Over the years, I've coached thousands of entrepreneurs and small business owners on how to make course corrections in their own business models with the express idea of fixing broken businesses. Nearly every time, the men and women who made the most progress were the ones that took my advice and ideas and took action right away.
They didn't ask for permission, nor was it my place to grant it!
Now, we're not at all far removed from the beginning of the new year, when many of us sat down, pen in hand, and made a list of ideas we were going to try out in 2018. For most of the world, those resolutions went out the window the second or third week of the month, but a few among us are still working at them.
Those of you who made the decision to actually do it.
Not to wait for clear signs from above, not for the consent of some influencer in your life, and most assuredly, not for someone to arbitrarily grant you permission.
Yet again and again, I see business owners waiting for consent on how they will run their own business. YOU are the reason for the business and your actions will define if that enterprise is successful. If you want to start a Facebook marketing campaign, or add bookkeeping services, then do it!
Should you research before you act? Of course. But, as with anything, you can do too much thinking on something. Make a decision and then act on it.
Now, I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that random action and reaction is a terrible way to run a company, so when you decide to take action, you need to be able to understand if your actions were positive or negative. Understanding the metrics of your decisions is a critical point of business success, so here are some components to consider and study when you take action as an entrepreneur:
· What was the "before". Simple enough - before you decided to do X, what did the situation look like? Did you have 500 customers and each one cost $5 to acquire? Did shipping costs eat 20% of your monthly operating costs? What was monthly income? The questions you have to ask are important because you have to know where you were to be able to understand if your decisions were profitable. Or positive, or beneficial.
· What does a successful "after" look like? No matter what, any action you take in your business is going to have a reaction, so when you plan on moving your company forward, you need to be able to at least try to estimate what "after" if going to look like. If you spend $500 on Facebook advertising, do you expect to make $2,500? What happens if you only make $600? Again, jumping in with no plan means you can't understand what success looks like or how big (or small) that success is going to be.
· How much commitment do you have? For most business owners, smart decisions are small decisions. Of course, we've all heard that story of someone who used their last dime to buy advertising and it changed everything, but let's not get so bad off that we have to go there. Your decisions have to have your commitment, but not in a life-or-death sense. Whether you have made a $100 advertising decision or a $100,000 manufacturing decision, be "all in" on it and be true to it. Any decision you cannot - or will not - manage is a decision you shouldn't make.
· What will you do after it succeeds or fails? Let's face it, decisions either work well or they don't. No matter what the response to your commitment is, how will you scale it if it is successful or renege on it if it doesn't work out the way your research planned?
The lifeblood for the success of your company is to be able to maneuver it into situations that will allow it to grow and become more profitable. The best way is to actually take action. Don't be the entrepreneur "thinking" about it or "trying" it - be the one who is doing it. Maybe on a small scale, but some action is always preferable to simply waiting!