Voluntary Business Blindness Is Just Dumb!

In simple terms, in order for you to have more business freedom, your business needs to be

Profitable

Predictable

Expandable

Able to operated without you

It may or may not surprise you to learn that many – if not most – businesses do not meet ALL of these criteria.

Why not?

Well, it’s not necessarily because they are bad businesses. And it’s not usually because the owners of the businesses are bad business people.

From my experience, it is because the businesses have not been developed or structured to meet these criteria. But sometimes “Business Blindness” gets in the way.

Starting, owning and running a business takes passion and commitment and persistence. And courage. Guts.

Often in the middle of the passion, the commitment and the persistence, we business owners become blind to what is actually happening in the business. We become blind to what we need to do to improve, change or re-structure the business to give us what we want. It’s Business Blindness!

The business needs to give us more of what we want – and less of what we don’t want. But in the heat of business battles, when the very survival of the business can be on the line, we sometimes forget what we really wanted when we started the business. We get caught up in “the business” – and often keep going doing stuff that doesn’t make a lot of sense – in the name of persistence, commitment and passion. That takes courage – but it’s just dumb.

Business Blindness is Dumb.

Blind passion is dumb. Blind commitment is dumb. Blind persistence is dumb. And having the courage to continue to do dumb things – is just dumb.

Staying on the business owner’s treadmill with no business freedom is just dumb too.

But, Business Blindness is voluntary. It’s our choice. Or generally, more correctly, it’s when we abandon our right and responsibility to make uncomfortable choices. Sticking our head in the sand of our own business also leads to blindness…

We don’t have to be blind in our own business, but we do need to remember to open our eyes. And we do need to make better choices – and take responsibility for our choices.

It’s time to open our eyes and re-look at our own business. We need to take more time out of working IN the business and start working more cleverly ON the business.

Most business owners don’t make enough time to work ON their business. Generally, it’s not because they don’t want to, but because they get so caught up in the “doing” of their business that they have no time or energy left to figure out what needs to be done to extract themselves from their own business.

But that is just continuing the Business Blindness – and continuing life on the treadmill!

One definition of insanity is “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”. To get Business Freedom, you don’t want to be doing the same things over and over again – if they are not working for you. You will need to be doing things differently. And you’ll probably need to be doing different things.

It’s important to realize you can change. Things can change. You can change the things you do.

Some Big Questions for you…

  1. Do you want your Business Freedom?
  2. What type of Business Freedom do you want?
  3. To get that type of Business Freedom, what needs to change? and then…
  4. How do you do it?

Small Business Game, Big Business Win

My neighbors are entrepreneurs at heart. They are part of the 860,000 new small business enterprises that opened doors this year. At the rate they are going they could also be part of the churned small enterprises that will close their doors over the next year if they don’t proactively take preventive measures.

My neighbors represent the vast majority of small business owners entering the market daily. In the beginning they are brimming with bright optimism and bright ideas. By the end they wonder how they could have made it all work as they close doors on yet another opportunity.

What are my neighbors, and small business owners (SBOs) like them doing wrong?

Do small businesses need excess cash flow to make it in this market?

Do marketing mix, core competencies and/or niche marketing spell small business accomplishment?

Well…yes and no.

I don’t think ample cash reserves tell the entire story for how to be a small business success. Cash helps, but it’s one piece to the overall puzzle. I also don’t think complex stats and formal business jargon determine small business success either. It helps to talk-the-talk. It helps even more to walk-the-walk, but again complexity doesn’t help unravel the tangled web of linear progression.

Bottom line, a devotion to realizing and then seizing business opportunities can course an SBO onto the path of growth.

A business with cash that does not do this will falter. Just as a business with a small budget can do this and succeed.

Small companies can play in this business game to garner big business wins.

o Size Matters

Small businesses have the advantage in just that: their size!

Unlike larger corporations, small businesses are postured to agilely and quickly remedy non cost-effective processes, products, and/or services. Also, small businesses can advantageously leverage their span of control as it is more cross functional and less hierarchical than larger competitors. Hence, revisions can be implemented and evident to the consumer before problems become systemically ingrained.

Utilize your business size and its mobility to deliver effective results for your consumers and your employees.

o Dedicate your Wits

While cash flow is a routine focus for business sustenance and growth, do not neglect the need for creative brainpower. As tiring as constant innovation and inventiveness can be when intermingled with ever changing products, services and finances, understand thriving enterprises analyze the market for the best opportunities to meet consumer demand.

Your business is static until you make it dynamic.

o Know Yourself to Know Your Business

Competition is rampant and it can affect sales. Yet, there are enough resources to support the SBO. If you look around at the varying small organizations in a city district, you should be encouraged! For the most part, these businesses offer similar products and/or services as larger companies, yet they still thrive.

Know what you offer and tout your uniqueness. A small business is an external expression of its owner. So just doing what you do is differentiation! Recognize it, and champion it as a unique resource available only through your gateway.

o Listen to the Beat

You don’t have to have expensive customer feedback mechanisms to know what your customers are saying. Feedback comes your way all the time in hushed compliments and verbose criticisms.

Be a pulse chaser! In other words, seek what’s hot. Pulse chasing companies experience business progression and growth beyond the box in which they initially started. Don’t just ask customers if they satisfied. Strive to exceed their expectations. There certainly exist tangent markets of available market share if you’re willing to listen to what that market says.

o Do It Already!

Knowing what to do and not doing it is insanity. The point of business ownership lies in the freedom to mold your ideas into a value-added good or service. Yet, execution is the lacking factor capable of diversifying your product into a money-making entity versus a money-sucking unit.

Implementing other processes and streamlining existing ones are not necessarily easy steps, but such analyses are relevant and can result in longstanding progressive actions. Lean and agile corporations anticipate customer demand, but the battle is won in how they back up their hunch with consistently salable products or services.

o Burn the Midnight Oil

Business is rhythmic.

Hang in there long enough to learn your business’ battle rhythm. Decisions can then be made proactively versus reactively, which gives the SBO an offensive positioning.

The only way you’ll know any of this data, however, is through defining new processes, assessing their relevance and reassessing the overall process for positive repositioning.

And that takes time…so hang in there!

Business Success in 4 Non-Negotiable Steps

As an entrepreneur you may have heard that financial success and growth is preceded by personal growth. The road to success begins with the decision to be successful. Your decision is later reinforced by the mental fortitude to stick to that decision through the highs and the lows that any business will undoubtedly offer.

The following four steps are non-negotiable on your path to success.

1 – Cultivating The Right Attitude is the foremost step in importance for any entrepreneur to master in order to create their first million dollars. I’ll paraphrase a quote by Ford here – Whether you think you can or can not, you are right! When you say “I CAN” you are more than halfway there already.

2 – Having Determination is the next order of business battle. Without determination, an entrepreneur lacks the drive to succeed. One without it will fail to plan, fail to ask for the sale of their product or service, and ultimately fail in their business.

An entrepreneur with an inner drive who is determined to succeed will see business problems as challenges and thrive on finding solutions.

3 – The right attitude and determination are nothing without the third non-negotiable step in business success: Taking Action. Nothing gets done without taking specific action. Sales are not made, progress is not achieved, and success is not had nor celebrated. It is easy to plan and theorize, and talk, but taking action is what pays the bills.

When in doubt, you should take action. Many new entrepreneurs spend the day “aiming” when they should in fact just be “firing” (…to use a shooting analogy).

4 – Last but not least: Seek Your Goals. That is to say, an entrepreneur should have obtainable goals that make them stretch, but not so much that they are totally out of reach. Having business goals forces you to plan, to evaluate, and to re-evaluate in order to achieve business success.

Know that accomplishing 3 out of the 4 non-negotiable steps to business success is not enough. All entrepreneurs must enact all 4 steps in order to attain the business and financial success you work so diligently toward.

Again you must take action to realize your goals coupled with the determination to persevere balanced by the attitude the You Can!

Now Go Get ‘Em!