In many respects business is like a marathon. There is seldom a quick sprint to business success. For most business owners it is a long exhausting road. As in a marathon there often comes the point where you hit the brick wall.
In a marathon the wall usually happens when you hit the 20-mile mark. Your body has expended your natural store of 2,000 calories of glycogen (the fuel you use to run) and you simply run out of energy. However there are another 6.2 miles to run to complete the marathon so to get to the finish line the marathon runner has to push through the “wall” or train themselves not to feel it at all.
I have personally experienced the business wall several times and this is usually at the point when I have had to make hard decisions around people.
I am not saying that people are the only defining factor in hitting a brick wall, it may come in many shapes and forms such as barriers to market, size of the market, legislation, a lack of cash, location, business premises and so on. However time and time again when talking to business owners, and from my own personal experience, a common factor is people.
Here are some of the key “people” points in a business evolution:
- Taking on your first employee.
- Taking on your first manager.
- Building your management team.
- Letting go of the reins and allowing your management team to run your business without you.
So what does the brick wall feel like?
Here are some of the feelings experienced by me and many of the business owners I have spoken to:
- Stress and exhaustion. There are just not enough hours in the day to get everything done. Family life can suffer and your personal health can be neglected.
- You take on employees but the work is never to your exacting standards. You are still the focal point for all problems, you’re doing jobs which you never signed up for or have been trained to do, you have a general feeling that your team doesn’t care about the business as much as you do.
- Hopelessness: the hamster wheel syndrome. However fast you go you never seem to make headway. Cashflow is poor and where are those elusive profits!!! How do you break out and what is the right course to take?
- This is often the big one. Who do you unload all your fears and problems to? Who can give the right advice and guidance?
With good mentors, lots of books and over 30 years running a business and making countless business mistakes (not accounts or tax!!!) I have worked out what works for me and want doesn’t!
These are the things that have helped me break through that brick wall:
- Creating a clear strategy,
- Focusing my time on what delivers maximum impact for the business,
- Building a culture around what is important to me,
- Working extremely hard,
- Having the patience to build a management team,
- Providing leadership and delivering direction to my team, and
- Ultimately letting go of the reins to allow my business to run without me.
Easy? Definitely not!
Both Andrew Grant and I are increasingly spending more and more of our time working closely with a small number of business owners to help them build great businesses and avoid hitting that dreaded business wall. If you want to discuss how we can help you then please contact us.
If you would like to find out more about some of our services that might help you please take a look at our related pages:
Building a business
Take a look at our other blogs on the topic of business improvement
11 Positive Actions to take in your Business for 2023
Inspiration is All Around us.
The content in this blog is correct as at 9th January 2023 See terms and conditions.