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.
But, more importantly - mindset is everything when it comes to success. As Henry Ford was known to say:
If you believe you can, you can. And if you believe you can't, you can't.
Fundamental systems to have in place to help you set yourself up for success include:
- Good calendar management
- Task and project management
- Great health habits
If you know this is an area of need for you, you might like this blog: 6 Ways to Supercharge Your Productivity
And this blog: 7 Ways to Avoid Overwhelm
You may also like to investigate our Mindset Mofo Workshop which is designed to help even the most overwhelmed entrepreneur conquer their path to success.
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?)
For further help with this step, you might might also like to read How to design a Business Plan you'll actually USE and 7 things every Useful Action Plan Needs
If you know this an area you know you need help to create a business plan, you might like my Create Your System for Success Masterclass here. It'll help you create a kick-ass 12-month action based plan.
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
But, before moving on, it's really important that you're fully confident your business is profitable.
Here is an article explaining the 18 metrics that every business owner should know. This is a great place to start.
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 In-Flight Audit™. 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:
- Team roles
- Your paperwork compliance
- How you monitor the key performance indicators
- The team climate
- Your team fit/personalities
You might like this article: 3 Top Tips To Successful Outsourcing, and download this free PDF: The Outsourcing Guide
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.
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?
You might like to read this article: 5 Free and Easy Ways to Strengthen Your Brand
and download this PDF: 26 Steps To Growing A Great Brand
Sales & Marketing Plans
Marketing and sales are everything to your bottom line. For the majority of businesses coming through our In-Flight Audit™, 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'
One of our most popular free PDF downloads is: 50 Ways to Promote Your Business
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 by yourself!
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 In-Flight Audit™.
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).
This 8 business fundamentals you have treated here are very powerful and important for those who really wants to be successful in the entrepreneurial journey.
Thanks for sharing this great tips
I love these 8 strategies! As someone wanting to turn a hobby into a business, these are extremely helpful.
Yep those are the fundamentals all right but I think number one should be the planning