Starting out as an entrepreneur, you may have been preoccupied with trying to birth the business idea you had. There was so much to learn and much more to do at that phase, and you pulled through. It’s been several years down the line; the business is still running, but the thrill of launching out and the excitement of the initial success recorded have all faded away. Now only one question persists in your mind each time you step into your business place: What’s next?
Feeling stuck is not strange to the entrepreneurial journey. It is a point many business owners get to, and that is because starting a business, growing a business and scaling a business are entirely different things that require different skill sets, knowledge, as well as strategies. Unfortunately, most small business owners do not know this.
If this is where you are, let’s see how you can sort things out and journey into your next growth phase. To do this, you have to answer some basic questions.
1. WHERE do I want to get to?
This calls for going back to the drawing board, revisiting those long term business goals you set initially, refining them, or even setting new ones. In the beginning, where did you see yourself in 5-10 years? Are those business goals and projections still valid?
How have you been progressing? What ought to be the next milestone for your business? Maybe it’s time to redefine what growth or success means to your business.
2. WHEN do I want to get there?
A very famous quote by Napoleon Hills comes to mind; he said, “A goal is a dream with a deadline.” Many entrepreneurs set out with dreams, and most business ventures are started as experiments, just to see if they would work. This is one of the reasons most small businesses fail, and also why many of them stay stuck at a point for long.
In order to make progress, you have to set a timing for achieving the growth goals you have identified, not forgeting to break them down into milestones with their timelines.
3. WHY does it matter?
Motivation will always be a powerful force, especially when it comes from within. The WHY question tries to find motivation for the goals you have mapped out. Why does it matter to you that you attain that level of growth or success? Why does your business need to experience this shift?
The fact that you are feeling stuck and not experiencing fresh waves of fulfilment from your business is a good place to start. Also, think about the results that the new move will bring and what it would mean to you and your business. Perhaps you could do this with your team too, and let everyone have reasons for desiring the move. That way, it is easier to get them to play their parts.
4. WHAT will it take to get there?
This is probably the most technical bit of this entire process. It calls for properly analysing the current situation and the new goals, determining what needs to be done/acquired, as well as what is needed to make them happen. It could also involve coming up with new business strategies, redesigning your business process, or even redesigning your organisation. The kind of goals you’ve set and the new vision you have would determine all that.
5. WHO do I need to get there?
The WHO question covers both the human resource changes which may be necessary for your organisation, as well as your need for business advisory and technical expertise to guide you in planning and executing this new move.
Because of how critical it is to get this right, and how much of your success depends on it, it is important that you do not engage in wishful thinking, but enlist the help of a business consultant who can walk you through the process. This is why agencies like Owens & Xley exist, equipped with the right skills and experience to help you navigate through your business challenges and design workable solutions for your particular industry.
Now, What’s Next?
Clarity is power, but getting clarity on the next step for your business is not always as easy as it sounds. These 5 W’s can set you on the right trajectory; however, to rightly answer these questions, you need the expertise of an experienced business consultant.
If you are feeling stuck, the easiest step to take right now is to give us a call so we could walk you through this journey and help you build the business of your dreams.