Tweak Your Biz » Growth » 5 Reasons Why Your Business Is Not At Square One

5 Reasons Why Your Business Is Not At Square One



Are you coming out of the aftermath of the recession and feel like you’re starting over? In some ways, this can be demoralising if you were poised for growth before the recession and the very sluggish recovery created so much uncertainty and challenges. You look around and hear of how Ireland is receiving emergency funds or how consumers may hold back on spending during the Christmas season.

Small Business Owners Starting Over

And yet, there was a report from the Small Firms Association that small businesses are feeling more confidence in their current and future performances. Anecdotally, I’m hearing that small business owners are aggravated with waiting for something to happen so they are making things happen.

So, maybe you are starting over

…and you might be wondering if you’re ready for all that work again? It doesn’t really matter if you are starting over due to some sort of macro-economic event or not. You could be starting over for all sorts of reasons. Such an event might include a family crisis which necessitates the business owner shifting his or her attention to home or self rather than on the business. Other events might include moving to a new location because of marriage, divorce, spousal job changes or finding one’s dream home. Small businesses are more sensitive to events, particularly when they are either sole traders or small firms of ten people or less. You, the business owner, are intimately involved with the products or services that are being produced. It stands to reason that a business might falter, nearly collapse or even fail completely.

You’re not starting at square one!

Regardless of why you might be starting over, you are not starting at the beginning. It might be close but it’s not the beginning. Here are my five reasons why we’re not starting our businesses over at square one:

1. Your business already exists.

It’s not an idea that may or may not be viable in the market. You’ve learned who your customers are and why they want your products or services. Remember all of the things you had to do when you were in startup phase? You have business cards, brochures, a website, a social media presence and other ways that people will readily find you. You probably even have people who know what you do and are willing to share your contact information to potential prospects.

2. You already have systems in place.

There is some sort of accounting system that you’ve been using. There are organisational systems, time management systems, customer relationships systems and a host of other things you already put in place some time ago. Maybe one or two need to be modified but, overall, they exist. You know the tricks and shortcuts that keep you (and anyone who works for you) productive.

3. You know how to market your business.

Or maybe you’ve learned what not to do. Even if the lay of the land has changed (which is certainly true for some industries after this recession), you know where to network or with whom to meet. Maybe you’re using more social media now so that provides avenues to both share what’s special about your business while building relationships with people. You can even offer a complimentary consultation (or whatever fits your business) to give people  a taste test. These are options that already exist because you developed them.

4. You know if you need a coach, a mentor, a consultant, a supportive group or a mastermind group.

Since my business had to start over recently due to a protracted  family crisis, I know the gifts any one of these options can bring (I recently hired a coach and I am currently in a mastermind group). As seasoned business owners, we have less patience in spinning our wheels and saying “woe is me”. If we need someone’s professional assistance, we find a way to get it. If banding together with peers who are looking to expand their businesses is inspiring, create a mastermind group. If affordability is an issue, see if you can barter services or arrange a discounted fee. (You can always stipulate that you’ll pay the regular fees when the cash flow is healthy again if it feels like you need to save face.)

Another valuable piece to this is we know the value of accountability. Inertia and fear can get the most ambitious of us on occasion. When we tell someone what we want and need for our businesses, they get excited also and want us to succeed.

5. You know you don’t have to stay stuck.

This may be the most valuable piece of wisdom a small business owner can have. In the early days of our businesses, we struggled with identity, self-belief and business knowledge. I alluded to this in reason #4 but it bears saying it again. Staying stuck doesn’t make us feel capable or competent and it certainly doesn’t pay the bills. Trying new ways of marketing or just getting feedback from a trusted advisor can keep our eyes and ears open, our imagination active and our motivation up.

What would you add to this list of why your business isn’t at square one?



Sponsored Content

The Author:

Elli St.George Godfrey guides small business owners as they expand in their own community or internationally using her 3 Keys Coaching process helps clients not only navigate growth stages. With each stage of the 3 Keys coaching process, we tackle strategic planning, goal setting, managing change, organizational development and managing the stress and feelings of overwhelm that often plague small to mid-size business owners and executives. This results in clients feeling confident in identifying and developing strategies to be more effective leaders, plan more creatively, increase revenues and overcome the fears and obstacles that interfere with building thriving small to mid-sized businesses. I am also Chief Community Manager of Kaizen Biz and Host of Twitter chat, #KaizenBiz (a chat that uses the concept of "kaizen" for continual improvement in how we think and act in business). Please visit www.abilitysuccessgrowth.com/about/ to learn more and I look forward to meeting you in a complimentary coaching session. http://www.abilitysuccessgrowth.com

Add Your Comment

  • http://twitter.com/fredchannel Fred

    Great post Elli. I would add to number 3: “You know you already have a community”. Many businesses that start using social media (some, have been using it for a while) get overwhelmed because they think they need to start from square one. The truth is that they already have a reputation and a community (big or small, doesn’t matter) as a starting point. These people are the ones that need to join that new online spot where your brand now hangs out :)

  • http://www.btbtraining.com/blog Niall Devitt

    Love this Elli, these are all needed reminders! Recessions create vast opportunities, change is rampant and markets become ripe for new products, new services and new ways. Jump on this wave, listen, learn, innovate and position your business as one that will take full advantage.

  • http://www.seefincoaching.com/blog Elaine Rogers

    For some businesses, they are simply not “back” at square one because they are starting a new business venture. So perhaps previous businesses were effective by outside influences, but for a business to begin in a recession, it does not have the “downturn” within the business to overcome.nnEssentially, this means they can bring together all the knowledge, skills and determination, and make a fresh start, flying through step 1 to 2 or step 1 to 5, depending on the individual business.nnOlu00e9!

  • http://blog.myprojecttracker.com Barney Austen

    Hi Elli. Some great reminders in here.nnI would add that you also “know yourself” far more. I know that as I have developed my business that I have learned an awful lot about my strengths (a few) and weaknesses (more than a few).nnI know what I know and I know where I need help. I think that if you are starting out afresh that understanding and dealing with your own short-comings can make a huge difference. I know that if I was starting out again knowing what I know now (an awful lot of “knows in this paragraph!) I would do things very differently.nnDon’t be too proud to admit your own failings!

  • http://www.stress-solutions4life.com/ Catherine Connors

    I agree with Fred, very often those starting out do have a starting base…. great post Elli

  • Anonymous

    Barney,rnrnKnowing oneself is one of the most valuable assets of any business owner! With all of those “knows” in your reply, I’d say you’ve learned a lot since founding your business.

  • Anonymous

    Elaine,rnrnGood point about how business owners starting new ventures aren’t at square one either! It’s interesting to see how many successful businesses started in economic downturns. Perhaps if you start in adverse conditions, everything else is much more tolerable and manageable. rnrnOle!

  • Anonymous

    Niall,rnrnThere are often aspects of our businesses that need to be “blown up” and starting over (for whatever reason) gives us a great opportunity to re-think, re-imagine and redo what is available to us.rnrnSurf’s up! Ride that wave!

  • Anonymous

    Fred and Catherine,rnrnYes, a community is SO important. We have built-in fans, evangelists and like-minded people to inspire us and keep us motivated. There are days when that overwhelm can seem to hard to manage. Even if you don’t actually vent to someone, just connecting with them by phone, Skype, post or in-person can be rejuvenating.

  • http://www.tweakyourbiz.com Niall Devitt

    Thanks Aisling, hope you will like the changes – stay tuned! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/wchingya Ching Ya

    I agree with Helen, the new site looks great! Excited to see how everything turns out. Congrats on the new launch Niall and everyone who made it happen!

  • Facundo

    Looking good!

  • http://www.bloggertone.com Niall Devitt

    Thanks Helen :)

  • http://www.bloggertone.com Niall Devitt

    Cheers mate :)

  • http://www.bloggertone.com Niall Devitt

    Thanks Ching Ya, we’re all looking forward to test driving it now!

  • http://twitter.com/JimmyDaugherty James Daugherty

    I’m new here but the changes look good. Exciting times!

  • http://www.leadsandappointments.com/ Francis Kent

    Excellent article! You really have nailed down what marketers should be doing in order to make their events much more profitable.

  • http://www.facebook.com/elish.bulgodley Elish Bul-Godley

    Thanks Janine. I hope it will be a great tool in the future, a practical nuts and bolts checklist that will see you through any event. Stay tuned for the next instalments on what to do During one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/elish.bulgodley Elish Bul-Godley

    Thanks Francis . I believe in Events the Marketing and Sales functions are harder to seperate – there should be a telepathic connection between the 2 especially at planning stage

  • John Abrena

    Awesome post Elish. A lot of online marketers today do not care about their company’s events, since some people from other countries where the events are held. They don’t know that they can play a vital role in the events through social media (as you suggested here) and CTAs. Good points, thumbs up!

  • http://www.facebook.com/elish.bulgodley Elish Bul-Godley

    Cheers for the Response! Yep some sales principles apply regardless of whether you are doing an event online or offline. Its all about the groundwork. Lots of online marketeers need to bear in mind that any campaign has to be approached holisitcally so if an event is happening in one department the online team has to be integrated too.

  • http://www.thesmarttrain.com/ Elaine Rogers

    Bumper post Elish – fantastic tips, a post well worth bookmarking, and checking back as an event is being planned and prepped.
    Thank you!

  • Elish Bul

    Coming from a coaching expert like you, that’s grea news. Yes intended it as a working resource for any event

  • Rebecca Price

    Great post, thanks Richard!

    They’re all important, but #3 really stands out to me because I think that it’s extremely important to always have some sort of contingency plan in place, especially where budgets and finances are concerned.

    Although, it’s great to hope for the best, we just need to plan for the worst too.

  • http://growthforce.com/ GrowthForce

    For #5 – there are many small steps businesses can take to review their budgets regularly. For instance, companies can run a six-week cash flow forecast, and each cycle compare the data against the annual budget to see if the company is staying on track.