- After all, everything costs more each year so we need more income.
- Our desires increase so we need more revenue.
- And most of us just want MORE because we want more.
But do you know the 3 things that may be preventing your business from growing?
A Tale of Lost Vision
Once upon a time there was a business that had enjoyed a steady growth each year. They had more clients and made more and more money each year. They began to focus on new markets and they succeeded more. They took some shortcuts and cut some corners and made even more money.
And then one day the market changed.
And when it changed they discovered that their shortcuts and sloppy service reduced their competitiveness. They discovered that their lack of investment in staff and the loss of the vision by the General Manager and the Director, meant their staff generally just wanted to do as little as possible to collect their pay check each week.
And after 20 years in business, the business limped to its demise. From a successful small business it suddenly was no more. It’s assets were stripped and it faded into “has been land”.
Another Tale of Lost Focus
There was a brilliant man who developed a camera back in 1888 which changed the way we capture images forever. As a result of this invention a company was born and grew and grew and grew.
The company grew in areas that were not related to film and cameras. It purchased several companies totally unrelated to image and films.
Then the market made a shift to digital and the company no longer was the innovator but found itself running hard to catch up with the changes in image capture and storage.
And last year, this 110+ year old company declared bankruptcy. It stopped because it stopped focusing on the needs of its original clientelle.
A Tale of Shiny Object Syndrome
This tale is about a self employed person who keeps looking at the next shiny object to solve their problem. They have spent hundreds (thousands) of dollars on products, training, software packages and dozens of other different tools to build a business. They have downloaded hundreds of eBooks, whitepapers and other educational material.
Of the materials and resources and contact people they have met, they have NEVER completed any program to implementation.
On any given day, three or four new promises are presented to them and at least once a week, they buy the next object.
They have done hours of training, have certificates for completing training but what they never seem to complete is implementing it into their business and then looking at how the next shiny object will enhance their business.
They keep looking for the shortcut, the answer to a prayer that will magically flip the switch and make the money flow. They know what to do. They advise others what to do but they FAIL to do it themselves.
And as a result, they survive and persist but they never thrive and grow. And while most of the time they have fun. the financial burden can become wearisome and holiday time never mind sick time, just never happens for them.
What Stops Growth?
- People without vision, passion and purpose. People who lose their way and forget what buyer needs they are meeting.
- People who forget to focus on what they do well. People who think of the business growth rather than their buyer needs and the market changes as technology changes the way needs are met.
- People who look at the shiny object or the next quick fix. Growth is slowed radically when you are constantly looking for the next solution and never fully implement or follow through on the most recent. A good mentor or coach can help you chose the right path and stick to it. But the challenge for many business people is to have the flexibility to consider new ways with the discipline to implement their strategy and plans and meet their current target market‘s needs fully.
While there are more things stopping growth, these three are often the keys.
To grow you business you need to:
- Keep your vision and purpose alive. Fuel your passion to meet the needs of your clients and the community you work in.
- Keep focused on the needs of the people you serve. And remember their needs keep changing so be agile but focused.
- Implement one thing at a time. And listen to the people you hire to support you. Ask them questions. Challenge their thinking and together you can both grow. But first implement and incorporate the whole. Do one thing well instead of 10 things poorly.
Grow, turn your ideas into $$$$s and always have some fun, earn some funds and stay fit, agile and alert. Life is lived on purpose and today is the one that really counts so make it a good one.
To your success
Sometimes professional advisors really fail to understand the real world of small business.
A client of mine was advised by a financial person the other day that since their business had not earned any profit in 18 months (the length of time the business had existed) the main contractor should get a job.
Now this business has no debt. It had invoices out for more than its monthly payments and jobs in his area of specialty were scarce. So getting a job, if he could, would be a challenge. Meanwhile, if he takes his eye off current and future contracts to look for a job, the family would be in dire straights.
Profit and cashflow are 2 different things. Profit is a bookkeeping total whereas cashflow is the flow of money in and out or the business. Many businesses have good profit but poor cashflow. They have high debt that prohibits growth and yet they are profitable.
So if your financial advisors are telling you to get a job because you have no profit, look at these things before you make the move.
- Is your cashflow positive or negative?
- Does your debts and operating expenses allow you to pay yourself a wage?
- Do you have any work coming up that you are sure to get?
- Are there any job vacancies in your field or are people being made redundant and losing their jobs?
- Is there contract work out there, if only you could find it?
Having a job is lovely as it guarantees a steady income. But does it really guarantee your future?
EVERY employer can restructure and you can find yourself out of a job. EVERY employer can be sold, have the owner die or have some physical disaster happen that closes it down overnight.
If we taught every child to read, write, do arithmetic and be responsible for contracting their physical energy and mental acumen to others who need that service, the world would be in better shape.
If we paid out only what we earned minus 10% then we would reduce stress, sickness and financial problems. In other words, we lived within our income.
Profit is a great measure of a successful business but only contribution and the ability to pay debts and manage growth, truly indicate a successful business that meets the needs of its clients, owners and the community.
Today commit to your financial management to managing cashflow rather than profit.
Has anyone ever told you to get a job? In the comments below share what you did? Oh and please share this blog with others. Thank you.
To your success.
In Business there are many different opinions about what makes a business successful. In this post, I want you to consider just 7 things to determine the success of your business.
Remember that a successful business meets three needs
- your needs and the needs of your staff. This means money and satisfaction.
- The needs of your buyers and suppliers. Your product or service satisfies your clients
- The needs of the community in which you operate. You comply and pay your way and the community is better off for you being there.
Remember that money and time are interchangeable. Money buys you time and time earns you money. Life is a journey and it is important to live for today. You need to work every day in a way that keeps you passionate and excited about what it is your are doing. If you look at many “rich” business people they keep very busy doing either business or helping others do business better.
Retirement was originally meant as a reward for the few that lived to retirement age. As populations increase, there is a growing need for people to take care of themselves until they die. The measure of success is to ENJOY and find pleasure in everything that you do. And along with that comes taking responsibility for your health and well-being for as long as you live. If you own your own business, you decide when and how to retire but having a good succession plan can matter, especially when you no longer have the patience or passion to put up with people.
You can live in the “I” world or the “we” world. When you live in the we world you give more people Acknowledgement, Appreciation and Acceptance. These three gifts enable more people to achieve their goals, express their talents and reach their potential. And you also receive more acknowledgement, acceptance and appreciation and that raises your well being instead of your ill being
Measurement is important but what really counts at the end of the day is the quality of the man and the woman. Are you trustworthy? Do you keep your word and deliver your best every day? Do you listen to the needs of others? And more importantly, at the end of the day do you feel that today was the best day of your life and you made a difference by being in business.
Compliance with the laws, mores and customs may be a pain but while they can change over time, the cost of non-compliance is y high in the long run. And when you break the rules, you break trust.
Business is about peole. People make businesses work. People buy from businesses. People consume other products and keep the cycle of money going round. People are what we touch just as we touch people. Always treat others as you would want them to treat you.
And as a final reminder – Have fun, earn funds and keep fit.
To your future
stood out for me was
“Behind every call, behind every lead, behind every opt in and email that we have the privilege of serving is a life.”
In business it is about the numbers but those numbers always relate to something happening with people. Every transaction is based on one person giving another person something that they want. The exchange, whether in goods, service, money, an address, or a comment is based on the exchange.
You always need to watch the numbers in business but if you take care of people, the numbers should take care of themselves.
And yes, sometimes you can give more than you get in the short run.
It can be a challenge taking care of the numbers but without doing the accounting or keeping track of the expenses and the outcomes, you can lose control.
- You need to know the costs you must cover with your sales to stay in business. These are broken into 2 main categories:
Costs to have something to sell (production costs – goods and labour)
Costs to keep the operation going (rent, phone, internet, transportation, taxes, etc.)
- You need to track that the money owing and owed is collected and paid
- You need to track your time, especially the time you promised to deliver in.
- You need to plan the actual ability to deliver. Without extra manpower you have only so many hours in any day to work.
- You need to monitor the time you spend doing a job to the number of hours you spend finding the next job.
Most people dislike numbers because they would rather just get on with their job. They believe that numbers complicate their job but…
- A chef uses numbers to figure out quantity needed to put quantity of goods on a plate at a price to serve to a client
- A fashion designer needs to work with the number of meters of fabric, notions and other bits that goes into a creation that will sell for a price
- A trades person works out the parts and the hours to quote to fix something.
- A manufacturer works out the the quantity of raw materials and labour they will need to produce the items to sell
- A retailer figures out the number of items they will sell and looks at things like size and colour too.
Stop doing business when you can no longer afford to make mistakes.
Stop being in business when you can no longer meet your buyer‘s needs.
Stop trying to get everyone to agree with you because difference helps you find new opportunities
Stop saying the same thing if by doing so, you are failing to get your message across.
Stop spending money on the next bright shiny object and use the tools you already have.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, so stop doing what you are doing if you want a different result. Oh and if you do something different then expect a different result. That is idiocity.
Think of some examples. What happened to Barnes and Noble? What happened at Enron? What happened to Leyman Brothers?
As business people we can get it wrong. As business people we can only ever do our best to meet our clients needs.
So stop trying to rip your clients off.
Stop trying to fool your potential buyers. Your buyers may be fooled once. You can even fool them twice but eventually they will either run out of money to buy or they will wise up and realise that you are taking advantage of them and offering no value.
If you doubt that, just look at the backlash now to the cigarette companies, the soft drink manufacturers and the fast food outlets.
People learn. Are people really looking for the new or do they keep trying something new because nothing works as promised?
Stop following when you no longer can suffer being lied to by politicians, by professionals, by the powers that be.
Stop accepting second best.
Stop listening to others when your heart and soul says that what you are hearing, seeing or being advised makes no sense.
You need to be in control and take responsibility for your thoughts and actions.
Today make a commitment to stop doing what is not working and just go do your best and be your best.
Stop looking for who will buy and look for who you can help.
Stop looking to get things perfect and find someone who needs your imperfection and for whom you can make a difference.
Stop today and remember why you started your business. Return to your why, your vision and then recommit to the delivery of that.