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Today we’re going to make it very simple, or what should be very simple for you as a business owner. Assess, Know, and Get It Together: how to figure out what is broken in your business, and what to fix first.

When we’re done here in just a few short minutes, you’ll be able to assess whether your business works, what works, what doesn’t work, and more importantly, to figure out how to get started and where to get started inside your business. Make sense?

The biggest reason (or the most important reason) why you would want to do this is so that you are putting your time into the areas of your business that need it. As opposed to, well, the areas of the business that might not be critical right now, or so that you’re not making it up as you go along. To know why this is important, in a 10-year span for every 100 businesses that start, 97 fail. Now in Alberta, Canada, the first three years over 80% of businesses still struggle and ultimately fail. Through year five and year seven, that number is still in the high 60s. It’s an incredible failure rate.

So for us, we want to be able to look at a business very simply, understand what it is that we should focus on, and be able to fix those parts. That make sense? So for us, we want to be able to look at our business in four places. I have a tool that I work with my clients all the time. It’s called a “four block matrix.” This breaks the business down. Now yeah, there’s lots of stuff on here, but it just breaks a business down into four areas.

You’ll see money. You’ll see time. You’ll see architecture, and you’ll see leadership. You’ll see money and time up on top. Architecture and leadership on the bottom. Yes, there’s lots of other stuff going on, but your business is only built of four parts, money, time, architecture, and leadership.

Now what I’m going to want you to do is to grab a blank piece of paper. You could get one of these from me later on, but you’re going to need a blank piece of paper right now, and you’re going to want to do this.

You’re going to want to write “cash” and a little “$.” You’re going to want to write “T” for time. Okay. You’re going to want to write a little “A” at the bottom for architecture and then a little “L” for leadership and a big “X” in the middle, big cross. Then you’re going to want to write “cash” and “dashboard” under the money sign, “time on” and “time organization.” You’re going to want to write “sales” and “people” next to the little “A” for architecture. You’re going to want to write “strat plan” or “strategic plan” next to the “L.”

One the top, what you’re going to see here too is a little “1” and a little “5”. 1 is great. 5 is terrible. What I want you to do right now is to be able to think about your business from your cash and money side of things. From the actual cash and cash flow. From your budgeting, both short-term and long-term. From your profit and loss of your accounting cycle and then from a dashboard being able to look at everything. Your actual cash, how you’re budgeting, what your accounting cycle looks like, and then all of that together in one place.

Think about each of those parts, and I want you to give yourself a score. When you think about just the money part of your business. 1, I’m doing great at all those parts. At tracking my cash, at budgeting, at my accounting and keeping up with my bookkeeping, and of course, I have a dashboard to look at all of that together. Or, of course, 5, terrible at the other end. I don’t do any of that, and I have no idea what you’re talking about, Mitch.

So I want you to give yourself a score between 1 and 5. 1 is great. 5 is terrible. 3 is in the middle. I want you to think about it for a moment but don’t take too long. Give yourself a score between 1 and 5. 1 is great. 5 is terrible. Makes sense? Then over on the “T” side, the time side. I want you to think about how you organize your time, of course. Right? Then how much time you spend in your business doing the stuff you do day-to-day and how much time you spend on your business planning for it to go forward.

Now if you could think about how you organize your time, how your time on your business is being used, and how your time in your business is being used, I want you to give yourself a score. All right? 1 is great. 5 is terrible. 3 is somewhere in the middle. You’re going to give yourself a 1, a 2, a 3, a 4, or 5. It doesn’t matter what it is, but I want you to think about your time and give yourself a score from 1 to 5. Okay? Now when we’re done that, don’t worry you can come back and read through this again, play along with me.

Architecture, the bottom left there. Architecture’s the stuff that makes up your business. It’s your business development or sales cycle, marketing, operations planning, people. How I hire, bring in people, keep them for my business and, of course, developing people including yourself. How are you with your business development and sales? How are you with your marketing for your business? How are you with your operations? In other words, all the steps that go into my business. I’ve got them well organized. How am I in finding and keeping people for my business? How am I at developing people in my business? I want you to think about all those areas. Again, give yourself a score, 1 to 5. 1 is great. 5 is terrible. Somewhere in the middle. Give yourself a score 1 to 5 on each of those areas. Okay?

Last, but certainly not least, leadership. This is the part of your business where people that make decisions about the business, you or anybody else you can trust to make decisions for your business, are involved in making the decisions of the business. I want you to think about strategic planning. What is the plan I have for where my business is going long-term? How am I at assessing talent? Stuff that people are really good at. Not developing people like HR in the architecture, but how good am I at understanding how people are really good at stuff?

Then, of course, brand. The name recognition that my business has. How am I at understanding it, recognizing it, and being able to grow it? Give yourself, again, a score between 1 and 5. 1 is great. 5 is terrible. When you’re done giving your scores, I want you to think about just a couple of key components. Okay? In your cash or money side of things, your cash flow and a dashboard. Okay? In the time side of things, time on your business and organizing your time. Okay? The architecture, I want you to think about your sales, of course, and your people, how you are at bringing in and keeping people. Okay.

Then under the leadership side of things, how is your strategic plan? I want you to look at those, take those scores and I want you to write them on a piece of paper. Now what you’re going to do with this is you’re actually going to write them down again. 1 in the centers are great. Right? 5’s at the outside edges are terrible. 3’s are somewhere in the middle. I want you to give yourself the score and then come up with the average for the stuff that we were talking about and be able to write some numbers in each one of these areas.

Like, for example, in the cash flow I got the 3. Over in the time I’ve got the 2. Right? Leadership, I got a 5. Oh, way out here, nothing really is working very well for me. Inside the architecture, sales. I want you to give me your score for your cash, your time on your business, your sales and your strategic plan. I want you to write them down. 1’s in the center. 5’s at the outside edges. 3 would be somewhere in the middle. I want you to give yourself a visual representation like this is here of those scores. Then I want you to connect the box. Okay?

This example here I got a little funny shaped kite. That kite tells me that, of course, I got a big concern out here. This is an area of the business that’s big; it’s stretched out. Right? I’m not doing so bad up here, the way I organize my time or my business and I’m so-so over here on this side of things when it comes to my cash flow and my sales. If you can do this in just a couple of minutes and be able to look objectively at your business, but also you did this from how you felt about your business, you’re going to have a great place to start at figuring out what’s most important for your business.

Now, most people that read this should be small businesses.

If you’re going to focus your time on where my cash and cash flow is, okay, how I organize my time on my business, to plan and grow my business, if I focus on my sales and my sales cycle, including my marketing, how to attract more business, and I have a plan saying for this year and next year, and the year after, the broad strokes, this is what my business needs to achieve, if you can get yourself to good scores in all those areas, your business has a very good chance at succeeding. Your life’s going to be simpler, easier to live with!

If you don’t, these are the four biggest areas of the four key components or quadrants of your business. You need a money, a time, an architecture, and a leadership component of your business overall on the parts that are in there to build them and make sense? But you need to be able to assess where your cash is, how you organize your time on your business, how I sell to my clients and customers, and how I track more of them, and how I plan to succeed going forward. If you can give yourself a good score for all those, then you’re in a good spot.

If your scores aren’t so good, or are really, really, terrible, then you know what you have to work on first. Getting control of your cash flow, organizing your time better on how to plan and grow your business, more sales, and marketing, always, always, always. Right? Then, of course, having a plan to organize all of that.

Last thought, if you’ve had a look at this, you’ve followed and played along right now, you still want better, or you want the actual tool, you need to talk to me.

So you come find me, of course, best place

You’ll find the link. You’ll find me all over the place, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter. You name it; you’re going to find me. You come and have a talk. We will get a tool out to you. We’ll do the good assessment, and then we’ll talk about where your business is going.

You have an outstanding day. Get a handle on your business. Get yourself organized. Assess, know and get it together so that life moves on.

Have a great one.