4 Steps to Building a Successful Business
with Michael Gerber
with guest Michael Gerber #MakingBank S4E20
So you have been mulling over an idea for a business for a while now. Maybe it’s fresh in your mind or maybe it’s been simmering in the background for years. You’re thinking about taking the plunge and giving it a shot, but you’re not sure where to start. Perhaps you’ve been in business for some time now, but you feel like you’re spinning your wheels and going nowhere fast. You had all of these ideas of what your business would look like, but it feels so far from where you are now.
New or aspiring business owners can easily get bogged down and overwhelmed in all of the different aspects of opening and running a business that they often forget four critical steps to intentionally building a sustainable business primed to grow and thrive. Taking time to slow down and clearly define the dream, vision, purpose, and mission of your business will help you set up processes that are easy to automate, repeat, and scale to meet your business needs. This also ensures you are building the business you actually intended to build instead of having a business built on other people’s expectations or just by accident as you piece everything together.
The first step in building a business aligned with your intentions is to clearly define and understand the dream of your business. The dream is the great result you are here to produce. It is the big, bold statement that feels scary to say out loud. Maybe your dream is to spread financial literacy worldwide. Maybe you want to build sustainable, affordable homes globally. You need to be able to articulate and own the dream you have for your business.
If you skip this step your never going to be aligned with or achieve the true impact you set out to make in your business or your community (locally or globally). Remember, it doesn’t matter if someone else is already doing what you want to do. Your unique experiences, perspective, and approach will define your company and set it apart from everyone else. What you have to offer is different and important. So get clear on your dream and own it!
After you have clearly defined your dream, it is time to move onto the next step: vision. Your vision is the form your company will take to produce the great result defined in your dream. The vision is building the prototype. This is where you set boundaries for yourself to build a business rather than working in the business. You keep enough distance so you can intentionally create processes, procedures, and systems that will get your business running without being dependent on you to run it. You step back and measure metrics, collect data, and make adjustments until you have a prototype that is effectively producing the results you intended.
By have a clear vision and form to your business you can not only ensure you are in alignment with the dream you already defined, but you set your business up to scale and grow easily. You are building the framework here that creates a profitable business that you can confidently build rather than getting distracted by the daily tasks need to run the business.
Once you’ve defined and built a clear vision and framework for your business, you will then move onto defining the purpose of your business. The purpose of your business can be defined as the impact you will have on your customer. This step has to parts that you need to address: who are you serving and how will they be impacted.
You need to really think about who your ideal customer will be. Who are you serving and connecting with? If you have not defined who you will serve, you cannot accurately define why they need your business or how you will impact them. You must dig into who your ideal client is first. Be specific. What do they like to do? What do they struggle with? Where do they spend time? What industry are they involved with? Keep digging until you have a visual of the absolute, ideal client you want to work with. From there you can start to address their pain points. How is your business going to impact their life? And not just on a surface level – how will they feel after doing business with you. Address the emotional impact as well as the tangible impact. The more specific you get the better!
The last step in building a strong foundation for your business after getting clear on the dream, vision, and purpose is to define the mission. The mission is the system that is at the heart of the operating reality. The mission is where you break down the daily tasks at hand and figure out exactly what steps need to be carried out to make the purpose, vision, and dream of your business a reality. This is where most business owners start – the daily list of tasks. The problem with starting at the mission is you have no focus. You cannot tie each and every task back to an ideal client, an intentional framework, or a bold dream because no of those things have been defined.
Once you have clearly defined your dream, vision, purpose, and mission you have built a business that will thrive, grow and succeed. The alternative is to start a business with no path, no vision, no dream, and no purpose to keep it grounded. Although it is best to start with these critical steps, it isn’t too late if you’ve already opened up shop. Set aside the time you need to get clear on what your intended impact is and create a game-plan to make necessary adjustments to get your business on track. Create a rhythm in your business that allows you to reflect on these four points regularly to make sure everything you do in your business is aligned for success.