If, as a small business owner, you haven’t planned how you will manage the growth of your business, then all that will happen is that you will work longer hours, weekends and increase your stress levels. If you’re going to do this then you might be the owner of a business but really you may as well have a job.
You see, the reason I say “you may as well have a job” is because that’s essentially what you’ve got and you are not reaping the rewards of owning a business. To add insult to injury, especially if your business is still young, you’re probably working harder for less money – you’ve gone from a better paid job to a worst paid job.
Now of course, when most small businesses first start out this is kind of the norm. You work all hours to establish your business and that is absolutely fine and expected. The problem arises if say a year on, nothing has changed and that you’re still working in this way.
If this is the case what is going to happen for this to change? The answer is nothing if you don’t do something to make it change. If you don’t stop, step back and take the time needed to figure out how to do this then you will continue to work as if you had a job.
You might say that this way of working will stop when you get the break you need and win that big client or customer. But unless, you have planned how you intend to support and manage that big customer then, even though the income might be just what you need, all that’s going to happen is that your workload will increase – as will your hours and the number of working weekends.
I’ve seen this with many business owners – they win the big contract and then work even harder. Basically, as their business grows, so too does their workload.
There is no plan for managing growth.
If this has happened to you then make it a priority to block out some time to look at how you run your business and what you can do to manage growth without sacrificing even more of your time.
If this hasn’t yet happened to you then prevention is better than cure and so do the same.
Here are some things you can do:
- Map out how your business flows – the steps you take to attract and win new business, deliver your products and services and support your customers. What tasks can you outsource?
- Define exactly where you want to get your business and focus on 3 or 4 key priorities that will get you there. This will help you make the right decisions and stay focused on what you need to do and not be distracted by opportunistic shiny objects.
- Review your customers and manage out those who take up your time with little return. In my last post I highlighted a business whose 57% of their customers returned only 7% of their revenue. This is not unusual but is a common example of a business that grows but doesn’t stop to review its return versus effort.
- Identify your big problems. Don’t hope they’ll go away because they won’t. Identify them and resolve them. Here are some tips on how.
These are just some of the things you can do to help you grow your business without sacrificing your time and increasing your stress.
Only by doing this can you stop working like you have a job and really start being the owner of a growing business and start enjoying the rewards that come with it.
Have you planned for your business growth?
If you haven’t planned for your business growth then do make it a priority and if you’re not sure how then let me know and see how I can help.