In their book, “Scale – Seven Principles to Grow Your Business and Get Your Life Back,” Jeff Hoffman and David Finkel pose the question, “What would happen to my business if I were hit by a bus?”
Surveying more than 1000 business owners, they found that, on average, if the business owner was incapacitated or otherwise unable to work, the business would fail in less than 30 days.
Imagine what would happen to your family, your employees and their families, your customers and suppliers if this were to happen.
The reason is that for the vast majority of smaller businesses, the owner simply cannot be absent: they’ve built themselves a job, rather than a business, and it’s a job in which they are effectively trapped – they can’t leave as the business has little or no value without them.
The owner is trapped, working IN the business rather than ON the business. They’re not planning and executing a strategy for a long-term, sustainable future; building a business of growing, lasting value.
And, of course, if your business revolves completely around you, scaling it becomes almost impossible (you can’t clone yourself). When you started the business, it was natural to be wearing many hats, being the proverbial jack of all trades, but as the business grows it is crucial that you be able to delegate or outsource non-key tasks, and you develop systems and controls for your team.
This, in turn, will free you up to look strategically at your business. Block out two 4-hour slots per week for this to start with. Really drill down into your business and be sure you understand your market and customers, where your revenue is coming from, who your current competitors are and what they might look like in the future. Where do your best opportunities for growth lie and how might you capitalise on them? Think about these and focus on the best ones (don’t start too many projects at once – you’ll get overwhelmed and not achieve anything).
And, initially at least, don’t try to look too far ahead for the same reasons. Focus on the next 3-4 months and develop the strategy for that – perhaps 3 important things with a handful (5 or 6) action steps or milestones for each.
Once you’ve gained successful experience in strategy development, you can start defining your annual (or longer) goals and strategies, but always execute and update your plans on a quarterly basis. They have to be living documents as the business world changes all the time.
Once you can shift focus from being trapped IN your business to truly working ON it, creating a business that has the value it deserves, you will find you have more freedom, more energy and can continue to develop and scale the business further. The risks of that 30-day collapse will have gone!
#BusinessFitness #Entrepreneur #GoalSetting #Growth #Leadership #Resilience #Risk #SmallBusiness #Strategy #Success #WorkLifeBalance
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