Being creative can be demanding. Running a business can be, too. Especially if you are underperforming and you need to jump start your business. You have to get out there to be inspired and motivated by people facing similar issues or those who can drive you in a better direction.
We all know, you can’t be successful in a vacuum. Here are 4 great ways to jump start your business starting today.
1. Talk to Other Business Owners
We like to collaborate with others to see what they’re doing, how they’re doing (it) and find out what works for them. It’s a give-and-take scenario.
Today, President Dale Sprague called a long-time friend who owns a creative agency in another state. They spoke frankly for an hour going back and forth on the challenges and rewards of owning your own business.
“We compared notes about clients, potential clients, employees and sales strategies,” Sprague said. “It was encouraging to know we share comparable stories. But, we were also able to hash-out some important ways to confront specific concerns.”
2. Work with a Good Business Coach
We’ve been meeting with our coach once a month for over a year and he has been imperative to the survival, growth and reorganization of our business. With his guidance, we stepped out of our comfort zone and got down to some fairly unpleasant realities. We solved many issues and are working on others, but feel confident these changes and the investment in our coach will have lasting impact.
As an impartial observer, a business coach can provide unbiased opinions and advice that can lead to “a-ha” moments and uncover solutions you never would have considered.
Being willing to make a commitment to change, being accountable for your actions and having a vision of where you want to be is vital for success. We’re making smarter, better decisions and have a clear focus on how we’re going to make dreams happen.
3. The Power of Books
Books are another source of business insight. For example, Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business, by Gino Wickman, provides a practical method for success that we’ve embraced. Though it’s written for larger businesses, smaller businesses can definitely enhance their processes greatly. Traction helped us focus on the key components of our business and provided powerful ways to run our company in a better, more team-centered and growth-oriented way.
Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High, written by the co-founders of VitalSmarts, took us down another critical path. The book taught us (and continues to teach us) how to have “crucial conversations” and how to act and react when having them for the best outcomes – the win-win situation. These pivotal interactions might be with a client, employee, co-worker, vendor or really anyone capable of human emotion.
When engaging in crucial conversations, we either face them and handle them poorly, face them and handle them well or avoid them completely. The book offers a 7-step process for managing these conversations and improving communication. Ultimately, it’s the steps to move life forward positively.
4. Network with Like-Minded People
We’re not just talking about your local Chamber of Commerce here. Search out professional organizations or people in your industry who are striving to better their businesses. You’ll be able to learn from their successes, bounce ideas off them, share insider info, stay motivated, expand your knowledge base, share leads and help your business flourish.
Dale belongs to several of these organizations. Some are free. Most of the really good ones you need to be vetted for and others you pay a membership fee, sometimes both. You also have to be a purposeful contributor. If you don’t actively participate with relevant conversation, you’re booted out.
The members are genuinely interested in sharing information they’ve learned along the way and open to learning new methods of doing business. The information garnered during their Zoom calls and email exchanges is invaluable.
“I’m always invigorated after our calls,” Dale said. “New ideas, new connections, new perspectives, new collaborations. I’ve made friends from all over the country who are now trusted business colleagues.”