why business doesn’t have to be like playing a game of ‘Whack the Mole’
Let me paint a picture for you… See if you recognise any of it:
Running your business is like playing a game of “Whack the Mole” you never know what is about to pop up next and where.
You run around from crises to crises all day long, extinguishing brushfires along the way. And while you are dealing with the crises, you don’t get to all the business development priorities you know you should get to, marketing, sales, financial management, staff management, planning etc.
A switched-on Business Owner
It’s not that you don’t know what you should be focused on as a responsible, switched-on business owner, but:
1) You don’t have any time left to spend on any of those aspects of business.
2) When you do magically find some spare time, you don’t feel confident to decide which of all those priorities is the most important.
3) And even if you did know what to focus on next and you had the time… you actually feel quite insecure that you know how to do a good job at it anyway… It’s not as if you completed an MBA … nobody ever taught you how to write an operations manual did they?
So you run around from employee crisis, to client crisis, to supplier crisis, to compliance crisis to cash crisis and all the way back to the beginning again.
Your average Week
Have I just described your life as a business owner? Of course I have… The responsibilities that come with being a small business owner are daunting, it’s all down to you and you probably feel trapped in a state of Overwhelm a lot of the time in your business…
So let me tell you about Brian, who was one of my clients a couple of years ago and how Brian freed himself from being trapped and took his business from a single store to a healthy growing multi-store business in just 2 years.
The approach Brian and used is one I’ve used with many business owners over the years, because it is so simple and so effective and because the results have been astonishing … every time.
Brian’s Car Accessories
Brian was a client of mine who owned a car accessories business in Sydney.Brian’s business had slowly plateaued over the past couple of years and Brian was frustrated that he couldn’t seem to push the business ahead any further anymore.
Brian’s head was exploding with all the different competing priorities that were screaming for his attention every day. All the challenges of managing inventories to cashflow, staff, marketing, systems etc etc
Brian simply didn’t know where to look and where to direct his focus.
Working with me Brian created a “Fun in Business” scale. A scale from 0 to 10, where 10 on the scale meant that he had had as much fun in his business as he could possibly have and 0 meant the opposite.
Every week in our sessions, Brian would ask himself 3 questions:
1) How much Fun did I have last week on the “Fun in Business” scale
2) On the same scale, how much “Fun in Business” do I want to have next week?
3) What specific things must I do, what specific actions can I take this coming week to ensure I achieve that number on my scale?
Cashflow… staff training
One week, Brian reported that he was at 6 and wanted to get to 6.1 on his Fun in Business Scale and he decided to spend 1 hr in the coming week chasing up outstanding accounts to increase his bank balance and cashflow and hence to have more Fun in Business.
Another week Brian realized that the greatest opportunity to increase the fun number on his Scale would be to deliver some much needed training in the area of customer service to his staff etc etc.
After a few months of this approach to managing his business, Brian’s business did start to grow again… slowly, steadily, month by month… quarter after quarter.
Now a few years later, Brian’s has opened a second store and warehouse on the other side of Sydney and when I last spoke to Brian he was looking for a site for his third store.
Lessons from Brian
That is the story of Brian… It may seem odd, that I got Brian to focus on Fun in Business instead of ‘Profit’ or ‘Systems’ or ‘Cash-flow’ or ‘Staff retention’ or ‘Customer satisfaction’ and other business concepts like that, but you see… Fun in Business is actually an incredibly simple yet powerful concept that has the potential to transform your business.
Because when your business is Fun:
• It means everything is working.
• It means you are making money.
• It means you’ve got cash in the bank.
• It means you are proud of the output of your business.
• It means your customers love you.
• It means that your staff are highly engaged
• It means that you have the balance in your life you want.
A little more fun next week
So asking yourself how you can have a little bit more Fun next week, will help you focus on the most important aspect of your business to focus on next, while using the “Fun in Business Scale” will help you find the next simple steps rather than getting Daunted and Frustrated by the enormity of the tasks before you.
As I said before, I have used this approach with many clients in the past and I use it myself all the time of course. It is surprisingly simple… all it takes is to put 5 minutes aside for it every week at the same time.
So… get yourself a special little notebook and label it your Fun In Business Book, set the time aside and ask yourself these three questions every week; How much Fun in Business did I have last week? How much Fun in business do I want to have next week? and what simple small action can I commit to taking next week to move me along the scale to where I want to be?
If you do this every week and you commit to taking the small, simple actions that result from the third question…
Your business and your life will never be the same again.
(And the mole can take a break too)
I promise you.
About the author
Roland Hanekroot is a business coach and the founder of New Perspectives Business Coaching. He is also the author of the acclaimed “The Ten Truths” books for business owners. Roland runs a webinar called “The Small Business Masterminds” every month, on the 10 key aspects of business that all business owners face when developing and growing their business