I’ve come across more than usual of these Think Big audios, interviews and seminars recently and, though there has been the usual crop of navel gazing, verging on the woo-woo, of Why are you here? What are the X number of things that define Your Big Life, what Breakthrough do you want Right Now? and so on, there were also some really good observations on ways we might be holding back and un- or subconsciously sabotaging our business growth efforts.
And the good thing about that is, once we’re aware of what they are and dispassionately identify whether they apply to us, we can do something about them… If you’re anything like me, you might want to ask someone you trust to ‘give it to you straight’ if you’re not sure about any of your answers
This is the space between you are and where you want the business to be. Since we know that no business can stand still, it has to progress or go backwards until it eventually meets its demise, let’s say there’s at least some room for improvement and bring on any hints, tips and practices that would help! Let’s remember that, even in good times there are many reasons why you may lose custom through no fault of your own. In bad times they’re likely to be magnified:
- A project you’ve geared up resources to work on progresses so far then gets indefinitely halted
- A contract that you’ve had for several years suddenly isn’t renewed
- Customer company/individual moves away
- Customer company merges or is taken over
- Customer company/individual moves to a competitor with a superior/cheaper/more suitable product, service or solution
- Customer company/individual needs change and there is no longer a requirement for your product or service
- Customer company closes down or customer individual dies
We’re going to look at a range of external reasons and internal reasons that are allegedly responsible for lack of growth and some possible behaviours that are contributing to the status quo. Get ready for some self honesty and accountability.
- The economy’s the pits
- People aren’t buying…
- There’s too many offering the same thing, too much competition
- I/ we can’t hold my/ our prices, people are going for the cheapest…
- People don’t do what they say they will
- I/ we can’t compete on the same playing field as the rest – they’re bigger/ more established/ have more money/ backing
- I can’t do everything that needs to be done – there just aren’t enough hours in the day
- I’m not a salesman/ woman
- I’m/ we’re okay once I’m/ we’re in front of somebody – it’s getting in front of enough potential profitable customers that’s the problem
- I don’t know how to….
- It’s not my responsibility
- How can I think and act Big with all this – whole countries in trouble, let alone companies folding and people being made redundant – going all around?
- What if I do… and mess up? People will think I’m stupid
Well, that’s just a few of each – I’m sure you could add to the lists, but we’re getting the picture. So now let’s add into the mix some unhelpful behaviours that might be supporting stagnation at best and rapid demise at worst…
Key ones are to:
- Be caught in hesitation, inertia and a kind of passive sabotage of procrastination OR
- Hide amongst displacement activities – all of which achieve busyness but not positive outcomes OR
- Undertake tons of panicky activities underscored by neediness that repels potential business
Then there can be ‘supporting’ tendencies:
- Sense of continuous overwhelm
- Need to micro manage everything and everyone
- Let self and others down
- Blame others
Anything else we want to get out on the table while we’re at it? In my opinion there really isn’t any mileage in hiding all this from ourselves and pretending everything’s just grand. Because that way all the garbage is still there and ignoring isn’t going to fix anything anytime soon.
Facing it on the other hand enables us to ask and get answers to some very empowering questions.
- Why do you do what you do to earn/ make a living?
- Have you created a job for yourself where you’re the boss or a business to grow and either hand down to your offspring or sell?
- How does your business serve and contribute to the life you want to lead?
- How is that different from its ideal contribution?
- Just how important is it to you that you/ your business reach your full potential?
- Who directly benefits from what you/ your business does?
- What impact does that make on their lives/ business?
- What impact does you/ your business doing what you do have on the wider scene?
The above are, I’d say, essential questions that any business person should be clear on the answers to Question 6 if s/he’s serious about succeeding. But having said that, when times get tough it’s easy to lose sight of why you ever bothered to get into this! -
But once you’ve gone back to basics and re-clarified your focus where necessary – hint: involve your best clients/ customers to help you if you’re struggling with the question – then we can look at
- Your ideal target audience
- The best offers you can and should be making to them
- The way you present those offers
PS I’ve included above some practical activities from courses I’ve created specifically for small businesses – in this instance they’re from the Gold course for sole traders and owners of micro businesses.
PPS If you like what you see here the 15 minute FREE Skype or phone consultation still holds to see if we’re good to work together. Why not have a chat?