The Business Framework

A six-week course for business owners and managers to focus their attention on six business disciplines that are absolutely vital for organizational health and business growth

Almost every business owner I know has multiple Jekyll and Hyde moments over the course of a single day. They love what they do. They are solving problems, creating products or providing services that revolve around something about which they are incredibly passionate. Could there be any better way to spend the day? But moments later, they’re buried in an employee conflict, customer service crisis or vendor problem – maybe all three at once – that suck the oxygen from the room and steal away the warm, fuzzy feeling from just a few minutes earlier.

The cycle repeats, maybe multiple times in a day, day after day, week after week, month after month and year after year. There might be abundant financial rewards, but the pressure of running the business finally takes its toll. They’re tired, isolated and at the bottom of the funnel for everything that happens in the organization.

The business can’t grow because there is no more of them to go around. This isn’t what they bargained for when they hung out their shingle a few years earlier.

Here’s the really frustrating thing – they know other business owners (who have businesses of similar size and complexity) who seem to have their arms around everything happening in the organization but aren’t buried in the daily press of business. They have time to plan for future business health and growth, are surrounded by a competent and committed staff and feel the freedom to be out of the office or plant for several days or even weeks at a time without the fear that the operation will crumble in their absence.

So what’s the difference between them and their seemingly much less burdened fellow owner? That second owner has built a solid Business Framework. A system that –

  • marshals the commitment and skills of employees who have diverse skillsets and styles
  • leverages the expertise of trusted vendors and partners
  • unites them around a common purpose and shared values
  • deploys them using established policies and processes
  • delivers a stellar product or service for loyal, committed customers

The journey from the experience of the first owner to the experience of the second isn’t a walk in the park. Intuition must be replaced with policy. Reaction must be replaced with proactivity. “It’s easier to do it myself” must be replaced with “Here, let me show you how and let me tell you why I do it this way.” But the effort is worth it. The transformation positions the business for unbounded future growth, creates a community of employees who treat the business as if it were their own, creates customers who see the business as not only a trusted provider of goods and services but also a valuable member of the community and frees the owner to enjoy the benefits of his or her work and finally be running the business they dreamed about when they founded it.

I’m Mike Chirveno. I grew up in the home of a successful small business owner. I saw how hard it was for my dad to make that business work. There were lots of early mornings, late nights and weeks away from home. I saw the struggle to find and keep good employees, the battle for dependable vendors and the ongoing challenge of filling the sales pipeline.

Even after spending 24 years in corporate America, those memories were still vivid. When I quit my job and started my own small business in 2006, my singular goal was to help people like my dad – small business owners. Since that start in 2006, I’ve spent my time becoming the best resource for small business owners that I could. I’ve leveraged an undergrad degree in education, an MBA, the knowledge and experience of 24 years in the corporate world where I was fortunate enough to work in strategic planning, operations, project management, sales management, customer service management, tech management, logistics and  collections and have now added to that 13 years of working with dozens of people I admire greatly – small business owners across the country – people who have risked their personal resources to build a better life for themselves and their family. My consulting clients have ranged from startups to 80-year-old, family-owned businesses and almost everything in between. I don’t think there’s any question that I’ve learned more from them than they have from me because each of their unique challenges have driven me to find good, practical answers to pressing business problems.

Here’s what I’ve discovered – every business is different. The people inside those businesses are different, their products and services solve a customer problem in a unique way and the circumstances they face are unlike those of any other business. But here’s another thing I’ve discovered – every business is the same. Every person inside the business wants to do meaningful work, it’s a challenge to keep everyone on the same page, operational problems surface at the most inconvenient time, vendors sometimes drop the ball, cashflow gets tight – the list could go on and on.

I needed a tool that would help business owners manage their unique situations but still address the common challenges they all face. That’s how the Business Framework was born. It brings structure to the most critical parts of the organization, but gives freedom within that structure to address unique challenges. It’s like guardrails on a highway – the guardrails provide direction and boundaries, but you can drive freely between them.

The results have been more than I could have asked. They’ve been anecdotal like “You saved my business” and “I don’t hate coming to work anymore” and empirical like decreasing turnover by 40%, increasing year-over-year sales by 29% and, for one client, winning one of the most coveted awards in their industry.

The owners I’ve had the privilege of working with have told me various permutations of these

People are Wonderful and Messy

Nothing takes more time than people problems, but nothing is more vital to fueling growth and providing a great experience for your customers than the employees, contractors and vendors in your organization. Many business owners feel like their efforts up to now look like herding cats instead of building a cohesive, effective team.

Way too often, I feel like everything lands on my desk

Most of the time it’s because there aren’t policies and processes in place that allow the boss to have confidence that other people in the organization will solve a problem the same way he or she would. Previous efforts at creating policies have ended up in a file cabinet drawer never seeing the light of day.

People want to do a good job, but they drop the ball too often

But not everyone is sure what a good job looks like. Does it mean the customer is always right, so we automatically agree to whatever they ask? Does it mean we give a little discount to make sure we get every sale? Does it mean we automatically implement the latest “best practice” we learned at the latest industry conference?

We’ve tried to make changes, but pretty soon we’re right back to doing what we’ve always done, and this year looks just like all the years before

Without a bulletproof implementation methodology, even the best plans will get swallowed up by the daily press of operational problems.

Introducing The Business Framework

A Six-week online course to transform your organization and make it healthy, operationally effective and poised for future growth

6 Video Modules (plus a bonus module) with homework for instant application

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Downloadable Tools and Resources

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6 Q & A/Group Coaching Live Calls

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Q & A Forum for All Members

What Will You Learn

Click each plus sign (+) to see the full module description

The best marketing, operations, technical and financial plans in the world are going to fail miserably if they’re released into a toxic work environment. Employee infighting, self-serving priorities and departmental turf wars act like anchors that drown even the most brilliant strategies and tactics. Conversely, a healthy culture is like fertile soil. Just like plants thrive in an environment that is rich in nutrients, businesses with healthy cultures effectively execute work that develops employees, delivers value for customers and creates financial rewards for shareholders.

Getting the culture right and putting mechanisms in place to keep it right is the best way to ensure that every subsequent step gets maximum traction. The organization will be poised for true transformation.

You will discover –

  • Cultural Imperatives – Six characteristics of a healthy culture, that, if absent are almost guaranteed to tank your organizational health
  • Guaranteed culture killers
  • How to transform a toxic culture – the first step is probably not what you think it is
  • Screening new employees for culture fit – learn how to bake culture questions into your screening and hiring process so you hire right the first time and every time
  • How culture fits with mission, vision and core values – lots of consultants make you create mission statements, vision statements and a list of core values, but not many of them tell you why and explain what you’re going to do with each of them AND how they inform organizational culture

You will receive –

  • A Customizable Template for the Employee Commitment – a tool that codifies the culture AND makes it easy to have a meaningful culture conversation with every employee
  • How Organizational Culture Shapes Individual Employee Interactions – A PDF that explains the role of culture in screening, hiring, onboarding, managing, employee development, employee discipline and, if necessary, termination.
  • How they Fit – A PDF that illustrates the relationship between Mission, Vision, Values and Culture.

The struggle for talent is real. Hiring managers kiss lots of frogs on their way to finding a well-hidden prince or princess. And when they find a stellar employee, the organization is challenged quickly to find the best way to engage them in meaningful work and give them opportunities to lead and grow.

And, maybe more importantly, those employees must work seamlessly with a new team that must quickly produce results where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

Owners and managers long to be surrounded with people they trust – people whose highest professional aim is the good of the organization, people who are committed to lifelong personal and professional growth. This session provides the framework for finding and keeping those people.

You will discover –

  • How to screen for company core values in the interview process
  • The role of assessments in the screening process so you can build a toolbox that really works
  • The importance of meaningful onboarding so new employees quickly feel a part of the team and become productive right out of the gate
  • A framework for aligning the interests of the company with the interests of the employee
  • Three things employees want from work – according to the social sciences
  • How to create an employee development plan
  • Options for value-based compensation plans

You will receive –

  • Employees As … PDF – a framework that lets managers view employees through four lenses. It powers their development and deployment in the organization
  • Employee Development Planner PDF in two parts – a self-directed study for the employee and an implementation plan used in one-to-one meetings between employee and supervisor
  • An Onboarding Checklist – what employees need to know, experience and feel immediately following the accepted job offer – spoiler alert: it starts before the first day of on the job

There are only a handful of business activities that approach “holy grail” status and value creation is one of them. Value creation is the key driver of consumer choice and business profitability. It might seem hard to believe, but the mechanical components of value creation are the same for every organization – public sector or private sector, product or service, for-profit or not-for-profit. Since the discipline is so pervasive, it’s imperative that every business owner and manager understand it fully.

You will discover –

  • The three key activities in the value creation chain and where they happen in the organization
  • The role of departments and employees not directly involved in economic value creation
  • The difference between economic and experiential value creation and why both are vital to the organization
  • The three goals of economic value creation
  • The three drivers of experiential value creation

You will receive –

  • Vendor Selection/Evaluation Checklist PDF – Vendors are an important part of the value creation chain. This checklist will help evaluate them based on culture fit, quality, performance, customer service and financial stability
  • Value Creation Walkthrough PDF – A list of questions, segregated by value creation activity that an owner or manager can use to systematically walk through value creation processes in the organization. Questions include people, process, vendor and tech related items.

Healthy organizations are fiscally disciplined. Sales revenue is carefully forecasted, acquired and collected. Expenses fund employee productivity, development and efficiently create the product or service for the client. Money on hand is carefully managed and deployed in appropriate investment vehicles. Debt is used judiciously.

Clearly, a one-hour workshop can’t cover everything that an organization needs to know when it comes to finances, but we’ll identify some areas that represent common struggles for businesses.

You will discover –

  • The crucial money metrics for all businesses
  • How fixed and variable costs impact company financial performance
  • How to calculate the lifetime value of a customer and why it’s important even during initial sales activities
  • What fiscally disciplined companies do differently
  • Capital expenses vs operating expenses
  • Budgets or no budgets
  • How to push financial literacy down through the organization

You will receive –

  • A “cheat sheet” explaining important financial metrics and how to calculate them
  • Questions to ask your accountant. Should you keep the one you have or find a new one?
  • Resources to find industry-specific money metrics

Unfortunately, in many organizations, the only metric for “winning” is the amount of money left in the bank at the end of the month. Healthy organizations have accurately identified a handful (6-12) of key performance indicators that are truly indicative of organization health. Just like body temperature, pulse rate, respiration rate and blood pressure constitute “vital signs” for health, these metrics (though different for each business) accurately measure and report performance on activities that are essential for the continued viability of the organization.

You will discover –

  • How to create a Balanced Scorecard spanning financial performance, customer experience, operational effectiveness and organizational capacity.
  • Not every that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted
  • How to create metrics to track project progress
  • How to disseminate reporting to everyone in the organization
  • How to equip team members to make meaning from metrics reporting
  • How to turn insights from reporting into corrective action

You will receive –

  • Balanced Scorecard examples
  • Project tracking examples
  • Engagement tools for team members
    • Interpreting results
    • Making corrective actions

Every organization needs an operational framework – systems for tracking performance, processes for execution, meeting management methodologies, project management methodologies, regular strategic planning and a strong technology platform underlying all of it. This module provides an outline on which strong managers can build out a robust operations and implementation framework.

You will discover –

  • A framework for simultaneously solving problems and developing employees
  • A methodology for discovering and documenting processes
  • Essentials for meeting management – before, during and after
  • An implementation framework that ensures that projects are started AND finished
  • The rationale for a regularly scheduled Strategic Planning exercise
  • A methodology for assessing the value the deployed tech in your organization is generating

You will receive –

  • A process documentation template
  • A meeting management toolkit (meeting prep materials, pre-meeting email template, meeting outlines, post-meeting email template)
  • Access to a video course on implementation
  • A primer on strategic planning

Innovation is rarely the by-product of light bulb moments and random flashes of brilliance. Instead, it’s the ability to solve a problem in a unique way that resonates with the people who have that problem. The ability to synthesize input from existing and potential customers, input from employees, ideas from other industries, ideas from other disciplines and the value creation capabilities of the organization can yield valuable new products, services and processes. This is the skill that propels companies into sustained competitive advantage.

You will discover –

  • The value of letting problem-solving employees work on things that interest them instead of only things that interest the boss
  • How to listen
  • The essential discipline of engaging in creative destruction
  • The essential discipline of synthesis
  • The value of cognitive diversity

You will receive –

  • A problem-solving primer
  • The creative destruction reading list (for a little inspiration)
  • A PDF – Diversity – What We Got Right and What We Got Wrong and Why It Matters

What do other business owners and managers say about the principles from The Business Framework?

As a business owner wanting to retire, I had concerns about the future of the business. I had nurtured this business with my father for most of my life. Would the next generation care for it and grow it, or simply milk it into bankruptcy? When I came across ClearVision Consulting (Mike Chirveno), I was curious and a bit skeptical, “Could this really make a difference for me, my business, and my family?” After a few minutes of conversation on the phone, I could see there would be an opportunity to work with someone who is very familiar with the unique dynamics of family businesses. Education, experience and the sincere desire to assist family businesses makes ClearVision an asset to any business. Our business is not only surviving but thriving. Our family has become closer. ClearVision showed us the best part of family business…working with family and loving it, while providing financial stability and a secure future for generations to come.
Sharon K
CEO
My company contracted Mike Chirveno during a rough time in the economy in 2008. He brought with him a knowledge and experience that were integral in the survival of my company.
Chris M
Owner
A business friend of mine recommended ClearVision Consulting and I could not be more satisfied. Mike sat down with me and my partners multiple times, he listened, he asked questions and he came to understand our business model. He presented us with a detailed proposal and a competitive price and he delivered on both, and he continues to follow up with us. I highly recommend ClearVision Consulting.
David S
Owner
We have enjoyed working with Mike. He has helped us bring clarity to our Mission and Vision for the company. His guidance with evaluating our employee development plans and implementing a process has been very helpful and we have gotten good feedback from our employees on the new process. He has helped us stay "on-task" which was needed in order to get this accomplished.
Monica S
CEO

Order below and in addition to the business-transforming Business Framework online course, you’ll receive –

Bonus # 1 – Introducing Change into Your Organization – If you’re going to join the brave business owners who are benefitting from the Business Framework, there will be some friction during the rollout. This guide will help you implement the changes more effectively. It will be emailed to you as soon as you enroll.

Bonus # 2 – Crafting a Great Customer Experience – A unique whitepaper that explains how one ClearVision Consulting client won the most prestigious award in their industry by focusing fanatically on a frictionless customer experience.

Bonus # 3 – For the first 24 people who sign up – A three-month membership in an online Mastermind Group for Business Owners – We’ll meet once a month for three months and discuss together an important topic – Month 1 – Making Time to Work On the Business, Month 2 – Accurately Assessing your Industry, Month 3 – Strategic Planning

Ready to install the Business Framework in your organization and finally have the business you’ve always wanted? Join Us for The Business Framework

Core
Course

6 Video Modules
(plus bonus)
Downloadable Resources
6 Q & A Group Calls
Member Q & A Forum

$979

Or 3 payments of $359

Core + Review

Everything in the Core Course plus the ability to submit homework from each session for written review and feedback

$1979

Or 3 payments of $699

Core + Coaching

Everything in the Core Course plus four one-on-one one-hour coaching calls for homework review and more

$2979

Or 3 payments of $1079

My Promise to You -
A Money Back Guarantee

We are in the business of helping business owners build the business they’ve always wanted. If you attend the first two sessions and do the homework and aren’t 100% satisfied with what you’ve heard and seen, send us an email and we’ll send your money back – no questions asked and no hoops to jump through.

What Happens Next

Your The Business Framework experience starts immediately, once you click the “Enroll Now” button. Click the button above and you’ll be taken to our secure checkout.

After your registration is complete, I’ll send you an email receipt. Then, I’ll send your login information for the online course portal to the email address you provided during registration. Your two sign-up bonuses will be immediately available on the online course portal.

If you’re one of the first 24 to register, I’ll send you an email welcoming you to the Mastermind Group and giving you the schedule for the sessions.

Still have a few questions? Check out the FAQs below. If you still have a question or two, contact me at mchirveno@clearvision.consulting.

Frequently Asked Questions

That’s no problem. Session recordings will be uploaded to the course portal and available for replay about 24 hours after the original session is over.

Absolutely. In fact, this is a great time to think about what you want the culture, infrastructure and processes of your business to look like. You’ll most likely save yourself some time and money by not making some of the common mistakes that new owners make.

If you attend the first two sessions and do the homework and aren’t 100% satisfied with what you’ve heard and seen, send us an email and we’ll send your money back – no questions asked and no hoops to jump through.

Any strides you make in being deliberate about making your business healthy are never a waste. You’ll have access to the course portal for one year after the class begins, so you can catch up or work at your own speed.

I know you’re busy. I’ve tried to be very respectful of your time across the entire course. Each course video is about one hour. The Q & A Coaching Sessions will be about one hour. The homework will focus on the highest impact takeaways from the video session and should take you about an hour. However, don’t confuse the homework with the resources available with each module. Those are tools you can use as you rollout the Business Framework to your team. You can use as many or as few as you want. Some of them are quite detailed and might take hours to work through with your team.

One module will be opened each week. As soon as the course video for that week debuts, all content for that topic will be available. The seventh bonus video will be available after week 6.

I hope you’ll join me at your computer, tablet or phone for six business-transforming sessions. The discipline to work ON your business and not just IN it is rare. Only those owners and managers who see, simultaneously – 

  • the tremendous upside of being deliberate about organizational health and growth and
  • the peril of being continuously consumed only with day-to-day operations

make the commitment.

I look forward to making this journey with you.

Mike