As published by Inc.Africa
Running a sustained profitable business might be hard, but it doesn’t need to be complicated.
Traditional advice guides business owners who feel stuck in some way to review – or create – a business plan as a framework for identifying the cause of feeling stuck. The catch is that a business plan can often be unnecessarily complex or lengthy for a business owner that is in need of quick and practical insights. An existing or template business plan may also be more geared towards funding requirements than the relentless grind of running a business past the initial exciting first few years.
Business owners who are feeling stuck or overwhelmed need a simple structure that they can remember and review of the top of their heads. The following structure requires that a business owner reviews the entire business using only three main topics – strategy, sales, systems – and five questions – why, who, what, where, when, and how. For more complex entities, the same three topics and five questions can be used for each distinct business unit.
The trick to keep this structure as simple and useful as possible is to stick to the three main topics, and to adapt the specific questions to the unique needs of the business. This flexibility also makes it much easier for business owners to do this review quickly and regularly.
Every business needs a strategy. In the simplest terms, designing a business strategy is deciding where the business is going and how it’s going to get there. Questions to ask during this topic of the business review include:
A brilliant business strategy is useless without sales that bring it to profitable life. Questions a business owner can ask themselves when considering the state of sales of the business include:
Under the systems topic of this simplified business review, a business owner has to consider the people, processes and technology that enable the business to consistently implement its strategy.
After completing this quick review, all that’s left for business owners to do is to create an action plan based on what they discovered during the review, and then do everything they can to make sure that the plan is followed.