Sustainability Strategy

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What is Sustainability?

Sustainability is about meeting your needs without compromising your resources. In other words, how can you continually operate without draining your 4 forms of capital:

  • Money Capital
  • Time Capital
  • Social Capital
  • Self Capital

In the BROCSway framework, Sustainability Strategy is the final check or review as to the viability of your business in the long-run. It’s less objective than any of the other strategies, and more about asking yourself the right questions to ensure your comfortability with the plan you’ve set for yourself.

Throughout the various stages of the business cycle, you will be tested and strained. In the first stages, Idea and Startup, you will have limited resources and potentially little evidence as to the probability of your success. Once you figure out your business recipe on a small scale, you enter the Growth stage which can exponentially stress your resources (e.g. building your pipeline too fast with the inability to fulfill).

It is important to understand and acknowledge the limitations at all business lifecycle stages, otherwise you may exhaust one or more of your capital resources which can have unintended consequences on the other capitals.

The Importance of a Plan

A plan gives you guidance to manage your expectations of both your inputs and outputs. How much of your time, money, and self can you invest into a business, and what is the likelihood the business will produce value for the customer and profit for you on a sustainable basis?

 

Business plans should no longer be one and done. In other words, the traditional business plan format is written with extra fluffy verbiage designed to impress investors and assure others you’ve thought about your business. It’s typically a 5-year plan, that may get looked at from time-to-time. Mostly it’s a useless document as it doesn’t provide you or the business owner with actionable steps to accomplish your mission; thus, your risk of sustainability is high.

 

90% of startups fail. Why don’t they sustain? Part of the reason is a lack of a plan that becomes a living document. “Living” in the sense that you continually re-input new data based on the realities of your business and adjust accordingly. 

 

In the early stages of your venture, whether it’s a new technology startup or you have set out to be a consultant on your own, it is critical that you become agile based on customer feedback. You need to find ways to better solve their problems while maintaining all 4 forms of capital.

Here are some sustainability tips when planning your business: 

  • Use shorter time horizons (e.g. 90 days)
  • Set realistic expectations (conservative sales estimates)
  • Get Customer feedback (the best input for your next cycle of planning)

Plan it, BUT don’t overthink it. In other words, trying to create the perfect plan before you start can take a TON of time. Not only does it delay your start, but it may be completely wrong. 

 

The Importance of Measuring

You can’t manage what you don’t measure. First you need a plan with objective goals you can measure. Your Business, Revenue, Operating, and Capital Strategies should have definite metrics that can be collected and measured against your plan.

But then there are some things that are harder to measure. Take for instance, your Self Capital. You can’t accurately measure your business confidence each morning similar to weighing yourself on a scale. However, you can (and should) plan for time to reflect and consider the state of your business and the impact (good or bad) it’s having on your well-being. 

Make sure you write it down.

Performing periodic checks, on both the easy to measure and hard to measure, provides a baseline knowledge of your ability to sustain.

If you continue to see your bank account decreasing, all the while your sales remain stagnant, how can you adjust your plan to sustain?

Or perhaps sales are increasing, but you find that you are losing sleep to keep up with the work; how much longer can you sustain that lifestyle?

If others find you increasingly irritable and your anxiety is elevating due to the stresses of wearing too many hats, how can you work with others to find relief from certain daily tasks?

Again, measuring allows you to know which direction the trendlines are headed and gives you the insight to create a sustainable business around your life.

Sustainability Means Prosperity

With a reasonable plan, measurement, and adjustments, you can create a sustainable business: a business that allows you to meet your income goals, big or small. What’s most important is that you do this without compromising your capital resources.

Over time, as you figure out your business, you can thrive both professionally and in life all while solving your customer’s problems. Everyone wins.

 

Plan. Measure. Prosper.

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Chapter 1: Getting started

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Chapter 2: Coronavirus Cyberattack Statistics

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Chapter 3: General Cybersecurity Statistics

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Chapter 4: Phishing & Email Attack Statistics

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Chapter 5: Industry Cybersecurity Statistics

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Chapter 6: Privacy Statistics

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Chapter 7: Privacy Statistics

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Chapter 8: Privacy Statistics

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