Why Building A Business Is Like Building A House

Episode 57


About The Show

Starting and building a business can be a daunting thought at the best of times.
The emotion and excitement often get the better of people and they just jump right in and start implementing and building without considering the consequences or direction of what they are trying to actually build.

You wouldn’t build a house without a clear solid plan and proper preparation beforehand and nor should you build a business without one also.

When you build a house there are clearly defined stages and steps that need to take place so that things are solid and stable for the next stage and so on.

For example, you wouldn’t start putting the roof on if you haven’t built the walls. It just won’t work.

Business is exactly the same you have to follow the right steps and stages in order to be successful and achieve what your vision.

What You'll Learn!

  • Why each stage of building a business is the same as building a house.
  • The critical stages of building a business to be successful
  • Why it’s important to follow each stage in order to provide a solid foundation for the next stages and each subsequent stage.
  • Why it’s important not to miss a step in building a successful business.
  • Learn a systematic way to build a successful business both online and offline.

Links Mentioned

The Importance of Business Plan

Cashflow In Your Business & Why It's Important



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Full Episode Transcript

Good day. Good day and welcome to the Business Made Easy podcast where we
make business easy. Jason Skinner, your host here. For another week of the
podcast, it is all about putting more money in your back pocket, growing your
business and giving you a better life as a result. Thank you for joining me,
wherever you are in the world. I’m glad you’re here with me uh today. If you’re
new to the show, thank you. Don’t forget to hit the subscribe button in your
listening device of choice that will make sure that you get each week’s episode
as it comes out and uh, I’m glad you found us.
If you’re interested in business and talking business and talking business, that’s
what we’re all about here and I wanna help you as much as possible with your
business. That is my goal and my passion behind this whole podcast is to help
business owners to have a better life um, as I said there from the onset. So, yes
hit that subscribe button and I hope you enjoy the show. And for those returning
seasoned listeners under all, of regular listeners, thanks so much for being here
as well. I’m glad you’re here and I hope everything is well with you and you are
moving that needle in your business as well.
We’ve got a great episode today. I’m going to share with you a bit of I guess a
philosophy if you like or the way I approach business and business coaching. But
before I do I just wanna mention that if you haven’t already joined our Business
Made Easy Facebook community, it’s a free mastermind slash support business
support community by all means, jump on board they– you can do that by going
to businessmadeeasypodcast.com/community.
If you haven’t already joined, so it’s businessmadeeasypodcast.com/community.
Now, that’s a free Facebook group and there’s tons of um, people over there all
doing amazing things. I’m absolutely really remain sort of staggered at the
diversity in the range of things that people doing businesses.
One of the things I love about my role and my job is getting exposure to so many
different types of businesses and people just doing amazing incredible things.
It’s probably, sometimes you wouldn’t even think that-that would even exist as a
business — but it does. And a lot of them is just ideas people have had and
they’ve-they’ve taken action and they’ve implemented and plan things out and
they’ve actually given it a real good go and now have the successful businesses
as a result.
There’s people over in the community all doing great things. So yeah, jump on
board if you haven’t already. It’s free, I’ll let you in over there as I said, just by
going to businessmadeeasypodcast.com/community.
Alrighty, let’s get into today’s show. Now, today’s show, I’m going to talk to you
about, I guess, the philosophy or the way I approach business coaching in my
work in terms of business advisory and helping business owners to grow their
business. Now I do this both on a physical set but also doing virtual coaching
which I do deal with people in helping them with their businesses.
This is sort of a bit of philosophy on how I approach business. Although, thinking
of that business and I really I must admit, I owe this model to my father, Tom. My
father was a builder in where we live– I grew up in a small country town called
Coffs Harbour. Of for those of you who don’t know, it’s sort of, it’s in New South
Wales in Australia but, very small country town.
Dad and mum did their building company and dad would build homes for people
each school holidays I would basically go and spend my school holidays on the
building sites and learning various aspects of the building and construction,
trade and I use to love it.
It was just a fantastic exposure to construction and how houses went together
and all that sorts of things that I personally couldn’t do a lot myself at a young
age. But certainly could move bricks from one end to the yard to the other or
whatever needed doing a menial task that dad, used to give me those jobs to go
and keep me busy during the day, keep me out his hair a little bit.
But one thing I did learn is during those years of being involved in the building
space was seeing homes and things go together was that things had a set stage. I
mean, the way our house goes together, it’s in set stages. This various things
that need to be done in one stage before, you can actually go to the next stage
and you know, use the example there.
If you wanted to build a house, you wouldn’t start with the roof, it just wouldn’t
work. There’d be nothing to hold the roof up and then even if you started with
the walls then really if you don’t do the foundation work properly, the walls are
gonna fall down because they’re not sitting on anything solid. And so, I’ve sort of
got thinking over the years as of being advising businesses and helping
businesses to grow and prosper at that-that business is the same.
Business is exactly the same as building a house. And I got thinking deeper and
deeper about this and I thought, really and when I sat down a mapped out the
stages of building a house. The-the various stages, I realized that a business
actually follows exactly the same stages.
So I’m going to share those with you today, I’m gonna take you through each of
those stages and show you just how important it is, when you’re starting a
business or you may be in business but you may’ve, missed some of these stages.
How important it is to have these stages in place and to go back and address
them? Because the thing is, when we– our excitement and our motion when we
start out in a business quite often causes us to jump into action mode which is
great, we’re passionate, we’re motivated, very excited by the prospect of having
our own business and in owning business idea but we generally jump straight
into the thing that we probably should be doing about stage number five, in the
We generally start out, we jump in and we,”Oh, let’s set up our website and let’s
get our logo and let’s start marketing and let’s putting out better up there and
getting as much business in as possible, let’s just start you know. Let’s go and
stop buying that stock or let’s go and start implementing whatever it is that we,
the idea that it is that, we have.
Now, that’s great but if you- like a house, if you don’t build that business on the
right foundations then you’re know not going to get too far. You might last for a
while and that’s why I believe, lot’s number of businesses don’t make the
five-year mark. Well, a lot of them collapse before they even get to five years
because things haven’t been done in the correct order and things haven’t
actually followed the correct process.
And it’s a recipe, it really is a recipe and I think if you can understand this recipe
and follow these stages, map them out then um, you’re gonna have a lot more
success in your business than you otherwise will if you just jump the gun for
charts with emotion and passion and-and excitement and implementing left,
right and center. And so, really what I’ll do today is just take you through those
stages and I’m going to compare.
So, each stage I get to, I’m going to start off by just saying, “Oh, this is stage one,”
and when you’re building a house this would be the phases or stage what’s
involved with that stage. And then, we’re going to compare that to business and
have business fits in with each of those stages ‘cause you know, there’s lots of
things that you really should be looking at in each of those stages.
And so, let’s start with the idea. We have an idea, we wake up in the morning and
we decide talking with family members or relevant other, spouse that we want
to start our own business or we’ve got a concept for a business. They same
starts with a house. We don’t just wake and the house is there. If we’re going to
have a house built and we want to build a house, it usually starts with an idea
about what it is that we want, what sort of house we actually want to have and
this is very much the vision stage of a business isn’t it?
It’s very much a vision stage of a house as well we sort of picture ourselves in
that house. We picture ourselves living in the house, what it would look like, how
many bedrooms is it going to have? How many bathrooms, garage, uh cars
spaces, um you know?Is it gonna be two stories, is it gonna be one single story. Is
it gonna house a family of five.
All these requirements, we generally would sit down and brainstorm out exactly
what the requirements are for that house. Is it going to have a bathroom for
each room? Is it gonna have just one on suite into my bathroom, swimming pool,
is it going to have, you know? Whatever it is, uh we would sit down and typically
have a good clear picture of what we want the end result to look like. What we
want that house to actually look like?
And I’m suggesting to you that the your business is exactly the same. You would
sit down and map out exactly, how is that business going to look and operate
and feel and what are people gonna be saying about it? What’s the brand look,
what’s the premises look like? What’s this? Is it an online, is it offline, is it just a
website, is it in multiple occasions? Does it have warehousing needs?
There’s a ton of different, requirements and vision like a planning that would go
into typically building that business and visiting what that business would look
like. And this is all in stage one. This is what I call stage one, the planning stage.
You wouldn’t build a house without detailed plans. When I used to get out of the
building, start with that and is probably one of my favorite stages actually when
dad was building a house was that the big bare block of land there and you
would actually rock up with the plans and that all the plans were all detailed out
and then, using just the tape measure and some pegs they’ve started measuring
of various locations and start planning at exactly where the house is gonna go on
the block of land.
And then, there’s nothing there and it’s justbed and then, they would put these
pegs in a, they’ll call profile pegs. They’ll put them in and all of a sudden, those
profile pegs in, they were the guidelines of how that house, where that house
was going to sit on that block of land and what shape it was going to be. And
everyone could follow those guidelines or those profiles. And again, I’m
suggesting to you in a business in that area, how well you do that planning phase
in marking out, how well everyone else around you can fit in with your business
and help you grow your business and gets an idea of what your business is all
So, we and such an important part in business too is planning stage because it’s a
stage you don’t have to spend any money typically to actually do. It’s really, kind
of the best part is free. A pen and paper or-or just a mind map or an of-of spoken
at length before about the business planning process and I have my own
business plan on a page system that I’ve developed that are put together for you
if you go back to businessmadeeasypodcast.com/episode4, you’ll be able to
download there the workbook and the business plan on a page template to take
you through that planning stage and help you with that.
But the planning stage, stage one and-and having the plans drawn up very, very
important in copy skit. You can’t build a house without plans. You could try but
you might have a few odd shaped walls and you know, I think might not meet up
like they should and you won’t get the results that you wanting, you know, you
won’t get the outcomes that you’re looking for.
It has might look like a bit skewiff. You might wanted a two-story house and end
up with a one story and so on so, that’s really, really important. And the other
thing with the planning stage is that, in house construction and I mustput this
disclaimer, this is not an architecture’s um, [laughs] and not all that architecture
are build the same you know, it’s not a podcast about building but it’s the
process, the metaphor that I want you to take away from this.
But, when you put your plans together in that planning stage, stage one, it’s
actually when the engineers look at those plans and say,”We’ll, you’ll gonna this
sort of, steel in the foundation. You’re gonna need this sort of structured
material um to help you give you the right foundations for your house. Um, you’ll
gonna need to make sure you put a piece in the ground, you gonna have to put a
certain thickness of steel and various materials.” So the engineers can look at
those plans and see what’s trying to be built so it gives them a clear picture of
what is needed.
And that’s the same for you starting out in business or growing a business. You
need to have cash flow of budgets. You need to be able to see what sort of
working capital or money the business is going to need to achieve the vision that
you’re trying to set-out and the business plan helps with that as well and what
sort of costings are involved? When we build a house, we want to know what it’s
going to cost to build ultimately, before we even start spending money.
Even if I go down and I’ve seen it before, unfortunately but if you’re no good
going in starting to build a house but you had no idea of-of what the cost, what
the ultimate cost of that house is going to cost because to get to that end goal,
you might need to you know, have a million dollars and you might only got
$200,000 in the tank so you really need to make sure that, what you’ve
proposing or planning to build. Uh, you’re gonna have the costing there and the
money there, the funds available to do in which and go the distance and achieve
what it is and the resources that you will need.
And that’s the same with business, you need before you spend a dollar, have all
that worked out: cash flow budget, marketing plan, business plan. They’re all
doing market research. Is there a market for the business that you’re proposing
to build? It’s a stage one and I have, to be honest, I think it’s probably the most
critical stage of-of the whole thing.
It’s the most critical stage of building a house and it’s the most critical stage of
building a business. Stage one, before you even set foot on the block of land,
have everything done properly.
One of the things with businesses and I’ve seen this happen many times.
Business centers set off and just start building a business and they get their
track and realize that, these certain registrations that they and licenses they are
supposed to have, but they don’t have them. With like a opening a restaurant or
food premises and not getting like council health sign off and licenses and things
like that or the legal licenses or whatever. You need to make sure that all your
registrations and things like that are on order and are there in stage one and
that’s the same as having a house plan approved by the local authorities, you
know. Are you able to build that sort of house on that sort of block?
So, you can see the alignment there and it’s just so-so critical. And
unfortunately, a lot of people, the majority of people skip stage one when
they’re starting a business and they move straight to uh, the stage two or stage
three and just start building it without any proper planning and I can’t stress
that enough fails.
Hear me talk about this over, over and over in various episodes of the podcast.
Planning is just so, so critical. It just gives you clarity around what-what’s to be
achieved and gives everyone clarity about what you’re trying to achieve.
Alrighty, or what happened about that but stage two then, we’re getting
through so we had our plans approved to build the house, am I ready to go?
We’ve done our costings, we know what we want to build and we know the steel
and all those sorts of things you want to put in. But stage two now, we can start
actually doing the foundation where we can actually start digging the ground
and putting in the earthworks and clearing the land and preparing to build our
house. We can start to pour the concrete and get the slab down and the flooring
down to start building our house and building our walls and all that sort of
So, this is the next stage that comes in-into play and in a business sense, and it’s
very, very important. It’s the second probably most important in the sense that
if you don’t solid foundation and you don’t have things in the right places and
the right footings, then you’re building on something that might otherwise
collapse. And we all know what happens if you build your house on sand [laughs]
or you know, with the wrong-wrong foundations, you’re gonna get too far down
the track. It might stand up for a little bit but since it rains or something goes
wrong you’re not gonna last.
So, business is the same. You really want to get your business off on the right
foundation. And that means to do or do we have the right company structures in
place. Do we need LLCs, do we need the main names. Are they available, are
names registered with the right authorities? Are they trademarks of, what bank
accounts do we need to have? Do we need to have an account for this? Do we
need, tax registrations? All those things we wanna get in place. Are we taking
our business partners?I did an episode on that just recently but are we taking on
a business plan or do we just um, are we’re going to just do it on our own?
Are there partnership agreements? Do we have all the solid stuff down part so
that we can start building our business on the right foundation and start taking
implementing the things that we identified in stage one on the right foundations
to start actually building that there and that’s stage two of the of the building
Once we’ve got all the foundations right, we moved to stage three and that’s
putting the frame and the structure on top of the flooring in the foundation. So,
everyone in there start building the roof and this what we call the lock-up up
stage of building a house where we usually move to the frame and trusses and
get everything, all the walls, the exterior walls down and the windows and
everything and the roof goes on and-and we can sort of lock the house up now
and it’s all nice and secure.
And for the builders out there listening and if I’ve missed the stage, I apologize,
this is a metaphor and so [laughs] its re– it’s really just a-a-a metaphor for uh, if
I’ve missed a critical element of the construction process in there. But it’s the
general gist that I’m getting at. The building in frame stage, we wanna basically
have things that lock up. We now have a structure. We have our thing in place
and it’s looking good. And in a business situation, this would be things like, you
know, our fit out of we, we fitted out if it’s a physical store are we doing a fit out,
we needing premises? Do we need warehousing, is that often fitted out with
mezzanines and appropriate, shelving and stock if we got all that stock in place?
Now, equipment starts to come in and get serviced and ready for action.
Websites if it’s an e-commerce business or an online business, or a mixture of
both you know. And websites are now, built and now e-commerce starts up and
running and ready to start transacting. And you know, that to me is the lockup
stage of a house and that started to take shape now. It’s really starting to look
like a house. And in our case of a business, it’s really starting to look like a
business that looks and feels like a business and it’s ready to start dealing with
customers and helping and serving your customers and our communities.
So that–that’s sort of the stage three building and lockup stage. Then we move
to stage four which is now the paint’s code. The fit out people coming in and
they start fitting out the interior of the house. They’ve started putting and lining
the walls and fitting out all the-the timber work and kitchens and things,
bathrooms etcetera. And then we start painting and really getting and putting
the finishing touches on things. And that’s where, in that stage, that’s when we
as business owners, we’re now starting to build our team, we’re ready to open
the doors and-and customers uh ready to start accepting customers into the
So that’s sort of the fifth of the stages. That we’re gonna have staff uh, they’re all
trained and they’re ready to go. We’re taking action in terms of, you know, all
our systems are in place, systems and processes, we’ve developed, we know how
things are going to work. We’ve got our checks and balances in place. They have
bookkeeping in place. Now-now everything’s ready to-to operate on a day to
day basis.
Now, can you see here, have the stages of building on each other and this is how
I believe a business should happen. It shouldn’t happen with stage five, you
know, the fitting out and the, you know the logos and all that sort of stuff like
everything happening before we actually start actually having a solid vision,
foundation in stage one in place.
Once we get through stage four and we’re all ready to go, we’re now ready to
start marking in that stage five of the house being built. That’s when the final
cleanup happens and the landscaping happens, and driveways go, and then the
plants and the gardens, and everything started and it really take shape now. It’s
a fully fledged house, it’s ready to go and start taking occupants. People can
start living in here and uh, that’s the same with the business: doors are open,
public are coming in and customers, the people are becoming customers are into
engaging with your brain, they’re engaged. You’re doing marketing and
promotion at this stage because you can go into full flight because you’ve got all
your foundations right. You’ve got your marketing plan back from stage one.
You know what you’ve got to do. You know all the steps that are involved so you
can actually now move into this final cleanup and landscaping and stage five and
that means that the doors are open, we can now start to grow that business,
start to realize the dream and the vision that we identified back at the start. It’s
a fully fledged business, fully operational and up and running.
Now, hope you can see there from those stages, here we’ve gone from one, the
planning right through each various ste-step of the way and the similarities to
building a home. And it really is to me, just a no-brainer, the same-same process.
And then, there is another stage that it doesn’t really happen so much in the
business in the building’s sort of things. The builders usually packed up and left
by this stage but there is one more critical stage that I do believe does happen in,
in a home ownership or building and-and also must happen in your business as
well. And I’ll call that stage six and that is ongoing maintenance. A critical,
critical stage of any business is ongoing maintenance.
Now, it’s just like a house when you move into a house it gets wear and tear, do
things get knocked around or by accident, or things happen, break and what not.
Things just wear out. The business is the same, so just like you would maintain
your property and keep it fresh and-and alive, you need to do the same with
your business. Your business needs constant reviewing. Are we still in line with
our original vision? Has the marketplace changed? Have we got to recalibrate
our vision and sort of see where we should be going next door, adding new
products or services, listening to customer feedback, listening to staffing
feedback, reviewing all that feedback, making adjustments when necessary.
And like a house, your family might expand and what might have been a big
enough house for you, you might need to now start making extensions putting
another story and perhaps for a growing family and that might be the same for
your business. Your business is now growing and you’ve got to make extensions
and you gotta change with that, maybe set up a new location or whatever it is.
That’s much the same thing you really got to be reviewing and on-ongoing
maintenance. And that’s the thing with the business, it’s never ever a set and
forget exercise. And I’m challenge these people that claim to have the laptop
lifestyle and sitting on a beach and everything’s breezy and the money is just
rolling in. Yes, that can happen in rare situations. I’m not saying, I don’t care and
if you’ve achieved that in your business hats off. I think that’s fantastic uh, it’s
certainly a place that many of us aspire to be.
But the nuts and bolts of business is this. It’s never finished, it’s always moving.
And if you’re growing you should be always moving. You should be stretching
and you should always be challenges of and always moving with it. So, yeah I
don’t think it has ever just, build it, set it forget it and-and then that’s it. It’s just
doesn’t work that way in business. Not unless if you want to have a successful
profitable business which I want you to have and I want you to actually really
enjoy growing your business and getting as much as you can out of your
business in terms of lifestyle and dollars in the bank in reaching those goals. So
they go, ongoing maintenance is a must just as it is with a house or property. You
really must be growing your business,maintaining your business as well as you
go along.
Alrighty, so just to recap on those stages and I really hope that you’ve seen the
analogy there because for me, it’s just so clear and maybe just my exposure to it
but I really hope that you can see it as well. That planning stage, stage one is the
most critical stage of your business. You really must be really meant the more
you can plan before you spend any money, the better you’re going to be.
When I move to stage two, the foundation and earthworks and-and starting to
put the necessary things in place and the necessary components to start
building a business upon trademarks, bank accounts, structures, company
structures or whatever. And then we move to the to-to the framing stage and
the roof stage or lock-up stage is as set in stage three which is sort of putting
your website and getting the equipment in place and all your physical stock and
or whatever type of business that is, you know, your stationary etcetera. It’s all
coming in at that stage.
Your logo and things would also be in there as well any-any sort of branding or
anything like that. They were looking at your feet out um, stayed so that’s where
we’re getting ready to open the doors and our staff are engaged and ready to go
and all trained up.
And then, the last stage being the landscaping stage and the garden stage where
basically we’re already ready to open the doors and we can-we can do our
marketing information and get things happening and start trading, start making
money and bring the money in. And then that last stage, stage six which is all
about ongoing maintenance and keeping the maintenance going in your
business and making sure it’s always in the best possible health that it can be in
and giving you the outcomes and achieving your visions and goals that you
deserve to have as a result of all that hard work in those previous stages.
So, there you have it. My model for running a business and building a business, it
really is a matter of sitting down and mapping out those stages, those six critical
stages. And, if you work through those methodically, you certainly will have a
really solid uh, nice business, I’m absolutely sure of that.
And don’t forget that I am always available to help you if you get stuck at any
one of those stages or you’re gonna question around any of the stages, you can
always drop me a line at [email protected] and be there to
help as well. And don’t forget also to join the the free Facebook group of
businessmadeeasypodcast.com/community, where you can also get help with
those stages as well. Because I want you to get the most out of your business.
And something to leave you with a question to leave you with this is really, you
know, where are you in these stages of business right now? Are you in that
maintenance stage? Have you missed any of those steps along the way that you
could probably go back and um, tidy up? Because here’s the thing, just because
you have missed one of the stages and you may be further down the line doesn’t
mean you can’t go back and actually unlock a house doesn’t mean you can’t go
back and actually put a little bit more meat into any of the stages and fix things
up a little bit as well. So, it’s not too late to actually go back but just think about
what stage you on the business spectrum and where you sit currently or are
there other steps you could go back in tidy up and strengthen up as well.
So if you need help, I’m here for you at [email protected]
But until next week, thank you so much for joining me. If you’ve enjoyed this
episode, please I’d love it if you could go to uh, to iTunes and leave me an honest
review. Lots of reviews been coming in over the time and really I’m so grateful
and appreciative of the feedback and honest appraised of that I’ve been getting.
I just love putting the show together for you guys and love being a part of your
business. So, until next week, I’m going to hand you over to Mia and here’s to
your success, all of this. Take it easy.
Mia: You’ve been listening to the Business Made Easy podcast, where we make
business easy.

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