Your dream is to have a great business that fits you, your passions, your talents, the way you want to work and help people and the time you wish to and can spend on it. To build that dream business, you have to start laying down your Business Foundations first.
As explained in The Guide to your Dream Business, your business starts by building foundations. Or, when you have been in business for a while, checking in with them to see if they still fit you, your business and your audience.
There are three elements to your business foundations:
- Business Strategy
- Business Review
- Business Goals
Your Business Strategy
Your Business Strategy is where you decide which path you will follow to your dream business. You work on your business model, including pricing and working out your ideal client. At the end of your business strategy, you should have a good idea of where you want to go, even if you don’t know how you will get there.
The easiest way to work on your business strategy is by working on your business model canvas. This canvas has everything you need to understand the approach to your dream business. But before you can work ON your dream business, you have to dream up that dream business. What do you want your life, including your business to look like? What is important to you? Once you have that figured out the 9 segments of the business model canvas will help you along:
- Customer Segments – Who are your ideal customers?
- Value Propositions – What do you offer? What makes you unique?
- Channels – How do you connect with your ideal customer? There are five moments for which you need channels. I work on this mostly in the Marketing Strategy, but it’s good to think about it already.
- Customer Relationships – What kind of relationships do you build with your customer?
- Revenue Streams – How will you get your income? How much?
- Cost Structure – What does it cost to keep the business alive?
- Key Activities – What activities are the most critical part of your business? Without which actions wouldn’t your business exist?
- Key Resources – Who and what is vital for your business?
- Key Partners – Who do you need to work together with to be able to do your key activities?
This can feel quite hard to fill in though. That is why in the exercises I do with my clients, I have broken it down with simple questions that, once answered, fill in this model. I have also added these simple questions to the Business Foundations Workbook.
If you are a coach, sell online courses or teach in some other way, it’s also important to work on your framework. A framework is a structured process of what you teach so that people understand it and can work on it on their own too. in Mariana Peña’s guest blog she talks all about frameworks “Why a solid framework is the best recipe for your business“.
Your Business Review
Your Business Review will help you see where you stand now, how things are going and what elements you can improve on in a quick(ish) manner to get closer to that final dream business.
You ask yourself questions like: How did the last 12 months go? Why did things go the way they did? Only by seeing what has happened can you change things for the future whatever the reason was. You also want to review how specific elements are working out like your finances or your clients.
Once you have a good idea of what is and isn’t working in your business, you are ready to take the step forward towards your dream business with (new) goals and projects.
Your Business Goals
To get a step closer to your dream business and not get distracted by all those shiny new things – you know exactly what I mean 🙂 – you can set longer- and shorter-term goals to help you stay on track.
Don’t worry that you might not know precisely what you will need or want to do in 5 years, 3 years or even in 3 months. This is just a set of ideas for what looks useful to you right now. It is not set in stone and in no way will mean you are accountable for doing them. I can also struggle genuinely with setting longer-term goals and thinking that I don’t know what I want to say because I don’t know how my life will be like in 6 months, let alone 3 years. But what I’ve noticed is that if I make a path of goals and projects, based on what I know and feel now, I am a lot more productive and stay on track more with what I want. And then I get to review my goals and plans regularly to make sure they are still what I want.
By making those goals into smaller projects and things you want to focus on it becomes more attenable. You could, for instance, work on:
- A new product or service
- Automation of business processes
- Improving your finances (both in sales but also how much you spend and so how much of your revenue becomes profit – check out Profit First)
- Adding a new marketing channel to the mix
- Improving customer relations