Every EOS® Step, Explained

Learn the six steps of the Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS) and how to use them when planning for business growth

The Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) is used by founders and businesses to improve processes and set up a successful path to long-term growth. The concepts and tools presented in EOS help teams become more aligned and enable a company to identify and harness its strengths and weaknesses. 

EOS can be broken down into six key steps: vision, people, data, issues, processes, and traction. Here’s what you need to know about how they play out in practice. 

 1. Vision

Part of creating a successful growth plan is making sure all team members are on the same page. By defining a clear vision—a statement that aligns your company’s mission, core values, purpose, and goals—and communicating it across your company, your people will come together to work toward shared objectives. 

Start by assessing your organization:

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What makes you unique?
  • What are your problem areas?
  • What are your long-term goals? 
  • Who do you serve, and why?

Asking these questions will help you nail down your purpose and vision and put it into words. 

 2. People

Of course, you won’t get anywhere without the right people behind your brand. Make sure you’re surrounding yourself with individuals who will help you fulfill your vision. They need to be driven, capable, and passionate about what your company is doing.

Start with your recruiting process. Create screening questions and interview topics that show you not only a person’s qualifications and experience but their commitment to the same concepts that your company is all about. Focus on more of a culture-fit interview style when hiring, and less on a strict resume review. 

Paying closer attention to the people you bring on board will help you create teams that align on goals and values, and employees will be more likely to stick around. Use the EOS People Analyzer to identify if someone will fit in with your culture and be the right person in the right seat.

 3. Data

It’s not enough to hire the right people who all follow the same vision and core values. To grow and improve the business, you need to analyze real numbers that gauge your efforts’ success. Using data to drive your decisions, you can avoid guesswork and use facts to keep moving forward. 

Understand the numbers behind the business by putting data-gathering and analytics processes in place. You can view areas of weakness, such as slow response times or low sales numbers during certain times of the month. This gives you the power to address the problem where it starts and opens up opportunities for remedies like further training and process improvement.

 4. Issues

Success can’t happen without failure. Along your journey, and you and your team will face obstacles and challenges. There’s no avoiding it. But if you recognize this now, you can create plans for problem-solving that will help you get through those tougher times. 

Start by accepting these issues, instead of denying their existence. Embrace the mindset that you can learn from mistakes. Instead of punishing someone who takes a misstep, present the situation as a learning opportunity that everyone can benefit from.

 5. Process

Your day-to-day workflows drive results, and all systems should all be geared toward the same goals. Identify your core processes—those that directly impact outcomes and keep the business running. Ensure that your processes are consistent and robust, as this is the only way you’ll be able to scale.

People involved in each process should know their role in both the specific procedure and where that role fits into the overall business. This gives them a sense of purpose, both on a granular level and a big-picture scale. 

 6. Traction

Don’t get caught up in a lofty vision for your brand without evaluating how you’ll get there. Create traction by making your goals a reality with small steps that lead to substantial outcomes and successes. 

Creating traction starts with implementing practices for accountability and discipline into all of your teams. Stress efficiency and cut out tasks or processes that don’t serve your objective. Traction is about executing daily goals and operational tasks that lead to faster and continuous forward movement.

The benefits of mastering the six EOS steps

When you’re able to take these steps—fully implementing the EOS principles—your business sees the following benefits:

  • Use a holistic model that strengthens the entire business, not just one aspect or department.
  • Get to the root of your problems to better address them—permanently.
  • Apply essential tools and concepts that you can use for years to come.
  • Foster focus, discipline, and accountability across your teams.
  • Assess and identify what’s most important about your company. 
  • Create better goals using actual numbers that define business performance. 
  • Improve productivity and work quality by delegating the right tasks.
  • Experience consistent growth and increased revenue.

At Provident CPA & Business Advisors, we help small businesses master the concepts and tools in EOS. We start the process with a free 90-minute meeting, which helps us understand your organization and customize the system to your company. Contact Provident to learn more about our growth and profit improvement services. 

The Fine Art of Estate Equalization

Crafting an estate plan that satisfies all of your heirs can be challenging. An unequal estate could mean that your legacy is compromised, especially if you own a business. Consider every angle in advance for the fairest outcome.

One of the trickiest components of estate planning can be knowing how to divide assets among beneficiaries.

It’s wise to revisit your estate plan to ensure equalization. It’s not enough to focus on tax implications, especially if you have a large estate or a business to pass down the line. While creating a truly equal inheritance plan can be challenging—especially when only certain heirs can perform specific responsibilities for your estate or business—an approach like utilizing life insurance could be the answer.

What is estate equalization?

Estate equalization does not necessarily mean that all heirs receive the same amount of money or proportion of assets after you’re gone. It means that the value of what they receive after you die is equitable and equal in value.

Value can mean different things to different heirs. For example, some family members may care more about a property or possession for its emotional worth, not its monetary value. Of course, these values and priorities can be hard to measure, making it even more challenging to create an equal and fair estate plan.

Equalizing a business legacy with life insurance

If you run a business and hope that it continues in the family for generations to come, there are some special considerations when estate planning. The fact is, some of your heirs may not always want to be part of the company. When you are gone, it’s not as simple as dividing up what the business is worth. It is not a liquid asset.

You first need to create a succession plan that outlines who will take over and what roles and responsibilities other heirs will (or won’t) have.

When it comes to estate planning, you may think that your two options would be to leave the business to all heirs equally or leave it only to the children capable of running it. But these two options are not always equitable.

If specific children or family members are involved in your business, and others aren’t, one solution is creating equalization via life insurance. This means setting up a plan so that the heirs involved in the company will get equity passed down to them. Heirs who are not will be able to receive the same value of inheritance from life insurance benefits, as well as assets unrelated to the business.

It’s a delicate combination that must be planned with care, mainly because the non-business liquid assets will be unequally distributed to make up for the business inheritance.

Without ensuring that the inheritance plan is equal and fair, your legacy—and the future of the business you’ve created—will be uncertain. It’s crucial to plan ahead.

Primary goals are to protect the business after you’re gone with the right leadership and ensure your family members will not end up in conflict with each other.

Creating an estate equalization plan

These matters can be complicated and emotional. You may decide to involve your children or other family members in the planning process to understand their commitment to the business or the sentimental value of a particular property. To ensure that your family can peacefully uphold your legacy after you’re gone, it’s wise to understand their priorities and goals. You can then start understanding how to balance liquid and illiquid assets.

Other considerations are related to avoiding a significant tax burden for your family when you pass away. The professionals at Provident CPA and Business Advisors can help with the tax aspects of estate planning.

Contact the Provident team to learn more.