I Know You Are But What Am I?

April 01, 2015

I Know You Are But What Am I?I Know You Are But What Am I?

If you have ever wondered why some companies grow and others do not, this blog post is for you. Most of the time the answer is simple, they fail to take deliberate action. Action is what makes the difference, but some businesses are unable to move forward for several reasons. Four common reasons for being stuck in a rut are:

No Vision

So often we hear the term Vision, but what does it really mean? The Vision is where you see the company going in the future—not what it is today. For this mental exercise, it’s okay to dream a little. What are the future possibilities of your small business?

Solution: Write a business plan. No matter how many years you’ve been in business, a business or strategic plan is essential. The trick is to make your plan action-oriented. Instead of writing down what you already know and have done, write out the future steps you will take to achieve your vision. Be specific and focus on what is truly important. What strategies and ACTIONS will you implement? When you review your plan periodically, you should be able to tag each action item in your plan with True or False. Did you accomplish each item of work or not?

No Recognition

If you don’t know who you are or where you are, you won’t get far. Growth comes in many variations. Which one is right for you? Are you seeking financial growth, income growth, market growth, quality growth, or some other kind of growth?

Solution: Determine where your company is in the business life cycle, and ask yourself if you’re willing and ready for the next stage. Many companies would like to believe that they are beyond the startup stage, but they still are not able to hire their first employee or pay themselves a full salary—or take a family vacation without closing down. Until this happens, they are technically ‘stuck’ and unable to move on to the pre-growth stage. This truth may hurt, but it is the truth. Now is the time to do something about it—if some variety of growth is what you really want.

No Help

Business owners and entrepreneurs are typically do-it-yourselfers. The problem with this is that they also spend too much time and energy doing things they shouldn’t be doing.

Solution: Get help to get ahead and stay ahead. Take advantage of outsourcing. Get an intern. Make sure you are spending your time making important decisions and getting the right things done.

No Accountability

Who do you answer to when things don’t go right? Who are you accountable to foryour results as a business owner?

Solution: Create an advisory board to hold you accountable to growth. Analyze your strengths and fill in areas of weakness with individuals who can help strengthen the company. Schedule regular meetings with your advisory board and seek their feedback. If you recruit the right people for your extended team, you won’t have to worry about them embarrassing you and unnecessary drama during meetings. They should be there to help you, not make you feel hopeless and incompetent. Don’t waste people’s time—conduct a structured meeting. ‘Structured’ doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun—or even a glass of wine, it means you have agenda items and you get things done. And remember to reward your new advisory board when growth starts to happen.

To wrap up, in order to grow your business you need to take deliberate action steps. Be mindful, however, that action doesn’t just lead to growth. Action can lead to disaster without thoughtful appropriate consideration. After spending sufficient time on ideation and research, you need to actually DO rather than merely plan, plan and plan some more. Take action and execute a 30-60-90 day plan. Starting today, write down key activities, assign due dates and responsibilities and start growing your business!