Sometimes it helps to sit back and get some perspective on the things that are holding back your business. Are you one of them?
No matter how perfect we like to think we are, we often face obstacles that seem insurmountable but turn out to be only mental barriers. A ‘no’ is no more harmful than a pinch of the skin, but this mental barrier often causes salespeople to shy away from their duties. Being really honest with yourself and accepting your weaknesses can be a key to truly finding success.
If you run a small business, chances are you are required to wear many hats to keep the business going. Most of your staff also have to be multi-skilled. For instance, in many small companies, marketing and sales are merged into one group or even one person.
By way of example, it can often be hard to find a warm and cheerful receptionist. We used to suffer temp turnover nightmares. But when we found a good new recruit and mentioned that their role was effectively Director of First Impressions, they remained in that role for nearly a year. A receptionist may also be responsible for updating a website and assisting in customer relations.
Let’s face it, you may like some parts of your job and find them easy, but it’s the parts you hate that are the barrier to ultimately working fewer hours and spending more time with family or, perhaps, for those really lucky ones, on the golf course.
“Delusion and avoidance are like fungi – they can turn great ideas and great businesses into dark and dusty could-have-been”
Delusion and avoidance are like fungi – they can turn great ideas and great businesses into dark and dusty could-have-beans. The jobs you keep putting off are often the ones that end up becoming really critical to growth and profit.
What is the weakness in your business model? Returning sales calls? Getting orders out in time? Marketing? Not responding to inbound leads? Getting behind on accounts? Letting the website fall out of date? Not analyzing where your leads are coming from?
If you or someone in your team is falling behind in one area, perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate and give the responsibility to someone else who wants it.
The biggest key to resolving these bottlenecks is to face them head-on – turn them around and try a different approach or a different person.
If you are not sure what your barrier is, consider what you have been putting off for too long, or the thing you have to make an excuse for to your clients or staff. “Sorry, we need to update our website” or “sorry, I have been meaning to send that” are sure signs of a potential bottleneck.
Often people think they can save money by doing everything themselves. Just because you think a job is easy or that you can do it, doesn’t mean you are the best person for the job.
While I may delude myself that I can do all the facets of our business, I have to realize that, truthfully, I can be the bottleneck and there is always an alternative solution. Once accepted, the burden of some jobs is miraculously lifted and ultimately these jobs get done. Sorted!
What parts of your job do you hate? Do you think you’d be better off giving them to someone else or do you reckon only you can do them properly? Have your say by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stephen Murphy is head of a search at payperclick.net.au.