Small business owners: Come out of the pandemic stronger by creating a blueprint for your company

In the past two blogs, we talked about “how” business owners can come out of this challenging time on a steep trajectory by “doubling down” on their behaviors and creating a KARE plan for the next 90 days and beyond.

Now, I’m asking business owners this question: “Is now the time to create a framework so you can ‘blueprint’ your business?”

As you may know, a blueprint is a design or pattern for making something, so you might be wondering: “Why would I want a blueprint for my business? We are already successful.”

This is a great question and one that you should ask. But here is my answer.

You want a blueprint for your business so you can:

  1. Systemize
  2. Define your culture
  3. Achieve 10-100 times your current growth
  4. Be prepared for succession planning: Turning your business over to a family member, selling it to a key employee, mergers and acquisitions, or finding a suitor
  5. Be prepared for a key sale or acquisition

Which of these reasons most applies to your business?

Now, ask yourself these two questions:

  1. “Could I walk away from this business today, and it would still make money in my absence?” (What if you were to walk away for more than a week or two, but for an extended period of time? Could your business survive?)
  2. “Could I hand the keys to my business over to someone else, and they would know exactly the methodology of how we run/operate this business at the highest levels?”

If you can’t comfortably answer “yes” to either of these questions, then you should have a framework for “blueprinting” your business. At the Sandler Performance Center, we call achieving this blueprint: “Organizational Excellence.”  

A framework is an essential supporting structure of a building or object. It’s also the basic structure underlying a system or concept.

What we’re going to do is help you flesh out the framework for your company, and that involves using The Six P’s.

Planning. Most people and companies look at planning as a singular event, something that they do annually and revisit periodically. Planning should be perpetual. Life and business is changing more rapidly than ever. (Have you been around the past couple months?) Understanding a solid process for perpetual planning ensures that when things change rapidly, you’ll remain ahead of the competition.

Positions. As your planning takes you out 3-5 years (much beyond that is pure speculation), what are the positions needed or required to achieve the goal?  I’m guessing they may be different than what they are today. 

People. Jim Collins taught us to have the “right people on the right seats of the bus;” however, as we look forward to our destination (the goal), can our people today carry us to that goal?  If not, what skills do we need to impart, what coaching do we need to employ, and what/who are we missing? Ensuring that our team is a good fit for today and tomorrow is essential!

Processes. One of the biggest risks I see today is with companies that they have key people in the organization who “own” internal processes that are not documented and up to date. When these individuals leave the organization, the organization is at serious risk because no one knows how to fill in for them. Taking the time to fully evaluate and document your employees’ processes is essential work that many small- to medium-sized business don’t do.

Performetrics. “What gets measured gets done.” It’s as simple as that. What are you measuring internally? Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) help us track how we are performing individually and as a whole. Proper KPI’s are a combination of leading and lagging indicators to help us make change when needed.

Passion. Creating a culture of success is key and connecting the “why” across the organization is the driver. Learning how to do this helps organizations rise above any challenge that they may face. It helps to make this process perpetual as well.

If this catches your attention, reach out to us at the Sander Performance Center, and we will send you a survey to see how your business stacks up against top organizations that have achieved organizational excellence. If you simply want the image above to understand what it takes, we are happy to share that, too. 

This blog is part of an ongoing, weekly series in Input Fort Wayne, following local small business owners as they navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Read Jim's previous blogs here.

Read more articles by Jim Wilcox.

Jim Wilcox is Founder of the Sandler Performance Centers of Northern Indiana in Fort Wayne and South Bend. He is one of Input Fort Wayne's small business bloggers, sharing his experience during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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