Business Made Simple: Your Business Is An Airplane

March 13, 2023

Running a business can feel overwhelming at times. 

You’re forced to juggle multiple hats⁠ at once—marketing, product developer, project manager, and most importantly, the leader. 

These different roles are all vital to keep your business running and thriving. 

Aside from juggling multiple roles, a lot of business owners also struggles with understanding their business as a whole. Without a holistic understanding of your business, you will find it difficult to grow and scale your business.

This often makes you feel lost, frustrated, and like an impostor who’s pretending to know what they’re doing.

But there’s a simple way that can help you gain a deeper understanding of how your business operates—through a simple concept from Donald Miller’s Business Made Simple. 

Think of your business like an airplane, with six main parts that are vital to ensure that your business is well-functioning. Let’s take a look at the parts one by one. 

1. The Cockpit (Leadership)

Just like a plane, your company will not be able to reach your intended destination without the pilots in the cockpit steering it in the right direction. Your company will either crash or thrive based on the strength of your leadership team.

What you need to do is make use of various frameworks that can help you shape your team around common goals—which will make you more likely to win. Winning allows you to boost morale, which in turn, will increase your overall productivity and efficiency.

2. The Right Engine (Marketing)

Many businesses often overlook the importance of their right engine—marketing. In truth, a solid strategy and well-executed marketing efforts can take your business to new heights. The first step to successful marketing is sharpening your company’s brand message and channeling that message through a proven sales funnel.

3. The Left Engine (Sales)

In order for your business to soar, you need to ensure that your right engine (marketing) and your left engine (sales) is working perfectly. While most businesses may not need a sales team to grow, adding a sales representative or expanding a sales team is a great way to stimulate growth.

However, you cannot expect results from simply adding a sales representative alone. You need to ensure that your sales department have a proper system, so it can run efficiently. 

4. The Wings (Product)

Just like the wings are an integral part of an airplane, so are your products. You should keep in mind that while keeping a lean overhead is important, the primary way to ensure your profit margins remain high is knowing what highly-profitable products you need to focus on.

Many companies crash because they develop products without considering their cost or their demand once they are brought to the market. This is an understandable mistake—you may release a product that is profitable in cost, but you may fail to calculate the burden placed on other aspects of your business.

You want wings that are large, light, and strong. This requires you to figure out the right product that won’t need a huge thrust from your left and right engines and will be able to lift a heavy body (your overhead) off of the ground.

5. The Body (Overhead)

Airplanes won’t be able to fly high and through long distances if it’s not lean and light—just like the overhead of your business. Refine the systems and processes to reduce overhead so you can keep your overhead lean.

When your overhead increases in size, the business will put more stress on marketing, sales, and product development. The heavier your overhead is, the harder the strain you’ll put on your business.

What do overhead costs entail? They include labor, benefits, rent, mortgages, energy, and much more. Overhead costs are costs that do not directly affect or lead to product creation, marketing, or sales.

As a business owner or leader, you will want to filter every single decision through this question: “How will this decision affect overhead?”

The one takeaway to keep in mind to keep overhead down is to replace a “spending” mentality with an “investment” mentality. You should ask the question: “How will the money I am about to spend on the business generate lift or thrust?” If the decision does not generate lift or thrust, then the decision falls into the spending category rather than an investment.

The more you spend on your business, the heavier and slower your business will become. If you spend more than you invest, you will almost certainly crash your plane.

6. The Fuel (Cash)

As obvious as it may seem, if you run out of fuel (cash), your business will crash.

Cash flow acts as fuel for your business and managing it may be one of the most important jobs you have when it comes to running and growing your business. Without cash, your business cannot take off. If you run out halfway through, your business will crash-land. 

You should never run out of money, and you should always know when money is coming in. Put away profit, never be surprised by taxes, and know in real time as to how your company is performing.

Gain A Holistic Understanding Of Your Business

Here at Circularity Coach International, we help business owners and leaders to connect all the pieces together. Using world-renowned frameworks such as Business Made Simple and Scaling Up, we can help you identify and work on the parts of your business that need the most attention. 

Take the free Business Made Simple assessment to pinpoint your business’ problem areas today!

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