The start of a new year is an excellent time to review all areas of our life and our business and to make the necessary changes going forward. Such a review is critical for us as business owners because our livelihood is dependent on our business even if the year has long started.
Unfortunately however this is very seldom the case. Business owners always have deadlines to meet, customers to serve, appointments to keep, and places to get to, etc, etc, etc there is never enough time to assess what is going on in our business. We are so busy working in our business that we don't have time to pause and reflect on what is happening on our business.
In many instances we spend so much time at the office, at work, on the job – even we neglect our families. Vacations are a rarity and if we are 'pressured' by family to take them – the work comes along with us. Some of us have even neglected our personal health. What a life! But that's the story of 8 out of every 10 business owners across the country.
Why is there this common challenge facing businesses regardless of location, industry, age, race or even gender? Perhaps the most generic explanation is that we are truly creatures of habit. Our talents, skills and experiences that got us to where we are today could well be the very same behaviors that are now holding us back.
Take the printer in Miramar who, by delivering work on time every time, built his business on referrals. But that was 4 years ago. With the recession many of his clients went out of business or cut back on orders. Referrals dried up. Moreover there are more printers than ever offering similar services in his area. But this owner never had to hunt for new clients before and has absolutely no experience or knack for business development. Is he going to be able to make this transition alone?
Or the insurance broker in Boca Raton who started her own business after 20+ years of successful sales. She is a good networker and knows how to build 'relationships'. She belongs to many clubs and associations. But sales are faltering here too. Busy running from one event to another she has poor time management skills and has never put her networking under a microscope assessed the profitability or value of each. Neither has she tried to determine who her most profitable clients are and how best to go after them. Is she going to be able to make this transition alone?
The business environment is always changing the real challenge is to change our behaviors to cope. Gaps in our business operations are inevitable. The real challenge is to uncover them early enough and to change our behaviors and those of our staff to cope.
Contributed by John Haughton, Peak Performance Services, helping business owners achieve Growth, Productivity and Profitability; 954-742-8332 firstname.lastname@example.org