Tips to Avoid Business Failure

When was the last time you took a day to focus solely on learning and thinking about how to improve your business?  For me, that answer is this past Friday.  Prior to that, I don’t remember when the last time was that I took an entire day to focus only on thinking about how to grow our business.  It is amazing what you can come up with when you take the time to focus on how to run your business, instead of spending all your time focused on running your business.

This past Friday for me started by completing a 5 hour marketing training course I had purchased a few weeks ago.  As I went through the course I had a set of questions I was specifically seeking answers to.  Then I read the book The One Minute Entrepreneur by Ken Blanchard, Don Hutson, and Ethan Willis.

The third paragraph in the book hit home…
“One of the primary reasons small businesses fail is that they are started by technicians – people who are skilled at something and who enjoy doing that thing. Whether they are electricians, writers, photographers, or computer programmers, these people make the fatal mistake of continuing to do the work they’re skilled at while ignoring other vital parts of their business”.

As a business owner, marketer, department manager, or whatever role you play within your business, you probably have something you enjoy doing more than anything else.  That is why it is so easy to divert back to doing it, instead of doing what you should be doing to grow your business. Often the primary reason you opened your business (or took on your leadership role) was because you enjoyed doing those things, and you never realized doing those things aren’t what it takes to grow your business.

For me, the easy things are writing, website development, and social media.  I am good at those things, but they often hinder me from working in the areas where I need to be working.  In both roles, I should be spending a lot more time coming up with and implementing the strategies for the team I need to build to help me execute.

As I pondered this thought, I had a flashback to several of the clients I do marketing strategy sessions with.  Most are business owners who spend a large portion of their time working in their business.  Their number one issue to overcome is realizing they need to stop working so hard on developing their skills as a technician, and start working a lot harder on developing their skills as a business owner.

This was also a big takeaway from the marketing course I completed on Friday.  Within the first 5 minutes of the lecture the presenter said, “Marketing is the business and everything else is a deliverable. We can go beyond ‘most important function’ and actually get to an understanding that the business you are in is the marketing business and whatever it is that you exchange for money is a deliverable.If you’re a veterinarian, you don’t really get to be a veterinarian unless somebody walks through the door with a dog, cat, lion, parrot, rabbit, or snake.”

As you ponder that thought, I encourage you to take time this week (and every week going forward) to figure out what you are doing in your role as a leader to truly grow your business by working on strategy instead of working in the day-to-day operations.

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