I had the luxury of being able to go away with my husband the other week for a few days to the Sunshine Coast Hinterland to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. We tend to try and find somewhere nice and relaxing to escape to for our anniversary, somewhere we can just turn off, sip port by a fire, and hang out and enjoy each other’s conversation and company. We are both business owners so a lot of the time we end up having ‘businessy type’ conversations.

I watched closely one evening as my husband attempted to build a fire in the fireplace and quickly our conversation turned to how similar building a fire is to start a business.

Just like building a fire, in business you need to get your foundations right. You need to make sure you have the right resources available to you to start and then to grow.

I watched as my husband tore up bits of paper and put it in the bottom of the fire and then build the kindle up on top of the paper in a tipi structure and then gently place a log on top. He struck the match and lit the paper. The paper caught fire quite quickly, we eagerly waited for the kindle to light, and then we just watched and waited patiently, was there enough kindle and would it burn long enough to catch our log alight? Would it get hot enough in the fireplace, were we letting in the right amount of oxygen? So many things to consider.

We chatted whilst we waited about how similar the whole process was to start a business and how important it is to have the right processes in place before you start and to understand how every component of your business will affect another and how all your processes and systems need to work together to achieve the desired outcome.

The fire looked like it had caught alight, but then within minutes was almost completely out. I watched as my husband hit panic stations. He tried throwing more kindle in, more paper, another log…….. His actions gave me quite a giggle, I think I even made a smart ass comment about how typical of management his actions were.

Over the years, I’ve seen similar reactions from small business owners when things aren’t running efficiently or the business isn’t taking off. I’ve seen money thrown at the business, band-aid solutions applied, people panic and throw everything they have at the business. Unfortunately though, often these solutions don’t work.

What does work, however, is when you go back to the basics and the core of your business. Check your foundations, get your processes right, make sure you have the right resources, make sure you have the right staff doing the right jobs. Go back and get the basics right so your business can take off and flourish.

After much discussion, lots of laughs and a couple of Youtube videos on how to light a fire, together we got the best damn fire going we’d ever built together (so good I had to open up the cabin during the storm because it got so hot).

If you need help getting the foundations for your fire or your business right, feel free to contact me, I’d love the opportunity to help.

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