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David FullerWhen I was about four years old and playing cars on the floor with my brother Rob, my other brother Paul started making a funny noise.

Looking over, I noticed that Paul’s face was a funny bluish colour, his mouth was open and inside I saw he had a wooden building block with the letter C lodged in his throat. Yelling for Mom, who was in the kitchen, was all I could do.

Mom ran in and tried unsuccessfully to get the block out of his mouth before rushing Paul to the hospital, where they were successful in dislodging the block, saving his life.

Right now, many business owners are struggling to figure out how to get their business beyond COVID-19 and this economic crisis. Here are five building blocks that need to be the foundation of your business moving forward.

Planning

More than ever we need to understand that planning is key to getting through this with your business.

You need a clear understanding of what your mission to your customers is. A vision of how that will grow.

And you need to know your personal goals about what you want out of the business, in the short term and in the longer term.

As leaders, we need to have clarity so we can share our vision of what the next few months are going to be like with our team and get them on board to help drive the business to success again.

Profitability

While every business needs to be profitable to survive, many owners have by now realized that perhaps their venture hasn’t been as profitable and viable as it should have been.

Knowing what your profit potential is and where you need to look to ensure that you’re building a profitable business is key. There’s no use growing sales if you lose money every time you sell something.

Having a clear understanding of how business works and what you need to do to ensure your business is going to be around to serve your customers and feed your family is crucial.

We need to look for profit holes and potential, develop scorecards, reporting and measurement of aspects of your business that contribute to profitability.

We must develop marketing and growth plans for the business to ensure we can survive and thrive after this crisis.

Your team

Unless you’re some sort of consultant who’s doing everything yourself, you need a team to support you and your customers.

Growing and developing your organization, and managing your team through your leadership is a key building block of any future successful business.

Systemization

Effective systems reduce stress, eliminate duplication of services and ensure your employees can do the job when you’re not around.

Systems ensure your customers get the same service they deserve every time they contact you.

Every organization can be systemized to ensure stability and reduce stress. Take this opportunity while things are still slow to consider the systems you need to implement in your business.

Value

As you’ve probably come to realize in the past few weeks, nobody looks out for the future of small business owners. No one is going to put money away for your retirement but you.

As small business owners, we don’t have the benefit of working for a big corporation or a government agency that will pay us thousands of dollars a month when we retire or get laid off.

The truth is, most businesses close down without the owner realizing value for their years of hard work. This building block ensures the business is valuable and salable when the owners are ready to retire.

If you find yourself choking on your some of the building blocks you’re playing with during this crisis, take some time to think about using those blocks differently so you have breathing space and time to ensure your success.

Focusing on ensuring you have the right blocks in place to enable your business to achieve what it needs to will go a long way to reducing your stress now and when this crisis is a distant memory.

Troy Media columnist David Fuller, MBA, is a certified professional business coach and author who helps business leaders ensure that their companies are successful. David is author of the book Profit Yourself Healthy. Choking on your business? Email dave@profityourselfhealthy.com

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