How many times have you been on a road trip with children and heard that constant question that gratingly gets on your nerves: ‘Are we there yet?’
If you’re like me, you want to answer with, ‘Of course not or we’d be… there.’ Kids, knowing the potential fun to be had at the destination, get weary in the waiting of the journey itself.
Business owners are not too dissimilar; I’ve heard the question many times over the years: ‘We’ve tried various things to bring about change in our business but nothing seems to change. We seem destined to stay where we are rather than get to where we want to be – will we ever get there?’
They’re tired, disheartened and often at breaking point – either from stress or from the hope that has turned to disappointment.
If you’re travel worn, here a few things that might bring a fresh sense of hope.
It’s a five stage process that I have seen work time and time again, simple upon initial glance, though often challenging in the follow-through.
1. Create, define or re-define your ideal destination
Take a pen and in one or two sentences write down where it is that you’d like to arrive.
2. Current obstacles
Make a list of all the current obstacles that are blocking your progress. Examples might include:
- The whole business is reliant on ‘me’
- My staff don’t care (or we are understaffed)
- Not enough money and poor cash flow
- Enquiries for new jobs are low
3. Key obstacle identification
From that list, identify one or two areas that have the potential to affect some of the others.
In the list above, I could focus on getting my staff on track (or off the track completely), ensuring I have people beside me who willingly shoulder responsibility – taking the full reliance off myself.
This, in turn, will free up my time to focus on driving more enquiries, therefore increasing the financial returns of the company.
If you don’t proceed with this step, all activity above is a waste of time. Schedule time daily or weekly to get to work on removing the obstacles, driving change in your business.
Whether it’s a peer, a friend, your accountant, or an external consultant, establish a regular check-in time with someone who will hold you accountable, both to what you said you would do and your regular implementation activity.
Easy to say, harder to do – yes! However, I have seen over the years that those who follow this process, never taking their eye off their ideal destination and committing themselves to the process, not only enjoy the journey more but have a much higher chance of arriving at the destination.
It might not be the original planned end-point, but nevertheless, they say the journey in the meantime got a whole lot better.
Best of luck!