Some days it feels as though for every step you take forward you take three steps back: you finally make a meeting with an important contact that gets cancelled last minute. You signed a big contract but now it means devoting your weekends too. You are about to launch a promotion when your competitor gets to it first. You’re racing against the clock, against your competition and, most days, against yourself. Should business really be this tough? Below is why you see your business as a race, how to stop and what strategies you can put in place to make things just a bit easier.
The “When I Was Your Age Syndrome”. For those of us lucky enough to run our own businesses we know exactly what the stakes are. We are told that only 1 in 3 businesses survive their first year and even less come to see their third. We are then firmly told all the obstacles we must jump through in order to avoid bankruptcy: bad employees, fraudulent clients, endless content creation, strong social media interactions, a cash trickle, expensive marketing, needing a stand out brand, timely customer service, flexibility in schedules, delivery beyond expectations, ineffective invoicing and non-current accounting books among many others. And, we are constantly compared to other businesses around us to see where we “measure” within the industry. So, how could you not view your business as a race when it has systematically been showcased as one from the very beginning?
Is it still a race if you’re not running? And yes, slow and steady do always win the race. The ugly truth is that there is always someone doing it better or for cheaper or with more experience than you and we, therefore, endlessly fall back into a competition of measuring the superficial. The trick is to think of business like one of those hanging bridges in Indiana Jones; no matter what don’t look down! As much as it’s important to be current with your industries innovations sometimes the secret to success is to run with one eye blind. If you spend too much time comparing yourself to everyone else you’ll soon experience the same feeling as Facebook stalking your Ex: depressed and frustrated. That’s because you are seeing things from the outside where everything always looks shiny and new. So instead, try spending a little less attention to your competition and a little more to what YOU think your next business move should be.
There is no ‘I’ in ‘Team’. Corny, but true. Other than staff, there are systems you can put in place in order to reduce your stress & workload and increase the amount of time you have to go after new business. One of the most common problems business owners face is the inability to accommodate new business even if it were to walk through the door. So, don’t let this be your challenge. Start documenting the way in which you work with clients so that eventually you can train other people to do it also. Seeing your business through a wider lens and getting ready for the day where you alone won’t be able to manage all your clients is what will ensure success when your business begins to grow. If, you already have employees, then documenting exactly how staff members are to complete their jobs will reinforce consistency, quality of work and your core business values.
Do you see your business as a race? Let us know below or email us at email@example.com.