Last time, I talked about how you can sell your business for maximum value. This article will continue to build value for your business by developing the 7 systems that every business needs. Michael Gerber describes these 7 systems as disciplines in his book E-Myth Mastery: The Seven Essential Disciplines for Building a World Class Company. However, as a small business, developing systems allows for more flexibility—you can train someone else instead of doing it all yourself.
The Business Plan
Many jump into working for themselves for various reasons, yet before you make that jump have you considered if it will actually work? How will it grow? How much do you need to make in order for the business to run on its own? There’s a huge difference in a good idea and an idea that someone would actually pay for. If your idea is unique why hasn’t someone else done it in our modern age? Why should they come to you rather than any of your potential competitors? Creating a business plan is a system by which you measure the viability of your idea and success metrics to gauge its growth.
The Financial Plan
I was at a vineyard over the weekend. During the tour, the son of the owner mentioned advice he gave to a colleague opening his own vineyard with small goals. He said, “What happens when you reach your yearly goal in 6 months? Will you close down for the other 6 months—wrecking your brand and reputation?”
This brings out a simple truth. You need to plan for growth, which requires cash flow and capital. Your financial plan will help cover that.
The Management System
Your Operations Manual. It’s the way you provide the same experience to your clients every single time, no matter what your employee turnover is. While the Ops Manual includes all the systems discussed in this article, the management system is one of the most important because it will allow you to separate yourself from the business.
The Marketing Plan
Marketing creates perception and drives leads. It also provides the information you need about your target audience so you can position yourself as the best solution in their mind. Marketing is also about consistency. You don’t know when someone is ready to buy. However, you HAVE TO BE THE FIRST ONE THEY THINK OF when they are ready. You need a plan along with success metrics.
The Onboarding & Conversion System
It’s the job of marketing to bring in leads, but all the leads in the world mean nothing if you can’t successfully convert them. You need to create a step-by-step process, perhaps with a script, to turn that potential client into a paying one.
The Lead Generation System
This is different from the above because it focuses what channels you will market. The lead generation system has a way to determine which ones are the best producing, least costly, and which new channels to go after. Then marketing can develop strong creative materials to generate leads and subsequently hand off to be on boarded and converted.
The Client Retention System
Now that they are clients, you need to create a way to keep them, grow how much they spend, and empower them to refer you. This is where brand growth and sustainability happens. It’s cheaper to market to an existing client than to acquire a new one.
No matter where your business is, take the time to create these systems. Doing so will allow you to regain work-life balance. Until next time I wish you much success turning your business into an amazing brand.
George Paul III is a branding expert and award-winning designer. He’s the Founder of Seize the Brand, an education platform designed to empower business owners by leveraging the power of branding to realize business and life goals.