We sold our house recently, and as a result I’ve been taking a walk down memory lane in the past few weeks. It’s a little bittersweet to reflect on all of the incredible memories that took place in that home (including raising my babies and building Olivia Jenkins Consulting from the ground up), but I’m also so excited for a fresh start in a new home that will be perfect for our family.
All of this reflection has led me to start thinking about all that actually goes into building a home…and how similar the process of building a home truly is to building a business.
Here are five connections I’ve made between building a home and building a business. If you’ve ever been through either process, I’m sure you’ll be able to relate!
- Lay a strong foundation.
A strong foundation is responsible for structural integrity. When we talk about structural integrity in reference to a home, we’re referring to how well it will literally hold up — as in, the stability of the floorboards and the walls and the roof. Can it handle weight? Can it withhold pressure? We want a foundation for our home that makes the answer to those questions “yes” – and the same is true of our business. The structural integrity you need to be thinking about when it comes to your business — like your greater “why” and purpose, profit margin goals for long-term sustainability, a strong staff structure, and so on — all relate back to if you have a foundation in place that allows for those things.
- Make decisions in the long-term.
When you build a house, you make decisions based on what will be smart down the line — potentially even years from now. The same is true when it comes to business. Though it can be easy to think solely about your next move, I encourage you to think a few steps ahead and set yourself up for long-term success and sustainability — like registering your business properly, making sure your books are in order, etc.
- Invest in good contractors and team members
Your house and business are only as good as the people who have contributed to building it. If you hire a shoddy contractor to work on your home or your business, the result will be sub-satisfactory — and you’ll probably have to fix the work later on anyway. Make sure you are spending your money on high-quality resources so that the job can get done right the first time. There are areas in business and home-building where it’s OK to save money, but contractors who are going to be responsible for the success of certain projects are worth splurging on.
- Manage your budget carefully
Always budget more than you anticipate to spend so that you can account for any unexpected expenses. If you find that you’re struggling to support your business, take a look at your pricing strategy — how can you adjust your prices so that you are making enough gross profit (ideally 60% in the eCommerce space) to support your operating expenses?
- Monitor the build
Keep track of the processes, milestones, and outcomes related to your building process — both when it comes to your home and your business. It’s important for you to stay involved every step of the way so that you can ensure things are staying on track and are being completed to your satisfaction. It may help to come up with a list of set things to check on every month like financial results, sales results, campaign results, inventory, etc. If you don’t feel comfortable doing these “business health checks” (as I like to call them), or you don’t know how to, you can work with a qualified business consultant who can help.
If you’ve ever built a home OR a business from the ground up, what’s the #1 lesson you learned? Share it with me in the comments…I’d love to hear!
If you’re looking for help getting started with your business, you can also learn more about booking a strategy call with me to discuss your next steps.