Confidence is an elusive concept, yet it defines how we move forward and by how much, doesn’t it? Being a specialist in the field of “small business” which is what franchising is at the end of the day – I am fascinated to see the very real link between how a country moves on from a recession/hard times and the health of small businesses. Unsurprisingly there is a strong correlation (and you may agree or disagree on this)…because, at the end of the day, our economic world as we know it revolves around people…their perceptions and their experience of the world. Is it as simple as that? Yes, I think it is.
It is my (perhaps naive) thought that if everyone decided tomorrow that they are going to get up, go to work and do what needs doing to get to their next phase of growth or development – the economy would start to balance out. Which means:
- make that stationery order that you need, to print off the handouts for that course that you want to run;
- hire that extra member of staff you need to relieve you to go out and get more business;
- get that bigger office you have needed for the last 18months and make sure your staff are comfortable and you have the extra space for that new staff member;
- go on that course you know will give you the knowledge or skills to pump back into your business.
There is only so long that you can sit waiting for the Economic Gods to turn around and annoint you “able to get on with business”. I realise there are some very real issues for people at the moment around cashflow and the inability of bank managers to actually deal with good customers the way they should be – and I can appreciate that – but there are little ways that you can start to get money moving in the economy again – and…that stationery order could just be it.
Here are some thought provoking elements for you to consider:
A. Good CEO’s Think Before They Spend
But – they do spend. They realise that they can only move forward by investing in tomorrow. They properly weigh up what needs doing, what needs investing in, prioritise it…and then DO IT. Are you a good CEO?
B. EMPLOYMENT IS DOWN WITH START-UPS
I read an article recently about how the trend over the last decade has been that on average a small business does not hire more than 5 people – whereas years gone by it used to be an average of 7. That has a massive impact globally – meaning that there will have to be many more start-ups before they can actually contribute signiifantly to reducing unemployment. My point – if you know damn well you need that extra member of staff – don’t hold out – hire them. Your business and country will be better for it.
Techonology has played a big part in this to be fair (i.e. you can do more with less nowadays), so big business needs to pull rank on helping more in the employment %.
PS – Don’t hire indiscriminately! There is an important element of still identifying the real need for extra skills/helps which will make a big impact to the business.
C. YOUR SPOUSE IS YOUR MOST IMPORTANT INVESTOR
In tougher times, this can’t be stressed more. If you do not have the support at home to get up every day and keep at it – you will burn out and lose the plot altogether. So, if you want to boost your own confidence in your business, maybe start at home – take your partner out for a nice meal and a bottle of wine and give them an insight into how the “dullness” of the confidence in the economy is affecting you as a business owner and that you want to make stand and not “go with the flow”. You might be surpised how this can help turn things around.
D. DO NOT NEGLECT THE “BRAIN” IN YOUR BUSINESS
Without harping on about this one – because you do know it all – your brain in the business is the reason you are in it. Your Business Plan. Now this could be a flowchart on your wall; a 10 page structured document; or a simple collage of things on your notice board. Whatever that brain looks like for you – make sure that you have revisited it to check where you are, so that you can adjust if need be and you’re not pushing dung (yucky business you’d rather not be doing) up a hill for a client that doesn’t actually need it. In short: make sure you are deliveirng what your customers want and will pay money for it…and that you are paying your bills. Simple as that.
Now – go forth and knock the negativity on the head and start to share good things, freely give positive support for your fellow business owners and let’s just crack on out of this economic puddle of poo (sorry – had to carry the dung beetle metaphor forward here!)
Please comment below and share any thoughts you have on how we can all collectively bring our powers together to lift things into a new, more vibrant year next year. I’d love to hear from you!