Laying the proper foundation
By: Comfort Chevannes
Most people understand that a building is nothing without a solid foundation. Why is the foundation of a building, like your home, the most important part of the structure? It’s because any issues with the foundation get worst as it begins to affect the other areas of the building. It’s a compounding problem, it builds and can very well cause the home to eventually fall apart (literally).
Think about it! Your home, yes, your home – all of it sits on top of the foundation. Likewise, in business if the foundation is not set up right, you can run into major issues that can last for years.
Imagine loosing time and money, and then compounded on that is major debt following you for years. Not exactly the entrepreneurial dream. Using some of the construction procedures let’s examine what laying the proper foundation is like for self-employed business owners.
The first step in the construction process is to get the needed permits from the city to build, and hiring a surveyor to determine the property boundaries and corners, so that the builder and architect will know where everything can or will be.
In business, this is where the business owner ensures that the right business structure is chosen and all licensing and permits needed to legally operate the business are obtained. But, even before that, the business owner should be sure that the business chosen is one that they actually want to do, because building a business requires putting in the needed time to get the work done. This is what we sometimes call working your business, and in the early stages working your business could mean doing research, enhancing your skills, getting to know your customers likes and dislikes better or even establishing business partners among other things.
Let’s not forget the architect. The blueprint for the house must be designed properly and followed precisely by the builders. The blueprint is the design of the home, how everything will be laid out. In business, the blueprint is the business model, also referred to as the profit model. You can find out more about the business model in the book: Self-Employed and profitable, and in the free download titled: The Effective Marketing Plan.
Also in the early stages of the construction process is the site preparation, the crew uses a bulldozer and a backhoe to clear the land of any debris, unwanted trees and rocks. A builder cannot build on clutter and chaos; neither should a business owner ignore areas in their life that may impact their business or anti-business success behaviors that can leave them unprofitable and in debt.
To help ensure that the proper foundation is laid, business owners should ensure that their business model makes sense according to their respective business type and industry practices. In addition, a lifestyle adjustment may be necessary to allow the business owner to focus on the business development. Finances need to be in order; if there is no savings or there’s a shortage of cash to properly fund the early stages of the business, keeping a part time job may be necessary to have additional money in the business or maintain their livelihood.
Bank Accounts, business insurance, and setting up your books properly so that you can keep track of your business finances should also be established early. If you can’t keep track of your business finances or you don’t know what’s happening in your business, then you are not really operating your business, and you will not be in a position to make well informed decisions.
After the crew has cleared the site, they move on to digging deep into the ground creating trenches and holes where the concrete is to be poured. This ensures that the ground can support the house. Builders never just build from the ground level; they always dig down into the ground as far as needed depending on the soil type to ensure the foundation is laid properly to support the structure.
Many business owners do not always think about how their personal finances may be impacted by their decision to start a business. Consider for a moment the person who transitions from being employed full time to being self-employed full time.
Working brings in a paycheck, whereas in business at times you live off what’s left in the business. If one really believes that self-employment is the way to go, then downsizing or scaling back on household expenses to ensure that they can make it through the earlier phase of their business may be necessary to avoid unwarranted financial stress.
Personal finances is an area to consider deeply because you do not want to find yourself struggling to balance personal and business finances, or even regretting venturing off into business because of financial distress. To help you keep track of your personal finances use a household budget.
When the construction crew is finished with the digging phase, the concrete is poured into the holes. This is to create a connection point between the foundation and the ground. It takes about four weeks for the concrete to dry depending on the weather. Once the concrete hardens it is now ready to support the bricks that will form the walls of the house.
Similar in business, all the essential plans must be put in place to support the growth of the business. This means putting together, financial projections, your marketing plan, operating plans and business budget.
You may ask “why aren’t these plans with designing the blueprint phase”. Good question, however, keep in mind that the blueprint is the Business Model. Once the business model has been determined, coming up with strategic plans to support the building of your business will be much easier to design.
These plans, once they have been put into action will not only serve as a road map, but also as the supporting documents your business needs to help take it to the next level.
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