The Top 7 Ways To Avoid Failing In Your Business
by Nancy M. Powers

"It's what you learn when you think you know everything that counts the most in life."
Coach John Wooden

What is the "secret" behind successful business owners? They have a coach to guide them. We all have hidden blind spots. Particularly when it comes to our own business. Have you noticed how it easy it is to give great advice to other people, but when it comes to your life and business you are not able to see the whole picture clearly. It's because your emotions are involved.

Who do you turn to when you need answers? Are you operating you business from the highest level of thinking and action? Are you creating new lucrative opportunities for profit? Do you find yourself spending time on projects that you have difficulty delegating? Are there times when you feel you are doing all you can, and yet, it just isn't enough? Rest assured you are not alone.

As a professional success coach for the past eight years I have researched and studied what makes people successfull. Here are some key distinctions that can help you to succeed in your business.

The Top 7 Ways To Avoid Failing In Your Business

1. Work "On" Your Business Instead Of "In" It.

An insightful entrepreneur is wise to not work "IN" their business, but knows that the real money and success comes from working "ON" the their business. When you work "IN" your business you think like an employee, do tasks that you can do that others should be doing, and work really hard. When you work "ON" your business, you orchestrate the work of others, you step back daily to get a helicopter view of where you're heading and plan your business for long term growth.

It is very easy for new business owners to get engrossed and consumed with their business. While it is important to understand how to run and operate your business it is equally important to stop and set up structures and systems so that anyone can do that job the same way. To set up systems so that the results can be consistent. The real difference between success and failure is one thing. The ability to be consistent. You can have a great attitude and skills, but if you only use them one day a week you will have a lifetime of roller coaster months. The key is to identify your "recipe for success" and duplicate it consistently. Structure causes, accelerates and maintains momentum. Without structure, momentum often declines.

Some examples of structure are:

  • Get daily and weekly reports that tell you worthwhile measurables.
  • Design the measures of success and failure in your business.
  • Have a monthly meeting with your competitors, discussing the trends/future of your field and ways to cooperate.
  • A visual map of your goals and vision
  • Accountability when needed.

2. Create Reserves In Every Area Of Your Life And Business.

Entrepreneurs tend to run their business on the edge. They get so caught up with their ideas that they invest all they have into their ventures. Their, money, time, energy, resources, people, etc. They believe in their project so much and want to make it happen all now! To be effective, the entrepreneur needs to limit themselves to put only 20% or 70% of their resources into their current venture. Entrepreneurs tend to exhaust their reserves quicker and faster than any other group of people, because they are so creative and come up with so may ideas that require attention. The trick here is to create reserves in every area. You want to have more than enough so that you are always operating from reserves. When you have zero reserve or are operating on close to empty you tend to react to every situation in life.

When you have reserves you have the opportunity to respond to life. When you respond you are always at choice. How do you build reserves? Begin by creating a new standard of always filling your gas tank when it is on half a tank instead of waiting until it is on empty. Buy two cases of fax paper instead of one. Hold money in separate reserve accounts for new projects. Say "no" more. Stop over promising and begin to under promise so you will have more time. Operating with reserves makes you more attractive. People will gravitate to you and seek you out to do business with them. When you exude an air of composure, people want more of you. With reserves comes fewer errors, space to create the future, time to do complete work and the ability to maintain integrity.

3. Get Rid Of All The Stuff In The Way

Eliminate the distractions of problems, incompletions and tolerations so you can be productive. Everything you tolerate claims a piece of your creative and physical energy. Tolerations drain you of the resources you need. Tolerations and incompletes are like constant background noise that prevents you from hearing and seeing solutions and opportunities.

What are incompletes and tolerations? The piles you have in your office, the projects you have started or plan to start, you car overdue for an oil change, unfilled tax receipts or forms, unread magazines, legal matters, the dent on your car, conversations you need to have, a relationship that needs to be resolved, etc. Is there an area of your life that is a constant recurring issue? What would be required to settle that aggravation once and for all? What dream or goals would you pursue if all obstacles were removed?

4. Be A Role Model Of Excellence

Entrepreneurs want to grow their business. In order for your business to grow, you must grow personally. Your efforts are best spent developing you. If you don't give your all or let an inferior produced product go out the door to a client, you are sending a message to your employees that you do not respect your clients or your work. Your employees will adopt that view as well. Set the example of giving the extra effort, pitching in when needed, caring about people, be the best in your particular business, continue your growth curve, and take care of your employees. Encourage innovation and creation. Give your employees a stake in the future.

Once a month, have a meeting where the employees make suggestions on how to improve your product, service, efficiency, or bottom line. Give monetary rewards when the ideas produce increases to the bottom line and positive encouragement for the process. Create an atmosphere where employees are willing and able to talk with you. The two best sources of information on how your business is doing and how to improve it are your employees and your customers. Pay attention to both.

5. Minimize all Your Risks

Identify and remove as many consequences and risks as possible. Insure yourself where you are most vulnerable in your business. Handle all legal issues. Errors in judgment and changing trends can have a negative impact on your business. Identify all the events, people, trends, etc.that may adversely affect your business. Where are you most vulnerable in your business? Accounts receivable, employees, suppliers etc.

6. Develop Relationships

The success of your business is in direct relation to the quality of relationships in your life. Define the key people that can help you grow your business and commit to a plan of spending time to develop your relationship with them. Spend one day a week with your best customers listening, collaborating, suggesting, understanding. Have a relationship between you and your customers; not just a selling relationship. What you will offer or sell to customers in five years may change in form or substance versus what you're offering now. Learn from your clients instead of just selling to them. Clients really appreciate sharing their views and needs with companies will listen. Let the customer create the questions on a survey instead of just giving their answers. A coach can help you to develop a system of learning from their customers and develop relationships.

7. Set Your Company Up For Maximum Productivity.

Give everyone the computers and other tools they need to process information immediately. Automate the reporting of, access to, and flow of information so no human help is required. Develop a culture where any blocks to productivity are removed by your staff instead of you. Focus everyone on profits and growth. Grow your people as much as your company is growing. If your company is growing 50% annually, then your staff needs to grow at least that much. Hire people based more on attitude and behavior versus experience. (There are great assessment tools for this.) Create a culture of hiring within based exclusively on performance not tenure. Get a website. The web is growing in leaps and bounds. The expense of operating a business today can get in the way of offering your future customers efficient products and services. Your future customer's will not want to pay for your overhead. The web offers you the potential to market your business to millions of people all over the world.

You're probably wondering what is a coach?

Coaching is a profession that has synthesized the best from psychology, business, communication, mentoring, consulting, sports, philosophy, spirituality, sports and finance. A coach takes on a helicopter view of your entire life. A coach challenges you and provides the tools, structure and support you need every step of the way. A coach is a navigator that keeps you and your business on the course you really want to be on. Coaching sessions are conducted mostly by telephone. Clients call weekly for their scheduled 30 to 60 minute coaching session in the convenience of their home or office.

Why does coaching work?

  • You are accountable to someone other than yourself.
  • You get an objective viewpoint from someone who has no hidden agenda
  • You get consistent structure and support.
  • You maximize and leverage every action, investment and opportunity in your life, while minimizing your effort and risks.

Here are some questions a coach asks you:

  • What five opportunities are you leaving on the table?
  • What are the resources you have available that will help you meet your goals?
  • How have you been motivated in the past to reach a difficult goal? How can we best use that motivation now?
  • Describe your ideal client/customers?
  • What are the 10 things you are tolerating or putting up with that are preventing you from performing at your best?