Achieving real business success follows a similar path to that of building an investment property. You need to view the process as a wealthy investor would, not as an owner employee or as an owner builder would view building their own house to live in.
Planning – developing the Blueprint
The house building process commences with finding the right location, conducting site tests and developing the plans for the house. A builder could never build your house without a plan documented in black and white (or blue and white if it’s a blueprint, but you know what I mean). Imagine trying to successfully build your house if you try to build the concept you have in your head without actually developing a proper plan before you start. Can you imagine how disastrous that would be? Unfortunately, many owner employees try to build their business without ever having developed a business plan and without having done the proper site testing and location evaluation, ie environmental analysis and market testing. This should be as hard to believe as it is to believe that you would start building a house without the plans and site testing. After all, your business has the potential to be far more valuable than a house.
Building the Foundations
Once the plans are completed, taking into account the findings of the site testing, construction can commence. Construction always commences with establishing the foundations. In a business, establishing the foundations is done by establishing marketing systems to ensure there is always a solid foundation of customers to build the business on. Unfortunately, many business owners never develop proper marketing systems. They always struggle to find enough customers because their marketing is haphazard and reactive.
Once the house foundation is established, the framework and supporting structure and wiring and plumbing systems are built. Because these structures and systems are developed according to plan, they are purposely built for maximum effectiveness and efficiency. In your business, this equates to establishing a sound organizational structure and developing the operating systems and management systems that will support the effective and efficient performance of the business. Unfortunately,in many business that are built without proper business planning, these systems tend to just evolve. However, there is often little integration between the structure and systems and the systems are often inadequate to support the business as it grows. This is like setting up the wiring for a three room house, only to end up having to stretch it to an eight roomed house. You could end up having to use 25 watt light bulbs where you should have 100 watt bulbs, just so you don’t overload the circuits. Your house is so underpowered that it creates frustration and difficulty for the inhabitants. Imagine how the inhabitants of your business (the employees) feel by having underpowered, inefficient and ineffective systems to operate your business. Can you really expect the business to perform brilliantly if it evolves like this, instead of being purposefully built.
Making it Livable
After the structure is built, the roof goes on, the walls are clad and the internal decoration is finalized. This process is analogous to recruiting and selecting the people in your business. You need to follow your building plan to ensure you get the right fittings and fixtures and that the whole decor works well together. Your business must also employ the right people in the right positions to enhance its performance. This means that people are employed as a result of careful planning, rather than in a reactive manner to fill a hole or to prop up a weakness.
Making it Pay
Your house is now complete. Does the investor owner move in and live in the house. No. The house is rented out to other occupants who pay rent. The owner earns a yield from investment by way of rental income and eventually enjoys the capital gain that comes from the increased equity that grows in the property over time. Once your business is properly built, you have the ability to earn income from the profits the business produces and you earn capital gains from the increasing value the business develops over time. You need never work in the business again unless you want to.
Where are You Living?
Are you living in your DIY business, or are you building it towards your freedom day when the construction is complete and you can enjoy the fruits of your labors and investment? There is nothing wrong with the second scenario, but if you are living in a business that has an inadequate structure, incomplete walls and unsatisfactory decor, perhaps you have settled for something less than you should. Most issues in poorly developed and under performing businesses can be traced back to a poorly developed concept of business success and a lack of adequate planning. Perhaps you are looking through the eyes of an owner employee rather than those of an owner investor.
The unfortunate business environment we see today results in many business failures due to never having established proper foundations. Apart from the business failures, we also see many business owners trapped in businesses with inadequate structures and unattractive decor due to a focus on business survival instead of having a clearly defined and designed concept of business success and a focus on building the business to the successful level where the business operates profitably and free of the owner’s input.
If you feel trapped in a situation where your business is still dependent on you and you are not totally satisfied with the results you are achieving, examine your focus and see whether you have a clearly defined concept of success and a documented plan that is taking you towards that freedom day. If that’s not the case, you probably need to do some renovating. Get some professional help to plan and build your business as a wealthy investor would.
By Devin Watson