You started your business with dreams of serious impact, financial freedom, and success. So why are you struggling month to month, bogged down in the daily grind, and constantly feeling like you’re running around with your head on fire? We know owning a business is not for the faint of heart, but does it really have to be this hard?
So many business owners were incredible at what they did before opening their business – the hairstylist who opens a salon, the chiropractor that opens their own practice, or the mechanic that opens their own shop. This seems like the natural progression. You are excellent at what you do and want to call your own shots. So why has it been such a struggle?
The good news and bad news is, we are often the issue. This can be hard to hear, but it means we have the power and ability to make the changes needed to get things on track and build the thriving business we dreamed of! If you are prepared to get brave and dig in, I can walk you through three tips to figure out what might be blocking your business from success. We will walk through how to determine what’s missing in your business, the importance of building sustainable systems, and how to shift from technician to entrepreneur.
The first tip in figuring out why your business isn’t taking off is figuring out what’s missing. Now, I know this seems obvious, but it is so important to spend some time here. This requires you to step outside of your business and look at it as a whole to determine what isn’t working. This can be especially difficult when you are deep in the trenches running every aspect of your business. You have blinders on and are just trying to stay focused on the never-ending to-do list each day.
The best approach to this is to find someone you trust that doesn’t know much about your business and explain to them everything you do. Have them ask probing questions about your processes and dig into exactly how you are running your business. This forces you to break everything down to the most basic form and for you to see exactly what roles you are and are not filling in your business. You’ll be amazed at how quickly the holes start to appear! Keep asking yourself, “What’s missing?” Once you have an idea of what’s missing you can start to make the necessary changes to get back on track.
What you will often find missing are systems. Most new business owners just piece together tasks as they come up throughout the day, week, month, year. And this works in the beginning, for the most part. Then your business starts to grow and you still don’t have any clear process or system in place to make sure your operation is running smoothly. And this becomes a huge drain on energy and resources because nothing is repeatable or scalable.
Intentionally creating systems by which your business is managed and run will be the difference between failure and success. Great systems don’t happen by accident. They are created on purpose and in line with the vision you have for your business. This means you have a system in place for lead generation, sales, customer service, order processing and fulfillment, etc. It may feel like you have no time to sit down and figure this out, but this is exactly what you need to reclaim your time and focus on actually growing your business instead of feeling like you have to constantly have your hand on everything to prevent it from falling apart.
Set aside a few days to focus solely on process review and creation. You might have some processes in place that actually work well, or just need a little bit of tweaking. Or you might realize that you have almost nothing in place and need to start from scratch. Schedule this time in your calendar and commit to focusing on this until you have a process in place for every aspect of your business. Once they are in place, you will have a sustainable business that manages itself!
Technician vs. Entrepreneur
This last tip is an important mindset shift you have to make to succeed in business. You must shift from being a technician to being an entrepreneur and business owner. Being an excellent technician means you have mastered very specific skills needed to succeed in your industry – so, a hairstylist is skilled as a hairstylist, a mechanic is skilled as a mechanic, and a chiropractor is skilled as a chiropractor. This is wonderful and helped you rise to the top of your field and be successful. So it feels natural that you would be skilled as a business owner in that same industry, right? The problem is that you have not intentionally changed your mindset to step into your new role as an entrepreneur.
Some of your technical skills might translate to building a successful business, and your knowledge of the industry can give you an upper hand, but you must dedicate time, resources, and energy to building skills and knowledge as an entrepreneur. Your role now should be first building a sustainable business, and then focusing on growing your business.
Stepping outside of your business to evaluate what’s missing, whether you have effective processes in place, and whether you have transitioned from technician to entrepreneur and business owner can be scary and overwhelming at first. But if you are feeling overwhelmed and your business is struggling to truly thrive, you have intentionally set aside time to evaluate and build something that aligns with your original dream, vision, purpose, and mission. This is what will set you apart and help ensure you have a business that not only survives the early years but develops and grows into something sustainable in the long run.