“Our sales team isn’t performing!”
“We don’t have enough leads!”
“Everything is a huge mess right now!”
I’ve been an entrepreneur for 18 years and one thing I’ve yet to experience is a point in business where EVERYTHING is working perfectly.
My 15 year old son recently told me he would hate having my job.
“All you do is deal with people’s problems all day.” He said.
“That’s not all I do!” I replied with a healthy degree of indignation.
“Yes it is. People tell you what’s not working and you help them fix it.”
“I guess that’s true.” I admitted
“Problems.” He responded with the finality of a 15 year old who just proved themselves right in a debate with their mom.
The truth is, there’s always something to tweak, fix or adjust as a business owner. And we are emotionally connected to our business. It’s hard to be objective. The success or failure of this company depends on us.
And we would do well to approach our problems with a degree of objectivity. It’s simply not true that “Nothing is working.” Or that “Everything is a huge mess right now.”
Here’s 3 tips for assessing change in your business. It’s a simple, but powerful process. When I get the urge to throw out the baby with the bathwater and change “everything,” I take a deep breath, list the things that are working. And then I analyze the problems in 3 simple steps.
- Stop doing- I make a list of things that I need to stop doing. It could be things that are bad habits of mine. Stop waiting until the day of to write my blog post (guilty.) Or things that I am slowing down because I’ve been unwilling to delegate. Stop doing copywriting, someone else on the team is capable of doing it just as well and I’m just getting in the way. (guilty again.) It could also be that you need to stop pursuing an avenue of income because the cost outweighs the gain. This is the most dramatic section. Because when you identify something you need to stop, you really need to get out of it as quickly as possible. If it’s something to delegate, try to hand it off within a month. If it’s a stream of revenue you need to get out of, it will take a little more time. But be bold. If it’s time to stop, get committed to the change!
- Start doing- These are the ideas I’ve had for my business that I haven’t actually started because I’m too busy or because the current process has been working and I’m resistant to improvement. Maybe it’s the new system you’ve had in mind for rewarding your team. Maybe it’s the nagging feeling in the back of your mind that you really should be out speaking more. Or maybe it’s just that you know you need to exercise to have more energy and you keep putting it off. (Did you already guess that I’m guilty of all of these?) Whatever your list is, these are the things that will replace the items you stop doing. However, these should not all be started at once. Choose what will create the biggest impact first and start that one. When it’s working well, you can start the next item on your list.
- Change how I do it- This is quite honestly where most of your progress will come from. Most of the time something needs to change, emotion will tell you it needs an overhaul, when in reality it just needs an adjustment. And it’s probably a minor adjustment. Maybe it’s that you need a better flow to your sales meeting to keep the team engaged. That’s a 30 minute fix that could create an increase in sales of the team across the board.
Assessing change in your business is an important skill. As a small business owner, expect to be in a constant state of change. But understand that a 2 degree shift in your day to day can equal miles of progress in your year end goals.
Happy tweaking. I would love for you to find one small adjustment you can make in your business, and track the impact it makes on your company.
I’d love to hear from you! Tweet or DM me and let me know what change you are implementing in your business as we wind down 2017.