Connect and Grow Magazine Edition 4 - December 2023
Business Success is something that looks different for every business!
What is your definition of business success?
When running a business and having success, there are a few important things to have in place.
Every industry has its compliance and regulations that you are to follow; in addition, there is the compliance set out by Australian consumer law.
As a business consultant to businesses in the disability sector, I find that many clients were initially unaware of the difference between industry/sector compliance and requirements and Australian Consumer law, which is also essential. Many people would believe that all they need to run a business in disability is to have a service agreement and maybe insurance and that is it.
This month, we will briefly cover business foundations, business plans, and why your documents, policies, and procedures are essential for your business's success.
Then when someone has a question or expectation about risks or incidents, they realise that there is a lot they didn't know about their business. Business compliance studies and years of experience in various management roles, along with running my own business, I have learned that success is not easy. If your business foundation is weak, your processes are not in place. You will continue to have many struggles and challenges in your business.
Business Foundations and Perception
Your business foundations are critical to long-term success!
When you look at your business, what do you see?
Do you see that you have a solid foundation and that anyone who looks past what the entire world sees would be able to see a robust framework and infrastructure?
If you think of it this way...
In your business, you can have a variety of aspects or parts to it, such as Business Coaching and Mentoring, as well as a product range and speaking events, for example. Another example is that in support work in disability, you work with both children and adults. Having various services in your business is okay if they all support each other.
Suppose that foundation has cracks, where you have all the skills and qualifications to offer your services but no documents, policies and procedures for each aspect of your business, no business plan or financial plan. In that case, your business will not be able to succeed in the long term.
Like the image we shared with the butterfly, the tree underneath the surface is a robust root system that can hold the tree above the surface strong so it can thrive. Your business foundations are the same, and it starts with your business plan and then includes marketing, documents, policies, and procedures related to the industry legislation and requirements for the services you provide.
Business Plan and Goals.
"Writing a business plan can seem like a jigsaw puzzle; you have all the pieces. They have to be put together!"
For those of you who read this article and have a business but do not have a business plan, I suggest you put it together.
Why? Having a business plan will help you know what action to take and when, and then it is a reference point for when things in your business change.
Every business changes through periods of growth and quietness, and it is important to check in against your business plan during both times.
A good business plan will have the following:
Business mission and values
Vision for the business, including growth
Goals of the business and why these goals are important
You can determine the steps to take from the business plan to achieve your goals and vision. The action steps may include marketing, learning a new part of your business, how you implement your policies and procedures in your business, where your ideal client is and also SWOT analysis and how this information impacts your business, whether it is your strength or an area where you may require some additional support, information and resources.
It sounds like a lot, right, and it can be overwhelming. However, you work with a business consultant, a coach who understands business plans to help you work out your business plan and how to implement it in relation to YOUR business-specific requirements.
Whilst every business needs to have documents, policies and procedures in relation to the services that you provide, it is crucial that if you do not feel confident to develop them, you seek that assistance from a person who does not know what they are doing and can share with you why they are essential.
It's okay to ask for help!
Know YOUR Strengths
In your business, you will have your strengths and you will have aspects where you have limited knowledge and experience. Over time, you will eventually learn the skills if you choose, or you can, as we shared last month, hire the right person, such as a business coach, marketing person, web designer or assistant.
When your business is something that you are passionate about, you will attract your ideal client; however, if your business is not set up with a strong framework, plan and goals, then you may find that you are unable to sustain or service properly the business that comes to you long term.
Take your time, write your business plan and ensure your policies and procedures support your business process and what you do every day; this includes your risk and incident management system and how you can ensure you meet your duty of care and professional boundaries. Each of these demonstrates your business values and beliefs.
Your policies and procedures are what you do in your business and how you ensure you meet your duty of care all over relevant legislation in the industry and sector you work in.
At Break Free Consultancy, we offer business coaching and consultations for those in the disability sector; you can learn more on our website: Break Free Consultancy.
Written by Jacqui Grant
(C) Connect and Grow Magazine -November 2023 Edition 3
Disclaimer: Always seek professional advice for your particular situation. If you believe someone has taken your business data, always consult with a lawyer and all other appropriate professionals for your situation.