As a business owner, you’ve got problems that need to be solved and quickly. From inconsistent sales to staffing conflicts to inadequate cash flow, all managers face unique concerns daily.
One of the keys to entrepreneurial success is differentiating between everyday challenges and actual threats. By identifying the top dangers to your enterprise, you can formulate a plan to eliminate your fears and fast track your business.
Start by asking yourself, “What are the “2 a.m. issues” that keep me awake at night?” Are they based in fear, such as the specter of losing something? Are they rooted in uncertainty, such as worries about the economy? Or do they simply concern your ability to manage your time and resources?
Failure to build long-term equity in the business, growing too fast and maintaining poor balance between life and work are all common concerns. But deciding which ones are challenges and which ones are dangers takes finesse.
Challenges are tasks or situations that test your abilities. Dangers are anything that can potentially cause harm or injury. While challenges can be overcome with a solid understanding of the problem and proper planning, tackling dangers often involves determining whether or not you can handle a degree of risk.
While facing your fears may be difficult, it actually helps provide a framework for strategically assessing those factors you can control and positioning your business to maximize its strengths. Listing out these dangers is a great way to think logically about how to offset or overcome them.
So instead of lying awake at night, fretting about how government regulations, taxes and poor sales might affect your bottom line, channel your energy into focusing on what you can control: your strengths and opportunities.
Once you’ve identified these factors, consider what excites you about your business by reflecting on the outcomes that become possible if existing dangers are eliminated. Some examples include: predictable income, improving your own leadership and delegation, a value-driven sales process to increase profitability, developing and recruiting new talent, more time for yourself to enjoy leisure activities, and being more strategic in your short- and long-term growth plans. Your opportunities should be associated with the excitement of gaining something.
Next, take a look in the mirror – what are your current talents, capabilities, and skills that you would like to reinforce and maximize in your business? Some ideas are: I have a strong community, peers, and circle of influence; my work ethic will not let me fail; I have strong management and motivational skills; my clients see the value in my products or service; and I am open to learning new ways to change the way I work in and on my business.
By objectively identifying your dangers, strengths and opportunities, you’ve started the self-analysis process that’s crucial to help you and your business grow.