Fix, System, or Asset?

Want a Business Fix, System or Asset?

A doctor will fix your broken leg.

A good doctor will tell you, after the fourth broken leg, to stop jumping your motorbike over school buses.

But when you truly cannot imagine a life without fresh air and school buses beneath your wheels, then you need a better system for jumping motorbikes.

Business Owners are Daredevils

Almost every business owner I meet has the same dedication to their dreams as the daredevil motorcyclist. Too many of them search the internet and networking breakfasts looking for a quick fix, a flash of brilliance, rather than a better business system.

That’s why when clients come to me and ask “How can you help?” I ask “Are you looking for a Fix, a System, or an Asset?”

Which level of Investment - and Return - are you looking for?
Which level of Investment – and Return – are you looking for?

A Fix doesn’t necessarily mean that something’s broken in your business, just that it’s unlikely to withstand much more pressure. Can your Sales process add another $1 million in revenue? Will your Culture withstand adding 20% more staff? Are you personally creating enough Strategy time, or being pulled into managing overheads?

These are the sort of things many owners want ‘Fixed’. So they grab some new marketing idea, a book on creating values, or some time management tips. The choice they are making, often unconsciously, is to find a ‘quick fix’ that gets them over the next hump. Speed and short term outcomes are paramount.

And sometimes that’s all you need. But have you considered installing a System instead of trying a Fix?

A Fix vs A System

Systems take longer to build, but last longer in practice. Their results aren’t as immediate, but once installed they are both greater and sustainable. A Revenue System will evolve your business through multiple iterations of sales growth. A Growth Management System supports your company when you have 100% or 500% more staff, delivering a far greater return on investment than attending your CEO round-table each month needing to find a new idea.

In private enterprise, my experience is that most business owners say they want a system but are actually only willing to invest in a fix. It’s no coincidence that most business owners lack the Infrastructure to bust through $750,000 pa or the Revenue system to progressively grow from $1.5million to $12million without getting stuck along the way.

If you only invest in Fixes, you will never build a System for growth.

A FIX is a Concept you Implement quickly.

A SYSTEM takes a Concept, designs a Strategy, then Implements quickly.

So a System needs you to slow down to speed up. And for most entrepreneurs, it’s the most frustrating part of the business building process – seeing so many ‘fixes’ you can implement immediately but having to wait 3 months so they fit within a system. A system you can communicate. A system you can transfer. A system that can be owned and managed by your team, rather than having decisions bottle-neck in your mind every. single. time.

I won’t belabor the point by discussing how infrequently a Fix is actually fully implemented, versus being replaced by the next shiny idea a week later.

A Fix v a System v an Asset

Growth Management Systems are the first step in becoming a portfolio entrepreneur, a subject I’m currently documenting for a book on million dollar mindsets. Those who’ve seen me present on the topic of Portfolio building in private enterprise will have seen how Systems are the way to start building Long Term Income, moving the business owner from ‘Anxious and Hopeful’ to ‘Relaxed and Confident.

So Systems do add value to your company, and as such are considered intangible assets that improve your company Valuation. Should you desire, the systems you build can be further developed into Assets delivering even greater income and equity returns.

First, those Systems need to be fully transferable. Taking your business Systems to the next phase will involve mentoring or teaching others to own and manage them.

From that point, you can explore ways to fully Leverage that system – perhaps as a standalone Product you can sell to other businesses, including your competitors, or the base from which you can expand into new markets (geography or sector).

A FIX is a Concept you then Implement.

A SYSTEM takes a Concept, designs a Strategy, then Implements quickly.

An ASSET takes SYSTEM then adds Mentoring and Leverage.

An Example

I’m working with an excellent Marketing Agency, and one of their specialties is Strategic Branding. It’s a specialist ‘Product’, reliant on the senior team members to sell and deliver. So how to make the most of this?

Option A is FIX – The senior team can only deliver 2 brand projects a month, so improve the sales process and pricing to deliver 2 (and only 2) each month for maximum profitability.

Option B is SYSTEM – A Training program, Manuals, Templates and procedures to rapidly bring less-experienced staff up to speed. With this system, they can deliver more projects per month of this higher-value work, they can recruit and upskill quickly, and there’s no concern if the owner or senior team go on vacation (or exit the business).

Option C is ASSET – Having built that System and tested it internally, how many other small marketing agencies might like to sell Strategic Branding? What about different industries, like business coaches? This can also translate internationally, plus the underlying intellectual property can be expanded to address internal brand and culture as well as external elements.

  • The Fix is 1-2 coaching sessions, and would probably double the number of projects delivered each year.
  • The System is likely to take 6 months to build and test, for 4-10x growth (depending on other systems, such as marketing and recruitment)
  • The Asset could create a completely new, international business with revenue and profit that outstrips the original company several times over.

Have a look at your business. Before you jump into Fixing something, ask ‘Is a System a better solution here?’

And for those Systems you’ve already implemented, ask ‘Can this be leveraged in a novel way to add Asset value?’

Fixing your sales problem, like setting a broken leg, is easy and boring. My team would much rather deliver you a School-Bus-Jumping sales System.

And if the Daredevil entrepreneur in you wants the full Asset solution, expect us to ask if you want to upgrade from jumping School Buses to leaping Grand Canyons.

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