Once we have decided what direction we are heading, the next step is to look and see what needs to happen with the Business(es) to get into alignment with the plan. The exercise of establishing what is important often reveals that the original Goal of the business was to build a semi automated business that required only 2-3 hours per day, or even to create a business that could be sold off as an asset.
Nearly always at the centre of this 'revolution' in thinking is freeing up time. More time is what we all crave, even more than Money! The thing which sets Time on a pedestal above all others is that we just don't know how much of it there is!
To free up our time, we either have to do things more quickly, get someone else to do them, or a combination of both!
What we are talking about here are Business Processes. Everything that we do has a trigger. The trigger might be... chase some debts in because we need to pay people. It might be, it is the end of the month, so do the invoicing or statements. Whatever it is requires a trigger, and more often than not in a small business this trigger is a thought. Without the thought (or reminder) the process doesn't happen and more importantly without YOU the process doesn't happen.
Can anyone spot the problem here? Yes, the problem is the reliance on you (or a small team). It does seem a bit obvious but in the early days of a business none of this seems relevant or important. At the point when there is no time available, this work seems unproductive and gets pushed to one side.
Make no bones about it... this is a defining moment! Do this and we move on, do it not, and the business stays where it is. This has to be done, whether by you or a 3rd party. More time and/or a Saleable Business lies on the far side of a process driven business. Until our businesses are driven by processes, we are just a glorified employee in our own business.
IPS - Business Analytics is all about taking each of the elements within a business and ensuring that there is a teachable, documentable, computer system recordable process behind each one. Once this is achieved we can start to offload work, show people how to do the tasks we once HAD to do, and thereby give ourselves some time back.
As a seasoned, wise businessman once advised me :-
'A successful business is one where the most complex of processes are simplified so that anyone can do them, then you really have a business!'
A business can be viewed as a collection of people performing their function. Without any one of the functions the business cannot operate. Therefore each cog in the wheel is as important as any other. When a business is process driven the owner / CEO / MD once again has time to perform one of the most important functions often neglected with the day-to-day pressure.
Leadership, to have time to reflect on the business, analyse the market, look at the competitors, evaluate new products, business partners and opportunities. We must have time to 'sharpen the saw' or we will lose ground to our more agile adversaries.