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Are You Building A Business Or Building A Sandcastle?


March 17, 2020 / Kerrie Sheaves

Kerrie Sheaves
Foundational Business Consulting

Build your business

When it comes to your business; Are You Building A Business Or Building A Sandcastle?

Many of us enjoyed going to the beach as children and sitting by the shore building sandcastles. At some point though, no matter how tall or well garrisoned the sandcastle was, the tide would come in and swallow up all our days efforts.

Most business owners start out in their business with an idea or design and then start trading on the back of that idea.

We shovel together the basics, like our cool trading name. We give ourselves a title “CEO”. Get an ABN and put together a Do It Yourself website and the all important business card.

Then we start marketing ourselves to friends and family, the local neighbourhood, and maybe if we’re really adventurous we go along to a networking group.

We might use a few stones of wisdom from friends and pieces of driftwood advice from Google. We might even feel confident enough to add a turret or two of licensed software or programs. The shiny ones that promise to increase our business through providing leads and value that differentiates us from those who haven’t bought into the franchise program.

Then we sit back, proud of our work and nervously hope that other people will walk by and admire our creation and want to buy from us.

A calm sea does not make a skilled sailor – African Proverb

But the conditions change, competing sandcastles are erected beside us and as the tide turns and begins to creep in, we feel the pressure. What can we do to stop the challenges and storms from breaching our walls. We haven’t built anything that is truly stable and concrete, to stop erosion of our cash and prevent the walls collapsing.

Maybe you should get job and hope that you can do both effectively and prop up the business with extra cash. Then hopefully that when we come back to the business full time the tide has not swept it all completely away.

There’s a better way. Build your business on a solid foundation of good planning.

A failure to plan, is a plan to fail – Benjamin Franklin

Ideally before you rush off and register that business name, you’ll take some time and advice to ensure you’re Building A Business and planning it out properly.

10 Tips for getting started Building Your Business the right way.

  • Firstly you need to research and understand your market – Too many business owners start businesses because they blindly believe that there is a gap and no one else has discovered it, except them. But they’ve done only cursory searches at best before coming to this conclusion. You can’t rush this process, thorough research is required. In particular when it comes to developing new software and App’s. There’s a lot money and time involved in starting a new business, and succeeding. Making the mistake of investing in reinventing and competing with something that already exists is a certain road to failure.


  • Decide on your Niche – Don’t be afraid to be narrow in your focus instead of casting a wide net. Your customers need to be able to connect with you and your service/product – if you’re too broad you connect with no one.


  • Plan out your service offerings, packages and customers for each segment of your business. Do your home work on what similar types of services/ products charge.


  • Get a good virtual team of advisers around you – As a Business Owner, having a good Business Consultant on your side will challenge you and your business plans to ensure that you’re thinking like a business owner who needs to create a business they love, and is profitable.


  • Learn to be great with Money – Finding a good Bookkeeper, Accountant and Financial Adviser is essential. Their advice will help you remain compliant with the law and well informed about how to invest the money you earn, optimise your tax position, as well as challenge you on your business plans.

‘change’ is not a destination, just as ‘hope’ is not a strategy – Rudy Guiliani

  • Harness and manage your distractions – If you run your own business, or you’re thinking of starting up new business, a common problem you will face is having too many ideas and a lack of focus on developing those ideas into detailed business models that create profits.


  • Plan to avoid the common mistakes – Plan your cash flow. Keep a tight rein on your invoicing process and debtors. Set 7 day payment terms or COD if you can. If you’re consultation business that is subject to frequent customer no-shows get them to pay when they book in.


  • Identify the business roles needed to run the business now and when you’ll need extra help.


  • Work out what your time is worth to you, and define your hourly rate, then guard your time carefully if you don’t value it no one else will.


  • Trim your Sails – expect problems and market downturns, and be ready to make changes and review your plans quickly. Learn Become comfortable being uncomfortable.

Remember you’re Building A Business not Building A Sandcastle – You’re building something that you hope will last longer than a day at the beach. That means taking business planning seriously right from the start.

Need help bringing your business to life or growing your small business? – Contact Us to talk about how we can help your.


Photo by Jeremy McKnight on Unsplash

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