Getting Out of Your “Business Bubble”
Getting Out of Your “Business Bubble”
Written by William Smith
Let’s face it. Starting a business is really not that hard. Keeping it going, growing and profitable is another matter all together.
Busy owners and managers can work themselves into their own “business bubble”. They become so involved in just operating their businesses, day-to-day, week-to-week, that they don’t get around to improving how they actually do business.
Does that sound familiar?
Transitioning from business-as-usual requires that you get out from under that bubble and look at your operation from different angles. As an owner/manager it’s your job to grow your business and make money. So what does it take to accomplish that?
It requires that you:
1. Gain Knowledge: The more you know about running a small business, the better your chances of getting it right.
2. Find Guidance: Successful entrepreneurs don’t go it alone. They get help.
3. Reach Clarity: Having a clear vision of what needs to be done and how to do it.
4. Cause Action: Actually make change happen.
Let’s look more closely at this strategy.
I’ve been coaching owners and managers for quite a while now and I can tell you for a fact, the most successful entrepreneurs are the ones who recognize that they must constantly educate themselves to stay ahead, grow their businesses and make a profit. Topics like managing your time, staying on top of trends, controlling expenses, and dealing with employees requires the right information. Since the Business Fairy doesn’t come into your bedroom at night and magically input that knowledge in your brain, it’s up to you to find it.
When I give seminars on small business topics I name three or four of the most visible small business gurus in the U.S. and ask how many of the attendees have either read anything by them or heard them speak. I’m amazed at how few people raise their hands.
There is a ton of information out there to help you succeed. You can find it in bookstores, on line, in seminars and in your fellow entrepreneurs’ brains. You just have to go and get it. Of course, getting the knowledge you need requires that you know what to do with it, which brings us to:
If you are working within your own “business bubble” you can become too close to your own business. As a result many innovative ideas or solutions to problems can be overlooked. You cannot rely on yourself to come up with all the great ideas. A network of knowledgeable outsiders can dramatically increase your ability to solve problems and keep you headed in the right directions.
Networking relationships with other small business owners who deal with your same issues are a great place to start building your team. There are also lots of on line blogs and websites discussing all kinds of issues entrepreneurs face. You can observe, ask questions or join the conversations. These sites are easy to find through Google.
Large corporations recognize the advantage of using outside experts to address specific needs in virtually all areas of their businesses. Savvy small business owners recognize the same thing. Using a consultant or business coach means fresh ideas and faster implementation without the cost of hiring and training additional staff. The big advantage is, you only pay for them when you need them.
Having a clear vision of what needs to be done to, say, solve a problem or reach a goal is what you are shooting for. That clarity comes from the knowledge you gain and the outside opinions you receive. Hearing how others have done it, and why, can positively effect how you go about working through issues. A clear understanding of cause and effect in business will help you make the right decisions.
“Easier said than done” is the mantra that prevents many entrepreneurs from succeeding. The time involved and effort required to make a change or reach a goal can seem daunting. The solution is to break the big effort into smaller manageable pieces, each with it’s own timeline, delegating what you can, and acting on the rest. This same action can be applied to many aspects of your personal life as well. The overall result is two fold; things get done and more of your time gets freed up.
What you do with your time on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis dictates how successful you can be. Remember, time is money. The “If you build it they will come” concept might work in the movies, but it doesn’t work in small business.
Entrepreneurial success requires that you:
Never, never stop learning.
Don’t go it alone.
Make decisions based on clarity.
Take specific and organized actions.
Remember, it’s your business. It’s your money.
William Smith is a small business counselor and consultant based in Atlanta. He also conducts seminars and roundtables for the AmericasMart International Home and Gift Shows and additional organizations throughout the Southeast.