3 Key issues that hold Small Business back – And What to do about them

Whether it is a formal business meeting or a casual coffee catch up, every business woman that I have ever spoken to has always said to me at some point that there was more she wants to do for her business. If I group these conversations, they would broadly fall under one of these categories:

– Improve the business in its current state
– Take the existing business model to the Next level
– Do Something different to the business

And the 3 Key issues that hold these Small Businesses back are usually the same too:
– Time
– Resources
– And … if you do have the time and resources, deciding where to invest these, so it yields the best outcomes for your business

If you are a business owner, you probably have many ideas about how to grow your business, dreams about where you want your business to go and a lot of concerns about how you’re going to make it happen. Let’s address the 3 common issues to help you get from point A to point B:

1) TIME - Channeling Time

Time is a constraint, only if you are focusing on ‘Time Management’ – What you need is a Strategy for ‘channeling time’!

Finding the time to work on your business rather than working ‘in’ your business is a common concern. How do you move from being involved in every aspect of the day to day to freeing yourself to have time each day to grow your business? Time to step away from your business and trust that it can run itself while you take an all-important trip to a conference, travel abroad to pitch a concept to a potential investor, or just as importantly, take a holiday!

Having the confidence that your business will keep running smoothly in your absence is also a big challenge. Time to analyse what is working and what is not, what steps you need to take next and how to implement them is also a really big hurdle for many business owners.

So, what can you do to overcome these areas of concern that all stem from time? We all get the same 24 hours in a day, but how you approach spending those hours is critical to your success?

Have a strategy that is more than just a prioritisation tool – Create a strategy to “Channel time”

1. Look at your next 1-3 year landscape and create a strategy that helps you thrive, not just survive.
2. From this, map each of your activities to the overarching landscape.
3. Use a planning model to bring in an outcome based strategy to each of your actions. Use principles like ‘eliminate, reduce, add, enhance’ to assess your results.
4. Stay Agile – Implement a plan, but DO NOT BE AFRAID of deviating as long as you are aligned to your overall strategy and landscape

A good business advisor can help you to create a strategy. And then, help you stay on it, but also be agile enough without deviating from the core purpose.

2) RESOURCES - Optimising Resources

A client said to me about 18 months ago – ‘Having optimum resources to run the business means that she can step away from the day to day grind of her business and develop it into a self-oiling machine that she can drive strategically’. Having resources is one thing but applying them strategically is a totally different ball game.

And yes, if you have a strategy, you will be able to step away and take a break or leave the country for work without your business falling into a state of catastrophe, you won’t be getting panicked phone calls from your staff and horrible emails from disgruntled customers.

And believe it or not, a good strategy can actually help you ‘optimally apply your existing resources’. You can do this yourself. But if you are like me or my clients, you will probably want to engage a good business coach or advisor to get you there quicker and more efficiently and also help assess if it needs to be kept in-house, outsourced or a combination of both. That’s part of channeling your resources wisely, isn’t it?!

In a nutshell, you can start by breaking your business down in to specific areas and then looking at each area you can, over a period of months and work on each area of the business in silo to the others.

All the parts together make up your business but when you strengthen one, you also strengthen the others.

For example, you would have at least 3 or more of the following in your small business that might not be getting the attention they need

1. Finances, Profit Margins, ROI
2. Product offering & development
3. People and HR
4. Marketing, Branding
5. Processes, systems, software
6. Building value and eliminating Risk from your business

A business advisor will have a smarter plan – but if you are doing this yourself, here are some tips. Map out time to work on one area at a time with a specific goal for improvements. Do this for, say 2 months per area with a dedicated amount of time each week, be it 1 hour or 8, in 12 months you will have worked on, strengthened, improved and implemented positive and lasting changes in your core business.

In other words – you will have a strategy that helps you get optimum results from your existing resources.

3) STRATEZY - What's Right for your Business

Is your Business being a science lab where you are experimenting various pieces of knowledge that you have acquired from a plethora of online and offline resources and hoping something would work at some point and turn it all around?

There’s literally billions of bits of information about running businesses that we have coming at us from every possible online source and then some! Thanks to all this, you are not short of Knowledge, but what is right for your business.

The time and resources you do have are better spent if you could channel them into a source that could yield you the right outcomes that meet your business dreams and aspirations. To be fair, we all really do know when something is not working. That is not actually the problem. The problem is working out what to do about it.

Having the right Strategy is the solution. You could do this by applying your past learnings, studying and analysing what’s right for your business and ensuring it aligns with your overall landscape you set out to achieve.

This is where a business advisor or a proven and tested business growth program that can assure you of the results and returns becomes an incredibly valuable idea.

A trusted advisor who knows your business but sits outside of your business can bring new perspectives, alternative considerations and fresh ideas that are not easy to come up with on your own- especially when your right in the middle of it.

FINDING THE RIGHT ADVISOR

So how do you find a business advisor who can firstly help you with a solid strategy to channel in your limited time and resources & give you an assurance on your returns on the program?

Well of course I’m going to put myself forward here, particularly if you are based in Melbourne, however you’ll be able to find many good business advisors through networking groups, or ask among your own contacts as they may have used one themselves.

I have been hearing all the concerns I’ve discussed from my clients for years now and have worked with some awesome clients who have had great results, you can check out the testimonials on my page if you’d like to learn more about the results a business adviser can bring.

With such a consistent number of business women encountering these concerns, I have come up with a solution and am rolling it out over the coming year.

I am going to take a group of 6 handpicked Business Women on a course I’ve put together called ‘Women in Business Mastermind”. It’s designed to address and overcome all these issues, create an effective strategy and best of all- give these women time away from their business to work on their business- IN HAWAII (It won’t be all work I can assure you).

An added bonus from this course is that as women in business it can often be hard to find likeminded women to connect to and share experiences with. Having that support base, those trusted few that you know understand where you are at is invaluable.

By being part of the Women in Business Mastermind and Hawaii Retreat program I will create the perfect opportunity for this group to form these connections with women who are local and in the same position as they are.

I’ll be reporting back in the coming months to update you on how the Mastermind program unfolds and what key learnings we can take from it.

If you’d like to know more you can watch all the videos explaining the program on my You Tube Media Stratezy Group Channel or visit WIB Page to find out more and ask me any questions. I do have a couple of spots left so please get in touch if you’d like to learn more.

Please comment if you have any experiences you’d like to share on the challenges you face as a women in business.

I shall look forward to hearing from you!

Sirisha

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