Sometimes the best ideas result from an innocent question. In a recent conversation with Gregg Wartgow at Green Industry Pros magazine he discussed their vision for the publication. They want to be the resource for the aspiring landscape companies under a million in revenue that want to grow. This represents 80% of all landscape companies, he asked how we can help. His question had me thinking about our research on small business performance.
The fact there are 3 distinct groups of businesses: the elite 5% that dominate their markets, the successful 15% trying to become market leaders, and the aspiring 80%. The problem with calling the 80% aspiring is a stretch. Many of these businesses are struggling just to survive. Gregg’s question took me to the essence of the problem – mindset of the owner.
The strength and weakness of people is they can adapt to anything, no matter how bad or unacceptable. Why would a business owner agree to be mediocre, to barely survive when so many options are available? It all comes down to the when the owner looks in the mirror and reality is reflected back. It is WHEN ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. It is when they realize this starts in their head.
What does this mindset look like?
● “I am not the owner of a small struggling business. I am the Executive of a fast growth company on a journey to market leadership
● “All of my time belongs to me.” “I will decide the priorities and what I work on.” “What is not mine is delegated.”
● “I will find professional help and take advantage of experts.” “No more school of hard knocks, I don’t have the money or the energy to waste any more time.”
Solving the Issues
Solving the fundamental issues affecting you and your business starts on a personal level. Your business thrives or fails based on what you put into it. If you do not put in enough time and effort, working with and building up those who are there for you, it will all come crashing down. In order to come out ahead, acknowledging them is the first step in the right direction. Taking corrective measures to aid growth and development is a part of that solid foundation you must build. You will be able to deliver the goods or services offered with satisfaction when you do things with the right mindset in place.
Here are five areas to consider for future success:
Personal Development – developing and growing into your full potential is necessary for the kind of success you are seeking. When you fail to develop yourself and those around you, the financial success you are seeking will not show up. If you need to enhance your people skills, management processes or marketing capabilities, do so. Take a course, find a mentor, and build on what you already have to make a difference.
Business Planning – taking a road trip requires planning, so why are you not planning for your business success? Surviving a rough economy also takes planning; being prepared, as best as possible, is important. Whether you complete a full-scale business plan or simply lay out your long and short term goals with financial components and work them, does not matter. What matters is that you have something in writing to guide and to help you through the challenges of operating your business.
Action – this might seem redundant to you, however, when was the last time you took the necessary steps to develop yourself and your business? While developing yourself and laying out a plan for your success, nothing will happen without the first step. Execution is important in the manifestation of your plans.
Consistency – is often a problem. The ebb and flow of actions targeting your strategies should have a consistency for success. If you are not consistent in networking, social media, business management and other appropriate areas of business operation, you will just be spinning your wheels. Develop processes to help engage each component of the business. Use time management tools to be more effective.
Perseverance – most of all, being able to persevere through all the trials of being an entrepreneur, staying steadfast to your vision and fulfilling your mission, will eventually lead to your success. You must be strong through life’s changes, your business evolution and your personal challenges.
Finally, believing in the vision and mission of your business will only take you so far. Taking all the other actions steps will make the difference.
Enough already! Stop blaming others for your weaknesses. Being nearsighted and having a one-track mind when it comes to entrepreneurial and financial success will not get you there. It has always been easier to blame someone or something else for your problems. How about facing them now? It is time to look yourself in the mirror and finally acknowledge – you created the problems. Are you ready for the journey to market leadership, or enough is not yet enough?
William Eastman. Consultant, GreenMark Conulting Group