By Pavlo Phitidis
Your appetite for action, or tendency towards inaction, will save or sink your business. This week, on The Money Show with Bruce Whitfield, we delved into how you can change the destiny of your business, and your future as a business owner, when faced with change:
The tendency towards inaction
Recent meetings I’ve had with business owners are demonstrated to me that the fear of taking action, and a resistance to change, are critical flaws that can lead to the closure of your business. The world of business looks nothing like it did just a decade ago, and business models must be shifted to ensure that they respond to a transformed environment.
The difficulty of a family business
Resistance to change is very common within family businesses, as switching things up can be misconstrued as being disrespectful, or an issue may arise that’s touchy - something that family members are not willing to fight over. Notably too, complacency can set in quite easily, with successors taking over a thriving family business, only to find that they can no longer guarantee the business’ success, because they’re stuck using a business model that’s no longer relevant. As a business owner, however, no matter the circumstances, you must take decisive action to keep your business moving forward.
The fight worth having
Taking the right action for your business may feel like a fight, and the first fight begins within yourself. There are three elements that make up your consciousness, or awareness: that you know what you know; you know what you don’t know; and that you don’t know what you don’t know. Recognising the latter enables you to address your ego and accept the precious gift of doubt. Doubt helps you to keep considering alternative ways to solve your business problems. Of course, doubt can be crippling, but how you respond to that element of doubt will determine how it affects the growth of your business.
Always choose action
Perhaps the action you’re about to take in your business is not the perfect one, but don’t let that prevent you from taking it. The best way to mitigate any damage from taking the wrong action, is to act in a slow and measured way. Once you’ve acted in a small, measured way, assess it and figure out the consequences attached to it. Now that you understand how it affected your business, you can choose to take the next step and move towards taking more gradual action, which will ultimately become the bigger steps you need to take to progress.
How to redesign your business
Responding to a changed business environment isn’t easy, but the best way to chart your new course is to find out what your customers need. Create a list of questions to ask a selected set of trusted, or long-term, customers. Don’t just ask them why they buy from you – ask them why they would want to buy from you. Just as your business environment has changed, so have your customers’ needs and the problems they face. Finding out how to solve their new problems will help you plot a new direction for your business. You must constantly ask, how do I make my business a want to have rather than a have to have, a question that if answered by customers will lead your action and change.
Avoid the four silent killers of business
Taking action will help you to avoid the four silent killers of business. They are:
• Comfort: If you’re feeling comfortable in your business, it’s a sign that it’s not growing. It’s most likely that your current and potential customer base is slowly being eaten away by your competitors.
• Complacency: Avoiding a difficult conversation with a team member or business partner, because you fear the ensuing conflict, will not solve any of your business problems. Instead, avoiding potential conflict could - very quickly - destroy your business’ growth.
• Blame: Apportioning blame to the economy, or any set of circumstances, is easy, but it won’t solve your business problems. Unfortunately, no matter the circumstances, the only person who can truly take the blame for a business failure, is the business owner. That’s why you should surround yourself with people who will offer you alternative perspectives on your business, debate with you over the things that truly matter, and who complement both your strengths and your weaknesses.
• Procrastination: This is really just another word for fear. It’s the most nefarious of the silent killers because it’s at work, now, in you, every day. What tough calls should you be making, what uncomfortable discussions should you be having, today, right now to shine light on the dark spots in your business?
Are you battling to take action for your business? Aurik can help. Get in touch with our team and we’ll help you build your business into an asset of value.