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Three Questions to Help You Grow Your Business


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One of the key issues that so many business owners face in trying to move beyond the control trap is that we don't think rightly about what should be a first importance to us. Let me tell you what I mean. If we start thinking about the production activities that have to get done during the day as our primary activities.

So for example I have a client whose owns a handyman business. He was in my office one day not long ago and was telling me that he found himself in the dilemma almost every day because he had meetings to go to, networking events to attend, marketing activities and all sorts of things to do. He found that he was having too little time to go out and actually be a handy man. As I listened to his story I realized more and more that his real issue was not that he did not have time to be handy man but that he thought being a handy man was what he needed to be doing.

I challenged him to think about it this way. The first taks is to get your head around what's really important for you to be doing. As long as you think like a handyman, all of those other activities will seem like interruptions to your day and will cause you frustration. The challenge is to stop thinking you are a handyman and start thinking of yourself as a business owner who happens to own a handyman business. When you do this, then you begin to realize thatswinging the hammer, the production work of the handyman business, is the interruption to the real work that you need doing.

As the owner you need to have your focus on building and growing the business. You need to be developing the strategies, systems and processes that will work together to grow and sustain the business. This is the key challenge I think every small business owner has to face at some point in the growth process. You need to have some tool to help you decide what it is you should be doing. I challenge my clients to think of this in terms of three questions they need to ask themselves.

The first question is what are you doing? If you will discipline yourself to ask that question regularly you will begin to understand the activities and tasks that occupy your time every day. The key is to ask it as you are working and then take just a moment to assess how you are spending your time. In this way you learn what are activities you engage in and what processes are taking up your time and energies.

The second question to ask is why am I doing asking this? You may find yourself to a networking event, the question is why am I doing that? Or maybe I'm swinging a hammer or I'm working with the graphic artist to design a flyer, you fill in the blank. No matter what it is you are doing, you need to know why it is that you're doing it. Then the third question, that is really the critical follow-on question, is who else on my team should be doing that? The point of the question is to turn your thinking away from "I have to do it all," toward, I have to do what is most important for me and find ways to get other things done through other team members.

Here is where the real growth begins to happen. When you begin asking and answering that question rightly, you are well on the way towards building your business using to strengthen the skills of others instead of just my own strength. This is not as easy in practice as it is in theory. There are all sorts of road blocks to success in this effort. Your head trash will argue that you don't have enough people or enough resources. Maybe you will find yourself arguing that no one else is capable or qualified to do the work. Maybe the issue is your own passion to do the work that keeps you doing things that really should be done by others for the good of your business. Regardless of the reasons, your struggle will be to identify the task and activities that can and should be done by others and then find ways to engage those others so that you can have the time to you need to focus on the business.

Of course there are some things that you should be doing. When you find those tasks and activities, you will also find that you are contributing to your business with the highest and best use of your time. It is vital that you are fully aware of all the factors that play into your decisions about what to keep and that you don't delegate things you should, in fact, keep. But again, the key issue is not generally giving too much away. That's almost never the case for small business owners.

For most of us the struggle is deciding what to give away to others and when to give it away. To make that decision you need to be willing to answer these three questions honestly and take action to implement what is best for the company. If you are ready to move your busines ahead, then start now asking and aswering these three questions. Get these answers in front of you and you will know your next move.



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About the Author

Kevin Kragenbrink, Estrada Strategies
9111 Cross Park Drive
Knoxville, TN 37923
865-804-1556

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