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I haven’t written too many articles this year, it’s not that I don’t have much to say, it’s more about timing. So far 2018 has been a crazy busy year, but I’m certainly not complaining. We hit the ground running and we’ve been flat out ever since, in a good way. As well as a full workload, my flat-out year has included trips to New York, a conference in Vegas, a wonderful bucket list tick at the Cherry Blossoms in Japan and recently, a few days in Vanuatu to recharge and do some writing.

Getting away has given me the opportunity to step back and reflect a little. What I realise is that I have finally made strides towards building the business that I have always wanted. One that I could run from anywhere in the world, while at the same time feeding my love of family and travel. There is great freedom in knowing that I can do this, and my business will be okay.

It’s taken me a while to get to this level, years in fact, and lots of obstacles. Recently we had a conversation in the office around this topic. About how we have managed to build a business that can run while I’m in various locations across the globe. We looked at how we managed to survive the major challenges (I don’t say that lightly) that we’ve faced? How did we manage to run and grow our charity ACCV for ten years while living so far away and not speaking the language?

It was an interesting and worthwhile conversation, and we came up with a clear answer…

Our business has survived great challenges, thrived and grown, because we know it. We know the fundamental aspects of our business that we must feed, nurture and develop. By looking at and strengthening each of those key areas, we finally have a rock solid foundation.

Of course, it’s not only my business, the foundation of any business is so incredibly important. It doesn’t matter how great your product is, if you don’t have clients. It doesn’t matter how many clients you have, if you don’t have a strong cash flow system, or a great team to handle each aspect of the process. It doesn’t matter how great your processes are if your marketing isn’t bringing in new clients.

If the foundation of your business has major gaps, I hate to say it, but you’re in trouble.

Reviewing our foundation sent me back to my business blueprint. I am known for being very organised and my business has strong systems, but there’s more than that. When you are the one running the business, you are the guardian of the big picture, you have to keep an eye on the overall health of your business and address any issues or gaps that are present.

Last year I put one part of our business, the one that I am most passionate about, on hold while I addressed a huge gap in our primary business. That gap was primarily was marketing. I slowly built a funnel that would navigate our business through very troubled waters as the resources industry had taken a battering. Gaining clarity for that funnel led me to studying the deeper aspects of marketing, SEO, copywriting and I also went back to my MBA notes to review our strategy and how we could improve it. It has been a steep learning curve.

The point I’m making is that I looked at the major areas of our business and reviewed them in the new light of today’s economy, which was vastly different to that of the mining and resources boom when we first put it together. Some things have really changed, external factors for instance, but the pillars of a solid foundation have not wavered.

We have six important areas when it comes to the solid foundation of a business. They are:

  1. You! The owner, leader and holder of the vision.
  2. Strategy – The long term plans of where you’re going and how you’ll get there.
  3. Processes – If something is worth doing twice, it needs a process and a procedure.
  4. Finances – Knowing the cash flow system and cycle of your business.
  5. Marketing – How you successfully generate, promote and distribute your products to clients.
  6. Relationships – The people we surround ourselves with and rely on. They need to be good!

There is not one area that is more important than another. They are all vital components in running a successful business, long term.

How strong is the foundation of your business?  Do you know the areas of strength and weakness?

How well will your business survive challenging times?

We’d love to hear from you so do let us know. Alternatively, you are welcome to join our private facebook group where we can continue the discussion. You’ll also find lots of great insights, discussions and tips regarding all aspects of running a small business.

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