Post by Zachary Ostin
Let me tell you a story.
It is 2001 and a CEO of a thriving Landscape Contracting company with 55 employees and over $6 Million in annual sales is pulling his hair out.
He has out-of-the-box accounting software. A estimating platform that was created by a one man “industry expert” and a CFO doing all of the financials on spreadsheets. Not to mention he is winging it with fleet maintenance tracking and personnel management.
This guy needs some help! How on earth can a guy get a handle on where his company really stands when all of the major indicators are being run on separate software? How can he make long term educated decisions about his business? He knows from his Emyth training he needs to be working on his business rather than in his business, but he just does not have the tools to manage the company. This guy can’t even get away for a real vacation. He has to make every decision on a daily basis because there is no data to make a plan.
He is laying awake at night worrying about sales, production, cash flow, employees and equipment—not to mention his customers.
Does this story sound familiar? We all know the statistics on start-up businesses in America and this story is almost universal.
I have spent my 30 year career as a student. I was always soaking up every detail I could while working for myself and others in a variety of different industries and companies. The basic problems are almost always the same. After all my years studying and experiencing, I’ve started to find the solutions to these universal problems.
Here’s three fundamental principles that can help you solve your business problems.
1. Work ON your business not IN your business. (Michael Gerber, E Myth)
This is critical! If you are truly an entrepreneur and leader, you owe it to the company, your team, and your customers to hire someone to do the day-to-day tasks or to automate them.
You see if someone isn’t slightly removed from operations and working on the planning of the business, it will not grow and flourish; it will be stagnant. Someone has to think deeply about where the business is headed: how it will get there and what it will look like, feel like and taste like when it gets there.
2. Work 10x harder than anyone else! (Grant Cardone, 10x)
That’s right. I said it. To run a business successfully it will take 10x the effort, cash, patience and determination than you think it will. Ask some of the leaders you respect, and they will tell you it was considerably harder than they expected. Sure there will be a few “lucky ones” that say it was a breeze, but those are far and few between!
3. Automate, Automate, Automate!
This might be the most important step of all. Don’t wait until the business is fully grown to start this process either. By then it is too late. What do I mean by automate? It could be as simple as a payroll tool that loads your employee hours into your accounting software from employee’s phones. It could be as simple as tracking your equipment and vehicle fleet in a software program. Maybe you need to automate your sales team so that all of their activity from start to finish is in one place.
This automation is so important because it saves time and money with data input, and as a leader you need this data to make critical business decisions. This will allow you to do step one and two much better as well!
The real benefits come after implementing these steps over time. Once you have established these in your business over time, and you start looking for an exit strategy, you actually have a thriving business that a new owner can step into and run with ease because you have done the hard rewarding work of building a sustainable business.
This is where ROI comes in spades! You can ask far more for your business if you have followed these steps. Your business is extremely valuable because it is run on automated systems rather than your brain. (See Built to Sell, by John Warrillow)
I love working with companies that are at the point where they are ready to implement these steps. I would love to have a brief chat with you in our lounge or over teleconference. No matter what, you will walk away with better insight into your business.
If you enjoyed this article please share it with your tribe. You can reach me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.