The Bright Seven Sector Model: Management
Posted on 25th October 2021 at 12:48
In this series, we’re talking about the Bright Seven Sector Model of growing a sustainable business. Without all seven sectors mapped out, no business can grow consistently and achieve long-term success.
We’ve already talked about the first and most important sector - leadership. In this section, we’re going to talk about the next sector - management.
To break this sector down, we use our management acronym PLANS. Let’s take a closer look at each part and the strategies you can use to improve the management of your business.
Sector 2: Management
The P in PLANS stands for planning - the process of putting time, energy, and effort aside to actually work on your business and figure out what you need to do next.
A lot of business owners get stuck in everyday tasks, but it’s crucial to take a step back and map out what you need to do to get your business to that next level of success.
If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get where you’ve always got. To make real change, you need to put that time aside to plan what you want to do next.
Where do you need to put the strategy? What thinking do you need to implement? And, most importantly, who needs to do what by when?
This goes much further than a business plan. You probably already have a nice spreadsheet you put together that you show the bank to borrow money. Take that business plan and throw it in a drawer somewhere - that’s not what we’re talking about here.
What you need to create is an actionable plan with steps on how to reach the end goal.
Imagine builders on a construction site - they are constantly referring to the plans to know what they’re doing and what happens next. When they run into problems, the plan is altered to overcome those obstacles and keep the project moving.
Your business plan needs to be just as active. It will continue to move and change as your business grows, so you need to be consistently referring to it.
When I’m developing plans with my clients or for my own business, I always refer to short, medium, and long-term planning.
Your short-term plan covers the next 90 days. This includes tasks that need to get done, projects that are open, and deadlines that need to be met.
The medium-term plan is for the next one to five years. Think about where you want to be in a year, two, three - what goals you want to achieve, what clients you want to have. Put milestones in place and then map out strategies to reach those goals.
Think of this part of the process like planning a trip using a Sat Nav. Your medium-term goals are the destination, while your short-term goals are how you’re going to get there. Right now, you need to focus on driving, but you’ve always got that destination in mind to stop you from taking a wrong turn and getting too far off track.
The L in PLANS stands for long-term. This is the third phase of the planning process where you think about your future.
Short-term planning keeps your business functioning, medium-term planning gets you to the next step, but long-term planning is what creates a sustainable future.
Having a long-term vision for your business creates excitement about where your business could go and what it could look like. Having that vision not only for yourself but also for your employees gives everyone a goal to collectively work towards.
A great book I highly recommend to my clients is Good to Great by Jim Collins. In this book, Collins talks about how having vision is key to getting people excited about your business and working effectively to reach those goals.
There’s a great story that illustrates this about a person sweeping at the back of a control room at NASA when the president is there for an important mission. The president asks the man what he’s doing, and the man replies, “I’m putting a man on the moon.”
That’s the mentality you instil in your team when they are all working towards the same long-term vision.
In our business, our ten-year goal is to have 100,000 clients that we’ve helped, 10,000 businesses that we’ve coached, and to create 1,000 millionaires from our 100 coaches or elite coaches.
That’s a big vision we’re working towards. Sometimes called a big hairy audacious goal, it's a clear direction of travel. Of course, if we hit that we're not going to stop and back up. We're going to carry on growing.
As Simon Sinek says in his book, it’s about being part of the infinite game. No matter how bogged down you get in the day-to-day of your business, you’re in it for the long term.
You need to get out of the mindset of making it through this quarter and into the next one and start making decisions based on your long-term goals and ethos. That might mean bringing new people on, letting go of certain projects, and being the leader your team needs to make a change.
The A in PLANS is for analysis. Plans only work if they’re used, tweaked, and updated as needed. So it’s important you don’t just write down your plan once, look at it, and then never refer to it again.
Every month at minimum, you need to conduct a management review where you analyse the plan and make sure you’re on track.
Each quarter, your 90-day plan will reset and you’ll make changes based on upcoming projects, deadlines, etc.
When I work on this with clients, we use a large circle on a poster to represent the orbit of their business. On post-it notes, I get them to write down key things they want to achieve in the upcoming quarter and work on the order of importance of those tasks.
Having this visual representation gets everyone involved and makes it clear what needs to get accomplished in the next three months.
If things become especially challenging or difficult in your business, you might need to do weekly reviews instead of monthly to help get things back on track. As a leader, you should review the plans far more often than your team to make sure everyone is on target.
In my business, I have a weekly meeting with my team as an opportunity to review projects, get feedback on what’s going well and what needs addressing, and brainstorm new ideas.
These regular meetings also mean better accountability for me as a leader and for team members. When all important projects are on your plan and delegated, your team are far more likely to get those project complete. This is why it’s crucial to have these meetings once a month at a minimum.
A byproduct of this type of planning analysis is your team being able to run the plan without your continuous input. In fact, one of my clients told me he now only works ten hours a week, whereas before he was immersed in every aspect of his business. Having a solid plan and regular meetings meant he could delegate and take a step back, knowing his team was still moving his business forward.
4. Not In But On
The N in PLANS stands for “Not in But On” because we want to shift the focus to working on your business, not in it.
Each week, you need to dedicate 20% of your time to working on your business - that works out to one day a week in general.
Think of your business as a car in a race. Usually, you’re so focused on driving the car, you don’t think about stopping. So eventually the car wears out, runs of fuel, the tyres wear down, and it’s going much slower than it should.
By taking just a few minutes to pull into the pitstop and look at what the car needs, you can keep it in top condition and capable of winning that race.
It’s the same for your business. Each week, take some time away to think about what your business needs to grow and become successful. Take the ideas we’ve talked about in this series and spend time implementing strategies to make them work for your business.
This might also be the time you spend developing your leadership skills that we talked about in the first sector.
Stephen Covey’s book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, talking about the “top-level” as working on important but not urgent tasks. But because they’re not urgent, many don’t bother dedicating time to doing them.
The most successful business owners know to block out time every single week to work on the important, non-urgent parts of their business. Imagine what you could accomplish if you did that as well.
5. Senior Management Team
Finally, the S in PLANS stands for Senior Management Team. When you begin dedicating time to acting as the leader in your business and planning your future, you’ll need to build a management team to oversee operations. This allows you to take a step back safe in the knowledge your business will continue to function without you.
Ultimately, you should end up with a managing director, a marketing director, a sales director, an operations director, an HR director, and a finance director making up a board of directors.
You might not be at this point in your business yet, but in the future, it will give the necessary structure to scale your business and run it as a large-scale operation.
You might find when you're building a senior management team that you need to give them some kind of extra bonuses and reasons to be involved. Nobody cares about your business as much as you do, so senior positions often come with incentives to ensure they do the job well.
Find ways to connect the senior management team to the goal within their division and within the business as a whole to help them achieve results as a cohesive team.
It's hugely important that your senior management team are aligned with your culture and vision for the future of the business. Otherwise, they will quickly dissolve down the culture and your vision for your business’ direction. Find the right people that buy into your culture, vision, your direction, and want to be part of taking your business to the next level.
The Next Sector: Finance
Now you have a solid plan for managing your business and mapping out the direction you want it to go in, it’s time to move on to the next sector of the model - finances.
Building a profitable business doesn’t happen by accident and no business is an overnight success. By measuring your progress and putting systems in place to manage the cash flow of your business, you are much more likely to be sustainable and grow your revenue year on year.
Watch the video below to learn even more about Management
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