We all need someone on the outside looking in to give us a fresh perspective and critical insight. At times, this can be difficult unless you’re part of an accountability group or Mastermind. So how are you getting your reality check? Here’s 8 tips we’ve observed from our clients to get you started:
- Time is the only resource in short supply, use it wisely: A brutal truth but one that should be front of mind- take a look at our time management framework on tips about delegating and prioritising to help you manage this valuable commodity
- Avoid being overly dependent on a single person: Having a lucrative, well-paying client can be a good foundation but it’s also a risk- consider widening your base of clients, suppliers and other critical resources
- Do not persist with products/services which have become obsolete or unfashionable: Cash cows can become Problem Childs but with adequate planning, these risks can be anticipated (take a look the “BCG Matrix” for further insights)
- Think ROI, cost/benefit, and business case: Ultimately people, plant/equipment and other resources consume upfront cash to bring them in and ongoing fund to run- so when you make a decision or invest time/effort/money, do you know what the return is, the cost/benefit, and payback period?
- Be decisive: making decision and talking action is paramount. Indecisiveness typically results in someone else making the decision for you. This all about understanding what information you need to make the decision, how you’ll find the information, and planning the actions that can minimise the impact should things go wrong or the wrong outcomes are achieved
- Be prepared to be tired, discouraged, stressed and anxious: Starting a business is difficult. Sustaining and running a business can be harder still so stamina and persistence is important just as much as being mindful of your time and prioritise
- Follow your strengths and interest, mitigate the remainder: Your interests and strengths will sustain your enthusiasm- if you like bookkeeping but hate selling, hire a professional so you can continue doing what you like- Afterall, part of going into business is to do what YOU want to do!
- Fact vs reality: Not liking numbers and financial is no excuse for not taking a step back and objectively assess the position of your business- ignorance is not bliss and a regular sense check of your situation will help avoid future stress
- We’ve all heard about “Groundhog Day”, so let’s apply this to the above. Start by shortlisting the causes above- think about the last week/month/quarter, what are 1-2 instance where you’re kicking yourself looking back
- Jot down the contexts- focus on just the problem first, don’t jump to what you did or the solution just yet
- As painful as it is, write down what you did, how you did it, and the outcome achieved
- Now bring in the positive- if you were to do it again #GroundhogDay, what would you do differently? What would you start/stop/continue? And what lessons learnt can you now take forward?