Challenges Business Owners Face: Many people dream of running their own successful business. They’re lured in by the possibility of doing meaningful work, owning their schedule, not having to answer to anybody and potentially transforming the world.
This is the glamorous side of running your own business, but the reality looks slightly different. Struggling to balance work with your personal life, getting people to buy what you’re selling, trying to hire the right people to help you grow and having solid strategies and processes in place are the common challenges business owners face. The good news is that successful business owners have learned how to master these challenges, and you can too.
Maintaining A Work-Life Balance
As you likely know, running any successful business is hard work, but only business owners and entrepreneurs can truly understand this. It can feel like you’re doing 20 peoples’ jobs in the early stages, and there will still be that voice in the back of your head telling you it’s not enough.
Yes, you will have to work hard and make many sacrifices to grow your business, but it’s important to work smarter. That means making sure you focus on your most important tasks — the things only you can do that will drive your business forward. Think about what tasks you can delegate or outsource to free up your time.
And don’t forget to take regular breaks throughout the day (five minutes is perfect) and get enough sleep each night. It might feel like wasted time, but this will help you stay healthy, stay productive and perform at your best.
Creating A Tactical Strategy
Do you find yourself with a constant stream of amazing new ideas and thoughts, but somehow you never manage to follow through with any of them? You end up with mediocre results and half-finished projects and feel incredibly discouraged. Sound familiar? Chances are, it’s because you’re missing a strategic plan for your business.
You need a tactical strategy. Here are four questions that will help you create a long-term strategy for your business:
1. What are your core values and purposes?
2. What are your dreams?
3. What makes you different?
4. What do you need to be focusing on now?
Designing An Exit Strategy
I’ve had business owners come to me explaining that their ultimate goal after scaling their business is to sell it. They imagine themselves sitting on a beach in Bali, cocktail in hand, with a cool $1 million or two in the bank. Unfortunately, this scenario is unlikely unless you’ve got a clear, well-planned exit strategy. Without an exit strategy, your business is at risk of selling below its true value.
Don’t wait to think about your exit strategy. Creating a plan allows you to consider exits like a management buyout or strategic acquisition.
Here’s my simple five-step approach to creating your comprehensive exit strategy:
1. Create an executable, strategic plan for increasing the value of your business.
2. Understand the current value of your business.
3. Spend time working on the plan and measuring results — adjust as needed.
4. Assemble what I call a power team — a team of professionals who can help you through the selling process.
5. Lastly, when you are ready, market your business to prospective buyers.
Eliminating Ineffective Hiring Methods
Did you know that for most businesses, the average cost of onboarding a single new employee costs over $4,000? If you don’t have a hiring strategy in place and end up hiring poorly, it can severely impact daily operations and your bottom line. Unfortunately, many small and medium-sized businesses end up paying little-to-no attention to the hiring process, but attracting the right talent to your business is integral to your success.
Create an employee acquisition plan. This includes a profile of your ideal hire, a strategy for generating leads, job descriptions, a screening process, etc. Take ownership of crafting your employer brand, attracting the right people to your business and keeping them interested in learning and growing with you. This is how you build a talent pipeline.
Turning Customers Into Loyal, Raving Fans
In his 2016 letter to shareholders, Jeff Bezos said, “Obsessive customer focus is by far the most protective of Day 1 vitality.” If your customers or clients are happy with your product or service, that’s good. But what you should be striving for is customers who sing your praises and are raving fans. You know what I mean — the customers who tell everyone they know about you, refer their friends, leave you glowing testimonials and buy from you repeatedly. In order to achieve this, you need to:
• Understand who your customer is, what they need and why they’re choosing you.
• Set expectations from the start.
• Offer a truly magnificent experience to your customers that surpasses all those expectations.
• Monitor satisfaction levels and feedback so you can continue to improve the customer experience.
• Don’t ever get complacent.
Running a business will always present new challenges, but instead of focusing on what the problem is, look for the solution. I guarantee there will always be a way forward, and it’s on you as a leader to make the right moves!