Running a business - as easy as riding a bike?

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Date: 22 October 2020

Businessman riding bicycle to work on urban street in the morning

A successful business is one that consistently makes a strong profit, generates a healthy cash flow, and provides its customers with an exceptional experience. It should also provide its owners and leaders with what they want from life and employees with a happy and fulfilling workplace. Ultimately, from an owner's perspective, a successful business is one that can operate effectively without their constant input and attention.

Sounds great, right? So, how can you create a successful and profitable business?

There are many different strategies for building a business. You might employ SWOT analysis, team-building exercises, or SMART business KPIs. Of course, all these things are important when considering the strategic direction of your business, but it's not where you should start.

How can you achieve business success?

At The Alternative Board, we make a big deal about the business owner. Building a successful business is not just about the bottom line, but how satisfied and fulfilled you feel as the business owner about the operations and growth of your business. More specifically, how does the business give you what you want from life?

Imagine yourself sitting on a bike. The front wheel represents your personal vision. This is what you want to do and achieve in life. It could be buying that dream car or booking a holiday of a life-time, providing funds to support your children's education, simply committing to spend quality time with friends and family, or a combination of all of those. Whatever it is – that's your personal vision. Then, imagine that the back wheel of the bike represents your business – the success of which will help you achieve your personal vision.

Most business owners are very good at pedalling like mad to generate power in the back wheel – their business. However, the challenge comes with trying to maintain the direction of your front wheel (your personal vision).

Too often, we see business owners striving for business success at the expense of work-life balance and losing sight of what it was they wanted to achieve in the first place. If your front wheel is not aligned with the back wheel, you'll find it harder to achieve your business goals and personal aspirations.

That's why we believe small business owners need to put more focus on making sure their personal vision and business are aligned.

Running a successful business

Have you ever stepped out and sought support or advice from anyone else about your business opportunities and challenges? Many successful business owners find that support from others, like friends and family, has been key to their business success.

Imagine having access to the collective wisdom of other business owners to help facilitate your business growth. To return to the bike analogy, access to support like this is a bit like having an entire cycling team behind you. Their collective support helps to reduce drag, so you get to your destination quicker and with much less effort.

That's what we do at The Alternative Board. We bring together like-minded business owners, from various different industries, to help business owners and leaders to propel their business growth and get to the next level of success.

TAB member, Susan Bell of Waterstons says "The TAB Board meetings are a great way to get quality advice from experienced business leaders, and to hear about the challenges they have faced and the solutions they developed to achieve success."

The right strategic business tools

Finally, to run a successful business, you need to have some strategic tools and processes in place. Using tools such as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and SWOT analysis means you're not 'flying blind'. They help you focus your attention in the right areas by giving you insights into how your business is progressing and highlighting your business' strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Using strategic planning tools, accessing the advice and support of peers, and focussing on your personal vision, will help keep your business bike on the road and ensure that you build the foundations of a successful business.

Copyright 2020. Article made possible by site supporter The Alternative Board

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