Our term “6 Step Process” is short for “The 6 Step Process to Building a Business” – a proven and easy to understand, step-by-step approach that helps focus on company objectives and produces consistent profits over time.
Our definition of “business” is ‘a commercial, profitable enterprise that works without you” with an emphasis on you as the business owner. The 6 steps are the building blocks of creating a business that you can ultimately work ‘on’ and not ‘in.’
Each rung of the ladder in the 6 Steps – Mastery, Niche, Leverage, Team, Synergy and Results – build on one another and works together to propel the other forward.
The first level, Mastery, focuses on the fundamentals of building up a commercial enterprise. Mastery where you take back control of your business. It is the first step in making sure the business delivers profit and productivity with enough information to make great decisions.
The entire process breaks down into four main areas the you get to “master” before moving forward:
“Destination” – or where the business is going; “Money” – knowing what factors drive profit and what numbers to measure; “Time” – learning what is most urgent and most timely to boost overall productivity, and “Delivery” – or the process of building consistency into what the business produces and delivers to its customers.
You have to walk before you run, and we also have to take operations as they are in reality, not as we hope they are or wish them to be. Part of Mastery is getting you to think about your business in real world terms and we re-focus attention on what will give you the best, immediate impact on performance and profitability.
The next level, Niche, is about creating predictable cash flow for the business and operating from a position where the business has no price competition because you dominate your market where you operate. Niche is where the business becomes or grows as a profit making business. At this level, everything is oriented around marketing.
Marketing is showing why you are different in a good way, finding your company’s USP (Unique Selling Proposition), and learning how to leverage your psotive difference; these are key factors at the Niche level. Here we work from the premise that marketing isn’t an expense – it’s an investment – one that significantly impacts the bottom-line.
Leverage, in fact, is the third of the 6 Steps, where systems are implemented at all levels of the company.
Our definition of “leverage” is “doing ever more with less.” It’s about finding ways to use a system for the routine while finding more time for people to handle exceptions to the routines. In our experience, we’ve found 80% of a typical company’s operations are routine at some level. Using systems for that 80% frees up resources – often your time as the owner – toward more productive functions.
At the Leverage level, we also work to create Vision, Mission and Culture statements for the business, while helping implement goals, organizational structure and KPI’s – or Key Performance Indicators – numbers that help guide operations and check progress toward company objectives.
Leverage level gives owners great information on ‘what to manage.’ It’s a strategic way of getting to the ‘nuts and bolts’ of an operation. It can be time consuming – but the benefits in the long run far outweigh the time spent setting up the systems now.
The fourth level – or Team level – provides team ownership with a structure for growth. Up to the Team level, we build on getting the basics of the business up and running. At Team level, we work on the keys to building winning teams, namely strong leadership toward a common goal, knowing the rules of the game and following a plan of action where everyone knows ‘who needs to do what by when.’
Team building also fosters an atmosphere that encourages risk taking – with the expectation that team members participate 100% of the time with 100% of their efforts. The outcome of the Team level is a realization of synergy within the organization that allows the business to function towards its maximum potential, in other words, this is where we make 1+1+1=5. The next step is a by-product of an integrated system that works to produce the ultimate result of a business – consistent profits on a consistent basis.
Synergy Leading to Results
Ideally, the Team and Synergy levels create a business where the business and you as the owner find yourself at the Results level – giving you a variety of options you may have never considered before.
Maybe it’s more free time or maybe it’s time expansion, who knows? What’s important is you will have the freedom to consider your options without the stress of trying to manage your business on a day-to-day level when in reality, today your business is really running you.
Building a profitable business that works without you tied to the business on a daily basis is the goal of of coaching. The success of the “6 Steps” in the real world has been exactly that – giving owners the time and resources they iwanted when they first went into business for themselves.