We see businesses struggle every day. Some businesses struggle with managing growth while others battle falling profits. These issues are blamed on “the economy” or “the difficulty of finding good staff.” Often the problem an overwhelmed business owner blames his or her troubles on is completely out of their control. This blame game doesn’t get one anywhere.
Instead of worrying about the economy or difficult employees, take a step back and focus on the overall picture. What should your company look like? What does the company you are trying to build look like in the future – once it becomes wildly successful?
Many business owners have a vague idea of the end game. They may have visions of diving into giant bank vaults of money – a la Scrooge McDuck, or perhaps they can’t imagine a business larger than their own. Instead of trying to imagine the perfect business, try observing a business that has already attained the success you seek.
Let’s say you are the owner of a bed and breakfast in Northern California’s wine country. The first thought you might have is “I must set myself apart from other B&B’s” and that’s fine. But even before you can do that, take a look at what the wildly successful places are doing. Perhaps they have a five star chef cooking breakfast, maybe they use the best mattresses in the business, and their staff is kind and polite. These all add up to the ideal place to stay in Northern California.
Now that you have seen what others are doing, you can envision the perfect model of your own business. In the case of the bed and breakfast, this could be that you have a relaxing, calm place for guests to stay in between their excursions into wine country. You can make a list of all of the things and people that detract from this optimal business model and all of the things that advance it. From there, you will easily discover what is holding your business back.
Let us take another example. Say you have a product-based business like a bookstore that lives both online and at a storefront. Perhaps, after the holidays, business has slowed down considerably. Instead of saying “well, that’s the holidays for you” and hoping everything turns out okay, take a look at a wildly successful bookstore. Perhaps their marketing is extremely targeted, they have a user friendly website and their staff loves books and is excited to talk about them. Then take a look at your own store. Is your marketing campaign reaching readers in your area? Do you have a great staff? Are your bookstore and website easy to browse? These are all things that you can fix!
So, don’t ever let someone tell you that business is slow “because the economy is down” or “you’ll just have to wait until next Black Friday to get out of the red.” Understand what your optimal business looks like and compare that to your business in its current state. You will be able to see what you need to do to create a successful, thriving business.
If you need assistance, remember, we’re here to help you grow your business. Contact us today for a free evaluation.