Co-Authored with Brandon Allen
At some point in your business' life, you will hit a flashpoint where you begin to value time more than you value money.
In the beginning, time is the most abundant resource that you have and you will give it freely. But as your business and income grows, so do your responsibilities. Time now becomes precious because you have very little of it.
The late philosopher, The Notorious BIG, said "more money, more problems." For business owners, the equation is "more money, less time." Success tends to create a scenario where you are working more on day-to-day tasks, but working less on growing the business for the future.
Processes and systems don't get attention, employee relationships aren't built, no one is looking at the numbers and so on.
These items continue to be ignored until one day the business owner is forced to pay attention.
Sometimes, it's too late and issues that were once small are now huge overwhelming issues.
But this doesn't have to happen. The best way to prevent it is to know what the dangers are ahead of time, and be proactive to prevent it.
To keep your business moving forward and to keep you from burning out, here are five key areas to assess to see if you are creating the right leverage for future growth:
- Time: As we just covered, a growing business will demand more and more of your time until it's impossible to keep up, and then your business growth will suffer.
To prevent burnout and reclaim the focus to grow your business, ask yourself this question, "What are my top five value-producing activities in my business?"
In other words, what are the 5 things you do that have the biggest impact on your business? Next, design a way to focus on these 5 activities, and delegate the rest.
That brings us to the next point.
- People: When you started your business, unless you are Paris Hilton, you had limited resources. Because of this, you used your resources wisely and only spent money on the essentials. But as your business grows, it can be hard to let go of that scarcity mentality.
This often reveals itself when it's time to hire someone to do an activity outside of your top 5 value-producing activities. Instead of letting go, many business owners continue doing a task that would be better suited to someone else, all in the name of saving money.
Let me tell you, it's not worth it. Lack of personnel is one of the biggest reasons that businesses fail to grow.
- Money: Another hazard of a successful business is that it's easy to lose track of your money and where it's going.
Most people end up hiring a retirement planner who knows a lot more about their company's investment products than they do running a business. And when someone with that specific finance and business knowledgable does take a look, they end up finding wasted financial resources that are not being used efficiently or effectively.
If you want to look at next level growth in your business, keep track of your money with a balance sheet and a 3-year revenue growth plan.
And start thinking about how you are going to allocate your profit. How much will you keep in the business? How much will flow to your personal account?
- Material Resources: I know many business owners who buy space and equipment for their business that they don't use. That's a waste of money and energy.
Take a look at your space and the equipment in your business... Is space being wasted? Could your current space be used more efficiently? Do you have equipment sitting around wasting space that could be upgraded, put into action or simply gotten rid of?
- Education: The coolest thing about entrepreneurs and business owners is their desire to learn and grow. You recognize that you are your greatest asset, and you invest in that asset accordingly. But sometimes, spending too much energy on learning can be counter-productive.
I was recently working with a business owner who was not only coaching with me, but also trying to implement four other educational programs into his business. That is overkill.
Knowledge without application will make you crazy because you know what you are supposed to do, but you don't have the time and space to implement it. My suggestion here is to only pursue education that you have the time and space to implement.
Stepping out of your comfort zone can be scary, but it's also necessary for next-level growth.
Take a look at the list above and ask yourself, which area could a positive change make the greatest impact on you and your business.