Reflecting on my entrepreneurial journey thus far, I can’t help but think about how important the self-awareness to choose long-term gratification over instant gratification has been to how far I have come and how far I will go in the future. With that being said, I would like to go through how this choice, within the three most important factors of a business, can make or break you.
As Marcus Lemonis says, a business’s success, or death, comes down to three factors: people, product, and process. Each one takes a huge upfront investment of time, money, or both, but without all three, you can expect a short and stressful existence. I love how Marcus Lemonis breaks it down to such simple terms, but what isn’t simple is excelling in all three.
Processes will make your business efficient if constantly improved and updated upon. Building processes is a never ending task because things are always changing and you should always be looking for how to make any and all processes easier. Once the majority of the upfront work is done it becomes much easier to improve and maintain them as you go.
What happens a lot in startups that began as a one-man show where the owner did everything, is once they begin to hire, the owner assumes she can teach on the fly since most of it comes easier to her. This is choosing the instant gratification of not having to invest time in building the processes. This can and will result in disaster. The long-term gratification of spending a huge amount of time building the processes is massive time savings and labor cost savings in the future.
It is very easy to get caught up in the day to day and skip creating a process when a new task comes up and will be a recurring task. When this happens you need to invest a small amount of time upfront and create that process on the fly. This will end up saving so much time in the future, that it is a must-do.
Last, sound processes are one of the most important factors in determining scalability. If your business is growing exponentially, then so is the day to day amount of work. Without processes to help control the madness that is exponential growth, you are doomed to stay a small business. Processes are a beautiful thing when done right, and they will pay dividends to those who are constantly trying to perfect them.