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How many times have you heard other business owners making excuses for why their business isn't getting to where they want it to be? How often do you make excuses for why things aren't working out as planned in your business? How would you feel if you stopped making excuses and made choices and decisions instead so you focus 100% on achieving your business strategy and goals?
You may not realise that you are making excuses so here are some common excuses you may be making in your business:
Not enough time. So you don't have enough time to do everything you need to do in your business, whether this be not enough time to take action, not enough time to step back and reflect on the future of your business or not enough time to do anything apart from day to day tasks and fire fighting. Consider what you can do to generate time such as looking at what you are doing each day, getting more organised, stopping procrastination, delegating or outsourcing or recruiting additional staff.
Too many competitors. You think there are too many competitors for your business and that is why you are not succeeding. Most businesses have a lot of competitors but even if they are selling the same products or services they are not all the same as your business. Understand and promote what is unique about your business whether this be location, level of service, added value, type of customers or many other points of difference.
Poor cash flow. I have heard many business owners bemoan their cash flow position and blame it on their banks, customers or suppliers. However often poor cash flow is due to poor management of cash in the business. Consider what you can do to improve your cash flow such as improving your outstanding debtors by having and following strict invoicing and cash collection procedures, renegotiating payment terms with your suppliers and customers or converting your overdraft into a repayment loan.
Can't decide what to do next. Another common excuse in businesses is around indecision and being unable to decide what to do next. Identify a medium to long term strategy and shorter term plan for your business including what you want to achieve and how you are going to get there. This will focus your decision making and enable to make your decisions in relation to where you want the business to go.
Not enough customers. You may be making the excuse that you don't have enough customers for your business. You may not have enough customers but rather than complaining about it you need to take action to get more customers. Understand who your ideal client is, develop and implement a sales and marketing strategy and plan to get more customers and look at ways that you may be able to get your existing customers to spend more money with your business or refer other potential customers to you.
The economy is struggling. The economy may be struggling but there are lots of successful businesses out there in spite of the market conditions. Consider what successful businesses do and how you could emulate them, look at ways you can capitalise on the current economic situation and focus on the areas that are within your control (rather than areas that you can't control like the economy) and on achieving your business objectives.
Don't know how to...... Another common excuse in business is that you don't know how to, whether that be you don't know how to deal with a particular situation, don't know how to grow your business or don't know how to develop a business plan. There are plenty of ways to find out how to including attending business seminars, networking with other business people, asking your business contacts, training courses and reading or seeking the help of other business professionals (e.g. sales and marketing experts, accountants, business consultants, business mentors etc.).
Can't get the staff. You may think that you cannot get the staff because of your previous experience of recruitment, managing staff and trying to run your business. Consider whether your business has the right training, communication, recruitment, human resources and management processes and procedures and systems in place and whether you are recruiting for the right roles in your business at the appropriate level.
Need a new system. How often have you blamed things on the systems you use in your business? You may want to invest in a new system but what can you do in the meantime to improve how your business is run? Maybe you could improve the manual procedures or use of the existing system or employ more staff to help with the workloads.
I don't like...... You may not be doing something that is critical for achieving your business goals because you or your staff don't like doing it. This may be an indication that you need some training in that area or that you should consider delegating or outsourcing that particular function or that you are just scared of failure in doing the task. Consider what the cause is and take action to rectify it.
So what excuses are you making in your business? We all have choices and options so what are you going to choose to do differently? How would you feel if you stopped making excuses and made choices and decisions instead so you focus 100% on achieving your business strategy and goals?
If you would like support to stop making excuses and start taking action please call Liz Makin on 01780 765270 or email Liz to arrange a free consultation session.
You can also read other business and stress management tips articles that may help you be more effective at work or in your business.
Author: Liz Makin
Published: September 2014
Makin It Happen has a range of personal development online courses to purchase, created by Liz Makin, including communication, resilience, time management, stress management and coaching. Liz Makin also provides personalised business coaching, business mentoring and stress management services to business owners, directors, managers and professionals.
Please call Liz on 01780 765270 or email Liz@makinithappen.co.uk
to arrange a FREE consultation session
to discuss our business coaching, business mentoring and stress management services for business owners, directors, managers and professionals.