Alone, lonely, lonesome, expensive.
We worked with two business owners last week in the same boutique industry.
The first has been at it for eight years, 4 locations, over $2.0 million in revenue. Success in every way, from the outside. Inside though, the start-up systems are breaking down, the line-up is not right for the next breakthrough, cash flow is tight. The owner and key leader are stressed out, stuck in some old habits, and in pain.
The second owner just started, opening two franchise locations of a national brand. He is a corporate finance genius, who is still fully committed to his high-paying, time and attention-demanding job with a Fortune 500 company. The two locations he opened are struggling with turnover, low revenue, and losing money at a high rate.
The common theme from each story, what you don’t know as a small business owner can cost you big: hundreds of thousands of dollars, peace of mind, the elusive joy and reward of being a business owner.
The struggle is real for every business owner. After 10 years of serving in the SMB space, here are the top four root causes for real pain in the life of the business owner.
- What you don’t know can hurt you. Small businesses are complex (many parts) but not complicated (difficult to master). Be humble enough to ask for help from others in the community, you will find SMB owners to be generous within their tribe.
- Myopic focus on areas of competence and comfort. If you want to grow your business, you are going to have to learn and do new things that will take you outside your comfort zone. Get comfortable being uncomfortable.
- Marketing and sales neglect. Next level revenue requires mastery of the business processes of marketing and sales. If you are not willing to learn this, keep your job.
- Build the right team. The people that are just right for your startup season may not want to or be able to evolve into the contributors you need for the next level of performance. These will be the toughest decisions to make.
We have helped both the owners above forge the paths for their next breakthroughs, we can help you too. Avoid the Hank Williams blues, ‘I’m so lonesome I could cry.’