It’s been a pretty intense week this week.
I’ve been busy writing two brand new finance workshops that I’m delivering for Nottingham Trent University’s flagship business support program. One workshop is for established businesses looking for their next stage of growth, and the other is for a group of pre-revenue start-ups. Both groups have real challenges, especially around their finances, so as part of the workshops I’ve created a list of the most common mistakes I’ve seen business owners make that sabotage their financial success.
I promise I’ll share this with you soon.
Earlier this week my friend Ben and I traded coaching / consultancy on each other’s businesses. We’ve got very similar business models and a lot of the same challenges. It was interesting that we could both see what the other was doing that was effectively strangling our business; cutting off the oxygen to growth and opportunities.
And of course marketing was at the top of my challenge list. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you’ll know marketing has always been my biggest challenge, and I have a real love-hate relationship with it.
I’m not short on ideas or strategy, but having the time to implement my plans is another thing. And as any good and proper accountant, albeit a recovering one, I don’t like adding overhead to my business. Of course, overhead control is essential. But we need to recognise when something is an overhead, and when it’s an investment to move us towards where we want our businesses and lives to be.
Here’s the dilemma; I think it could apply to a lot of situations, and I know a lot of clients have this too. I’m always really busy with client delivery. Which leaves very little room for other stuff like developing new workshops, marketing and writing The Academy.
And when I spend too much time on delivery because we got all busy, I risk the pipeline drying up and going from feast to famine.
So do I do less delivery and spend more time on marketing. But then how do I fit all my client and workshop commitments in?
So do I pay someone who is better at it than me, to create a more consistent income stream for my team and I? Yes it will be more “overhead” but income will increase, so it should be an investment.
How people cut off their oxygen
- This classic marketing / client delivery conundrum
- Not having the right skills is holding the business back but they don’t want to invest in training
- Not having any time to think and plan, charging from one busy day to another, whilst the business stands still or goes backwards
- Not fixing their bottlenecks, usually because they don’t have time, so the business is constantly under pressure
And this got me thinking about the ways I see other business owners strangling their business when it’s clearly gasping for air.
The problem with fixing these sort of problems is that if we’re stressed and feeling under pressure, which most of us are most of the time, then we’re automatically in fear and scarcity. Not in growth. So we’re far more likely to keep repeating what we’re doing (whilst secretly expecting a different outcome!) than invest in change.
The question is, if we could see where we’re cutting off the oxygen, AND we knew that fear was stopping us from taking action, what would we do differently?
Would we invest in that marketing support if we knew it would bring consistent income and more profit?
Would we get that training if we could see the benefit it would have?
Would we take time out if we knew we could actually achieve more by being less busy?