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Focus on Fundamentals

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Whatever you thought 2020 was going to be at the beginning of the year or even a few weeks ago is no longer the case. The coronavirus pandemic has changed everything. We have a new normal and this new normal requires a very different approach.

Social distancing and lock-down orders have impacted consumer behaviors and turned many businesses upside-down. Now, not every story today is a negative one. There are many leaders out there who remain adaptive and have pivoted their companies quickly in order to continue serving their customers as well as attract new ones. Today I’d like to explore the business fundamentals that are as relevant and important as ever given where we find ourselves today.

In good times it can be tempting to take for granted how easy you can get new sales. It can be easy to take on extra expenses and gloss over the details. Then, when tougher times inevitably happen, it’s back to the basics. So what are these basics? What are the fundamentals that set the solid foundation a business needs to stand the test of time?

At ActionCOACH, we refer to these areas as the Mastery step. As a business owner, you want to have mastery of your Destination, your Money, your Delivery, and your Time. I will cover what each of these masteries are about as well as how to take steps immediately to ensure they are in place.

Destination Mastery refers to having a clear vision for where you are taking the business and a plan to get you there. This is important for staying focused and keeping your team in alignment. Ultimately you are choosing your direction and focus. This enables you to get moving and create momentum. Every action becomes about achieving the vision you’ve set. Given this, the destination must be inspiring and serve as an enrollment mechanism day in and day out. Some simple questions you can ask yourself and/or your team to assess how well you have destination mastered are:

  • What’s the goal of the business?
  • What’s the plan for how this will be achieved?
  • What are the guidelines in place to keep us on track?

Money Mastery is all about knowing your numbers and being able to make data-driven decisions. In every business, the financials must make sense for the business to be viable. You want to track and know your cashflow, accounts receivable, inventories, accounts payable, accrued expenses, break-even, profits and taxes. There are policy considerations and financial planning with a focus on Return on Investment. With times like these, some key questions to ask yourself are: 

  • What is your cash situation? Are you tracking cashflow?
  • Do you know your break-even?
  • What are your quick cashflow strategies?

Delivery Mastery comes down to the operational elements of your business. Here we focus on supply, quality, ease-of-purchase, and service. Some questions to assess how you are doing here are:

  • Does your business have the qualifications or supply to serve the customers?
  • What’s the measured customer experience (i.e. are the products/services of high quality and consistent)?
  • Is it easy for customers to do business with you?

Time Mastery evaluates how well you and/or your team manage your time during a day or week. Our time is the one thing that we never get back so spend it well! It’s important to accept that you’ll never be able to do everything you want as there is simply too much to do. The main reason for managing your time is to accomplish your ultimate goal or goals. How are you with Time Mastery: 

  • Have you got a default calendar that you stick to daily/weekly?
  • Do you know your priorities and block out time to get the work done?
  • Are you tracking where you spend your time and have checklists for getting routine tasks done?

Having a high level of mastery of the fundamentals to your business sets you up to focus on standing out in your marketplace. With the uncertainty brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic today, being able to pour your attention to your marketplace and come up with new and innovative strategies to stay relevant and in front of customers is key to survival. Instead of checking out and doing nothing, make sure you are setting yourself up for the better times around the corner and work on your masteries!

Clearly set your destination, get caught up and organized with your financials, sure up your delivery, and get laser focused on managing your time well.

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