6 Steps to Building a Business that Works Without You
Were you able to take a worry-free, work-free vacation from your business this summer? If you find yourself stuck in the trenches, so entangled in the day-to-day operations of your business that you can’t take a few weeks (or even a few days off), it’s time for your business to achieve the next level of growth so that it can someday soon work without you!
If you’ve participated in any of Accelerate ActionCOACH programs, you have heard the term “6 Steps.” It is a proven and progressive, step-by-step approach that helps clarify company objectives and produces consistent profits over time.
The definition of a business in the ActionCOACH world is ‘a commercial, profitable enterprise that works without you’ – the ‘you’ being the owner of the business. The 6 steps are the building blocks of creating a business that the owner can ultimately work ‘on’ and not ‘in.’
Each rung of the ladder in the 6 Steps – Mastery, Niche, Leverage, Team, Synergy and Results – are dependent on one another and each works to propel the other forward.
The first level, Mastery, focuses on the fundamentals of building up a commercial enterprise.
Mastery is the owner taking back control. It is the first step in making sure the business delivers profit and productivity with enough information to make great decisions.
The entire process breaks down into four main areas the owner must “master” before moving forward:
“Destination” – or where the business is going; “Money” – knowing what factors drive profit and what numbers to measure; “Time” – learning what is most urgent and most timely to boost overall productivity, and “Delivery” – or the process of building consistency into the what the business produces and delivers to its customers.
You have to walk before you run, and we also have to take operations as they are in reality, not as we hope they are or wish them to be. Part of Mastery is getting the business out of delusion and re-focusing attention on drivers that impact overall performance.
The next level, Niche, is about creating predictable cash flow for the business and operating from a position where the business has no price competition.
Niche is where the business becomes a commercial, profitable enterprise. At this level, everything is oriented around marketing.
Marketing from a point of difference, adding value to each transaction and finding a company’s USP – or “Unique Selling Proposition” – are key factors at the Niche level.
Here we work from the premise that marketing isn’t an expense – it’s an investment – one that significantly impacts the bottom-line.
Leverage, in fact, is the third of the 6 Steps, where systems are implemented at all levels of the company.
The ActionCOACH definition of leverage is ‘doing ever more with ever less. It’s about finding ways to systemize the routine while humanizing exceptions to the routines. In our experience, we’ve found 80% of a typical company’s operations are routine at some level. Systemizing that 80% frees up resources – mainly the owner’s time – toward more productive functions.
At the Leverage level, ActionCOACH also works to create Vision, Mission and Culture statements for the business, while helping implement goals, organizational structure and KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) – numbers that help guide operations and check progress toward company objectives.
Leverage level gives owners great information on ‘what to manage.’ It’s a strategic way of getting to the ‘nuts and bolts’ of an operation. It can be time consuming – but the benefits at the backend far outweigh the time spent systemizing upfront.
The fourth level – or Team level – provides ownership with a structure for growth.
Up to the Team level, we build on getting the basics of the business up and running. At Team level, we work on the keys to building winning teams, namely strong leadership toward a common goal, knowing the rules of the game and following a plan of action where everyone knows ‘who needs to do what by when.’
Team building also fosters an atmosphere that encourages risk-taking – with the expectation that team members participate 100% of the time with 100% of their efforts.
The outcome of the Team level is a realization of synergy within the organization that allows the business to function towards its maximum potential. The Synergy level is a by-product of an integrated system that works to produce the ultimate result of a business – consistent profits on a consistent basis.
Engage your leadership team in a day of inspiration and education at the Central Iowa Business Conference on September 26th. Register before Friday, September 21st using promo code “ACTION” to receive a $199 discounted ticket and a complimentary 1-2 hour Action Planning session (a $500 value) to help you implement the teachings from the conference in your own business!
Synergy Leading to Results
Ideally, the Team and Synergy levels seamlessly ladder the owner and the business to the Results level – giving the owner a variety of options he or she may have never considered before.
Maybe it’s more free time. Or maybe it’s expansion, meaning duplication of the business and its systems to new locations in new markets. Who knows? What’s important is the owner has the freedom to consider those options without the burden of a chaotic workplace – knowing the business can operate profitably without his or her physical presence at the company.
Building a profitable business that works without its owner has been the goal of ActionCOACH since its inception. The success of the “6 Steps” in the real world has been to do exactly that – giving owners the time and resources they initially wanted when they first went into business for themselves.