Complaining About your Business? Stop and Change your Approach4 November 2019
Running a business is often a life of ups and downs.
As much as we try to push the business forward, problems inevitably arise and throw us off-course — one step forward, two steps back. As a business owner, I’ve experienced this feeling many times.
It’s as though your full-time job is to prevent the business from falling behind, rather than charging it forward. After a while, you lose that spark, and things become dull and monotonous. Or worse still, frustrating and chaotic.
During hard times, it’s easy to fall into the trap of negativity and neglect. The ‘blinkers’ come on, we subconsciously accept the status quo and become ignorant of the significant issues within our business.
We also start complaining about everything to everyone, all the time. Sound familiar?
I recall a time when my company’s sales had stagnated, and we were going to fall well short of our target. We felt deflated and lacked confidence on how to fix the issue. At the time, we focused on participating in a few networking groups to generate most of our sales leads, but both quality and quantity were lacking. We became despondent, blamed others for not helping, and were slowly losing hope. I was whining like a baby.
That was until one day I had enough. I became furious. Why? Why are we not generating more sales!
I was sick of my own whinging – and so was everyone else. I realised we rarely communicated directly to our target market. All the ‘networking’ activity made us feel as though we were putting in the effort, but it was all in vain since there was no cut-through. We needed to change our approach.
So, I quit my networking groups and began to put my attention on other marketing and sales activities, which spoke directly to our target market. By employing a combination of cold calls and leveraging existing relationships, we engaged directly with our ideal prospects to discover what they needed and wanted. It was painful yet effective.
The early signs were encouraging, and my confidence rose. Soon enough, the decision proved right as we had an abundance of sales opportunities, with conversion rates sharply on the rise. We doubled our sales within twelve months, creating a five-year run of business expansion. I also developed a liking for cold calls – weird, I know.
I learned that in business, you couldn’t afford to tolerate bad results. When something’s not working, you must change your approach.
If I had continued unchanged, things could’ve turned ugly. Thankfully, I became intolerant to bad results and done something about it – something different, that is.
Too many times, I see business owners going through the motions, subconsciously accepting substandard performance. They complain chronically about how bad things are, but rarely do you see them taking any different course of action. Do you know these people?
If so, consider asking them: “so what are you going to do about it?”
It’s a little confronting, but if you care, it’s probably the best way to get them to reflect and make the changes that they need. Trust me – they will thank you for it.
And if that chronic complainer is you, let me ask: what are YOU doing about it?
If the answer is nothing, consider changing your approach. Sometimes it’s that simple.