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Falling back in love with your business

Posted on 20/02/2014, 07:30

With this year’s Valentines celebrations still fresh in our memories, we at Pro-actions are often reminded that many smaller businesses have owners that have fallen out of love with their businesses.

Through our experience within the SME market there is often a common thread when meeting the owners of many businesses that leads us to conclude ‘This business owner has fallen out of love with their business!’

Most businesses are established with the owner’s exciting prospects of taking an idea or their individual past experience and establishing their own company around their dream and vision…excitement then builds, the energy levels are massive, the company starts – things are great! However the reality of what they have achieved can often lead to feelings that are quite the opposite of what they thought would be the case…..the opposite of the dream!

The feelings of “It hasn’t worked out as I thought”, “I feel stuck”, “How do I take this to the next level as I hoped?” or even “How do I get out of this?” are where we see the signs that the owner(s) has stopped caring or has fallen out of love.

At this stage what needs to be addressed is the creation of a critical path of how it will be possible for the owner(s) to fall back in love with the business, find the energy levels again and change their nervous distressing butterflies into excitement butterflies.

However, the way to re-energise does involve a step back to enable matters to start to STRIDE forward. To go backwards and revisit their DREAM, VISION, PURPOSE and MISSION is the start point. There is also a need to write this down and make sure that these elements are crystal clear and SMART (specific, measureable, achievable, realistic and time framed). At this stage there is also a recommendation that these elements should also align with the owner’s personal life goals (if they are known?).

From here, it’s all about finding out why the business has got stuck and devising an ingenious plan….a strategy which is going to win and getting some outside help at this stage is often advisable to give an objective view point. Then once the plan and strategy are devised and written down this most often puts that “spark back” into the owner’s energy levels and the heartbeat back into the business.

Now it’s about the reality of learning and getting better knowledge and skills and having a FOCUS around what to learn, how, why and when is essential – but the energy levels are back, the owners start to care more and there is desire.

In our view there are 9 very key areas of business (see below) that skills, beliefs and knowledge should build within BUT the syntax (order) in which the focused learning should take place is very individual to each and every business’s unique need. Again, advice should be sought over the right order of learning for results to build quickly.

Commitment to continuous learning is a must for any business leader. This is especially relevant to the SME market as is acceptance of the fact that we should not wish that “things were better” but wish that “I am better” and act on this.

Once we accept that we must care for and nurture our business, learn along the way and treat our own business in the way we would hope to treat our very best customers so we can then tread a path of never ending improvement and begin to make things happen.

To care we must adopt the following 9 key areas as a start point to continuous learning:

  1. Strategy – Develop a winning one (won!)
  2. Marketing – How to get the right customers talking to you!
  3. Sales – Develop a winning sales process
  4. Profit – This is where cash comes from!
  5. Cash – Raise it, create it (more), manage it and USE it!
  6. Team – Biggest resource, care, develop – Key!
  7. Systems – How will it work when you are not there?
  8. Time – Biggest asset – The right things for the right reasons at the right time. – Balance
  9. Leadership – What it takes to get people to follow you!

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