Develop These 8 Essential Areas to Create a Successful Business



Many of my clients come to me wanting help with their marketing because they don’t have enough work coming in. They are laser focused, they don't care about anything else! "Just get me more clients so I can make more money...now!"


While I certainly understand this and I want to help them, just focusing on one area of business without taking anything else into consideration is like trying to fill a bucket with a hole in it. Another analogy I like to use is that it's like adding a second story onto a house with a cracked foundation. Sure, I can help you build that second story, I'll even help you decorate it and make it look really pretty but eventually if you don't make sure the foundation is solid, it's going to come crashing down. It might not be today or next week or next month but I guarantee you, it will come crashing down.


I believe in a holistic approach to business. Many people associate the word holistic with medicine, wellness and even "new age" but the word holistic is defined as:


ho·lis·tic

adjective

characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.


In more simple terms, to take a holistic approach to business means that you are looking at the "big picture" and how everything works together as opposed to seeing each area of business working independently.


If you want to build a successful, thriving business primed for growth, all of the eight essential areas of business need to be running smoothly. None of these areas, all by themselves, has the power to create a successful business BUT every single one of these areas, independently DOES have the power to wreak havoc and even destroy your business if not tended to!


Let’s take a look at the eight areas...



vi·sion

noun the ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom.


What it is in business:

A business vision is a vivid mental image of what you want your business to be at some point in the future, based on your goals and aspirations.


Why it’s important:

Everything starts with your vision! A business vision is vital for keeping you on track and keeping you motivated to keep moving forward. It’s important to have a clear and vivid picture in your head of where you want your business to go. Your vision is an integral part of business and is essential to keeping you focused and on track so that you can get where you want to go. Developing a clear business vision is going to make all of your decisions easier and more clear cut. Is what I’m doing in line with where I am going or want to go? If yes, then it’s a smart decision! If not, then it’s not a good decision for your business and your time and money is better spent elsewhere.



sys·tem

Noun

a set of things working together as parts of a mechanism or an interconnecting network.


What it is in business:

Simply put, your systems and procedures are the consistent and documented ways that you do anything and everything in your business AND how you organize them. This includes sending emails, booking and scheduling clients, following up, bookkeeping, marketing, hiring, managing, doing the work of the business, following up, etc. Let me reiterate that these are consistent and documented ways you do things. If you don’t have a consistent way of doing these things and they aren’t documented then you aren’t following procedures, you are just completing tasks.


Why it’s important:

There are so many things that can go wrong if you don’t have a consistent way of doing everything in your business and it is equally important to document all of your systems and procedures, especially if you have any desire to grow your business. When the time comes to hire staff, the worst thing you can do is rely on that staff to make decisions and do things at their own discretion. You need a systematic way of doing things that you can train your staff to do. Your goal should be to have a “system dependent”, not a “people dependent” business. Just as important as developing your procedures, it is equally important to find the right tools that will help you systematize and automate those procedures to save you time and money. Company manual, checklists, scheduling systems, CRM systems and autoresponders are your best friends (and cheapest workers).



pol·i·cy

noun

plural noun: policies

a course or principle of action adopted or proposed by a government, party, business, or individual.


What it is in business:

Your company’s policies outline the responsibilities and “rules” for every area of your business including employees, clients as well as yourself (the employer). Everything that your company does should be documented in a company manual, in your contracts and in your FAQs.


Why it’s important:

Without policies and procedures, your company is a free-for-all, with no boundaries and no leadership. Even if you are the only employee, you need to have strong, thought out policies in place for yourself and your clients and they need to be enforced. Also, without consistent and documented policies, you will find yourself constantly “reinventing the wheel” and having to make decisions as they come up over and over again wasting valuable time and money.



lead·er·ship

noun

the action of leading a group of people or an organization.


What it is in business:

The word leadership can mean a lot of different things to different people but as a business essential, I am defining leadership as anything and everything that is involved in overseeing staff. This includes hiring, training, managing, enforcing rules, motivating, inspiring & firing.


Why it’s important:

Being an effective leader is one of the hardest and most complicated areas of business and unlike many proven “marketing” techniques, there is much debate on what actually makes an effective leader and ultimately an effective and happy team. I do know that it starts with having clear expectations in place and having those expectations laid out in your procedures and your policies. I also know that is absolutely one of the most important skills you will need to learn in order to effectively grow your business. If you don’t have a clear leadership strategy and plan, you will most likely end up with unhappy and ineffective employees and unhappy and distrustful clients and things can get out of control, very quickly. If you have hopes of growing your business, it is imperative that you have clear, concise and documented policies, procedures and systems for finding, hiring, training and managing staff.



Brand

Noun

a particular identity or image regarded as an asset.


What it is in business:

A brand is the collective impact or lasting impression from all that is seen, heard, or experienced by customers who come into contact with a company and/or its products and services. Think of your brand as your company’s personality. Just like you make an assumption based on the way a person presents themselves to you, this is also true of your company. I think it’s important to mention that it doesn’t matter what YOUR impression of your business is, only the impression that OTHERS are left with. Different aspects of your brand include your company name, your logo, website, social media, color scheme, dress code, consistency (or inconsistency), marketing message, pricing, policies, correspondence, products services, how you package and deliver those products and/or services, as well as what you say and how you say it.


Why it’s important:

You know the old saying...you never get a second chance to make a first impression and that has never been more true than in our “ADHD” society. Everyone has the attention span of a gnat and it is your job (if you want to be successful) to make a clear and consistent impression on prospective clients. It is also important to follow through on that consistency throughout your client’s experience with your company. You may have impressed them with your luxurious, high end website and marketing materials, but if you don’t follow through with a luxurious and high end experience from beginning to end, you are going to lose them or you may still get one sale but you certainly won’t convert them into a loyal customer. Your brand should go hand in hand and clearly represent your vision, your mission and your unique selling proposition (USP).



mar·ket·ing

noun

the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.


What it is in business:

Marketing is the strategy and tactics that you use to get your ideal market to know you, trust you and become a customer. This includes advertising, promotion, branding, publicity, public relations, sales and follow up.


Why it’s important:

Without marketing and more specifically, a clear, concise and effective marketing strategy, it is nearly impossible to run and most definitely impossible to grow a successful business. Most people confuse marketing with advertising but as I mentioned before, marketing includes all of the strategies and tactics used to attract a customer, this includes but is not limited to advertising. People also think of marketing only as it pertains to finding new clients but an effective marketing campaign should have three parts: before, during and after. Determining who your ideal market is, what your marketing message is going to be and where you will find these prospects is the before. How you are going to gain the prospective’s trust, follow up with them and get them to become a paying customer is during. How you deliver that service, foster a long term relationship with them and get them to refer you to their friends is after. When you are crafting a marketing message, make sure to stay focused on the consumer. Majority of small businesses focus on themselves in their marketing; we’re the best, we’ve been around the longest, we have the best customer service, etc. This is all well and good but what the customer really wants to know is...what’s in it for me? How are you going to make my life better? What problem can you solve for me and how can you do it better than anyone else? THIS is what your marketing message should be focused on.



Growth

Noun

-the process of increasing in amount, value, or importance.

-increase in economic value or activity.


What it is:

Business Growth is a stage where the business reaches the point for expansion and seeks additional options to generate more profit.


Why it’s important:

Growing your business is what is going to allow you to ultimately have your business work for you! If done correctly, it is going to give you more time, freedom and money. It is the vision that keeps you motivated and passionate about your business. Any small business owner who does the “work” of the business and is seeing some success is going to get to a point where they need to ask themselves “Do I want to work for myself or do I want to be a business owner?” If you want to work for yourself, your main job will remain doing the work of the business and then working ON the business when you have time. If you want to be a business owner, at some point, you will need to shift your focus from doing the work of the business and start focusing on marketing and growing your business. This all goes, once again, back to vision and what do you ultimately want for your business and for your life? Even if you are in a creative field such as a hairdresser, photographer, artist, etc. and your craft brings you joy, at some point trading your time for money is going to catch up with you and you are going to want to start thinking of ways in which you can diversify and grow your business. Whatever your path, there is no right or wrong decision...it is what works for you and takes you closer to your vision but if you do want to grow your business, the first place to start is mindset...start thinking, acting and making decisions like a business owner, not a worker who just so happens to work from themselves.



Mindset

Noun

the established set of attitudes held by someone.


What it is in business:

Your mindset is the collection of thoughts that shape your beliefs. Your mindset affects everything that you think, feel and do in your business (and your life).


Why it’s important:

I can’t begin to stress how important mindset is! When I first created this list, there were only seven essential areas but my gut kept telling me that I HAD to add mindset to the list...it’s just too important to leave off. We have all heard the quotes about mindset and having a positive attitude and these quotes consistently come from some of the most extraordinary people in the world...this isn’t a coincidence!


“If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”

Henry Ford


“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.”

Hellen Keller


“Where focus goes, energy grows.”

Tony Robbins


“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”

Henry David Thoreau


“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

Eleanor Roosevelt


Mindset and how it relates to success is not some woo woo theory, there are study after study proving this fact. Things like the placebo effect as well as studies on visualization by athletes show scientifically how powerful our mind is. Carol Dweck, a renowned Stanford Psychologist developed a scientifically backed theory around our ability for growth and skill development by adopting a “growth” versus a “fixed” mindset. People with a fixed mindset believe that their intelligence, talents and abilities are fixed traits where a person with a growth mindset believes that their abilities, talents and intelligence can be developed through learning, effort and persistence. I am sure that I am preaching to the choir with most of you...being an entrepreneur guarantees that you will be put into situations that will constantly test your thoughts and beliefs. We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t deal with negative, limiting beliefs on occasion. While I have no doubt that you are a badass and have adopted tools to help deal with negative beliefs and mindset, I still thought it was important to list it here and to remind you that it’s OK to have these thoughts...we can’t help what pops into our heads but what we can do is be conscious of those thoughts and not let them take hold of us. In order to grow in our lives and in our businesses, we have to continue to challenge our limiting beliefs and consistently work on keeping our mind in check.


Whether you are just starting out or you have been in business for years, it is always a good idea to revisit these key areas of business to make sure that everything is in check and running smoothly. Many of the concepts like your systems and policies may take a little time to get them in place but once you do, you should only need to revisit them and make little tweaks as your business grows.


If you need help with any of these areas, I would love to help guide you. If you are in the Southern California area, I will be conducting workshops (some free) so check back to my Workshops Page OR if you are outside of the SoCal area or need some personal attention, I would love to set up a free consultation and see how I can help you get your business organized and primed for growth! CLICK HERE to schedule your free call now.



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