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  • Writer's pictureSean Lewis

Build a Balance-driven Business

The vast majority of business books I’ve read seem to prioritize their catalogue of actions for building your business. They give “proprietary” systems, templates, and possibly even timelines for your most valuable, standard milestones.

These systems and example “cases” can often leave the readers with the responsibility to adapt, finesse, and hope they find success in whatever they have left over, and to combine the systems they find in other books to fill any leftover holes.

Whether those other books, systems, or templates are even ultimately compatible with each other or not.

In reality, the better approach to addressing the challenges of any business, whether you’re growing, fixing, or simply changing, is really to begin from a far more fundamental place.

The simple question of, “what is our business philosophy?”

From the answers, you will understand what we truly need to build the strongest strategies and systems. Highly effective teams. Superb management styles.

When you’re able to quantify your business philosophy, it becomes practically automatic to consistently link your business development, people, and financial strategies.

If you don’t already have a business philosophy, here’s how to begin…

Start with a commitment to building a Balance-Driven Business.

Every private business functions through the interrelationships between three major elements: 

  • you (the Ownership)

  • the company (Mothership)

  • your teams (Employees)

For any business to grow both sustainably and ethically, the Ownership must maintain the balance between their own needs, the needs of the Mothership, and the needs of the Employees.

The Ownership needs proceeds (or net profit) from the Mothership to achieve his/her definition of success. The Ownership needs the Employees' time, attention, and dedication to support his/her vision. 

Employees also require a portion of proceeds from the Mothership for their time and work. They need a supervisory and physical environment that is helpful to their work. From the owner, they need security in their position, respect, a path to their future, and appreciation for when going above and beyond.

The Mothership needs Ownership to provide the resources necessary for sustainability. Strategy. Restraint. It needs the Employees to be engaged and amenable to growth as the Mothership grows.

For example, if the Mothership grows (or shrinks), it may require keeping a greater percentage of the proceeds that had earlier been earmarked for the Ownership. Perhaps also more time, effort, and attention. If the ownership is unable to adjust its expectations for proceeds or time, it would have to turn to the Employees to increase their efficiency, commitment, or independence.

If the financial need of an Employee grows, the Mothership would require the employee to increase capacity and productivity. Conversely, the Mothership adjusts its reserves for other expenses or investments in its growth.

You get the idea.

In the end, any pervasive challenge to a business begins when one element is adjusted without regard for the others. The point where a business first begins to lose its balance:

  • Continuous one-sided adjustments add to the imbalance and lead to decline.

  • Continuous decline leads to distress.

  • Continuous distress leads to insolvency.

The history of our business successes are enshrined on our Balance Sheets.

We also strive for balance in many areas of our general lives. A “balanced diet.” A “balanced approach.” Work-life balance.

The Sustainability of your business is directly linked to balance.

Its not that imbalance will not occur (in fact, you need it to create forward motion), but sustainability comes from the acknowledgment that there are always two sides to any interaction (transaction).

In short, if you're looking to quantify a business for today's, post-Covid business sensibilities, start with the idea that...

"when you take an action, you need to make an APPROPRIATE second action to put your business back into balance.

Repeat this every time to keep it that way.


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