Last December I was frustrated. I was working hard but things didn’t seem to be happening. I felt as if my work world was standing still. I was accomplishing things but it couldn’t feel the progress that I wanted to make. Recently I ran across a list of items that could be holding me back. They may also be holding you back as well.
Not enough cash to invest? Some businesses need more cash than others. If this is holding you back you can borrow, find additional investors or shift focus on a revenue stream that doesn’t require cash. It’s always good to have multiple revenue streams for your business and for your personal finances.
Your clients or customers? They don’t appreciate you, can’t afford to pay you, are very demanding or are never satisfied. Why did you choose them in the first place? Your business is only as healthy as your customer base. Start firing customers, raising fees, setting expectations and consequences if your expectations are not met. Review your marketing and sales efforts and focus on your ideal client base – those that value what you provide and can afford and are willing to pay you a fair price.
Your staff? Having the Wrong mix of skills on staff is like shooting yourself in the foot. Take a step back and define what skill set you need. What is each position accountable for? Can you realign current staff? Do you need additional training? Do you need to change the services offered by the business to fully utilize the skill set that you do have?
Did you lose the reason why you are in business? An emotional commitment or passion can help us through the challenging times. By finding or going back to the original reason why you chose this business or job you can fight through the challenging times.
No growth? You either grow or die. However there are times in which holding steady may be the best course for the short term. No growth may be a symptom of one of the other items that could be holding you back.
Not enough profits to reinvest? A business needs profits to survive and grow. Make sure you are selling at a minimum over direct costs. Then make sure you manage and cover your overhead. It is also essential that the business makes enough to pay the owners a fair wage. If all three of these elements are not addressed, time will catch up and the business will close. Possibly bringing you down.
Lack of business success? It may be too early to see the results. Your efforts may not be clearly focused. It may be time to reevaluate your situation with someone from the outside.
Lack of leadership? Everyone is doing their own thing. No one is being held accountable. The good people leave – they are not sure why they are even there. Good clients leave due to lack of consistent products or services. No one is taking charge. Find your reason why and then start correcting the situation.
Carrying dead weight? Many times we do not make the hard decisions to fire a client, an employee or a vendor. We may even continue to offer services and products that do not advance the business. We either don’t set standards or they continue to fall short. Time to release the dead weight.
Can’t decide? Not making a decision is making a decision. You decide to let someone else or something else decide your fate. You may become overwhelmed with the choices or waiting for the perfect choice to show up. It is time to create a long term vision. If you know where you are going it is easier to decide which steps to take to get there.
A business is a living entity. It is constantly changing. Sometimes we are too close to see what it needs. I did get out of my funk. Most of it was having patience and faith. I went back to my why and realigned my daily actions with my long term vision. I feel as if I am back on track.
Everyone has a different perspective. If you are stuck and not sure why or how- check with your management team, your mentor, your banker, or your accountant. We create the life we lead. Are you living the one that you want?