If you’ve been stuck in the grind for a while, it’s time to take stock and assess if business growth is actually what your company is geared for. When you’re busting your gut to break through to the next level, business ownership can feel chaotic. Results that came quickly in the early days are harder to come by. You begin to wonder if success if further away than you thought.
It’s no secret that you’ve got to hustle to get a new venture off the ground. In start-up phase, entrepreneurs are known for their crazy hours. We wear sleep deprivation like a badge of honour. However, this intense period does not go on indefinitely. If you are a few years into your business and still regularly working extreme hours, something has definitely gone amiss.
There are many reasons why business owners continue to work punishing hours, but here are the three most common.
There are many reasons why employees leave a business, but if the best people won’t stick around, it’s a clear sign that things aren’t going well.
How many times have you met a website developer who’s target market is ‘anyone who needs a website’? A Dentist who helps ‘anyone with teeth’? An accountant who’s trying to help ‘anyone in business’?
Even with a flame-thrower, you cannot boil the ocean. Businesses that are going places know who their ideal customer is and exactly what problems they solve for them. Rather than marketing to everyone, focus in on the segment of the market you serve best and leave everybody else to your competitors.
When business owners feels overwhelmed and overworked, things are often done because it’s ‘just easier’ to do it that way.
For example, it takes time, effort and costs productivity to train a new employee on how to invoice a client. However, it’s something that ‘only takes me five minutes’, so rather than train the new employee and risk errors, you continue to do it yourself. But it’s consistently doing what’s easiest that prevents your business from growing.
If you have no vision for where you want to go and why you want to go there, you’ll continue to choose what’s easiest, rather than what’s necessary to achieve sustainable business growth and the daily grind will ultimately wear you down.
Innovation. Disruption. Could there have been two more over-used words of 2016?
Change is important and necessary for business growth. Change for the sake of change, or changing constantly to in the hope that something will eventually take off, is the formula to get nowhere, fast. New ideas must have their foundations in reality. They need to be evaluated in terms of what they will bring to the company and how the opportunity aligns to the overall vision for the business.
This is the number one reason companies fail to grow. It’s the rotten core. Without a clear vision for where you’re going, why it’s important you get there and the precise actions needed to achieve your goals, your results this year will end up pretty much the same as last year.
If you’ve been stuck in the grind of growing your business, clear a space in your calendar. Start with just a couple of one hour sessions each week. Make time to clearly assess what’s actually driving business growth and what’s holding your business back. Knowledge will empower you to address the challenges head-on and tackle them like a pro.
What does it take to actually remove yourself from the day-to-day grind of business? Learn from our panel of Business Owners who've Been There, Done That.