Not a week goes by without hearing about a business in our area going out of business. In most cases, it was not the way the business owner had planned it, but they finally had to make the tough decision to shut their business down.
Meanwhile, not a week goes by without hearing about other businesses who are flourishing – growing, hiring and running hard to keep up with their new business growth.
Why is this? Why is it that in the same market, under the same economic conditions, one business will flourish while another will fail? I am sure you have your thoughts about it. I think about this all the time, and I have come to the conclusion that this doesn’t have to happen! Here’s why.
Business owners typically fall into one of these general categories:
EAGER & OPTIMISTIC – These business owners are excited about the future, dream big, are thirsty for knowledge and look at every situation as a learning opportunity.
COMFORTABLE – These business owners have found a routine that works for them, they are ok with the status quo and have adjusted their lifestyle to fit their earnings.
PESSIMISTIC – These business owners tend to blame external factors for their lack of success. They see themselves as a victim of the system and are just trying to survive.
KNOW-IT-ALL – These business owners know everything there is to know about their business, their industry, what works and what doesn’t and aren’t particularly interested in learning new ideas.
What I find interesting is that those who are successful typically fall into the Eager & Optimistic category. Which makes me wonder how much of their success is due to their industry, their location, their product, their service or the economy in general. I would suggest those are not the deciding factors on whether their business is successful or it fails.
What does determine the success or failure of a business is the attitude and thinking of the owner and his or her senior team. Just as a buying decision is made using 80% emotion and only 20% logic, the success of a business is determined by 80% attitude and 20% strategy/approach.
So by now you must be thinking about where you land on this spectrum. Good! I want you to think about this on a personal level. That is where the power lives.
As you think about the way you approach your business, I would challenge you to ask these questions of yourself:
How excited am I about the future? Have I visualized a big dream for myself and my family that is possible because of the tremendous success of my business?
Am I constantly reading, learning and trying new techniques to improve my business and serve my customers better?
Do I have someone to challenge, encourage, guide and hold me accountable so that I do the work necessary to get better on a regular basis?
Do I maintain a positive attitude and require that those on my team also maintain a positive, can-do attitude no matter what the situation?
Have I fallen into a comfortable pattern of behavior or am I constantly stretching my comfort zone and doing things that are a little beyond my proven capabilities?
When you answer these questions for yourself, you will know which category you fall into. If you are honest with yourself and determined to move into a higher category, there is still time to do it! Please don’t wait until it is too late and you too have to put out that sad announcement that you are “going out of business”.
And, don’t let the fear of additional costs keep you from getting help. The right help will make you money, not cost you money. If you partner with the right advisor, they will be more interested in your success than in their own. They will understand your financial concerns and struggles and work with you to find a solution that works.
One last thought. If you know someone who you believe falls into one of these “at risk” categories, please do them a big favor. Share this message with them and encourage them to seek help. It may be difficult for them to hear the truth, but they will thank you for it – for years to come!
This Doesn’t Have to Happen! With the right attitude and right approach, we can stop this madness from happening!