Every business is building momentum to some critical point in time. Just as you are living your life from one moment to another, so does your business. There will be calm periods and there will be times that you can barely keep up the speed by which it moves towards growth, depth or any other critical point.
What’s a critical point?
By critical point I mean that there will be a moment where you will have to face some circumstances that urge you to make a decision, to act or not to act and to take the consequences that will come from it. A critical point is a wake-up call as you will, to see reality as it is, wether it’s pleasant or not.
A critical point doesn’t necessarily have to be experienced as unpleasant. It’s indeed very likely that it involves quit some disrupting emotions as disbelief, uncertainty, maybe even anger, sadness or any of those strong feelings that have the power to potentially break or make your business in the future.
There are some critical points that every business has to deal with. Depending on the person who’s having to deal with this, it can be experienced as critical or just the opposite, as nothing special at all. Some common examples of critical points are:
- Starting up your business, a new product line or a new service
- Hiring your first employee or hiring a first freelancer
- Attracting new customers – creating a flow
- Making long term (financial) commitments by investing
- Searching a co-founder
Don’t ‘fix’ the problem
It’s easy to get lost in fixing the problem itself without finding out why your business is a critical state. It’s our initial reflex to solve what’s wrong. The most used method is to change that what seems to be the problem, without thinking things through.
By ‘fixing’ the problem, you change the circumstances, but leave the initial cause unchanged. It’s like being sick, where you are treating the symptoms so they disappear. Only to discover after some time that the sickness has returned, maybe even more prominent than before, or disguised into another form.
Seek the question and find the answer
Instead of rushing into fixing the problem, take a break and find the question that your business is asking you. When you have found the right question, the answer or the solution to fixing it, will be given automatically. Let’s explain this with an example.
Problem: no sales
Quick fix: marketing, marketing, marketing
There is a reason why a business doesn’t have enough sales, and that is not always a sign that (more) marketing is the solution. After all, marketing is the answer or the solution to the question: ‘why do potential clients not find the way to my business?’. It’s not because you have no sales that potential clients don’t find the way to your company.
It might as well be that people do come over, but that they do not convert into a customer. Then the question changes into: ‘why do potential clients not buy my product/service?‘
Depending on the question, you get different answers and thus automatically the road to a solution to really fix the problem.
Small leads to big
Before you make any drastic changes to try to change something, know that it is very often small and easy changes that lead to big improvements. If you have to change the world to make a business work, then you might think about going back to the drawing board to have another look at things.
The Japanese have a concept called ‘kaizen’, which is nothing more then using small changes which all add up to a huge improvement over time. Be conservative when it comes to spending your own energy and resources such as money, but make these resources have a full impact when you do make use of them.