Does your business serve you - or do you serve your business?

10th April 2019

27 years ago, I quit my job working for a company that was terribly managed.

Over several months, the new MD had fired almost the entire management team. No one knew who was going to be at work from one day to the next. It was stressful and chaotic.

It was time to work for myself – and I wanted to build a very different kind of business.

I pictured a team of 10-12 people working in one office – small enough to feel like a family but big enough to make a real impact.

We would work with clients who were in driving distance, so we could get to know them and become part of their own teams.

I wanted to work with people I cared about and to be very hands-on, so I could continue doing the work that I loved.

And I wanted to help other businesses that were a bit like ours – mid-sized, family firms, where business felt personal.

Over the years, I methodically created exactly that business.

But now, 27 years later, my needs have changed.

About to hit 60, the last thing I want is to work in an office environment every day.

I recently bought a second home in Wales which I escape to every few weeks. I work from there, enjoying the quiet of the countryside.

That means that I have had to take my business through some changes.

Increasingly, I focus on high-level strategy, rather than on client work or staff issues.

And to give me the flexibility to work remotely, my team had to step up, working more independently and relying less on me. Both these phases of my business were deliberate. As the owner, I have the privilege of being able to organise my business so it serves me and my needs.

And if you want your business to bring you joy and satisfaction, you need to do the same.

You need total clarity on the kind of business you want to build and how it fits in with your lifestyle and preferences, so you can create a business that works for you….

Not the other way round.

After all, if you pour all your energy into building a business which you do not enjoy running, which makes you miserable and which does not support the kind of life you want to lead…

….what is the point!?

Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs lose sight of this truth as they get dragged into the realities of managing their business.

So think carefully about whether you want to make tens of millions and lead a large team… Or would prefer to make less money, leading a smaller team you are close to. Or perhaps you really want a lifestyle business that gives you some flexibility, without having to manage a team at all?

Ask yourself, as well, what kind of work you really enjoy doing. Do you want to deal with clients all day long, or do you prefer focusing on strategy? What roles do you envisage other team members taking on?

What kind of clients do you wish to work with? And how much income do you want this business to generate for you? Is this a business you are aiming to sell one day – or will the next generation inherit it?

There are so many questions to consider (these are just the tip of the iceberg).

But you need to tackle them, in order to develop a compelling picture of the business you want to build.

Of course, even the clearest vision doesn’t come to fruition by itself.

You need a plan to make it happen. That includes a financial plan….

That’s why, here at Insight Associates, we have created a 3-step process for you to clarify the vision for your business, put in place the financial foundations you need to make it happen, and then make your vision a reality.

I have personally used it in my business and it is what we put in place for our clients – no matter what stage their business is at - so they can build a business that serves them and which they love, as well.

I’m going to tell you all about this system over the next few weeks, so keep an eye out for those emails.

In the meantime, I’d love to know: Do you have a clear vision for your business? What is it? And what steps did you take to clarify it?

Just hit‘reply’and let me know – I’d love to hear from you.

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