The 8 Fundamentals of Business – and why you should have them covered…
Whether you’re just starting a business, or you’ve been in business for a long time, in can be easy to get overwhelmed by all the different areas of your business. Going back to basics, and reviewing all the different areas of your business, can help you feel less overwhelmed and see the wood for the trees.
But, what ARE all the different areas of your business? And, which are most important?
I believe that all the areas of your business can be grouped into 8 fundamental areas. It’s important to understand the part each of these areas play, and regularly consider how well each of them are performing.
So let’s look at what the 8 Business Fundamentals are:
The Business Owners/Managers
The first Business Fundamental is actually YOU – the Business Owner.
This can often surprise people.
Why are you the very first area of your business to review?
Because habits (good or bad) start at the top and trickle down.
If you’re living in chaos and not managing your time well, chances are the team will be struggling too.
Fundamental systems to have in place for Business Owners/Managers include:
Good calendar management
Task and project management
Great health habits
You may also like to investigate our Online Trello Masterclass which is designed to help even the most disorganised entrepreneur put all their ducks in an organised row.
Your Goals & Planning
If you’re determined to achieve business growth, a strong and detailed business plan is not optional. Your plan doesn’t have to be complicated. A simple one-pager or visual business board can be perfect!
This fundamental is all about:
Defining your why; why are you doing what you’re doing?
Your WHAT (what do you offer?)
Your WHO (who are both your ideal team and ideal customer?)
Your WHEN (think launch dates etc)
and most importantly Your HOW (how are you going to achieve all these goals?)
If you know this an area you know you need to improve in, you might like our Online Create Your System for Success Masterclass here. It’ll help you create a kick-ass 12-month Action Plan.
You might also like to read How to design a Business Plan you’ll actually USE and 7 things every Useful Action Plan Needs
Your Business Finances
Money is the number 1 reason businesses go bust. So, it’s vital not to neglect this fundamental.
When considering your Business Financial Systems, we suggest you consider:
Your sales/cashflow systems
Your bookkeeping systems
How you manage your assets
Your measuring and reporting and
Your financial compliance
The Operational Systems & Processes
This fundamental is where most businesses get stuck when they’re in rapid growth mode and trying to scale. If you’re stuck at a level, and can’t seem to budge because either you or the team are burning out, this is the business fundamental for you to focus on.
Systems to consider are:
How you manage your customers
How information flows through your business
How you communicate between the team and your clients
How you track your sales/jobs
How you track all your marketing
If you know these areas are a challenge for you, we highly recommend taking our Business Health Check. It’s the best first step to working on a Business Improvement Plan.
A team that is performing in their genius, and feels appreciated, will reward you by performing their best.
It’s also important to make sure businesses are compliant with their required paperwork and tax obligations.
Team systems to consider are:
Your paperwork compliance
How you monitor the key performance indicators
The team climate
Your team fit/personalities
A consistent brand is so much more than a logo; it is more what your brand is known for. For example – your values, the experience people have dealing with you, your messaging, the quality of your products/services.
Believe it or not, there are systems around your brand to make sure that you are putting a consistent brand out to the world.
Brand systems to consider are:
If your logo is consistent
If your website gives the message and experience you want it to
If you have a brand style guide for people to follow
Do you have templates set up for ease of use?
Sales & Marketing Plans
Marketing and sales are everything to your bottom line. For the majority of businesses coming through our Business Health Check, this is an area they need to improve on, and sadly, it shows in their cashflow score.
Sales and Marketing Systems to consider are:
Your overall promotion/sales plan
Your overall marketing plan
Your social media marketing plan
If you’re not sure the difference:
A sales plan in a plan to promote a specific product or service, for a specific amount of time, to achieve a specific amount of revenue.
A marketing plan is about growing your general brand awareness in the marketplace.
A social media plan supports both the other plans. It’s the “HOW” in helping you achieve your sales and marketing objectives.
If you know this is an area your business needs help with, you will like this free resource: 50 ways to Promote Your Business (without turning people off)
You might also like to read: ‘What the heck is a Promotion Plan and Why You Need One’
Last but certainly not least, it’s important to consider your systems around ensuring your customers have a consistent and positive experience when dealing with your business.
It’s easier to upsell or cross-sell to existing customers than it is to go out and find a new customer. So, it’s therefore important we look after our customers wisely so that they continue to trust us and want to continue a relationship with us.
Customer System to consider are:
How you manage and consider your customer feedback
What your wait times are like
How effective you are at communicating with your clients
Phew, that’s a LOT.
No wonder most Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs feel overwhelmed! So, how do you make sure you’re doing it all?
Well, quite honestly, it’s impossible to do all of that well??
The thing is – businesses change so rapidly as they grow that one minute we think we’ve got it mastered, and the next things are in pieces again or, we’re feeling the heat of the growth.
So should we even try?
Yes! It’s in our favour to continue to improve and refine. And there are certain measures we can take to improve the situation, and help avoid a crisis before it hits.
One of those measures is to do a regular big picture Business Health Check.
We recommend doing a health check at LEAST annually, if not 6-monthly or even quarterly. It all depends on how fast your business is growing/changing and what your own business goals are.
Then, we recommend doing smaller reviews on a monthly basis.
About the author:
Kat Soper is the Founder and Head Trainer of The Helpful Academy Online Business School.
Kat is passionate about helping start-ups and small businesses succeed and achieve their business goals so that they can achieve the lifestyle they desire (and deserve).