Do you remember what it was like when you were studying to take your driver’s license? Your 16-year-old senses were heightened and you couldn’t help but stress-sweat as you paid close attention to everything around you. You ran through a mental checklist of everything your dad had taught you over and over again in case you forgot something, and you constantly checked the stone-faced instructor’s expression out the corner of your eye every time you reversed to perfect that parallel park. Why? Because you didn’t have the experience behind you as a seasoned driver. You weren’t confident in your ability as a driver and all you dreamed of was holding that little piece of laminated paper that represented freedom; Freedom to drive a car on your own and to go wherever you wanted, freedom to take off whenever you wanted and freedom to not be reliant on mom and dad to get you there.
A key factor to passing that driver’s test was understanding and watching for road signs. Similarly, as business owners there are metaphoric road signs that we need to be aware of in our operations. If you’re not paying attention, you could find yourself going down the wrong road, frustrating other drivers along the way or getting into an accident that stops your business on a dime.
The following are some of those important business road signs to be aware of as you journey down your RoadMap To Profit. I encourage you to spend some time thinking about them and maybe even engage the rest of your team into becoming aware of them as well.
Know when to speed things up and to slow things down. When you’re in the clear, push yourself and your team to hit your target goals and find ways to improve efficiencies throughout your business. And as you notice the environment change, slow your speed to reevaluate what is working and what isn’t. Use the slower speed zones to prepare for the upcoming fast ones.
How far do your headlights reach? An upcoming turn can be any big change in your business, including an expansion, trying a new product line, implementing a new software or customer service tactic. Knowing that there is a turn coming up in your business is important for two reasons. First, you can prepare yourself and your team for that change. And second, you can adjust your speed for that curve so that you don’t take the corner too fast and loose traction. Implementing change is not easy and it takes planning and careful implementation to do it right.
Be prepared for the unknown. In your business, there are constant signs to watch out for that indicate something is going wrong or could go wrong. Having your KPIs (key performance indicators) in front of you at all times will help you prepare for those unexpected hazards.
Watch out for your competitors! You are not alone on the highway to success. The cars around you represent your competitors. Some of them are in front of you, some are behind you and some are in that merging lane right beside you. If you are not paying attention, they could come from out of nowhere and cut you off. When merging, you have two options: Slow down and let them merge in front of you or speed up and create a space behind you. When merging with your competitors in business, you need to do the latter.
Fueling Station Ahead
Never run on empty. Just like a car needs a full tank to run, you also need to make time to refill yours – both personally and professionally. Make sure that you are taking time off work to enjoy life. Most business owners can problem solve better when they are in a relaxed state away from the hustle and bustle of work. Your downtime at work could be a fun team building activity to create a sense of unity or a strategic planning retreat to reground yourself and the team to your company’s purpose.
Car Pooling Lane
Two minds are better than one. Sometimes a little collaboration goes a long way. Joint ventures and seeking the advice from industry experts or a business coach can greatly increase your chance of success and can get you to your destination quicker. Try some blue-sky sessions with your team to draw out ideas that might otherwise have stayed silent.
That’s going to cost you! When traveling the faster routes in business, there is sometimes an associated cost. Toll highways will usually get you to your destination faster and more direct but you generally have to pay more to use them. In business, when you pay for a specialized program or pay to use someone else’s proven system or method, you are essentially taking the toll road. Most times the benefits outweigh the costs and you find that your journey goes quicker and smoother as well.
Have a plan “B”. Detours are a part of the business life. There are always going to be roadblocks and obstacles in your way on your journey to success but what matters most is how you deal with them. There are always ways to get around them:
- Take the detour route and go around the road block. This might be the easiest and safest way
- Go over the roadblock by thinking of a way to overcome it. This could bring your business to new heights.
- Break through the roadblock by changing your perspective. Look at the roadblock not as a barrier, but as an opportunity. For example, thanking a customer for making their complaint and letting them know that because of them, your business has grown and made improvements.
As you move forward on your RoadMap To Profit, reflect on these eight road signs that you will undoubtedly experience along the way. Instead of panicking when you see them, embrace them and know that every business sees the same road signs on their journey as well. I suggest using this resource as a checklist as part of your everyday operations to ensure that you make the most out of them when they do come up.
If you have any questions about your own personal RoadMap to Profit journey or want to know how a profit coach can help you generate higher profits consistently and with predictability, feel free to connect with me for a FREE 30 Minute Strategy Session. In your session, you will walk away with newfound clarity as to where you are right now and what’s holding you back from achieving the results you desire.
Your RoadMap To Profit is unique to you alone. Drive safe, watch the road signs and keep your lights on high beam.
See you soon!