Top 3 Priorities for a Business Stuck in a Brick Wall. In Blackboard Fridays Episode 60, Jacob talks about Business Lifecycle. Need this implemented into your business? Talk to the international business advisor who can do exactly that – Contact Jacob, Learn More, or Subscribe for Updates.
The journey of a business owner is undoubtedly an emotional roller-coaster. Survive long enough (and most companies don’t) and your success and growth will be rewarded with the sensation that you are completely stuck in a brick wall with no hope of every moving through it.
Don’t despair! This is the Step Up phase of the business lifecycle, and there are 3 priorities for a business feeling stuck to help them move through and become optimistic and hopeful once again. Watch this week’s episode to learn what they are.
And as a reminder…
Every business moves through the same lifecycle. EVERY. Business. Understand the business lifecycle, as it applies to your business and where every one of your clients is situated, is so fundamental an entrepreneurial skill that the lifecycle sits atop ‘The businessDEPOT Way’ and was the topic of #BlackboardFridays Episode 2 way back in 2016.
We’re currently diving deeper into each of the four phases in the lifecycle: Start Up, Scale Up, Step Up, and Sell Up.
Wherever you are in your business, one of these will have immediate relevance. If your clients are also business owners or businesses, then watching each of these will help you better understand, service, and sell to your customers.
Who is Jacob Aldridge, Business Coach?
“The smart and quirky advisor who gets sh!t done in business.” Back independent since 2019.
Since April 2006, I’ve been an international business advisor providing bespoke solutions for privately-owned businesses with 12-96 employees.
At this stage you have proven your business model, but you’re struggling to turn aspirations into day-to-day reality. You are still responsible for all 28 areas of your business, but you don’t have the time or budget to hire 28 different experts.
You need 1 person you can trust who can show you how everything in your business is connected, and which areas to prioritise first.
Welcome to the third part in our understanding of the business lifecycle. A reminder that understanding this framework gives you a key competitive advantage for understanding your business, your team, as they go through their journey within your business, and if you admittedly sales, understanding where your clients, therefore targeting the ideal clients for you, by having an ideal conversation with them about their emotions and their needs.
Business, especially private enterprise, is an emotional journey. Often, it can feel like we’re stuck in a brick wall. If that’s you, if you are stuck waiting for a molasses, trying to find the justification to get out of bed every day to keep the business going despite all of that emotion that’s sitting on your shoulders, I say congratulations.
Half of all businesses that start in Australia fail to clear that first speed bump. They fail to get the revenue and momentum they need to get their business actually up and running. Many more going through that scale of things over five or ten years will turn over a hurdle. They’ll build up such a freight train, uncontrolled growth, that the business will employer before they even get a chance to really nurture it and to get the profit that they need out of it.
If you are down here in the step up phase stuck in a brick wall, then you would survive those two elements that kill a majority of Australian businesses, and that’s why congratulations are in order.
But you know you can’t wallow in that congratulations for too long because we’ve got to get you out of that brick wall as quickly as we possibly can. And on an average, I find businesses after 15 and 20 years, are stuck in this space. They long for the good old days. They remember what it was like back here backwards and unfortunately, we can’t go backwards in time. We can only go forward.
So, how does it feel? Well, apathy can start to kick in. Your business is your baby but it’s hard to love it what you’re used to when it’s kicking you in the guts every day instead of helping pick you up and energize you. That apathy combined with the frustration and stress that’s been building can give way to despair.
I see a lot of great Australian businesses and even around the world I work in other countries and they’ve got businesses that go through exactly the same journey, where the business owner shuts the doors on our operation not because it’s not profitable, not because it’s not successful, but just because emotionally, they couldn’t face the prospect of having to walk through those front doors one more time.
If you’ve ever felt like that, if you’re feeling like that, understanding that is actually a very normal and natural feeling for a business owner at this point in the business lifecycle. The reason it may not feel normal is because we go to conferences, if you read articles on websites, all of those kind of things, they get all la-di-da prettyboy store it scale up place.
Everything’s relaxed and fun in euphoric and they’re the poster child of how to be successful in business which is a complete crock of shit. Because you are here, you have survived that scale-up implosion that they haven’t even faced yet, you are success in business, just doesn’t feel like that.
We need to get you out of that. We need to shift you from despair, at the very least, into optimism. Into realizing that you can make changes in your business, you can take those little baby steps forward to pull yourself out of the brick wall, to start climbing back up this an energy journey, and to head towards the next phase in the business lifecycle.
So, if you look down here what is it you need to do? Well, it’s not big fancy overarching strategy. We need to get down into the nitty-gritty, start to release the energy, release the stuff that’s sitting in your business. I call it business by design. It’s unpicking a lot of the key decisions that worked for you in the past, but aren’t working for you now.
This covers the whole range of the businessDepot way. Go back to episode 50 and watch it in some detail if you want to understand all of the different decisions you’ve made, you’ve made successfully, that maybe you need to review and look at. Almost certainly, there are two or three of those that got you a great place in the past but are now holding you back. Need to make some different decisions.
Step 2, R’n’R, our roles and responsibilities to give you rest and relaxation. Again, we’ve done a Blackboard Friday’s episode. We’ve gone into some detail about all the different aspects of roles and responsibilities with the key point is this, at this stage in the business lifecycle, you were probably holding on to too much. You’ve got too much experience to be doing a lot of the tasks that you are doing. You need to start letting go of those into your team in order to grow.
Managing the step by step process in doing that, so if your team are energized and the business can do it profitably and successfully, can take a little bit of time but it’s well worth the investment you need to make.
The third key priority for business in the step-up phase stuck in that brick wall, needing to step up and face the new challenges, is undertaking a product and market refresh. You have a massive competitive advantage based on those decades of experience in business, something that all of these startups don’t have with all their joyful enthusiastic energy.
You’ve got an opportunity to do the best of what they do with a much better understanding of the market that you’ve got in front of you. If you can evolve your product and service, and take it out to the market in a new way, along with those internal changes that you’re making, that’s what creates the optimism for you and the energy to take you through to the next ,the fourth, the sell up phase of the business lifecycle.
Lastly, if you’re selling into a step-up business, and there are many businesses in this brick wall across the world, it’s a great type of client to have if you understand their needs and their motivation.
They’re not going to jump at the big, fancy la-di-da, they’re going to jump at practical, realistic, and meaningful and if you can communicate to them how your solution can slowly but surely get them out of that brick wall, then you were going to be head and shoulders above so many other businesses that are trying to be all things to all people.
Understand that this is a painful phase for business owner to be in but they didn’t start a business because they were scared, they started a business because they were courageous, because they were willing to take risks and the next risks they’re going to take is changing what used to work in order to create a better future for them and their team.
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