I’ve often thought of my business as a car.
It’s a pretty good car now, but that hasn’t always been the case. We’ve had a few major breakdowns over the years, a couple of them almost sent us to the scrap heap!
It was after one of those major breakdowns that I began to think of my business like driving a car.
Here’s why. Each of the close calls we had in our business was due to a different issue. We fixed one serious problem, and cruised along for a while, only to encounter another major issue.
My guess is that you have a car, and you regularly drive from one place to another. You depend on it, and you want it to be safe, comfortable, reliable with some fun thrown in there too.
For that to happen there are a number of key factors that have to be working well, at the same time.
You need to have a:
– A confident driver
– A working engine
– A framework
– Good electronics
– Working brakes
– Plenty of fuel…
It doesn’t matter if one or two of those areas are in great shape, without all of them your car will putter along, and eventually stand still…
It’s the same with your business.
As the driver of this vehicle it is up to you to steer your business in the right direction. To do that you need a vision, purpose and good leadership skills.
When you look at the passengers you’re carrying. Are they a strain on your resources or do they contribute to a great trip?
How well does your business engine run? Do you have great systems in place? Can you take off for a while and it keeps ticking over nicely without you?
Are your marketing and finances solid enough to keep providing the fuel for your business?
Without these key factors in place, your business is going to run into trouble…
When I talk with small business owners the most common issues they mention are.
– More time
– More money
– More leads
I too believed that if I had enough of them, then my business would run smoothly and continue to grow.
I was wrong.
Continuing with the analogy of the car…
Imagine your car engine is sound, the electronics are good, the brakes are solid, but you’re running out of fuel. So you add fuel, and you manage to drive a little further, then the shock absorbers go. You get that issue sorted, and before too long, the electronics start to play up. The passengers in your car are a nightmare, and before too long, you, the driver feels exhausted and depressed…
You get the picture.
Like most people, I’m sure you get your car serviced regularly to make sure all aspects are working well together. You know you need to have a working engine, good shock absorbers, strong breaks, healthy tyres, and plenty of fuel. You know that a regular service will let you know there is a problem before it brings your car to a grinding halt.
Why don’t we do the same for our business?
Even when the car is running okay. How often do we drive along on autopilot without thinking about where we’re going? The importance of a great driver with purpose, strategy and direction.
The fact that 60% of small businesses in this country close their doors within a few years tells us there is a serious problem. What is difficult is that the problem does not truly reveal itself until after the fact.