A wheel works in your life, and it most certainly works in your business. Let me explain. As a small business owner, how often do you think about how your business is doing? When someone asks, “How’s business?” you may reply, “Okay, but it could be better.” But what does that mean? Revenue is up, down, or somewhere in between.
In the early years of small business ownership, most people are just focused on delivering a decent product and oh- making payroll each month. So the idea of digging deeper feels daunting. But what if there was a simple way to get a read on how your business is doing- beyond just money? Well I’m going to give you one and it costs nothing, and the time invested is less that the time it will take you to read your morning inbox.
It is – ta da – the Wheel of Business tool. Like the Wheel of Life, it is used to identify areas of focus, possible imbalances, and areas of improvement in one’s personal life. However, with a few adjustments, it can also assess the state of your business.
Let’s start with the basics – What is the original Wheel of Life?
The Wheel of Life is used worldwide to help identify areas of their lives that they want to measure their performance in. Areas like health, relationship, career, spirituality, kids, marriage, finances, contribution, num-chuk skills, etc. It gives you an immediate measurement of where you are TODAY on a scale of 1-10.
But What Does a Wheel Look Like?
To create a Wheel of Life, start by drawing a circle and dividing it into pie slices. Then label each piece of the pie with an aspect of your life that’s important to you, like the list from above. Don’t skip the num-chuk skills.
Once you’ve labeled each slice, use a scale of 1-10 to rate your performance in each area. A rating of 1 means there’s a lot of room for improvement (aka you suck at this and need to focus on it), while a rating of 10 means you’re doing great (you rock at this! Invite friends over to witness your cool skills). Most people’s ratings fall somewhere in between. After you’ve rated each slice of the pie, take a step back and look at your Wheel of Life as a whole. Where are you crushing it? Give yourself a pat on the back! Where are you struggling? Time to focus your energy on improving those areas.
Insider tip: When you’ve facilitated hundreds of Wheel exercises like I have- you will notice a natural tension between certain areas.
For example- your career is booming, business has never been so good you are at a solid 9! But—you haven’t been working out nearly as much and you need to prioritize your health more, you give that a 2…
Or you are struggling at work, you are coming in at a 4 in that slice—and you are surprised to notice that you are also struggling at home with the family, sadly they are getting a 4 too.
There are frequently slices that create tension with others. It doesn’t have to be that way- but first we must recognize the correlation to change the correlation. If you’d like to know more about it- shoot me a message.
The Wheel of Business
Just like the Wheel of Life, it’s time to use the same concept and apply it to your business. Draw a circle and break it down into different pie pieces. Label each pie piece for the various aspects of your business. Some examples include:
- Revenue, Profit, or Finances.
- Sales – Are they up or down? Is it moving in the right direction?
- Marketing & Branding – How’s your branding? Is your messaging on-point? Does your message feel on brand? How about those visual components, graphics, colors, images of people on your website, etc.? How often are you emailing prospects?
- Customer Experience – is it positive? Does it make sense to your customer? Do they feel seen and understood? Is your product great, but your customer service or delivery lacking?
- Business Processes – Have you hashed out processes for client onboarding? How is your contract processing? Is your legal processing clear?
- Business Culture.
- Product or Services – Are they what your audience is looking for?
- Employee Appreciation.
- Hiring Process – include your rehiring process too.
Pick any of these that feel relevant to your business. Once you’ve identified your areas, rate each slice and assess your results. Don’t freak out if you are low in certain areas; that’s just reality. No business crushes it in every area. All businesses have strengths and weaknesses- the key is knowing which is which.
Now what to do about the areas you scored low in?
Nothing. You are done for. Your mom was right, you should have been an engineer.
Just kidding. Let’s give another Insider’s tip from a Business Adviser—don’t go for the gold right out of the gate. If your customer service and branding is a 3—don’t push for a 10 in both areas. Especially if you are a smaller business – it will feel daunting to overhaul it.
Instead ask—what can we do to bump up our rating by 2? Take that 3 and aim for a 5.
The beauty of the Wheel of Business is that it gives you a quick and easy way to assess how your business beyond just revenue, and quickly identify areas for growth. You don’t need to spend hours poring over financial statements or creating complex charts and graphs. All you need is a few minutes and a willingness to be honest with yourself about where your business is today. Remember the stuff we don’t face, we also don’t fix.
Ideally, you’ll want to evaluate your business at the end of each month, quarter, or – at the bare minimum- eek by with annually. I also recommend doing them outside of your office to limit distractions. Of course, identifying areas for improvement is just the first step. Once you know where you need to focus your attention, you’ll need to devise a plan for how to make changes and improve your business. But by using the Wheel of Business to get a quick read on where you are today, you’ll be able to take the first step towards creating a better, stronger, more successful business.
Take a few minutes to create your Wheel of Business today. You might be surprised by what you learn, and you might find that it’s just the tool you need to take your business to the next level.
Are you interested in learning more on how to stop self sabotage and reach the next level?
Connect with me at my next free live event. Let’s talk www.pivot-me.com/event
This article first appeared on April Garcia’s LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-your-small-business-needs-wheel-april-garcia-mckeegan-/
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