I previously asked the question “Does your business stink?” and why that might be the case? Here, I want to talk about what can be done to deodorize your business if, in fact, it really does stink. Basically, we all get into ruts from time to time, we all have issues that are both within or out of our control. It sometimes gets to a point where we just start to not care as much anymore, and when that happens things start to get smelly. So, what can be done?
1. Stay engaged.
I know from my experience that as business owners we can sometimes mentally “check out.” I have been guilty of that in the past — just not being present 100 percent of the time while at work. A good example of this is not facing up to a major issue or problem, whether its financial issues, poor morale or customer complaints. Sweeping that kind of the stuff under the rug will get you in even bigger trouble the longer you ignore it. My advice here is to talk to someone who knows your business and who will be brutally truthful with you about what you have to do to turn things around. For example, if you are having money issues, talk to your accountant. Believe me, when it gets to this point you need to get solid advice and find inspiration from within yourself to plug back into your business before it’s too late.
If you have been in business for a few years or more and your company has grown a lot then it may be time for a reboot. Think of this as your company version 2.0. One solid piece of advice I have gotten over the years is this: The way you have run your business in the past may not work for the future. You might have grown to a point where you have to change your mindset and become more of a leader than a technician. Or the market may have changed since you started your company. I have had both scenarios with my business and have had to do a reboot. Again, this scenario requires some soul searching and sometimes professional help. It helps to get an outside consultant or mentor to look at your business and help you get it back on track.
3. Use your staff.
I know that this can be a bit tricky because you don’t want to scare away your employees, but quite honestly if your business stinks they already know it. Have a meeting with your key people and ask them what stinks around here. You will be surprised at what they tell you, and then ask them how it can be fixed. I did this with my staff and the ideas they came up with helped me immensely. Remember they are here with you every day putting in the work. They know what is going on. Also, if you can get help turning things around from your employees, then it all isn’t on your shoulders. Make it a team effort and I think you will be pleased at what you find out.
Your business can be fresh again; it will take some hard work and time but in the end it will be worth it.