When I start working with a new client I ask them what they want from their business and they often look at me with a mixture of confusion and mild panic and tell me they’re not sure what I mean.
So, I say to them “why you doing this? What was your dream?
- Why did you set up your business by yourself?
- What did you want to get from it?
- Were you looking for a job that fits around your family?
- Were you looking for something which will give you a retirement option?
- What did you have in mind when you set up and what are you aiming for?
It’s quite rare that I get a confident, definitive answer from my female business owner clients first time round.
BECAUSE THEY’VE NEVER EVEN CONSIDERED IT!
They are so overloaded and overwhelmed with work, clients, family, and other commitments that the idea of a plan, an outcome, an endgame hasn’t even entered their head.
Usually, they set up the business because they needed an income, they fancied a change, got made redundant, didn’t want to go back to work after having kids or just decided they wanted to turn their hobby into a business.
They just know that they need to bring in money. And it’s harder than they thought.
So, they plough on day by day, keeping their heads down, booking parties, opening the shop, seeing clients, making sure they hit their deadlines and appointments, and rarely looking up.
The ‘Too Busy & Broke’ Pattern
These ladies fit a certain pattern.
They are usually really busy with hardly a moment to spare; they are always short of cash and there are never enough hours in the day.
They think “it’s okay, all I need is a few more clients or more customers and it’ll be fine, I’ll fit them in somewhere and then I’ll have the money I’m missing.” I call it the The Too Busy & Broke Pattern and I see it ALL the time.
The truth of the matter is that many women set up in business without any kind of target or end goal – without any idea of WHAT they want to achieve.
A knock on effect of this is that they have no idea whether they’re doing well or badly, they often don’t know whether their business is profitable and to what extent it might be profitable; they often don’t know whether they are doing better or worse than in previous years, other than some kind of gut feeling and a vague sense that they might have more money to spend this year.
They have no measurement in their business and they have no direction.
You might think the solution is to just SELL MORE, to get more clients BUT I helped a client analyse her business recently and we found that she is losing a ton of money through undercharging – at that point in time the LAST thing she needed was more clients adding to the problem. (We changed her business model before she took on any new clients and now she’s doing just fine.) But are YOU in the same boat?
This is a really common scenario. If you are lost, the LAST thing you want to do is run faster.
The best thing you can do is stop and take stock.
Ignorance Is Definitely Not Bliss!
- If you don’t know what you want to achieve with your business and what you want it to look like in a few years, how can you make decisions about it?
- How do you know if you are moving your business forward through that decision or holding it back?
- If you don’t have a vision for your business, how can you make marketing decisions?
Stop what you’re doing if you’re far too busy and broke.
ANSWER THESE 4 QUESTIONS TODAY!
- Why are you running your own business?
- What do you want to achieve with it financially and otherwise?
- What are your business’s BIG numbers – the targets that you want to achieve (turnover, profit, units sold, etc) and by when?
- Who is your ideal customer – the one who is a great fit for your business and takes you closer to your vision?
Let’s take some responsibility and get some control back into your business. If you don’t start now, you never will so I want you to STOP AND TAKE STOCK – TODAY!
Rant over, let me know how that works for you! 🙂
Claire Mitchell is a best-selling author of the Awesome Marketing Planner and founder of The Girls Mean Business, a mum and business owner. She has been featured in Marie-Claire, The Guardian, Closer Magazine, Essentials, The Huffington Post and on the BBC.