Today let’s talk about what are the most important parts of your business. The building blocks, the way you’ve built the business, the parts that make up the business, and quite frankly, make it either win or lose? Make it successful, or fail. There are only four of them. I’m going to outline them for you real quick. In any business, here’s what they are.
Cash, or money. Time. Architecture, and leadership. Alright? Just four. Cash or money, time, architecture, and leadership. Every business that you know and every business that’s ever existed is only built of these four parts.
Cash or Money:
Cash in or cash out to your business. There’s a foundation for your business itself.
The way time is used by you, by your employees, and by anybody else that makes important decisions about your business.
The stuff that makes up your business. Business development, marketing, operations, team development. These are parts, the structure of the business itself, and how it runs. It’s the architecture, right?
Last but not least, your leadership encompasses your strategic plan, leadership development, being able to assess talent. The talent of the people and yourself inside your business. Things that people are good at.
Now, what are they? And again, just four of them. Cash is money in and money out. Now, what has to happen with cash in your business, and with what’s going on with cash in your business, only breaks into five different parts. So, one block out of four that builds your entire business only has five parts. And if you can manage and understand all five of these parts, you’ve got a pretty good handle about what’s going on with the money in your business.
Short-term budgeting. Long-term financial planning. Cash flow projections. Yes, cash. Actual cash and tracking, right? PNL tools and statements, so profit loss, your account cycle. And understanding KPI, Key Performance Indicators. A fancy way of saying dashboard for your business, right?
Then there’s time, the second of the four building blocks go into your business. Time only comes in two flavours. Time in and time on. Time in is doing the stuff that you do every day in your business to keep your business running. I show up at my store I open the door, I turn on the lights, I open the cash register, I sell a product or a commodity or service to my customer or client. That’s time in my business. Time on my business is doing anything to plan for it or organize it as it grows and moves into the future.
Architecture, the third block of the four blocks for your business, has just a few parts. Business development or marketing system. Business development, sales. Marketing, getting your business to talk about itself when you’re not around.
Operations Planning is vital and very important to understand all the steps that your business has from the time the phone rings or you get an e-mail, to the time you get paid. What they look like, and that helps you define what job roles or where people should fit in your business as it grows. Human capital HR, what you do with people. The care and feeding of the other animals that you keep in your zoo, that’s a business, and team, and management development. Growing people’s skills and getting them better at their job and making sure that they work very well and very effective for the business.
Fourth block, leadership, strategic planning. Not the document that you need when you go to the bank for financing, but an actual roadmap. A plan that outlines where I’m at now, where I’m going with my business and gives me some road markers for success and a measure along the way.
Getting better at what it is you do and getting people to follow you during difficult times.
What people are born to be good at as opposed to what they learn to be good at as well.
Now, these four fundamental building blocks are essential to your business. And if there is any block that is not working very well, very efficient, or you don’t have a good handle on, that’s causing a great deal of stretch, constraint, or hurt inside your business. Each one of these blocks has parts, and if those parts of that block you don’t understand, don’t know what to do, or can’t make sense of, or they’re not working very, very well. Again, causes your business to strain, stretch and pull itself apart. So, if any of these pieces aren’t in alignment, and the four blocks are not lined up effectively in your business, and you don’t know what they all are and the parts that make them up, then you’re not doing your business a really good service, right?
You should be able to take the money of your business, the way you organize time for your business, the architecture, the stuff that builds your business, and the leadership, what it takes to direct and grow your business moving forward. You should be able to identify it, understand the parts. Have a plan or a process in place to grow those parts and develop them if you don’t have them. Figure out the key parts that are missing, and be able to grade yourself to say that I do this very, very well. I don’t do so well at this. These are the most critical, or core, or most important parts of my business, and how am I doing with those in relation to how big my business is getting? Does that make sense so far?
So, we’ve got four blocks: We’ve got money, we’ve got time, we have architecture, we’ve got leadership. Inside the money, the most important thing to pay attention to, and you want to give yourself a score on this, cash. Cash is king, and if I don’t have cash, I don’t have physical money to make decisions with. My business cannot grow. As a small business, when we go to time, time on your business is the most critical, important and vital component that you’re going to have for your business. If I can’t plan for what comes next for my business, if I don’t have and take the time to direct my business forward into the future, then I am going to fail completely with the architecture.
People and processes are absolutely vital. So, having an operations plan, having people in alignment. But, for picking really good people and for having an operations process makes sense, what do we need? We need business. Sales. If you’re a small business, you have to focus on cash in your money quadrant, or block. You have to focus on your business and the way you take time to focus and build your business and work on your business in the time block, in the time quadrant.
In the architecture quadrant or block, you need to focus on business development sales. Sell every day. And in the leadership quadrant or block, you need to focus on talent. What are people really good at when nobody’s watching? And being able to grow that. Alright?
So, there are only four things, Mr. And Mrs. Business Owner.
Money, Time, Architecture, and Leadership. If I’m not organized to keep track of what’s going on with my money, If I’m not paying attention to what’s going on with my time. If I don’t have the parts, the stuff in my business to form the architecture built and make sense of what’s going on, and I’m not planning to lead effectively and drive my business forward, and know what I expect out of the future, then I’m setting myself up for failure.
So, if all you do is take a piece of paper, and write down money and time, architecture and leadership, and say to me, “Am I good with money and do I have a handle on what’s going on with my cash? Am I organized and can I control the time that I spend with my business, and spend a great deal of time working on my business? That for the architecture, I’ve got a really sound system for sales and business development, and I know what to expect, what’s coming next?” And with leadership, I can assess what people are good at so that I can teach them to do something else while their innate skills, talents, and abilities are being used to the maximum effect for my business. And also, that I know I’m doing what I can do best inside my business the moment it gets to that size and to that stage.
So get your business in line, make the most of the structure you have now, learn to grow the foundation, the parts of your business that you don’t have and make the most sense of it. And if this is helpful for you, let’s give your business a grade. I’ve got a fantastic tool for this. Let’s have a brief conversation. Get your business graded on these four fundamental building blocks, learn what pieces are missing, and be able to focus and drive your business forward into the future.
Have an outstanding day.