January 18th, 2011

I was recently asked to write an in-depth article for a major business website on the topic of my choice, and I chose to write about the five building blocks that you as a business owner need to work with in order to fashion and build your Level Three business.

Here are the building blocks:

Building Block #1: The Business Owner’s Mindset

It all starts with you the business owner. You’ve got to make the mental shift from running your business as a self-employed job to building a business you can one day sell, scale, or own passively.

This means consistently reminding yourself that you are just a temporary producer, and that your business buy online drugs must eventually replace you from its day-to-day operations.

Here is the mantra I want you to repeat to yourself: “The more I do, the more I have to keep doing. The more I get my business to do, the more I can step back and focus on growing and developing my business.

Building Block #2: Systems

Systems are the reliable processes and procedures that empower your business to consistently produce an excellent result for your clients.

They’re documented best practices that increase your company’s efficiency and reduce costly mistakes; the checklists your shipping clerks follow to ensure that all orders are shipped correctly; the orientation process for all new clients when you begin working together; and the standardized contracts you use with all your new hires and vendors.

On the webinar I’m going to lay out a brand new insight I recently had after teaching at a workshop we several weeks ago. I’ll actually lay out a real world, 4-phase game plan for you to build out your business systems.

I’ll share with you several case studies of clients who are at various stages of systematizing their businesses so that you leave the training with a TANGIBLE and concrete understanding of exactly what it means to systematize your business.

Building Block #3: Team

Every business needs talented people to help make it successful. My insistence that your business’s success be independent of any one person does not mean your team is unimportant.

On the contrary, the only way to build a Level Three business is to have great team members who consistently perform for your company.

It’s critical, however, to ensure that it doesn’t rely on the presence of any one individual. Instead, capture critical knowhow in your systems.

On the webinar I’m going to lay out our own proprietary system for interviewing and hiring great team members. (And I’ll share with you 3 of the most common hiring mistakes that too many business owners make.) This is very timely for us because we are in the process of making two key hires for our business as we speak.

Building Block #4: Intelligent Business Controls

Controls are the intelligent processes, procedures, and safeguards that protect your company from uninformed or inappropriate decisions or actions by any team member. They also are your business’s way of making sure that key work is getting down on time and the right way.

There are three main types of business controls: Checklists/Visual Process Controls; Scorecards/Metrics; and “Embedded Controls”. I’ll be covering all three on the webinar. In fact, I’ll share with you 5 specific controls that we use inside of our business and how you can apply the concepts in your business.

Building Block #5: Scalable Solutions

Have you ever watched the television show This Old House? Imagine you’re on it, working on a 75-year-old house with its original electrical wiring and plumbing. What would happen if you plugged in a full complement of modern electrical appliances? You’d blow your fuses, not to mention create the potential for an electrical fire to break out.

And what would happen to your plumbing if you went from a well-water system to tapping into the higher pressure of city water? (Can you say rain gear?!)

Likewise, too much growth that makes increasing demands on old, outdated systems is what causes most growing businesses to fail. The systems that worked for a $500,000-a-year business are no longer sufficient to cope with a $5 million business, and not even close to being adequate

for a $50 million business.

At first, the additional sales will cause a few “leaks,” but before long, your business will have burst pipes and water everywhere! That’s why the final building block of a Level Three business is scalable solutions.

Scaling your business requires building it in such a way that your business model and systems can be rolled out and replicated on a much bigger playing field. This also means when you’re solving a business challenge, you look for solutions that can be scaled.

In essence, building with scalable solutions mean that the systems, controls, and team solutions you choose are ones that can handle multiples more volume.

For example, this could be outsourcing your shipping to a third party fulfillment company. Or this could mean choosing your database solution based on your future needs and not just on today’s costs. Or it could mean tweaking your business model so that your service is more scalable and not so dependent on one or two key people.