Get the Most Out of Your Business By Creating A Playbook.
Most of us started our first business with a mix of dreams, enthusiasm and hard work, didn’t we? That’s exactly how I started my first business in 1994. It didn’t take long before I realized that I was missing a whole other set of skills that I really needed.
Still, I struggled on. And through a mix of common sense, a little luck, and sheer stubbornness I got through my first year. Sure, I made it, but I was spending way too much time and making far too little. I was exhausted and I had virtually nothing left over for my family. Is THIS what entrepreneurship is all about?
Turns out that I’m not alone in asking that question.
The Numbers Point The Way
There have been lots of studies about entrepreneurs. Trouble is, most of them discuss the abysmal failure rate. 60%, 70%, 80% – pick your number, but they’re all awful, they’re all discouraging, and they don’t help.
But a few studies point the way to success. First, 76% of entrepreneurs are financially illiterate. Not a happy number at first blush. It tells us that these people are playing a game without knowing the rules, without knowing how to keep score. But it’s also a wonderful number, because now we can fix it.
Here’s a GREAT number: businesses that do some planning have revenues that are 33.4% higher than businesses that don’t. That’s awesome!
Here’s another one: business owners who meet regularly with an experienced advisor increase their confidence level by 23.2%. Terrific!
Okay, so we found some nice numbers. Now what are we supposed to do with them? One solution: use their combined advice and become the business leader that our company needs. One of the most powerful ways to do that is by creating a business playbook.
A Playbook for Your Business
A business playbook is a map that we build, tailored to our specific business, that we then follow every week and every month. I detail the playbook creation process in my new online course EnBA 101: The Playbook. To become the business leader that our company needs, we need to keep three elements in mind:
1. Our Aspiration
Nothing great was ever built without a clear picture of it in mind. A vision. A desired result. A vividly imagined goal.
These images move us forward. When we describe them to others, they inspire, excite and motivate. They shape the steps that follow.
Creating a Playbook starts in exactly the same way. In EnBA 101, we start at the beginning – even if your company is already well underway. We want to ensure that you fully understand all the aspects that influence the success of your business: your aspiration and how everything else relates to it: customers, products, services, capabilities, landscape, everything.
Until you paint the complete picture of what you aspire to and why you’re uniquely capable of reaching it, you will continue to approach your business in a fragmented, reactive and haphazard way.
2. Our Actions
Whatever their vision, anybody who builds something must work with what they’ve got and from wherever they are. They know that it takes time and effort to overcome momentum and barriers.
That said, they also know that anything is possible with the right steps, in the right order, at the right time. It’s the same for us. We are poised between our aspiration and our reality. Itching to rush forward, we have to respect our current obligations, limitations and situation.
#Entrepreneur: Anything is possible with the right steps, in the right order, at the right time.
– ALEX GLASSEY
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The trick is to break down all the things that need to be done into logical chunks and bite-sized pieces. Evaluate and prioritize them in a way that makes the most sense to your aspiration. Understand the time and effort and money that each will take to complete. Make sure that resources and cashflow don’t get overwhelmed.
Doing this also helps us keep track of what needs to be done, by whom, and by when. We will achieve what we aspire to, step-by-step-by-step.
3. Our Stories
You’re the founder. The boss. The leader. Actually, you’re the storyteller.
Once you know your aspiration and actions, you start telling three stories. Your stories draw your communities toward you and then forward. You speak to each community differently but consistently. Everyone moves together at the same pace, in the same direction, each supporting the others.
What does it take to get things done, deepen connections with your communities, reach your aspiration, secure your cashflow? The right stories, often and properly told.
EnBA 101 has the three story frameworks ready to go. They’re just waiting for you to finish them – and start telling them.
Your Business Success = Financial Literacy + Planning + Experienced Advisor
Remember the three statistics we started with? Magical things happen when you follow the direction they point in. After all, financial statements aren’t boring or complicated, especially when they describe your business. Creating a Playbook is an awful lot like planning, isn’t it? And experienced advisor? Well, you’re only an email away. ?
Sure, the majority of businesses will continue to struggle and fail. But not you. You’re still going to work hard. But now you’re going to work hard in the right direction. Because you’re determined to get the most that you can from your business.