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The Business Hierarchy of Needs

The Business Hierarchy of Needs

Are you familiar with the Business Hierarchy of Needs? I’ve been thinking a lot about the host of new post-pandemic businesses starting up. These entrepreneurs are representing underserved communities and new markets. It is a new age of business. Today’s entrepreneurs are focusing more than ever on sustainability, diversity, equity and inclusion, and mental health awareness and care. There are so many exciting and powerful changes headed our way! I cannot wait to see what this innovative crop of new entrepreneurs brings to the marketplace to help this become a more inclusive, co-existing world.

One thing I have observed, however, is that in efforts to rush toward the greater good, we might be overlooking some business fundamentals. With all these fantastic new ideas brewing and new business owners stepping up, we can’t forget the importance of back-to-basics business building blocks.   

The Business Hierarchy of Needs 

Queue the Fix This Next Business Hierarchy of Needs (BHN). This tool helps us, as business owners, understand and identify foundational changes that need to take place within our operations so we can build longevity and legacy into our business. Let me explain more about how it works. The Business Hierarchy of Needs provides a roadmap to reference as we set a strategic direction for the business. The Fix This Next approach recognizes that, unless we address the foundational needs in our businesses, we cannot continue to grow. We must follow a sequence as we work toward lasting impact and legacy. If we ignore the weakest link in our business processes, the link will continue to weaken and eventually break. The Business Hierarchy of Needs helps us identify the weakest link in the business. Then, we can follow the sequence toward business stability and legacy.    


The foundation of a business is centered on Sales. Where there are sales, cash is created.  A business without sales and cash is merely an idea or a hobby. If no one is willing to pay for your product or service, then it is purely something that you do to pass the time, and you are going to have to fund that thing yourself. While both a business and a hobby can be built on passion and purpose, the difference between a business and a hobby is the creation of cash via sales. Without sales, there is no foundation for business. That’s why sales is at the foundation of the hierarchy.


The next step in the Business Hierarchy of Needs is the creation of stability through profit. Profit is a requirement for any business owner hoping to expand their impact and legacy. If you have a passionate ideology that requires outreach to impact people, then you better have profit in order to get the word out. If you sing out your best ideas in the shower with no one to hear them, how can you claim your stake in those ideas? You cannot build a movement without funding or profit.


After you have secured Sales and Profit, the next step is to create efficiency. The goal is to streamline the volume of people who can hear your message – and in turn, buy your product or service. If your products or services are over-customized and every job is a work of art, you’re not able to share your craft with the world. Each job takes too long to customize. You cannot reach people in bulk because the product is individualized and your processes are not repeatable. One must have order if they wish to reach out beyond their local market. This is why we encourage new business owners to build packages. They have a repeatable process to sell, and the deliverables from one client to the next are uniform and sustainable. This allows them to sell more and have a clear value proposition.

Getting vs. Giving

These are all examples of “Get” Philosophies. We have to “Get” in efforts to “Give”. In order to feed the hungry, we must get food to prepare. In order to save a pet via pet adoption, you must have a supply of pets up for adoption. The “get” in the BHN means that you have accumulated cash, built a profit, and set up order in your business so that it is repeatable. I often see new business owners want to “give” before they “get”. They are looking for ways to feed the hungry when their business’s needs have not yet been fully met.

There are many problems with giving when you have not been doing enough getting. One problem with giving first is that you have not established the foundation for the business to be healthy and sustainable before trying to give a portion of it away. No matter how powerful your purpose, you cannot give what you do not possess. Additionally, if our own needs for comfort, food, and shelter are not met, we act from a position of fear. We cannot give comfortably until we have secured our own safety and sustainability first. Sometimes business owners I work with find it selfish to think of themselves first. I would argue that it is selfish to try to give without being adequately prepared.


Those of you who have been a part of our community of entrepreneurs for a while know that the conflict in Ukraine has impacted our small business. Our own Operations Manager, Tatyana Shamarina, has struggled with the uncertainty of the safety and security of her immediate family and friends in Kyiv. We have been able to give substantially to support Ukrainian causes recently because we created stability in sales, profit, and order. This enabled us to give in a way that we would not have been able to before. Because we had set ourselves up to get sustainably, we were able to give more effectively than we had in the past.

As a result of getting, your business is set up for giving through the establishment of transformation, or growing impact. We’ve recently seen both colleagues and clients of Reconciled Solutions doing amazing things with establishing impact. Ernestina Perez from Latinx Talk Therapy is helping to destigmatize mental health care in the Latinx community. Marie Hale from fwdrEvolution is addressing the feminine and diversity recession by providing professional education & certifications, reskilling & upskilling for folks who are struggling to find flexible work options during the pandemic. Do you know some small businesses that are establishing an impact with their products? My landscaper, Vince DeSimone of DeSimone Landscaping, established a lasting impact by creating a quiet oasis in my backyard. Thank you, Vince! Your great landscaping has made a significant impact on my life by giving me a place of respite.


The final stage in the Business Hierarchy of Needs is that of Legacy. Legacy is a form of Giving that has gone beyond one person to create permanence. At Reconciled Solutions, our hope is to create permanently profitable, sustainable businesses. We work with businesses that are stressed by a lack of sales, profit, and order. Our business owners want to create peace of mind personally. They know that their business efforts have created “enough sustainability” to where they are not fearful of being out of food, shelter, and comfort.

Once we successfully work with a business owner to create sustainability and profitability in their business, they will never unlearn those skills. From there forward, they are able to sleep better at night. By creating permanence, they can invite more significant impact and ideas into the lives of clients and employees. With a little grace, we have contributed to permanence in our clients’ and employees’ lives; something that will live beyond what we touch. Hopefully, we can even pay it forward to the next person who owns a business or mentors a younger “student of entrepreneurship”.

Which stage is your business in? Take the assessment.

Is your business set up for sustainability and legacy, or are you still struggling with some of the foundational needs of the Business Hierarchy of Needs? Do you know there is a lot to do in your business, but you’re not sure how to assess what has to happen first? Take our Free Fix This Next Assessment to identify which stage of the Business Hierarchy of Needs your business needs help with most. Building a strong foundation allows you to move up in the hierarchy and focus your efforts on Impact and Legacy. You and your business should have an impact that is not only profitable, but also sustainable. Join the conversation! Let’s talk about how to use this BHN to create permanence in this environment of constant change.


Special offer!
Most business owners have biases toward what they think their problem is.
This can be solved with a Fix This Next Assessment.
We’ll help you see the forest through the trees and get your arms around the current and greatest vital need of your business.

This tool normally costs $999, but is available at only $499 for a limited time.

Click here to get started. Once you take the free assessment, we’ll reach out to go through your results.

Angie Noll