ARE YOU STUCK IN STARTUP PHASE?
Chapter 9: Raising your Toddler Start Up to a Grown Up Business
ARE YOU STUCK IN STARTUP PHASE?
In reality, the business that you have built may be no more than an elaborate “job” for yourself. Sure you get to be your own boss and work from home, but if you want to make more money, you need to start thinking like a franchise. Ask yourself, “How can I systematize and automate my business so that it can run without me?” How can you make the process of delivering your product or service turnkey so someone else can easily replicate it?
In his book, The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It, Michael Gerber explains this concept perfectly. He explains why McDonald’s restaurant calls their business “The Most Successful Small Business in the World.” In 1952 Ray Kroc experienced great success when he discovered a way to create hamburgers “quickly, efficiently, inexpensively, and identically.” He devised a process so simple that any high school kid, anywhere, could replicate it. He took that “process” and developed his franchise. That’s why you don’t need Ray Kroc himself to grill your burger in order to get that McDonald’s experience. If you go to a McDonald’s anywhere in the world and order a hamburger, you know exactly what to expect because of the standards and procedures he established.
If you were to sell your business today, could it run without you? Try to see yourself as a young Ray Kroc, creatively think about how you can make the move from being self-employed to being in command of an efficient self-serving business enterprise.
TOP FIVE REASONS WHY PEOPLE STAY STUCK IN STARTUP STAGE
Many new business owners seem to get “stuck” at this beginning stage of business and don’t push to the next level. Here are the major reasons why people fail to move past the startup phase of business:
Complacency: It’s easy to get caught in the status quo and become so busy that you forget to plan for the future.When things are going smoothly, it’s a perfect time to dream, ponder, and plan your next moves.
Lack of vision: If you could do anything in your business with no limitations what would you do? Spend some time daydreaming. Brainstorm with your business coach or a friend about what’s possible. Don’t stifle yourself by waiting for the “good” ideas. Let the ideas flow out of you. Then narrow the list down to the winners. Keep an idea file and store all your thoughts there.
Loss of control: If you aren’t careful, expanding your business could lead to added responsibilities, lack of control, and loss of freedom unless you systematize your work duties. Imagine your business as a machine. If you wanted a machine to perform better, you would probably need to add a high performance engine, oil it, and make sure it is well maintained. Similarly, when you grow your business, you will need to add the people and parts to perform the extra tasks. Growing the business does NOT have to mean that you personally do more.
Fear of change: Routines feel comfortable, like a worn pair of jeans. And changing your business can be a fearful thing if you let it. Once you acknowledge the things you are afraid of, they lose power of you. Like the mice in the book Who Moved my Cheese by Spencer Johnson, you can determine your reaction to change. Embrace the change.Take joy in the adventure of the ride.
Fear of the unknown: By making a list of what you don’t know, one by one you can seek to learn each item. Ask someone, read a book, take a class. Learning and growing can only make you stronger. Finding out what you don’t know, is the first step toward mastering your trade.
SHIFTING FROM SELF-EMPLOYED WORKER TO BUSINESS MANAGER
Create an action list of five steps you can take to begin progress toward your new business goals.
What do you have to do to make this change to occur? Can you spend a half hour a day, taking one step to bring you closer to your new dream?
Set some long-term goals. How can you create greater business growth and a quicker return on your investments? Develop sales and expense forecasts for the next couple of years. Regularly check your actual numbers against your forecasts.
What new people, parts, and resources will you need to make this new business machine function properly? Build a competent team of associates or consultants who can assist you. Train them with the skills and knowledge they need to move forward.
Focus your resources on the products or services that are most profitable for your business. Ask yourself how you can sell more, grow your profit margin, and add related products to your offerings.
Spot and eliminate any profit holes. Are you offering any services for free that you should start billing for? Are you spending any money on advertising that is not effective? Once you free up this money, it will be available to use for future growth of your company.
Develop your leadership skills. As the captain of this new ship, you will need confidence, knowledge, organization skills, motivation, good delegation skills, and a good sense of direction. Look inside to see what leadership qualities you may already possess and let them surface.
Work to build a passive income. Try to identify and implement income streams that are “automatic” and require little or no work from you. Since you can’t buy more time, you need to find ways of making the most money with the time you have. Automatic income generators can help you create a constant base of nonworking income. Some ideas for this are creating an audiotape, video, ebooks, affiliate product sales, and reseller opportunities.