The majority of business owners are trying to grow, right?
And they will give all sorts of reasons for why they aren't achieving their growth goals.
The most common excuses I hear for coming up short on business goals are the lack of time and money.
But is lack of time and money really holding you back?
Or is it the ability to develop a strategy, and the confidence to execute that strategy?
Pushing Back On Lack Of Time
Almost every business owner at one time or another has said it:
"I'd love to but I just don't have the time."
I'd love to:
- invest in marketing
- work on my exit plan
- attend leadership training
- invest in our employee recruiting and retention
- go on vacation
- sell my business
- grow sales
"I just don't have time."
I know that I am guilty of this and so are you.
And the person you said it to either kicked you in the butt to change your mentality or they deemed you as helpless and ended the conversation.
Time is one of the only factors where we all are playing on a level playing field in business. The key difference is what you do with your time.
I'll refer back to one of my favorite phrases; busy being busy. All too often, business owners are busy, working on all the wrong things, and that is what leads to a lack of time.
Pandemic Funding Should Have Opened Your Eyes
There were a lot of funding options after Covid-19 for business owners. Some of the more popular options for small businesses to get through the pandemic were the PPP (Paycheck Protection Program), EIDL (Economic Injury Disaster Loan), and ERC (Employee Retention Tax Credit).
There were certainly some other industry-specific programs like the RRF (Restaurant Revitalization Fund) and the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant.
However, the first three mentioned were the most popular among small businesses.
And as these funding options gained popularity we had to really dive in to understand how each of the programs worked. On the surface, they seemed fairly straightforward. But you really had to understand how they worked together to figure out how to navigate them correctly.
So no matter which combination of funding options you chose one thing should have been very clear...
It was nice to have cash, wasn't it?
For once in your career, one of your biggest excuses was eliminated. You could no longer say you didn't have the money.
And what sufficient funding can do for your business is eye-opening.
Anti-debt Can Lead To Slow Growth
Most new business owners think taking on debt is bad. When I first started out I did.
Like many small businesses, I bootstrapped my business. I moonlighted by working a full-time job at night.
I launched out of a basement. I ran it lean.
And I was against hiring and taking on debt.
I didn't know any better.
Fast forward 15 years and I can confirm that if you absolutely refuse to take on debt (unless you have a ton of money to invest yourself) that will most likely lead to slow growth. I'm not saying this is bad, I'm just putting it out there.
However, taking on debt will not automatically lead to success.
The reality is that most business owners that are hesitant about taking on debt should be. That is because they aren't seasoned enough in business to have the confidence that they would be able to take the money and execute a plan to grow their business.
Development Of Strategy And Execution Are Critical
I have spent a lot of time on the phone and Zoom meetings over the past few years with business owners talking over the pandemic funding options. Some were clients, some were acquaintances, some were relatives, and some were really good friends.
The two key things I noticed were:
- Most people didn't fully understand each of the funding options.
- Some people truly had no idea what to do with the money if they got it.
The ability to develop a strategic plan for your business and execute that plan is critical to the long-term success of your business.
Does that mean you have to be the one that develops and executes your strategic plan? No, not necessarily.
Any good business owner knows that they are not good at everything. They also understand what they need to do and what they need to delegate. Some tasks will be delegated to your well-structured internal team. Other tasks will require the help of an expert outside of your organization. All of those components you need to be the conductor of. Then you take that plan and you execute on it.
This is the stuff that I love both as an accountant and a business owner. I love to develop business growth plans. It is complex, challenging, interesting, and fun stuff.
Many business owners won't commit the time necessary to develop a good strategic plan. They will pull out the list of excuses.
However, cash is no longer one of them.
So what will you do now to make 2022 a great year? Will you develop a plan or just make excuses?