“There are some questions you need to ask yourself if you’ve been running a business for more than a few years” says Sales Masters Guild Mentor, Jo Driver
As I have been out and about networking and talking to business owners, it seems that many are just starting out in business or they have started their business in the last year or two. Unfortunately, the statistics show that over 70% of new businesses fail in their first two to three years of business and out of those that don’t fail, only a tiny percentage of business owners achieve a high income from their business. So if you have been running your business for more than a few years now, ask yourself this: Am I earning what I want to be earning? Do I have the lifestyle and the work/life balance I want?
So how, with the high percentage of failure rate coupled with the probability to earn less money than they would make in employment, do they justify starting a business?
Here are some of the common reasons that I hear about why someone may start a business:
- They may feel deflated in their job and believe that they can provide a better service than they can currently provide through the company they work for.
- They’d prefer to be their own boss.
- They’d like to work less hours for a greater income or be able to select their chosen work hours.
- They desire to have a better work/life balance.
- They want to do something they are passionate about.
- They were made redundant from their job.
Whilst all these are valid reasons, they go ahead and start their business only to find that actually it is not as easy as they first thought. Suddenly they have to be an expert in all areas of business, not just the service they provide and before long they are caught up running in circles like a hamster on a hamster wheel, getting nowhere very quickly. Suddenly the dream of a successful business turns more into a nightmare of a job.
So, I’ll focus on just three areas why many can’t get off that hamster wheel and why they find it a struggle to build a high income generating business.
Now this is a huge topic and one I could easily spend a day talking about. It is not as easy as many might think to exclude all negativity from your mind and just stay positive. Your mindset is crucial to your success and has a big effect on all aspects of business, actually 80% of success in business is related to your mindset!
You will never conquer business because in business something will always change. There will always be something new and there will always be challenges ahead. The greatest challenge you will face in business will be yourself. What it comes down to is how self-aware you are and how you deal with the demons and the voices in your head.
If you are currently employed and thinking about starting your own business then that is going to require a huge shift in your mindset. Many of the business owners I meet out and about think they are running a business when in fact they are self-employed. If they were to step away from their business for even a short amount of time, whilst they are away and not working, the business will stop running and no income is generated. The self-employed mindset often means working on a pay by time basis, i.e. so much charged for so many hours spent on delivering the service.
Start thinking more like an entrepreneur and work on that internal daily chatter you have with yourself, for example when you catch yourself saying “I can’t do … ”, reframe it to “How can I do?’’, “What would happen if I did …?”, or “Could this be done a different way?”, “What did I learn from …. ?”
Whilst on the subject of mindset it amazes me that when someone starts a business, they have often spent years learning their trade or service, but they don’t see the need to invest their time or money in learning how to build a business that works. Your mindset must be open: open to learning, open to taking advice, and open to seeing opportunities.
Planning the business:
Often, when I’m talking to business owners about their plans for their business, they give me a very blank look, never having given a thought to what they are wanting to achieve. The majority I speak to have never spent any time planning their business. I’m often told, “I don’t need to have a plan as I’m not needing to raise any finance”, or if a plan has been done, often it has not been looked at or revisited since first done.
Having a clear vision of the future you want to achieve from your business is vital. What does success look like to you? Then you need to plan your business, be committed and laser focused, to make it happen. Think about it as starting out on a journey, if you don’t know your destination then how will you know how to get there, or how will you know when you have even reached your destination.
Spend some time to research and Identify where the money is to be made in your sector, and what your market really wants and needs?
Time Management and Income producing activities:
“We all have the same 24 hours in the day, it’s how you manage your time that matters”.
It is very easy to fall into the trap of procrastination and believe that we are working really hard in business when in fact most of the time we are putting off the things that we genuinely need to do to get more sales and get more income in.
Whilst on the subject of sales, very few business owners have ever taken the time to learn how to sell and be able to sell without appearing to be selling. Without sales coming in, you have no business, and when you are starting out in business the best person to sell your product or service is you, even if you can afford to hire someone to sell on your behalf. My advice is learn to sell and learn how to make sales an enjoyable process for you and your customers.
If you are serious about growing your business and it giving you the income and lifestyle you are looking for, you could start with Jo’s One Day Entrepreneurs Training Course. You can contact her directly if you’d like to discuss the day in more detail before booking through her Mentors profile page.
Jo Driver is a Sales Masters Guild Personal Business Mentor.
Jo’s transition to becoming a business entrepreneur began back in 1995, starting her own Training and Consultancy business. Jo has also built a Health & Wellness business and is a co-founding partner of JRD Property, a property investing business.