“If you’re not growing, you’re dying” - Unknown
One of my clients once told me “It’s in my best interests that you stay in business.” We were discussing her current charges and how they would soon have to go up. She was encouraging me to make sure I wasn’t going backwards financially and that I was growing my business. She explained to me that we are an integral part of her business - we are their customer service team - and if we don’t stay in business, she has to find someone else. Which she would, eventually, but her business will suffer greatly because of the inevitable downtime she’d face. Plus, she likes working with us :-)
That’s when I realised that if your business isn’t growing, then it’s already started dying. Client attrition is a natural part of business life. When there aren’t new clients coming along to replace the ones that leave, then you’re up the proverbial creek without a paddle.
Here are 3 reasons why your business isn’t growing:
You’re not taking a break. Ever.
I bet that your business is all you ever think about. Day and night, you’re getting down and dirty just thinking about lead magnets, customer avatars, sales pipelines blah blah blah.
This kinda goes without saying, but … all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy/Jill a dull girl. Your mind needs to take a break.
So many other business owners that I talk to have this idea that their business needs their undivided attention. That they can’t possibly take a break because they can’t afford it or nobody understands their business like they do or whatever BS excuse they use to justify their unnecessary devotion to their business. By working yourself into the ground, you’re making yourself the life support.
If it’s too stressful to think about taking a day off, then try taking just an afternoon. No, not a morning. You’ll spend the morning thinking about what you have to do that afternoon when you go back to your work. Schedule an afternoon and ensure that you have the time off. You can start a bit earlier if need be, but give yourself permission to leave your desk at the scheduled time. At first, this will be hard and you may even feel a little guilty.
Get in the habit of taking an afternoon off. In time, you’ll start getting into a routine and you’ll find your days much more structured. You’ll be more prepared to take time off and instead of procrastinating, you’ll get things done so you’re ready to take the time out.
You don’t have an accountability buddy
Some of the most valuable traits of an entrepreneur are that we’re motivated and we’re persistent. But we also have a tendency to take on too much. In a corporate job, you’d have a boss and KPIs/targets to meet. In your case, you probably have client deadlines.
You’re probably neglecting your own work, that is the work you need to do to get more business and/or make your business more profitable. You probably keep thinking you’ll get to it soon… just as soon as you’ve finished this piece of work for your client. And why not? You’re not accountable to anyone, you’re your own boss. So you keep putting these things off because you think that the only person you’re letting down is yourself.
Actually, no. You don’t know it and they may not know it, but you’re letting down your clients, your potential clients and keeping other people out of jobs. Why? Your inaction on these other tasks is keeping you from nurturing your business and taking it to the next level.
Find yourself a buddy. Not your BFF. Find another business owner who is interested in becoming an accountability buddy. Meet once a week or once a fortnight. To start with, discuss the goings on in your businesses and your goals for your businesses. Neither of you are there to be the mentor for the other person, but you are there to keep each other honest.
You’re doing it all by yourself
You might think you’re forced to do everything yourself because you can’t afford to get help. The truth is that if you’re working 12+ hour days, six or seven days a week, 12 months of the year, then you can’t afford NOT to get help. You aren’t running a business - you’ve swapped corporate slavery for small business slavery. Instead of 1 demanding boss, you’ve now got 3 or 5 or 20 bosses. Each with their own agenda and all of them
What you may be neglecting however are the tasks that help your business to get bigger. Working on your marketing campaigns, designing your affiliate programs, representing your brand on social media.
Find one thing that you can outsource, just one. Be it phone answering or just having someone to enter your accounts into Xero, get it outsourced now.
Your business needs you to be laser-focused on sales, not on admin. So, get cracking with outsourcing now.
Not sure where to start? Click here to get our cheat sheet to help you identify where to get started.