Recently, I saw post on LinkedIn from a presentation skills training consultancy called Verret & Associates that spoke to me. I liked it so much that I took a screenshot of it.
The graphic details that a business is like a person. It has a mind, body, and soul. Each part is essential to a person’s existence and the same may be said for the business. Its mind is the strategy, its body is the product, and its soul is you.
The more I thought about it, the more I wondered if small business owners take the time to consider their companies with this mindset. Perhaps they consider a few of the parts, but do they look at all three parts? How often do they take care of these parts, reexamine them, and allow them to recharge?
What about those entrepreneurs that don’t look at their business the same way they would a person? What can they do to get the wheels in motion to make these changes? At the core, I think it all comes down to asking yourself questions about the business and redefining how you see each part of it.
This is the part of the business that is strategic. However, if you are not careful it can do a few unhealthy things along the way. The business may coast on certain successes for an extended period of time or focus solely on revenue at the expense of everything else in its path.
- What’s my mission? Chances are that your business created its own values and mission statement. Go back to that statement and consider how you implement said mission into your startup each day. If you find that you do, or have followed less and less of your mission over time, start strategizing on making changes.
- Do I keep learning? It’s not uncommon for businesses to get into a certain, familiar groove over time. Once they know what works for them, they will keep doing it. However, that’s not exactly a sustainable approach to business in the long-term. Take stock in what you’re doing and ask yourself if you’ve learned anything new recently. If so, find out where it was, what it was, and how you can continuing improving processes. If no, it’s time to get out of your comfort zone and stretch your brain again.
The foundation of a business is essentially its body. It keeps everything functioning smoothly. Much like any human body, the body of a business must be treated in a healthy manner so it can continue to function and grow. Good diets and exercise keep our bodies going while smart sales strategies, solid cash flow, and routine product evaluation keep businesses on the up and up.
- Am I keeping up with trends? Not every business needs to follow every new trend, but it’s important to be aware of what’s buzzworthy. Pay attention to how other companies are implementing trends with their businesses. Use a little trial and error testing to see if you can use these trends too, and how receptive your customer base will be to new ideas.
- Does my cash flow need a check-up? If it has been awhile since you crunched the numbers for your business, check in on revenue and expenses. Most entrepreneurs will (probably) get a clean bill of health with this one. Others may be able to catch problems early on and work to bring everything back to order.
It’s you, the founder of the business. It’s your team members, partners, and customers. The business wouldn’t be where it is now without them. They’re the pulse of the company. Yet, sometimes we forget to check in with their well-being and needs — especially when it comes to the entrepreneurs themselves.
- Have I asked my customers how I’m doing? If not, it’s time to start sending out surveys or conducting polls via social media. Encourage customers to share their thoughts on what they’d like to see more or less of and see what you can do to implement their ideas.
- How’s my team? Check in with your team and see how each member is doing. Consider hosting a retreat or company picnic that allows everyone to mingle together and participate in team-bonding exercises.
- How am I doing? If you need to take some time to slow down or reinvest in your own self-care needs, do it now. Don’t wait until later — and definitely don’t feel guilty about taking some time either.