Rem Oculee, the Founder and CEO of Confidence Wealth Management, knows that your infrastructure is the basis of your entire business’s profits and workflow. In this episode, he explains how to analyze and improve it to better your life and the valuation of your company.
What is infrastructure?
Does it always feel like something in your company is going wrong? That if you fix one part, another immediately breaks. This seemingly never-ending cycle of issues is all based on a problem with your infrastructure: your company’s systems that ensure your product is created, delivered to the marketplace and customer, and supported throughout its use.
In business, the product is king. So, look at infrastructure as its kingdom. It is where everything happens.
Since infrastructure is foundational to your company, it affects everything from your productivity to your profits to even your work-life balance. No company can produce, sustain, and sell efficiently without the proper infrastructure. The more you have to be hands-on and continually repair inefficiencies, the less happy you and your employees will be. That is why it is so critical that you fix issues within your infrastructure, and Rem Oculee has broken down the steps you need to do just that by having an Exit Mindset.
Thinking Like a Buyer
It all begins by looking at your company like a potential buyer would. They come in, analyze every component of your business, and make an offer based on what they think is worth to them. If they see any holes, potential buyers will exploit them, especially when it comes to your infrastructure. It does not matter if you have the best product and an optimal conversation with your customer. If your infrastructure is lacking, it will taint the success of every other part of your business.
Infrastructure is a critical component of your company. If a potential buyer perceives your infrastructure as messy or unoptimized, they might quickly abandon talks. Or if they perceive your company’s infrastructure issues as easily solved, they could reduce their offer, knowing they can easily fix the problems once they own the company, and profit massively from its new efficiency.
You might think that this sounds unethical and unfair. But consider this: Is it a potential buyer’s responsibility to fix your company for you? No, it is not. They will value your company based on what it is today, not what it could be. After the sale, it is their responsibility to profit and improve the business they now own. Before that, it is your responsibility to optimize your company to maximize your results or return.
Fixing Your Infrastructure
The most common issues with infrastructure are a lack of planning and a lack of resources. Both are significant enough that without them, you effectively have no company. Both must work together optimally for your business to thrive. But do not think that you are in an unsolvable situation because your previous plans were lacking. You are learning every day, and those lessons teach you how your company can be improved.
Make a Plan
There is a saying, “No plan survives the first contact.” It means that no matter how much time and effort you put into a plan; it rarely works out exactly how you want it. But that does not mean a plan is not crucial to your company.
Do not get discouraged; take action. Create a plan, see where its issues are, and then implement the necessary changes. It requires patience and effort, and there is no telling how many rounds of plans you will go through. But every lesson you learn will improve your – and your company’s – future.
Break It Down
Start from the top and examine the organization of your company. It is not terrible people or units dragging you down; it is the efficiency of it all. Rather than moving from one part of your infrastructure to the other, fixing problems as you go, begin by taking a step back and getting a high-level view of what you have. Then break it down into units.
Look at your company not as individuals with tasks but as jobs to be completed to reach your objective. More often than not, the fault doesn’t lie with the individual, but rather in problems with infrastructure. You need to be objective driven instead of examining every aspect of your employees’ day-to-day. Decide what your company is trying to accomplish, determine the end goal for each part of its operation, and find the steps that you need to reach that goal.
That is how you find and fix the overarching issues affecting your company, chipping away slowly. Focus on how parts of your company interact with other connecting parts, and how those interactions relate to the company’s objective. Once you identify the disparities, you will be able to focus your efforts to improve efficiency.
By way of example, look at how a car’s engine operates. It may be running fine, but just one bolt fails, the entire engine will eventually fail due to the stress to the system. All it would take to keep the engine from seizing is a replacement of the faulty bolt. That is the only thing holding the engine back from reaching its objective of running efficiently. Look at your business the same way. Once you have assessed the troublesome connection, fix it, and remove the unnecessary stress from pieces around it and the entire system.
You Have Help
There are more eyes in your company than only yours. Most of those eyes focused on parts that yours might not see on a regular basis. Use them! Ask your team where they think the company can be improved. No one knows the process better than the people who have to work within it.
Active listening and an open mind are crucial. Your team may know the solutions needed or can lend their perspective to you, helping lead you to the right solution.
Often, the best solution for infrastructure challenges starts out small. As you improve smaller parts of your system, you will discover other areas that also need improvement. This is not a one-and-done situation. You will likely never stop this process as long as your company is growing. Once you develop the ability to fix tiny issues, you can use that skill to address more significant complications arise. Best of all, you will have developed a process for finding and fixing problems of all sizes.
We all know the saying that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. It is the same with your company. So, think of your business as a car with a broken radiator. You might be able to get along for a while without repairing it if you go very slow. But if you take the car to its maximum speed, the radiator will fail – and then the entire car after it. That is why you have to find those weaknesses in your infrastructure that have the most impact and work on them first. For each one you fix, your entire system is going to be massively improved.
So, get to work on building up and improving your business’s infrastructure. Start analyzing and creating a more efficient company today, so you can reap the benefits of your hard work and enjoy the work-life balance that you deserve!