There are essentially two major parts to manage in your business:
- The back-end - this includes managing your processes, product, values, planning and essentially everything you’re in control of operationally
- The front-end - this is essentially demand and generating it through marketing and sales
Businesses with failings in both don’t last very long. Businesses with only high demand (#2) can get along for a short time. But if they don't sure up the back-end of the business, the cracks will widen over time, eventually causing major issues. Business owners who manage both consistently are the ones who are able to knock it out of the park.
Business is simple - you must be able to deliver a great product with great service that people want.
To know which part may need help, here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- For the back-end: Do I feel confident that my business can meet demand (working capital, infrastructure, labor, etc.)? Do we have a growth plan that ensures we can keep up with future demand? Is my business meeting all regulatory requirements? Am I sure the business is insured well? Is it simple to manage operational processes? Do I have clean financials that I allow me to make decisions quickly?
- For the front-end: Do we have enough sales to break-even and profit this month? Do I feel confident that there will be consistent sales into the near future? Is there proven demand for my product?
If your back-end has issues, zero in on them, sure them up and keep selling.
If your front-end has issues, you need to get in front of people who want your products. Or pivot to offer products people want.
Here’s why all this matters - If you don’t have a solid back-end, you won’t have a business. If you don’t have a solid front-end, you won’t have a business. (There are so many inadvertent euphemisms in this post...)
You need to manage both together.
Many people think just because they’re selling, they will have a successful business - not so. You actually have to have the back-end in place to provide a solid foundation to fuel and sustain those sales.
Or people think just because they have a great product (back-end) that they will have a great business. You need to have a great product to start, but you also need to get in front of people who demand it.
Don’t be tempted to disjoin them. Keep your eyes continually on both and you’ll be able to maintain a quality business.