The Pyramid of Business Fundamentals

Consistency. Predictability. Replication.

know:  when you see the acronym “CPR“, what comes to mind is the life-saving technique. You breathe air in someone’s lungs, compress their chest to get their blood flowing, and literally bring them back from the brink of death.

It’s not an accident that we chose the same acronym to represent the core of our Small Business success curriculum, and to embody the fundamental principles of productivity – the keys to Small Business profitability

No Magic Bullet

Right from the start, notice that I say “keys” to success, not “secrets” or any other such hypeSuccess in the 21st Century, post-meltdown economy will be achieved the same way it always has been: through hard work and diligent effort. Hard work should be not be a struggle,  but a focused pursuit of a clearly defined goal.

So how do we get there — to success, however we each may define it for our respective businesses? Everyone is up to something different, and I can’t pretend to have a magic mirror  where I can see what you’re all up to. The good news is, I don’t have to.

All businesses, whether they make or sell a product, provide a service or manage those who do, must adhere to the fundamentals of CPR in order to be productive and profitable:

  • They must have a product of CONSISTENT quality, whether that product is a physical  item or an intangible  service
  • They must have PREDICTABLE delivery of that product
  • They must be able to REPLICATE the method of delivering their quality product

Not because I say so – because it IS so. How many start-ups, retails stores, local restaurants or trendy boutiques have you already seen which began with a big BANG and a tremendous flourish of initial success, only to eventually sputter out and die off? If you consider why this happens repeatedly, you’ll find it’s usually because:

  • They failed to keep up the quality  that won them their initial customers
  • The quality may not have failed, but delivery  could not keep up with the demand
  • The burden fell upon the owner or originator, and the product or service delivery could not scale  to match the business’ growth

In the end, they failed to apply the fundamentals of CPR. The specifics of CPR are, of course, different for each individual business venture. But they ALL require it, and none can succeed without its proper application.

To operate effectively and, we hope, successfully as well, a Small Business must have:

  • CONSISTENCY of Product Quality
  • PREDICTABILITY of Product Delivery
  • REPLICATION of Product Consistency

Like any system, this is a somewhat arbitrary list, although I promise you that I discovered those fundamentals and grouped them without realizing they spelled “CPR” It is fitting, though, that it spells out a life-saving technique, but it was not intentional.

CPR is cool, but that’s the concept at its highest level. Strategy, but not tactics. Over more than ten years, I’ve developed CPR and its many underlying principles doing presentations of my original content working with various not-for-profits dedicated to entrepreneurial development.

During this tenure some of the thoughts and concepts began to come together, forming the germ of the Small Business CPR™ curriculum. Like any good educator, I developed a graphic which introduced the core concepts underlying the entire curriculum, which I call “The Pyramid of Business Fundamentals™”:

I use this graphic in the same way Robert Kiyosaki uses his “Cash Flow Quadrant™” to speak to the fundamental principles of his “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” concept. I usually drew this on a whiteboard, and introduced each fundamental from the top down during my presentations and workshops.

During these sessions I learned that most “accidental entrepreneurs” are eager for actionable understanding – they don’t just want you to tell them WHAT, but to show them HOW. So although I’ve shared CPR and the Pyramid with hundreds of people at various stages of their Entrepreneurial Journey (mostly beginners, though), I wanted to create a platform that would… give them a way to get things done, and not just understand them.

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