You’re in the car park. It’s 1:55 in the afternoon. Your phone buzzes again. You sigh, picking it up, the dread weighing on your shoulders.
What a surprise! Yet another problem.
That seems to be the story every day at the moment. Every hour. You’re constantly firefighting, always dealing with issues, never switching off.
And now it’s 1:56.
Your kid’s school play starts in four minutes.
If you can just make this phone call, tell Claire in the office to call the client and say you’ll get back to them later this afternoon … then you can get out of the car, run into school and you might only miss the first couple of minutes. You just need to make this call…
It’s overwhelming isn’t it?
And, because it’s your business, you have to carry it on your shoulders.
It weighs you down. Almost like you’re drowning.
The thing is, you’re not alone. I know. I’ve been in that car. For me, the Christmas Concert is the one that springs to mind.
Many of us, who started our own businesses, have been through exactly the same thing. We started out confident in our abilities. We knew we were great at what we did. We knew we could undercut the competition on price. And things went really well at first. In fact, we had so much work, we even took a few people on to help us out.
But that’s when the problems started.
Because, even with the extra bodies, the business still took up loads of our time.
Think about it… when things are going well, you’re out there looking for new clients. But when things go wrong, it’s on you to sort it out.
Sometimes it even feels like you’re spending as much time baby-sitting the staff as you are doing the job. Every decision comes through you. Every complaint comes through you. Everything needed to be double-checked and triple-checked.
So now you’re spending so much of your time dealing with all this stuff and you’ve totally forgotten about why you started the business in the first place.
What happened to loving the work?
The flexible hours?
The extra cash?
The really tricky bit is that, once you get to a certain stage in your business, you need to switch things around. The tactics that got you this far won’t get you any further. In fact, they’re positively slowing your business down.
And driving you up the wall.
It’s time to make changes.
But you can’t do it wholesale though, that’s too much to take in one go. Instead, you just need to take it one step at a time.
Pick off the area that you can have the most impact in, concentrate on getting that working right, then take a moment to relax. As now you’ve got a bit of breathing space.
But where do you begin? How do you know which area will actually give you that space?
Every growing business has at least one of these five main areas that could be improved:
- Finance – the business needs a degree of profit to survive. We need to make sure the bills are paid, the team get their wages and you get something as a reward for all your hard work.
- Operations – the business needs to run like clockwork. We need to make sure we consistently deliver a great service to our clients, or they won’t come back.
- Sales – no business can survive without clients, so we have to make sure we’ve got new ones coming in at the right times.
- Leads – if we want new clients, we have to get the word out there, make sure we’re attracting people and letting them know what we do.
- Time – at the end of the day, we need to be able to switch off, safe in the knowledge that the business can look after itself. We’ve taken a huge risk in getting this far, we deserve some time to ourselves to enjoy our lives.
Once you identify the area of greatest impact for YOUR business, there are simple changes that can make a massive difference.
So instead of trying to tackle them all at once, you can focus on the area that will free up the most time and money, giving you the most freedom to live your life the way you should be.
If you’d like to know which area you should concentrate on – and get a few ideas about improvements that can be made in that area – take my quick quiz. You can do it on your phone, sat on the sofa. It only takes a few minutes and can point you in the right direction for making a positive change to your business.