Reflecting on Your Past and Your Future?
What does someone mean when they talk about growing their business?
At first, it might seem obvious. Growth means increasing top-line revenue, doesn’t it? Going from $1 million to $3 million. $3 million to $5 million, and so on. That’s what everybody always talks about when describing their company.
But what about bottom line net profit? Would you be okay growing top-line revenue but not bottom-line net? Of course not!
And while it most certainly is about money (as I think it should be) growth is about something else that business owners realize they can “purchase” if they have enough money to do so. I have come to realize that what business owners really want when they say they want to grow their business is freedom.
Not so sure? Do a little exercise with me.
Imagine that we are standing on one bank of the mighty Mississippi river. Where we are, the river is wide—miles across. The water is brown and swirling. This is no river where you can jump across from rock to rock! This is a thundering, powerful waterway—that you are contemplating crossing!
Now, think about standing on that bank as the current state of your business and your life. That is where you are now. What is it like? What do you like about it? What kinds of things are you doing? What kinds of things do you want to do but aren’t doing? What frustrates you or makes you irritable? How much of your life force is your business consuming? What would you like to change?
Okay, now let’s imagine that we are now on the other side of the river. You made it! Now what is it like? How is your life different? What can you do now that you couldn’t do before? What tasks do you no longer have to do? More importantly, how do you feel? Can you almost taste the freedom?
I have come to see with ever greater clarity that what business owners who say they want to grow their business are really after, even though they may not express it that way at first, is freedom. That freedom is whatever the other side of the river looks like for them personally and professionally.
Most of us understand at some level, that freedom is not only earned, but it is purchased. It is purchased—with wealth.
Many business owners have had a certain amount of growth and profitability. They may have a six-figure income, company truck, solid benefits and the like. So, they have had a good taste of the success they are capable of earning.
But they can also see, off in the distance (maybe across a big muddy river) that if they could grow to the next level of revenue, great things are possible—even real wealth.
And having achieved a certain level of success they may also have the business maturity to understand that leveling-up is not just about increasing top-line revenue (marketing and sales) but also how efficiently they operate so that they can maximize net profit.
And then, being intentional about that net profit so that nothing stands in the way of having it in cash each quarter. Because you can’t buy your freedom with an IOU!
What you do with your freedom is as individual as you are! You may want to build a business empire, to do charity or mission work, to spend time with family, to jet off to Paris for lunch when you have a hankering for escargot, whatever.
But let’s get real for a second. Across all industries, according to Fundera, “Almost 9 out of 10 of small business owners make less than $100,000 a year in income.” They go on to report that, “19% of small business owners work 60-hour weeks with 89% working weekends and 81% work nights.”
So, the problem isn’t a lack of hard work. The problem is knowing what tasks and challenges to tackle! The challenge for business owners then is two-fold:
- You don’t know what you don’t know. So, you may not know what your biggest or hidden problems are.
- And, in many cases, you might not be sure what to do to address them. After all, there’s nothing worse than working yourself half to death to solve a problem only to realize there was an easier, proven way to do it that you simply weren’t aware of.
Now, look, we don’t deal in phony get rich quick schemes or tell you how easy something will be when it’s not. We work with highly engaged and motivated owners that want to work and work hard.
But there is a way across that river. Let’s talk about how we can help you get to the other side.