Business Planning

Typically as a service business we tend to stumble into business through a skill set were good at and start serving customers. The route problem with this is we build a purpose for the business focused around the customer, and forgot to consider ourselves.

We spend all our time focusing on what the customer wants and forgot to ask yourself is what am I willing to give to my client, in order for them to get what they want?

When creating a business you need to ask yourself: Why are you doing this? and What finances are required for this business to work, so you don’t have to close up shop?

I believe every business boils down to three things: Money, Time, and Happiness.

  1. How much money do you need to make this happen?
  2. How much time are you willing to give? 
  3. What role do you see yourself having?

  

How much money do you need?

What does your dream lifestyle look like? Where do you want to live? What car do you want to drive? What restaurants do you eat at?

If you cant visualise the business and lifestyle you dream of and deserve, then why are we even here? Why are we busting our guts everyday in business?

Example… I want a business that makes am impact on peoples lives and can operate with or without me. I want my log cabin in the mountains to go snowboarding in the winter with mountain views all year round, breathing in the fresh air. I want to live my life to the fullest with 15k a month take home. I want extra bedrooms for family and friends to visit with a pool, and a BBQ & Pizza oven for outdoor entertainment. I’ll require a Land Rover defender to travel around the mountain.

Go write down your dream lifestyle, what does that look like? Then total it up to the nearest pound. 

Add up your business expenses to the nearest pound. Office Rent, Equipment, Software etc.

Now add your dream lifestyle together with business expenses. This is the minimum amount you require to open shop and live the life you dream of living! 

Things to consider:

  • How many of your product services do you need to sell?
  • Can you sell that many?
  • Can you deliver that many successfully on time?

If you cant make you business work on paper, no matter how hard you work, it wont work in the real world. Set expectations, aim two years in advance, reset goals every two years.

 

How much time are you willing to give?

Here we identify what is the value for your time so you don’t end up being a starving professional. A starving professional is not a nice place, it leads to projections of fault, so we blame bad customers who don’t value your time, where as in fact its more you have not put a value on your time, therefore a customer can not know your value.

What hours do you want to work? Don’t just put 9-5 unless it is 9-5. You certinally didn’t set up your own business to be working the long hours you might find yourself working now. Write down your ideal lifestyle. 

You should set goals for a 90 day period, with a 5 day holiday/rest at the end. This is how the 'work calendar' was created and why most employees typically get 20 days holiday. 

After working hard to meet goals over a 90 day period you need a 5 day break away from work to maintain that level.

Things to consider:

  • If you have children, maybe you want to take your kids to school?
  • Maybe you want to play Golf every Tuesday morning? 
  • Remember you need to deliver X amount of projects in your 90 day period.

Again: If you cant make you business work on paper, no matter how hard you work, it wont work in the real world. Set expectations, aim two years in advance, reset goals every two years.

  

What role do you see yourself having? 

What role makes you happiest? Are you in the delivery, where you’re the engine and you need to hire sales? Or do you see yourself as sales and you need to hire delivery? 

Remember that wherever you are in your business is going to be the strongest!

Eventually you’ll want to become leader overseeing the work. Let’s say you’re a Personal Trainer, typically you’re the engine room. How to become Leader?

  1. There is work to deliver.
  2. You need to create a systematic process for sales. (Getting customers)
  3. Then you create a systematic process for delivery. (Setting expectations)
  4. Then you hire a sales team to follow the systematic process for sales.
  5. Then you hire a delivery team to follow the systematic process for delivery. 
  6. You then can become leader. (ie. Your business can operate without you being present) 

Systematic Process:

SALES  > SERVICE PRODUCT >  DELIVERY 
(Your Brands Promise > The Work > Your Customers Experience)

I know it sounds like a lot of work, but it’s three questions your answering:

  1. How much money do you need to make this happen?
  2. How much time are you willing to give? 
  3. What role do you see yourself having?

Make that dream a reality in this lifetime and take action...  This stuff needs to be dialled in before we can have a conversation about product offerings!

Written by Stuart Lawes

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Everything that's relevant to our existence has a purpose that plays a vital role in a system. To be relevant in your industry you need to become a 'Systems Thinker'.