Define What You Want Your Business To Be
Most business advisers advocate focusing on your customers, finding out all you can about them and analyzing in minute detail what they might want from you. This is all very well and good but it is equally important to think about your needs and to define what you want to get out of your business. If you are not happy and on the wrong track, how can you even begin to satisfy your customers?
Whether you have been running your business for many years or whether you are just starting out, you may be focusing too much on your clients and customers and not focusing nearly enough on yourself. Take time to revisit your vision for your business and reacquaint yourself with the reasons you wanted to go into business in the first place. Get motivated again and remember what you wanted to get out of running a business.
Do you want to develop a large business enterprise employing staff? Do you want to make a lot of money -- if so how much? Do you want your business to supplement your income from a job? Did you simply want more flexible working hours? Did you want to make a difference in the world? Did you want work to fit around the family? Try to be clear about exactly why you wanted to run a business and focus on your dreams and aspirations -- do you have an ultimate goal such as being able to send your children to university or be able to fund your retirement while you are still young enough and active enough to enjoy it. Perhaps you want to build a business you can pass on to your children, or simply make an extra $20,000 a year to pay for a few luxuries or holidays.
Maybe you want to make a million dollars and sail around the world but whatever your dreams for your business, you should define them carefully because what you want to get out of your business will determine and shape your business. It will determine who your customers are, what products you sell, your profit margins and how much leverage you want for your business. If you need to make a million dollars in five years, your strategy is going to be a whole lot different than if you just want to supplement your income.
Take time to think through exactly what you want to get out of your business and write it all down -- be specific and think about how you will incorporate your business into your lifestyle, your relationships and your schedule. Workout a business plan that will satisfy your needs and has the potential to bring you the rewards you are seeking. If you don't do this, you will end up having your life run by other people's demands. It's your business first and foremost and it exists because of a dream or ambition you had in the beginning -- make sure your business is still fit for the purpose!