Fortune 1000 company CEOs and small start-up business owners who have yet to make $1,000 often share the same problem—a business struggling to succeed. Economic conditions can definitely have an effect.
Many of the business challenges I see, however, are self-inflicted!
Business problems due to lack of sales revenue are most often addressed at the surface level—”We need a new website, lower prices, more salespeople, and so forth.” Sales and marketing are obvious places to look by the entrepreneur or even seasoned CEO.
Business solutions like these are where hordes of consultants and advisors earn their fees. Most often they are well earned and justified.
But wait—there’s more!
My experience as a business advisor for CEOs of multi-billion dollar companies and one person start-ups tells me that these tactical plans and approaches to problem businesses are often futile. It leaves the business struggling and focused on the wrong activities, even if well intended.
The culprit of many a business challenge lies below the surface.
If the basic business design, model, and plan have flaws then the entire business is off the mark. The larger the business, the more it lives within the corporate culture—for better or worse. Even a small defect at the core of the business can be expensive.
What To Do
- Watch this video on The On-Purpose Business Plan. Invest 9 minutes right now. This will help you find undiscovered wealth within your business. As you’re watching ask yourself if your business has this kind of thinking and structure in place and developed. Better yet, ask yourself the value of it if you did have it in place. When you build your business on your purpose, then you’re capable of offering a full-bodied expression of your business instead of the typically tactical and anemic offerings of today.
If something is missing in your business … it is probably here!
2. Do This: STOP! = Start Thinking On-Purpose!
How to do that: Try this simple exercise. Write down your “truths” about your business. This could include your assumptions about your customers, the market conditions, what it takes to sell, the benefits and features of your product or service, costs, the quality of your team or delivery … you get the idea. Jot down what you hold as a reality or truth in your business. These are your assumptions and concepts.
Next, take your list to two or three people outside your industry and ask them to review the list and to tell you their take on your observations plus their thoughts and perceptions. Avoid defensiveness. Wear your R&D and market research hat and listen—don’t tell—and just ask.
Finally, interview a few customers or targeted prospects to learn if your truths are reality or simply impressions that constrain your business development and growth. Ponder it and then adjust accordingly!