What is the #1 Priority in your Business? In Blackboard Fridays Episode 41, Jacob talks about Growth Planning and Leadership. Need this implemented into your business? Talk to the international business advisor who can do exactly that – Contact Jacob, Learn More, or Subscribe for Updates.
A few months ago, when we talked about your Brand Promise (http://businessdepot.com.au/insights/blackboard-fridays-ep-27), I introduced you to ‘Entrepreneur Ed’ – my ideal business owner client.
Today we go deeper … delving into the murky and cluttered world ‘Inside Ed’s Head’. Because Ed’s head probably feels a lot like your mind – much stuff, many yelling, and in need of a good flamethrower to clear things out.
Well that flamethrower is what I call the Layers of Context (http://businessdepot.com.au/insights/context-and-the-5-whys). In 3 minutes of this week’s episode, I’m going to ask you to score yourself really quickly against the 11 decision-making filters that most impact business.
And using the Context framework with your personal results, this will immediately tell you what your #1 priority in business needs to be. As they say in the clickbait classics, “The Answer May Surprise You”…
Who is Jacob Aldridge, Business Coach?
“The smart and quirky advisor who gets sh!t done in business.” Back independent since 2019.
Since April 2006, I’ve been an international business advisor providing bespoke solutions for privately-owned businesses with 12-96 employees.
At this stage you have proven your business model, but you’re struggling to turn aspirations into day-to-day reality. You are still responsible for all 28 areas of your business, but you don’t have the time or budget to hire 28 different experts.
You need 1 person you can trust who can show you how everything in your business is connected, and which areas to prioritise first.
Welcome to this week’s episode of Blackboard Fridays where we delve into the murky and crowded world of the entrepreneurs mind.
How do you, as a business owner, with a million competing distractions, priorities, potentials, conversations, determine which one is the number one thing that you need to be doing for your business right now?
Through a lot of these Blackboard Friday episodes, we’ve used different frameworks to attack different ways of looking at your business with a view to helping you answer that very one simple question that number one priority for you right now.
This is a broad tool that aligns with the layers of context and the 5 ‘Whys’ we did way back in one of the very first Blackboard Fridays’ episodes. It’s designed to help you understand that when there’s stuff going on in your life, in your business, it’s often easier to go up layers of context, dive deeper into your head and solve problems there than it is to jump into the ‘stuff’. What exactly do I mean by that?
Here is one of these episodes where I would encourage you to make sure that you’ve got a pen to take some notes and to walk away with a specific action. So, all of this ‘stuff’ in business… remember, we color code this to help us focus?
But there’s still an awful lot of ‘stuff’ across wealth, growth ideas for your business, brand, strategies, planning, marketing, revenue all of the sales, the operations, the training that you’re doing, and of course, the admin, the overhead, the accounting, finance, managing your motor vehicles, all of those things.
On any given day, some of those are going to be running less than perfectly. Your job as a business owner is not to dive in and fix all of those but define ways of setting context for your business and your team so that they can be fixing them, so that they can be seeing things that are going wrong or could be improved before you even need to.
Now, this is the challenge because we see that things going wrong and we, often as business owners, try and move from the bottom up, from outside in while working our way back through that.
In general, we get much better bang for our buck. With the limited time that we’ve got for strategy and growth, a much greater return focusing from the inside out, from the top down.
I’m going to walk through here the different elements each of these layers. I’m going to ask you to do a very simple exercise to determine whether that is an area that is working really well in your business, that is kind of going OK in your business, or is causing issues within your business.
They’re the three options you can always say an ‘up arrow’, it’s working really well, down if it’s not, and a neutral or an amber traffic light if it’s somewhere in the middle.
Let’s start right at the top – vision. There’s three elements to your business vision. There is your commercial vision or sometimes talk about ‘value’ so the income, the equity that you want to be building – are you clear on that? Up, down, not so sure.
Second element of vision is your cultural vision, that values, the feeling that you want you and your team to have when they come to work every day. How’s that going for you?
The third element to vision is your personal vision. How does this business fit in with the wider family vision that you have for you and your family?
You’ve got three elements there – commercial, cultural, personal, and you’ve got your score against each of those three. The next layer is strategy. Now the three elements of strategy – your brand promise, brand and marketing, how is that working for you in your business?
The second element is growth planning. Capacity engine. You’ve watched some of the recent Blackboard Friday episodes we’ve done talking about that. Have you got a growth plan from where you are now to where you want to get to?
The third element is the customer journey. Understanding those customers. What is their experience of working with your business? Because that will align with the brand and the culture. They’ve now got three elements there – brand, growth planning, and customer journey, and your scores against each.
Resources. The third layer of context. How are you going against these in your business? The first is your operational structure, having the right people doing the right jobs within your business.
The second is skills and training. Making sure that those people have the necessary skills.
The third element is the profit formula essentially making sure that your business model works so that if you put a dollar on the top, you pull the lever, you get more than a dollar at the end. You make a profit from your business maybe not every day. Maybe not every month, but you are profitable.
The operational structure, skills and training for your people, and the profit formula. How are you going against those three? We get into closer down into the stuff, the systems and processes.
There aren’t three here. It’s just as simple as for all of the necessary, and you get to define what is “necessary” for all of the necessary systems and processes in your business, are they fully documented? If they’re not documented, they can’t be communicated. They can’t be communicated, it’s in your head and what we’re trying to do from all of this is get out of your head.
The final layer of context is about setting expectations. That final piece of communication you have with your team, with your clients, with your suppliers to make sure that your expectations and their expectations are aligned. So, how are you going? Your Systems? Yay? Nay? Not sure? The expectations that you’ve set? Yay? Nay? Not sure?
Now, here’s how this exercise works. The higher up, you’ve got one of those down arrows, a big red cross. The higher that needs to be as a priority for your business. So, if you’ve got right up here, that your personal vision is not working for you, then that will be showing up at every single layer all the way down the chain and so, when you, as a business owner, jump in and try and fix something way down here in the stuff, you’re not really being productive because something else is going to show up tomorrow or the day after or in ten minutes time. That’s going to come all the way back to the fact that that’s not working for you.
The higher up you’ve got one of those down arrows, those crosses, the more of a priority that needs to be. It may be that your vision is all fantastic. It’s just that your brand promise isn’t quite working for you. Focus on that. Maybe brand growth, customer journey are all fantastic. It’s just some of the the training that you need with your team to work on and so on down the track.
All of these different elements that we’ve gone through in this video, and we haven’t even jumped into all of the devil of the details across those four areas. All of that is currently sitting within your head and that’s why your head is murky and that’s why your head is crowded.
If you understand how it all fits together, if you break it down and assess yourself and your business and not comparatively just against yourself, you will see where the biggest opportunity for you to make changes and the higher it is of the context, the closer it is to the center of you, of your essence, the more powerful that change is going to be in the business and the more of the ‘stuff’ it’s going to resolve which guess what? Unpacks some of that ‘stuff’ from your head, gives you back more time, more clarity, re-energizes you and your team, to focus more on some of these bigger things to deliver the results that you want for you.
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