Key Business Structure Characteristics
Worksheets & Downloads
total Video & Workbook time
How you run and structure your business, from a management and operations perspective, depends a lot on how many employees you have. You cannot, for example, as the owner/operator, do the same thing day to day, if you have 1-3 employees + yourself, versus when you have 6-8 employees.
If you’re running around in the field, managing employees, customers, quotes, taking sales calls, and working late nights / weekends on “paperwork”, invoicing, paying bills, marketing and “strategizing”, then you’re not efficient. There’s really no reason to work 60-80 hours a week. Working “hard” is not the same as working “smart”. If you’re already working long hours, how could you possibly work “harder” to grow your business? You can’t. No one can.
The reason this module is first, is because once you see your business as a set of inter-dependent, but separate elements, you’ll be able to manage the pieces efficiently – and grow/scale your business.
The primary reason franchises are generally much more successful than independent operators, is because the franchisor has implemented what you’ll learn here, in a disciplined way. So when you buy a franchise, you’re actually buying a business structure. The brand was built around the structure. Not the other way around.
Completing this module will help you To:
Tips & notes
The cornerstone of any successful business is “structure”. But you can’t manage a business in a structured way, until you see the building blocks of the entire thing, referred to as a “business”. This is not about accounting.
Accountants can’t tell you how to run your business. Their job is to count the money you earned as a business owner, and track it. Accounting is but one piece of the pie. Unless there’s something to count, there’s no business.
A business is an “entity” on it’s own, distinctly separate from you. You just happen to have created it and you manage it. Like a car, which has core elements such as an engine, transmission, wheels, electronics, seating, etc., all elements must be understood and maintained, and the car will work fine.
However, though they all have the same components, a car is different from a pickup, a van, a dump truck, etc.. A business is the same. It has components which must be understood – and the components must serve the specific purpose of what you intend to do within your business. A mismatch can be costly, or even disastrous.
Video 52 Min + 20 Min read to complete worksheet
Any business has three broad areas that require attention – Sales & Marketing, Operations and Finance. This pretty well applies to any business of any size. From the sole proprietor to multinational corporations. All three areas are critical, and they all impact each other.
However, there’s a big difference between how these three are managed, when you’re a lone-ranger, have 2-4 employees, or even more staff. Complexity increases exponentially, as you grow, but managing it does not have to.
The main reason a vast majority of small businesses just can’t get past 2-3 employees, is because they hit an invisible wall and end up frustrated, work even longer hours and profits drop. They tend to blame it on the competition, price wars, can’t find good employees, etc..
Here, you’ll learn to easily break through that invisible wall by first “seeing” it.
Video 46 Min + 25 Min read to complete worksheet
Most businesses fail at a critical juncture of growth following the first 1-2 years of startup and survival. Those that do survive limp along, just paying the bills, seemingly “maxing out” and simply can’t grow, constantly hitting hurdles in the form of price wars, technological changes, economic changes, etc.. Some give up or burn out.
However, in any economy, and in any competitive landscape, or even during price wars – SOME businesses not only survive, but grow and thrive.
Your business is literally “alive” as an organic entity. It grows, like kids do. A 5 year old has different needs than a 10, 15 or 20 year old.
Once you understand that, you need to “feed” it, and nurture it differently at each stage of it’s growth. Under different conditions, you’ll feel empowered to take advantage of anything, that on the surface may seem like a problem, or challenge. If it’s a challenge for your weary and tired competitors, then that always spells opportunity for you.
Video 38 Min + 20 Min read to complete worksheet
Having the right business structure is imperative, to not only growth, but survival. For example; You can easily run a small service business from your home with maybe 1 or two helpers or employees.
At the other extreme, which may seem obvious, is that you can’t run a business from your basement, while having 20 employees.
The key is understanding when – and how – to move up. Before you try to get more business in the door? Or after that? Or maybe at the same time? These decisions have far reaching implications on staff, equipment and marketing expenses.
If you want to make more money and work less, you MUST grow – and do it strategically.
Video 54 Min + 30 Min read to complete worksheet
A strong underlying desire to constantly save money, control everything and learn how to do everything is the hallmark of a DIY business owner. They typically don’t trust anyone and think they can do a better job than anyone else, by watching a few YouTube videos, and spending a few dollars on DIY tools for websites and marketing.
These business owners also share two other characteristics.
1. They don’t value their time – and think nothing of working late at night and on weekends “tweaking” their marketing, doing paperwork, maintaining their equipment etc..
2. They don’t see their business from a “business” perspective, so ROI of their time, or for equipment, marketing etc., doesn’t come into the equation.
These businesses simply limp along, leaving their best strategy for getting more business to charge “less”. Never considering that by doing that, they’re actually subsidizing the customer! They’re footing part of the service bill because they can’t deliver the service at a profitable cost to the customer.
Some have a strong “up sell” strategy they rely on, which works – to a point. And most DIY business owners have no idea what that point is.
Video 37 Min + 28 Min read to complete worksheet
During the lessons, we’ll dive deeper into the various factors you need to understand, but getting a high level taste of the main factors affecting your business, is critical.
These are like weather vanes. Either signaling good weather, or bad weather. Either way, forewarned is forearmed and most opportunity is to be had during changing times – not during price, economic and competitive stability.
It’ll become second nature to you soon enough when it comes to “smelling” opportunity – even in a coming storm.
Your business is like an oil tanker – a large mass moving slowly, taking a long time to stop or change direction. Having advance knowledge is critical, since no business can spin on a dime and expect to survive – let alone thrive.
Video 56 Min + 32 Min read to complete worksheet
In direct marketing, it’s common knowledge that you should never solicit business owners on Monday. They’re either putting out fires, and/or are dealing with issues that didn’t get done the previous Friday or over the weekend.
There are constant customer, equipment, supply and employee issues to manage. Even a minor thing often results in a cascading effect of headaches. It’s almost a weekly cycle for most small business owners – that – and working very long hours and weekends.
When you see your business as a “living” thing, and know how it’s made, how it works and how the pieces fit together, you’ll work 50% less, fires will be quickly extinguished and you’ll never be caught off guard by something you can’t quickly handle.
Video 47 Min + 22 Min read to complete worksheet