Starting a business is simple, but not always easy. Simple as a flower, which is a complicated thing. The beauty of the flower is it simplicity. The complicated pieces are hidden in the center, which depending on the flower may or may not be seen.
Operating a business is no different. Using the flower analogy, the best way to ensure solid results and create something that is sustainable and can thrive is to think simple.
When a business is formed and the launch is coming, knowing what standard operating procedures should be in place will help lead to a better business. Some would say “all you need is a business plan, that is your standard operating procedure” and I would agree that yes, a robust business plan can and could be, however, I suggest something more.
I call it the Five C’s of starting.
We are keeping all things simple here to provide to maximum return.
Context is knowing who you are. This is looking inside of yourself and getting clear on who are and what you want. Before embarking on any journey, these two questions are the foundation for everything else you do. Knowing the answers to these to questions will help you see clearly your why. Everybody’s why is different and when you are clear on your why, you will be clear on everything else.
Connection is about you bringing you to the workplace. In other words, what you do. Specifically, the value you are bringing. Knowing how to relate to your client or customer is critical to obtaining them. The best businesses solve problems or help level up of others. You may have the best idea for something however if there is not a market or a need or a way for people to see the need, your business may not flourish.
Content includes the physical elements of your business. If you are going to blog, you will need a computer or a tablet to write with. Also, a place to put that blog, so perhaps a website. If you are not tech savvy, you may need to hire someone to do this for you.
Possibly you want to speak. Speaking requires exposure which may include attending events and networking. Knowing how you will network (like having business cards or using your phone) will determine what you need to have.
Answering the content question and asking questions behind those questions will create a list of effects that you will need to purchase. Now you are beginning to create your budget.
Communication is regarding what you are saying about your business to the world. Where you are delivering your message and what channels you are using needs to be answered.
Defining what you do by the channels through which you deliver your message becomes crucial.
Asking what platforms you need to market your business is imperative.
Will you use video, audio, live broadcasts, written content, etc. You must decide how you want your ideal customer or client to receive the message you are sending. The clearer you are on how you deliver the message, the clearer your client or customer will become to receive it.
Construction is the how. Many people go to the how first before they even know why. The how will come. The how may frequently change. In fact, the how must change. This is how organizations stay relevant in their field. What you do, and why you do it should be slow changers to the how. Whether you are developing programs or services, getting clear on the above four elements will almost immediately give you the how.
The how becomes simple. It is the beauty of the flower that everyone sees. Remember flowers start out as seeds and grow, just like your business will.
Each of these C’s will demand that you to ask deeper questions which will determine what tangible things you must have (books, computers, business cards, etc.) to operate. They will also bring clarity to the intangible elements you will need (skillsets, time management, conflict resolution, etc.). If you are starting out and want to know more about how to implement the five C’s or even if you want a fresh perspective on your business, comment below.