As a business owner in a regional area, when is a good time to work on your business? The answer is the same for any business owner in any economy – NOW! Why do I say that? Simply because if you are not working on your business, your competitors probably are; so whilst you may be holding your own year-on-year in reality you are probably going backwards.
Working ON your business means deliberately up-plugging from your day-to-day business to spend time and effort on incrementally moving your business from where you are now to a new better one. I am specifically talking about those business development strategies that grow and improve your business outside the day to day machinations of running your business.
Are You Getting Left Behind?
Now let’s get back to the question of WHY you should be working ON your business. The local economy in Gippsland is bumping along quite nicely, and so all well-run local businesses have good reason to be optimistic. This is specially so given proposed government policy changes that could drive economic activity and a new workforce to regional areas. Key local economies, in gross product sense, have risen between 3.7 and 9.1% in 2017 compared to 2016. This is significantly greater than the current inflation rate.
This regional data is across all industries, and there will be variances across more detailed business demographics, but in general terms, if your profit and loss statement isn’t growing by at least inflation, and ideally in line with the above percentages; then in real terms your business is most likely to be going backwards. That’s why NOW is a good a time to be working on your business. For the regional economy to be growing at such a rate, there are clearly business leaders out there who are on growing their business: and they may well be your direct competitors. If you don’t make a start you will fall farther and farther behind with the passage of time.
Start with Yourself
As Dr Steven Covey states in his renowned book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, “We must never become too busy sawing to take time to sharpen the saw.” Your business is simply a reflection of you, the good, the bad and the ugly.
When I start working with new clients one of the first things I do is a profile using a leading personal assessment tool. Without this level of personal introspection and accountability, you may never give yourself that opportunity to refocus or break through the barriers that are holding you (and your business) back.
Start Working On Your Business As Well
As you are working on yourself, you must also work on your business. My advice to any business owner is to spend at least one day (8 hours) a month on key business growth strategies in the three areas where most businesses make or lose money: Margins, People and Promotion.
How much time and effort you spend is commensurate with the size of the improvement you wish to make. If you want to make a start at no cost, then head to my web page at grahamfitton.tlbn.net.au where you will find a tab called “FREE STUFF”, which is full of videos, templates, and cheat sheets for those that want to DIY at slow pace. A word of warning though: it’s a bit like joining a gym and setting your own routine. You will start off with best of intentions, but unless you are very disciplined your effort will probably decay over time. Just think of the money you may be leaving on the table if you don’t make a start?
Get Some External Accountability
As the saying goes: the best thing about owning a business is that you don’t have a boss. It can also be the worst thing because owning business often removes the accountability and motivation having a boss can bring. A great way to get some external accountability is to join a business group, ideally where you will receive some form of knowledge on key business issues.
If you want to get results faster, then invest money to get more personal coaching with a real return on investment, then think about getting a business coach.
The Local Business Network – Bass Coast and South Gippsland offers both group and 1:1 business coaching programs to help businesses achieve their goals with a real return greater than the program investment. The effectively pay for themselves. If you want to know more send me a message below.
Director, The Local Business Network Bass Coast & South Gippsland - The Local Business Network
Helping local business owners solve common business problems. I’m passionate about helping local business owners create the best version of themselves and their business so that your business is able to fund your desired lifestyle, give you the time and resources to achieve your bucket list, and help create a nest egg for your future.