An interesting thing about running a small business is that it’s SO easy to get stuck constantly putting out fires. And the only way out of running from fire to fire are three words most entrepreneurs dislike- systems, delegation, and team. (Yuck… right?) And even trickier- the systems and team that worked for your business in years 1-3, don’t work when your business is in year 5 or 10. It’s like telling your 15-year-old to go to bed at 8:00 because that was what they needed when they were 10.
As your business grows up, your systems, delegation and team need to grow up with it. Here are a few tips to help:
Be open to looking at stuck points clearly- as they are now- and implementing new strategies. Just as a parent may want to see their teenager as a little girl, we parent much better when we see them as what they really are- a teenager- who needs different rules and limits.
Same with your business. What are the stuck points NOW?
What used to work that is no longer working? An example is my client who enjoyed easy and constant referrals prior to the crash of 2008. Things are different now. We had to look closely at what NEW low-cost marketing strategies, follow-up system with past clients, and referral-building activities needed to happen in order to bring back steady business.
She is now enjoying a steady flow of business because she was open to seeing what needed to change and open to implementing the new strategies.
Look honestly at your current team. One of the hardest things for my clients is building the team they need NOW and for future growth. It’s so easy to cling to the assistant or the team that worked in the past. Who wants to fire people? It’s really hard. And yet- if you want to grow with more ease, it’s imperative to develop a team that fits your next level and supports you right now, at the highest level possible.
Sometimes extra training fills the need. Other times, letting go and re-hiring is important.
Does anything need to change on your team so your business runs more smoothly?
Open your eyes to who are ideal clients and who are NOT for your current business.
As businesses and their owners evolve, ideal clients and customers evolve as well. I used to want to work with anyone and everyone who was starting a business, had a business, wanted a business, and so on- as long as they wanted also to live a balanced, healthy life as well. And as I’ve evolved, I’ve realized that my ideal clients are established entrepreneurs who want to run better businesses so they can enjoy better lives.
So it no longer makes sense for me to spend my time and energy giving talks at events for start-ups, for example, because those entrepreneurs are not my ideal clients. Their struggles are not the same as the struggles of established entrepreneurs.
Who are your ideal clients and customers NOW and for your “next level”? Once you are clear with that, you can create the systems and sales strategies to attract them, and save lots of time and energy by NOT working to attract the clients who fit your younger business.
I hope you had an “aha” moment in this article that was helpful. As always, please reply below if you have any questions or comments.