I started working with women business owners when I joined Her Corner last summer, and since then I’ve run two Her Corner accelerators. I immediately noticed that there is one big difference between the women who are making slow and steady progress in their businesses and the ones who are making dramatic progress.
The trouble is that lots of people actually think they are doing this one thing, or that it’s ok to put it on the back burner for a little while. But in fact, they’re not doing it, and it’s not ok to ignore it.
Here’s the one thing that small business owners are doing to grow in a big way.
They are showing up.
It sounds so obvious, right?
But that’s why it’s so difficult!
The problem is that sometimes, it’s hard to show up. Distractions come up in our personal lives. Staffing or sales conflicts take your focus off your goals. Life throws day-to-day craziness at you.
So what does “showing up” even mean?
The kind of showing up I’m talking about is the kind where you mentally pay attention to the details, ask the hard questions, and hold yourself and your employees/contractors/vendors accountable.
It’s the kind where you don’t let the little things slide.
Recently, I was working with an accelerator member who had mentally checked out of her business for a good chunk of time. She had very good reasons to do so, and she did her best to stay in the driver’s seat. But she knew the downturn in her business was directly related to her lack of focus.
When she “checked back in,” the first thing she did was print out a list of every single vendor she worked with, and she called each one with the goal of re-negotiating their agreement. And guess what happened? She lowered her monthly expenses by more than $5,000.
Then she printed out a list of every employee’s salary and benefits. She realized that the “friends and family discounts” she had been offering were killing her revenue. So she changed what she offered.
Doing these two things allowed her to go from losing money every month to breaking even or making a slight profit. And now she is well-positioned to grow.
As soon as she made the mental decision to take control and show up, her business immediately began to improve.
As we start off a new year, I challenge each of you to make the decision to show up. It’s amazing what can happen when you do.