teamwork in work groups;
How to structure frequent face to face meetings between employees and direct supervision to discuss performance;
How to build reward and accountability systems that drive performance;
How to attract, select, develop, and compensate winners.
Owner as Executive 'OWN IT" Finally, the focus shifts from working IN the business to working ON and How to create a money-making machine. You are embedding into the DNA of the business your wealth and talent, how do you make that pay-off not only when you sell it but every day it is open to become the investment of choice. Topics:
How to establish the company as a thought leader - the source people turn to when they need expert answers;
How to build a self-managing culture and organization;
How to manage change to keep the business current;
How to improve your approach to leadership and management;
How to turn your business into a money making machine;
How to personally grow to meet demands of running a larger company;
How to create and execute an exit plan that rewards you for the investment of growing a successful company.
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