What’s missing in your small business backend

Are you an online solopreneur ready to scale up? It's time to dive deep into your business backend—the behind-the-scenes of your success.

When starting an online business, the focus is often on marketing and sales—getting folks in the door and delivering an exceptional customer experience. But once you’ve achieved consistent, predictable sales and a solid product, it’s crucial to strengthen the foundations of your business, aka the backend.

 

What is the Backend of an Online Business?

Let’s start by defining the "backend" of your business. Resisting the urge to make a cheeky joke here, the backend comprises all the systems, processes, people, knowledge, and philosophies that keep your business running smoothly and efficiently.

The backend includes the inner workings of your business that customers typically don’t see. Marketing and sales are front-end activities—they attract customers and initiate the journey. But once a customer makes a purchase, the backend is where the magic happens behind the scenes to deliver your service.

As a small online business, your backend also includes YOU—your body, mind, and spirit. You are the foundation of your business, so it’s important to consider this in any growth strategy.

The Pillars of a Strong Business Backend

Below, you’ll find the pillars broken down into key components. It can look like a lot but you don’t have to do it all at once. It typically takes several years for a business to build out their backend as it’s intimately tied to your business growth.

For now, choose one or two pillars that you’d like to improve. You can use my Balanced Business Checklist to identify specific things you can do to strengthen your small business backend.

Philosophies

  • Mission: The core purpose of your business and why it exists (cue the epic music).
  • Vision: The grand, sweeping view of your business's future (think starry-eyed dreaming but with a plan).
  • Values: The principles and beliefs that guide your business decisions (your moral compass).
  • Company Culture: The vibe and personality of your workplace (think of it as your business's unique flavor).

Operations

  • Project Management: Keeping all your tasks and projects running smoothly (the master of juggling).
  • Communication: Ensuring everyone’s in the loop and nothing’s lost in translation (like a business version of charades, but clearer).
  • Admin: The everyday tasks that keep the business ticking.
  • Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs): Your business’s how-to guides for consistency and efficiency (like a recipe book, but for everything).
  • Technology & Tools: The gadgets and software that make your business life easier (your digital sidekicks).

Financial Steadiness

  • Bookkeeping: Keeping track of every penny in a way that helps you make decisions.
  • Reporting: Summarizing your financial status and progress (the story of your money).
  • Financial Strategy & Planning: Plotting your financial course for future success (your treasure map).
  • Budgeting: Allocating your resources wisely (your spending game plan).
  • Cash Flow Management: Ensuring money moves smoothly in and out of your business.

Customer Experience

  • Onboarding/Purchasing Processes: The steps customers take to start their journey with you.
  • Delivery Processes: Getting your product or service to your customers efficiently (the handoff, minus the fumble).
  • Offboarding Processes: Wrapping up customer interactions smoothly (leaving a lasting impression).
  • Customer Care Processes: Handling customer inquiries and issues with finesse.
  • Feedback & Improvement Processes: Collecting and acting on customer feedback (listening and growing).

Team

  • Org Chart: A map for all the roles you need to fulfill your current needs & plan for growth (your business family tree).
  • Thoughtful Hiring Process: Finding and bringing in the right people (hire right the first time).
  • Management Process: Overseeing and guiding your team effectively (the art of leadership).
  • Training & Development: Helping your team grow and improve.
  • Team Building Activities: Strengthening bonds and boosting morale (workplace fun, seriously).

Legal & Compliance

  • Contracts & Agreements: Making sure all your deals are legit and binding (the fine print that matters).
  • Regulatory Compliance: Keeping up with laws and regulations (staying on the right side of the law).
  • Intellectual Property: Protecting your ideas and creations (because your genius deserves it).

Technology Infrastructure

  • Website Maintenance: Keeping your online presence in top shape (your digital storefront upkeep).
  • IT Support: Fixing tech issues and keeping systems running (your tech troubleshooters).
  • Data Management: Organizing and protecting your data (the guardians of your info).
  • Cybersecurity: Keeping your business safe from digital threats (your online bodyguards).

Growth, Development & Ease

  • New Services & Products: Innovating and expanding your offerings (keeping things fresh and exciting).
  • Strategy: Planning your next moves for growth and success.
  • Continuous Improvement: Always finding ways to get better (because good enough isn’t enough).
  • Professional Development: Investing in your own growth as a service provider and business leader

Regenerative Business

Note: as this is one of my core philosophies in business for myself and my clients, I put it into it's own category. Seeing the bigger role of your business in the world is vital for creating change beyond the numbers in our bank accounts.

  • Time & energy management:  Ensure you’re working with your energy & scheduling your time for maximum efficiency and rest
  • Self-nourishment: Make adjustments so that your business nourishes you -  mind, body, soul & money
  • Bigger impact: Beyond the services you provide, consider ways that your business contributes to the larger world in a way that is nourishing, sustainable and upholds higher human values.

 

Looking to create more ease and grow your business? Check out my Balanced Business Checklist. 

Whether you want to scale your business or scale back to enjoy more personal time, this checklist will help you evaluate and strengthen your business foundations. It covers systems, processes, financial steadiness, and your own well-being.

Click here to download the checklist and take the next step towards a balanced, thriving business.

 

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