If you remember last week we dug into what it looks like to be stuck in our business. It creeps up on us because as humans we usually continue on a path until we are in a painful, uncomfortable place before we call out for help.
But here we are and the only way I know to get unstuck is to do just that, call out for help. We need to look to God for wisdom and direction. As promised we are going to dig in a little deeper and discuss how to get unstuck in our business.
To grab hold of God’s wisdom I usually go back to the bible to get started. I think these verses from Luke are key to not only getting unstuck, but from avoiding getting stuck again in the future.
New International Version (NIV)
47 As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. 48 They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”
We need to build our business on rock, not sand. We need to have a strong foundation for our business in order to hold up during bad times, during times of significant growth, and even when we are trying to maintain our business for the long term.
A foundation for our business contains several elements.
Clarify Your Vision – our vision comes from God, just like everything else in life does. We need to lift our business up to Him and ask him in prayer what His plans are for our businesses. What is His vision? Then we need to do the hard part and listen for the answer. When your vision comes from Him you usually feel it. If you are unsure, you may need to keep praying and listening.
Article Resource: What Is The Foundation For Your Vision?
Define Your Culture – as a Christian business owner you want the culture of your company to be built on your Christian values. I am not saying that all of the people in your business have to be Christians, but they do need to uphold the values you want to portray in your business. If you choose the people that will match the culture you want, then your culture will be a strong part of your business foundation.
Article Resource: A Company Culture Defines You: Make Sure You Design It!
Build your Team – we all need a team. Even if you are a solopreneur right now, you still have vendors, outsourced resources, that are helping you in your business. When you hire outside resources or new employees, they need to align with your vision and match the culture of your company. If they don’t, they weaken the foundation. They are a chink in the armor and will eventually compromise your business in some way.
Article Resource: Hiring the Right Employees: A Simple Check List
Adding Systems/Processes – another key to a strong foundation is having strong systems in place to support your business. You need a real accounting system that provides you with solid data. You may need a Customer Relationship Management system or maybe a project management system. You also need processes of how your company will operate. When do you send past due notices? How do you handle customer returns?
Article Resource: Christian Business Checkup
Create Compelling Marketing – all companies do marketing. Here is the AMA (American Marketing Association) definition:
Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.
If you took a marketing class they discussed the 5 P’s of marketing starting with product, pricing, promotion, place, and people. So just having a product or service is marketing.
To make marketing count though, you need a point of difference from your competitors and a great message that communicates it. These are foundational to growing your sales beyond your own ability to hustle up customers.
Article Resource: Point To YOUR Difference
How This All Started
We usually start our business selling something. But you can see by the list ahead of this, if we start selling without the foundation described above, we soon have a cap to our sales. It is capped by a vision going in too many directions that a solid path is not created. It is limited when you do not have the team to do the work or the systems in place to make wise decisions and to improve your efficiency. And if you do not have a consistent marketing plan in place, sales will likely follow that concept I discuss often, the roller coaster sales trend. We go up until we hit the level where we can’t support more growth and we stop marketing until sales slow again. Then we get scared and start it up again.
Obviously, it is most efficient to start on the foundation first, but most small businesses cannot afford to invest in the foundation without having some revenues coming in to
- prove the concept has potential
- cover some of the costs of creating a foundation
Before we know it, we are stuck.
To get unstuck, we have to go back to basics and see what our foundation is missing. You may not be missing all of the above foundational building blocks, but if you are missing even one, your foundation can be too weak to support growth.
To Get Unstuck
To begin your journey and get “unstuck”, review the list above and determine what steps you may have skipped, or not solidified, on your way to creating sales in your business.
Start at the lowest level that you feel needs work. If you don’t feel like your vision is clear, start there….it feeds the rest of the process.
Next week we will share some resources with you that may help you build a strong foundation for your business, whether you are stuck and going back to strengthen and solidify, or if you are growing the business and want to avoid getting stuck in the future.
How We Can Help
This is how we help small businesses. When you are stuck it is hard to find the time to work on your business. We help remove some of the trial and error from the process and accelerate moving your business to the next level.
We help you to determine what foundational pieces are missing and we work with you to start at the lowest level missing and build up from there. If you would like to discuss exactly how we do that and how we can work with you, please email me and I will set up a call to share with you how we can help. Just email me at [email protected].
If you know someone who could benefit from this email, as always, we truly appreciate your sharing it!