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Memorializing The Small Business Transformation Process From Chaos To Clarity

Ideally, we prevent a chaotic and rogue oriented business from ever happening in the first place, but the reality is most of us won’t. And, sometimes this rogue approach is the very thing needed to pioneer in an uncertain and competitive marketplace.

But, it should be our mission to translate that chaos towards a state of order. That is where to find the value, and where we maximize profit. 

And, you're good at it already. If you couldn’t do this well, you wouldn’t have a business. The challenge is not merely knowing what to do. It’s to accept that you already know what’s required to sustain it and that the gap lies between what you know and what you do (or don’t).

Each time you fall back into a chaotic state for your business, and you implement the five steps to get reorganized and oriented towards what matters most, remember the work required to do it. And remember how much easier it would have been to prevent the tangling up in the first place.

It’s not until you’re sick and tired of this cycle and able to accept the cold hard reality of the better way that it will genuinely solidify a change in your trajectory.

We don’t change until our current context pushes us out or a new one entices us with something better (or both).

If the time for permanent, sustainable change is now, and you’re finally ready, the Jump is for you. If you still think there’s another way than the hard option you keep passing by season after season as you chase shiny objects, place this link in your bookmarks and revisit it when that approach doesn’t work out for you.

This page will patiently wait.

Remember IDEMA

My goal is to brand IDEMA (Ideate, Discover, Execute, Maintain, & Audit) deep into your subconscious and to have you slightly annoyed with me for how often I talk about it (how close are we?).

The five stages for transforming your small business from chaos to order are a way to unravel the messiness of your business into a clear and manageable structure. But, it’s a transformational process to take you from where you are to where you want to be. It’s not enough to carry you forward when completed.

Ongoing sustainability falls on the IDEMA framework. Entrench it in your mindset, business structure, and organizational processes.

Capture and prioritize ideas. Explore and plan them. Execute the best ones and those you finish, and expect to sustain them. Maintain excellence and regularly review what you're doing to make it better. Deeply root this into every facet of your business.

Bring In The Audit

Embrace the audit process. Regularly be asking why you're doing what you're doing, and in that assessment conclude one of the following three outcomes.

Do we keep as is? Change it for the better? Or stop altogether?

Apply this mindset to your organization as a whole, each department, and the individual projects. And, use the five steps to streamline the process and produce results through the transition to justify the subsequent actions.

The Chaos to Clarity Process

When you’re feeling overwhelmed or uncertain at where to start and what do next, this process is precisely what you need. In fact, for many, it’s intuitive and you likely already have followed a similar process of when you’ve faced the harsh challenges of growing a business.

When cash flow comes crunching in, and sales are declining we get focus and clarity real quick.

To equip you in proactively preventing these moments of crisis, remember and use the five stages of transition. While the order is essential, there will be moments required to go rogue and change up the order. But like rolling a tube of toothpaste to get it all out, don’t skip the stages. You’ll need them all.

  1. Tackle high impact, low effort actions
  2. Simplify everything
  3. Make the rest better
  4. Fill in the gaps
  5. Master sustainability

When I’m working with clients through this process, often they don’t know or are so panicked they can’t think straight. But, those top pieces set the foundation to establish and grow trust, and generate the results required to ensure the remainder of the process does not get neglected.

Organic Business Growth

Until you’ve mastered the launch, growth, and maintenance of business creation several times, a slower more deliberate approach is what's needed. It’s how we fully understand each aspect of the process. When we’ve fully understood it, we can explore how best to accelerate and scale.

Until then, accept and lean into the slow and steady growth pathway. This season of learning and care to the details is a significant factor in equipping you to overcome the obstacles preventing your success.

The key indicator to know when we have mastered it comes down to how often we can replicate success. If you’re merely a one-hit wonder, you were likely riding more on luck and someone else’s performance.

Practical Application

Ultimately, keep it simple and practical. As a creative person myself, I can easily float away into the clouds of possibility and metaphor. While that can be helpful at times, it’s where the rubber meets the road that matters most.

Make your efforts real, and use project management tools to track and execute the things that matter most. And, harness the level of accountability necessary to push you past your fail points. Don’t leave it up to your historical patterns of chronic abandonment. 

Hero photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

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