Tackle your business blindspots
When working harder isn't helping, it pays to look at whether your business is well-balanced.
“I’m working really hard but things just aren’t taking off.“
This is something I hear new business owners say a lot. There’s nothing more discouraging than putting in hours of effort with no success.
Sometimes the effort just needs more time to show results. Reaching sustainable levels of success can take a lot longer than people imagine. But sometimes there’s another thing to look at if you’re working hard but not seeing results.
Are you working on the right things for your business?
Are you covering all the bases?
When I work with new business owners one thing I see is a lack of balance. They overindex on one aspect of their work. They give one area 100% of their attention and little to no attention to other areas.
This is a bit like an Olympic swimmer who only practices the dive into the pool. Or a writer who creates outlines but never writes a draft. They’re working on important parts of their work, but not all the important parts.
This happens in business. A new owner might put all their attention into social media but none into partnerships. Or they may focus on a new product while putting off long term strategic planning.
Their businesses aren’t balanced.
There are lots of reasons why this happens. If you’re new to business you may not have discovered all the things that need attention yet. Or comfort may be a factor — many new business owners aren’t comfortable with sales, for example. And sometimes knowledge gaps get in the way. But long term success requires a balanced business.
For many businesses the key areas include:
- Defining strategy & direction
- Connecting with customers
- Creating & delivering your product
- Getting things done
Each of these areas encompasses several key strengths.
Strategy and direction is all about establishing product-market fit, having a well thought-out business plan, and a good understanding of your market and competitors.
Connecting with customers is all about being findable and getting out there to meet potential customers. Do you have web presence? Are you active on social channels? Have you found ways to connect personally with people?
Then there’s creating and delivering. Creating involves product design. It’s about creating new products or services for customers. It also includes the core skills needed to be in business. For example a photography studio would need composition skills, photography skills, photo retouching, design, etcetera.
Last there’s getting things done. This involves setting business priorities, and translating long term goals into regular actions.
A well-balanced business gives time and attention to all four areas. A well-balanced business has in-house or outsourced expertise in each. Unfortunately many new owners hyperfocus on just one area. This leaves important strengths undeveloped and puts them at a long term disadvantage.
The Olympic swimmer who only practices their dive will never finish the race. The writer who only creates outlines will never finish a book. What aspects of your business need practice to see your business succeed?
I do a business assessment to assess balance with each of my new clients. Reach out if this would help!