It doesn’t matter if your business is just getting off the ground or whether it’s been established for many years, there will always be a time when you need to take stock. Not literally inventory your stock on hand (well you might need to do this if you are a retail business), but look at where your business stands today, and how successful and profitable it really is. Many small business owners don’t step back and look at the whole picture to figure out if their products really are making them the money they think, or if they could be doing a better job.
I’d be willing to bet when you take the time to evaluate your own business, you’re going to find some leaks. Maybe you’ll find a huge hole which might actually be easier to plug than the small cracks that drip away quietly. The small ones are often much harder to find and while one little crack might not make too much of a difference, when you put them altogether they do.
Put on your goggles, ‘cos we’re about to go leak-hunting. Leaks can fall into two basic categories – financial and time – but you can have more categories and label them as you wish. It’s all about evaluating and making your business better.
Here are some possibilities:
- Surfing the internet and browsing social media
- Chatting online or via telephone with friends and family
- Overboard research – spending too much time obsessing over small decisions
- Family distractions, such as planning the weekend
- Multi-tasking ineffectively (quietly raises my hand)
- Coaching others for free
- Blog hopping and generally wasting time reading the internet
- Being a perfectionist – Better to have something now, than the perfect thing next week/month/year
- Getting ready to start and general procrastination
- Reinventing the wheel every time instead of setting up systems. If you have to do something more than once, try to automate it.
- Buying products and services and not using them
- Pricing your products and services too low
- Once more – Coaching others for free
- Not backing up your systems or products
- Doing everything yourself instead of outsourcing
- Not using the best tool or software for the job
- Not keeping an accurate track of your finances
- Paying recurring fees for things you don’t use or that aren’t producing a positive ROI
Spending money is not leaking money if it’s on something that positively impacts your bottom line, today. Don’t hesitate if it’s going to grow your online business.
We all have leaks, big and small. It’s what we do about them that helps us go forward. Come up with your own list of your business’ leaks and evaluate what they’re costing you. Time leaks are monetary losses too!
Once you’ve come up with your lists don’t spend a lot of time chastising yourself. Instead come up with your hole-fillers. As a creative business owner or entrepreneur, you CAN come up with solutions and ways to successfully implement those solutions. Revisit this leak-finding exercise periodically and consistently; perhaps quarterly, semi-annually or annually. You’ll be glad you did.
What leaks do you think you would find in your business if you honestly looked today? Join in the conversation by leaving a comment below.