This week I have had two meetings with business owners who are struggling to grow their business but NOT for the reasons they thought.
They both told me that they needed more customers or clients to grow their business.
But they forgot to ask themselves this key question:
“Could my business cope with more clients?’
There is no point in having more clients if you can’t look after them and provide them with what they need. In fact, having more clients than you can cope with is the quickest way to a bad reputation and downward spiral in your business.
When I asked both of these business owners this question, they both admitted the answer was ‘no’.
I hear this a lot. And I see a lot of businesses that are just about managing to hold it all together, but creaking at the seams and in danger of it all going horribly wrong…..Why? Because they have too much to do in too little time (or too little resources).
I also see a lot of business owners running around like proverbial headless chickens trying to do everything in their business. Or, if they have staff, trying to supervise all their staff all the time because they don’t trust them to do things properly or the way they want it done. The problem is, since there is only one of you, this puts a limit on how much you can do and how many clients you can cope with. And that puts a limit on how big your business can grow.
So what’s really getting in the way of growing your business?
You? Your staff?
Well, it could be both. But here’s the thing……
…….it’s not your fault that you aren’t a superhero who can do everything (who is?)….
…..or that you don’t have staff who are as good at everything as you are…. (who does?).
No, this problem isn’t about the people in your business. It’s about the systems.
Put simply, if you don’t have good systems for the people in your business to follow, you won’t have a good business.
Or, if you do still manage to have a good business, your business will only be as good as the people in it at that moment, and what happens when they leave?
(Cue panic and more headless chicken impressions….)
So what’s the answer?
When you build a business you need to build it on a firm foundation, and that means having good systems in place for everything you do. From marketing to delivering your service to your clients. From billing and collection to for hiring and firing staff.
When you have good systems in place your staff (and you) can operate those systems and you are no longer relying on your own capacity to do everything or supervise everything your staff do. So you get consistency without headless chicken-cy (yes, I did just invent that word).
Not only that, but systems increase efficiency, meaning you can get more done in fewer hours or with fewer staff.
So if lack of systems in your business is holding you back from growing, isn’t it time you did something about it?