The Small Business Coach # 2 Getting Down and Dirty


Introduction to the Series:

I have been thinking about you; your goals, ambitions, and challenges.  I  felt it was appropriate to provide several concepts related to expanding your business. I know that expansion is probably the furthest thing from your mind; it just seems to me that you have worked yourself into a corner.  Expansion may be your way out of work and back into your life. I know this may seem paradoxical, but trust me.

At this point it's unfathomable for your business not to need you. You may even cringe at the thought of taking some time away from your organization; I'm sure the thoughts that follow are fairly disastrous. How would you ever stay afloat if you stopped working for a week, a month, and god forbid a year? What would your life be like if you could see life beyond your business?

One thing I have learned in my years of running multiple businesses is that we really have to find a way to let go of the concepts that may be holding us back, and at the very least challenge our assumptions.

Instead of your business needing you perhaps this is a case of you needing your business. Maybe you are in love with the meaning it contributes to your life, the financial rewards, the deep emotional satisfaction when things are going well, the feeling of triumph when you move forward in spite of challenging times. In any case I'm sure your life amounts to much more than running a profitable small business.

A Paradigm Shift

You are not meant to focus on your business in the way that you do. Your business is an instrument, not the destination. Please keep in mind that life is about fulfilling a purpose beyond fiduciary responsibilities. What is your purpose? Can you look beyond the obvious to see how your occupation can be used to elevate your life's meaning?

Do The Dirty Work

Whether this is something you are ready to do now or you have a three, five, or eight year agenda, you must consider how you will pay for the expansion. I am a firm believer that a business owner should know how to acquire customers and to fulfill her obligations to her clients before raising capital or attempting to invest in an expansion. If a business executive isn't sure how to be profitable when she is running a small business than just adding money to her equation will simply increase her loss.

Shortly, I will present obstacles that when overcome will serve as lessons and milestones. Claiming victory over these hurtles will qualify you for a profitable business expansion.  If you do not get through these challenges before expanding you will increase your chances of failing as a small business. You must identify what milestone is immediately ahead of you and work through these challenges creatively, objectively, and on paper. Getting through these lessons offers the education and experience you need to create momentum.

Many professionals never discover the truth about working out these details before tugging at the coat sleeve of a VCs or Loan Officers. In return these individuals end up frustrated and more in debt. The very act of overcoming these challenges will teach you how to expand a business successfully. Adding to this type of  success by developing your management team will only cause your business to flourish.


1.) Not Enough Sales

The first obstacle in business is to make enough sales to keep the lights on and your bills paid. Loans or savings can be used to established or carry the company until that point. If you are facing this obstacle don't take your time for granted. You need to invest every minute of your time and every ounce of your energy marketing and selling; until you get it right. This is not the time to settle for mediocrity or second best. Whether you are involved in inbound marketing i.e. Content Marketing, Blogging, SEO, Social Media Marketing, etc... or outbound marketing i.e. Cold Calling, PPC Campaigns, Email Marketing etc... work long hours and work smart. At this point it is about volume; make as many calls as you can, blog as often as you can, network as often as you can. Getting beyond this arena takes time and hard work; many businesses fail because executives can't get through this.

2.). Too Much Work for One Person, Too Little Cash to Hire Someone.

The second obstacle comes when you are moving from negative to positive cash flow. In this instance you are overwhelmed with client fulfillment, and customer acquisition.  You are convinced you should hire someone, but you can't afford it. This is part of business growth. Although every situation is diverse, if an owner is witnessing an overwhelming amount of work as a result of getting business and still can't afford to hire someone, than she is wasting her time catering to smaller opportunities and needs to either increase her prices, repackage her offering, (so that she is getting paid for her work load) or refocus her attention on clients that can pay the highest amount for her products or services.

3.) Too Many Customers, Too Much to do - To Be Organized.

This is the stage where the juggling factor begins to produce feelings of overwhelm and confusion. Everything is in disarray, and your disarray is costing you your reputation and your customers. Your disorganization and disarray is causing you to miss appointments or customer commitments. There is a need for ingenuity to work your way to a healthier business. If you are facing challenges in this area you must work at reorganizing your organization. This is the exact time the professional needs to organize, stream line processes, and to discover new technologies and outsourcing.

What obstacles do you need to overcome in order to afford your expansion?

Once you get through these three stages and you know how to run a profitable business, than it's time to begin planning for a management team.

Stay Tuned!

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