The biggest risk for most businesses is not whether they will fail. Most won’t. The biggest risk is that they will stay small. Whether by design or not. Recent ABS data show that 98% of micro-businesses stay that way. That is, they are Micro-Stayers.
There are a number of reasons that businesses become Micro-Stayers. It could be a lifestyle choice. Work-Life balance is becoming more and more important to many people. It may be because they don’t have the knowledge to take their business to the next level, and become frustrated Micro-Stayers. Or they may have progressed from frustrated to resigned Micro-Stayers and have adjusted lifestyle and ambition in recognition of this.
Businesses that involuntarily stay small, the Micro-Stayers, do so for five key reasons.
1. No Vision for their business. Without a vision, it is not possible to create a plan. The business becomes directionless. Without a vision it is impossible to work out which opportunities to say yes to, and just as importantly, which ones to avoid. Owners without a vision find decision making difficult. They are fashion followers. They expend a lot of time and money trying different things then dropping them when they don’t get immediate results.
2. No Passion or Commitment. Passion comes from the right vision, and creates the Commitment that will drive you to achieving your goals. If you are passionate about your business, you will be prepared to make the sacrifices in time, money and effort to achieve your goals.
Passion infects others. Your staff, your suppliers, your customers. If you have no passion for your business, why would anyone else around you? And when others believe as you do, you can turn mountains into molehills.
Commitment will drive you to persevere. Any plan will have flaws. But without commitment, you can be diverted by even the smallest obstacles to achieving your goals.
3. No Goals or Plan. On its own, vision is not enough. Your vision may be that you will be best in town, but if you don’t set goals and a plan to implement them, your vision will remain a dream, and we all know how often they come true! As you create your goals and plan, you will start identifying opportunities.
Thomas Edison once said: “People don’t recognise opportunity because it can come in overalls and look like hard work”
4. Owners not Valuing their Time. You only have 24 hours in the day, and how you spend those hours will dictate whether you will be able to achieve your goals. It is not possible to work on your business when you are spending all your time working in it. If you are spending a lot of time doing tasks that you could pay others to do, you will never be able to grow.
But owners don’t pay others to do work because they are micromanagers and don’t have the confidence to employ others to undertake anything more than the most basic tasks.
5. Lack of Business Knowledge. This may be obvious, but it does not mean you have to be an expert at everything. When you value your time, you will also understand the value of knowledge. After all, the right kind of knowledge can greatly increase the speed at which you reach your goals. If you achieved your 2 year goals in one year, how much would that be worth to you? How much would you be prepared to invest to attain such knowledge?
Even so, people are concerned about the price of knowledge. But you can get knowledge in many ways. From buying a book (this is an extract from my bestselling book “The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success”). Can’t afford a book? Go to the library! Courses are fairly low cost. Individual advice is, of course, more expensive, but it is much more specific to your business and is likely to produce faster results.
If an owner is not willing to invest in their own education, and sees that as a cost instead, they have just resigned themselves to the school of hard knocks for which the tuition fees can be astronomical. Lack of knowledge creates a ceiling for your business and it becomes a Microstayer.
How will you avoid the Microstayer quicksand?
May Your Business Be –As You Plan it!
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Dr Greg Chapman is the Director of Empower Business Solutions and is Australia's Leading Advisor on Emerging Businesses and provides Coaching and Consulting advice to Australian Small Business Owners in Marketing & Business Strategies Planning & Systems. He is also the author of The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success and Price: How You Can Charge More Without Losing Sales.
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