Why are you not able to sell more right now, what exactly is stopping you from selling to new customers today?
What is ONE thing that you can do right now to grow your business?
What limits your capacity right now?
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I'm going to ask you the question that stopped me in my tracks.
What do you want?
Seems like a simple question, right? I am not talking about right now but what do you want for the long road? Do you want to retire, sell, make a million dollars, or make a billion? Do you want to have a business that gives as its mission and that drives sales?
What do you want?
why what you want matters
My business coach asked me that the first time I met him about a year ago. I initially answered with a ,”I dunno” shoulder shrug my 10 year old gives me when I ask him about his day.
My coach didn’t let me off the hook. About 30 minutes later we eventually defined what I wanted and started to shape what would end up being the vision for my company: To become the most efficient cabinet component manufacturer in the world.
Tying my ‘What do you want?’ question to the vision of the company never occurred to me. Actually, to get right down to it, the company vision was never necessary to me in the past at all. Turns out, if you don't have a vision of where you want to go, you wont go anywhere at all.
There is something about that question of, "What do you want?" that lets you start to see not only what you really want, but what is keeping you from getting there. You will start to see why you cannot seem to get the growth that you think is right in front of you but always just out of reach.
what stops you and how to beat it
So what are some of the things that can be holding you back?
For me and my company, we never had a purpose beyond just a rough outline of a vision. I knew that I wanted to be a component manufacturer but beyond that didn’t have anything of a vision.
Maybe you are like I was and you spend too much time on the shop floor. Maybe you find it almost impossible to work ON the business not just IN it. I was in your shoes not that long ago and I promise that with a plan you can make it happen.
There are only just a few things that are truly holding you back from achieving amazing growth. Here are some of the most common culprits and how to beat them.
If you just get out of your own way, then you will grow. A little harsh, maybe, but I know it is the truth from personal experience.
I was the micromanager boss. I was the guy that would bark out orders, then change them up in 5 minutes just to do it again. You have to get past the mindset of, “There are no good employees” or “If there was only another me”. If you catch yourself thinking either of these, you've got to learn to Delegate or Die.
I will tell you from experience that while there are bad eggs out there, many of the employees that you have written off in the past are capable, smart, and potential superstars but were never given the chance to shine. As the boss, part of Building an A-Team in your shop is making sure you have set your employees up to succeed. You will be surprised just how many superstars are in your shop who you just need to unleash.
Start standardizing your systems (see next tip) and put your shop in a position to work better without you. The results will amaze you but you have to commit to the change and stick with it. After all, if you want to Know How Much Your Cabinet Shop is Really Worth, you have to see what it can do without you.
Lack of Processes
If you have not started to standardize your processes, you need to start yesterday.
Standardizing Your Systems allows you as an owner to keep a finger on the production process without having to hover over everyone to make sure it gets done your way.
Just start small and continually add to them. Your employees can do them too so let them in on the action and it will make your operation much more successful. Having standardized systems in place will also make you less susceptible to production problems when you have a little turnover.
Insufficient Size or Capital
This is a big one for many small businesses.
The Vicious Sales Cycle will keep you in a perpetual cash flow crisis because you do not have a steady stream of sales to maintain a steady stream of cash.
Instead you use all your cash funding your next Vicious Cycle. Read our article on outsourcing to learn how you can double your capacity with no additional investment.
Would you be able to double your sales if you had nothing to do but just primarily sell? I would bet the answer is yes.
start somewhere today
I finally took control over what was holding me back when I finally answered the question, "What do I want?" For me it was easy after I answered that question. I could then dig into what was holding the business back from achieving what I wanted.
On our podcast The Push Thru I have learned that most other entrepreneurs and owners have had similar stories but they all had to start from somewhere.
Start somewhere today.
Start by writing down the question ‘What do I want?" Do not get up from the desk until you have precisely answered that question. Don’t give into the temptation of putting down a boilerplate answer like, "I want a little free time". Get down to the brass tacks of what you really want.
Then, and only then, can you start to see what is holding you back from growth right now.
The answer to the question “What do I want?” will be the catalyst for your future vision and everything in the business will align with it. Complete this step well and you will be on the growth track before you know it.