A Regular Business Checkup

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Dreaming of starting your own business is exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. I have started more than one business during the past 40 years. I’ve had the scary, stressful, “why me?” times and also known the great excitement of business success.

I assure you that being able to take a vacation at a moment’s notice is my kind of fun. Worrying about next week’s payroll or fearing the total failure of bankruptcy is no way to live and surely not what you thought business would be like. Most businesses are home-based and do not have employees, but the challenges are the same.

Maybe you have a mature business but feel it is not living up to your original expectations. It is not uncommon for a business client to tell me that the reason they need a coach is that they feel they could and maybe should be doing a whole lot better. When your business has been operating for five years you’ve reached a milestone. It’s a time when you ask yourself if this is really what you envisioned at the start. Were all the stress, long hours, missed vacations, budget anxiety, lost weekends and even failed communication with family while you put in the time to keep the business afloat and then make it successful really worth it?

You’ll have been reminded of the statistics time and again by well-meaning folks: 50 percent of all startup businesses do not survive to their sixth year. Maybe it’s time for a business checkup.

It may be that you are beginning to wonder if that could be your fate. Starting over is not something you look forward to, especially in view of how difficult the past few years have been. Oh, you knew there would be challenges, but you were hoping that the rewards would come sooner. In fact, the rewards could come sooner if we remembered a few basics that those who do fail seem to ignore or maybe never knew.

You are very diligent when it comes to getting your annual physical checkup and following the advice of the doctor for continued good health. Quite often the reminder is to check your blood pressure regularly and to set an appointment with your doctor if things seem to be a little abnormal. Above all is the caution not to wait too long and risk ending up with a serious problem.

Many a business owner could be successful if they only knew what was keeping their business from flourishing. I’m speaking from experience: I had never been in business, did not have an MBA and most importantly did not have a mentor or coach to guide me.

I had to learn by doing it the hard way, which I assure you takes too much time, is too stressful and more often than not ends up with mediocrity rather than great success. Oh, I could have asked for help if I knew where to look, overcome my ego and not been afraid to admit that I didn’t know it all.

My friends, there is help for every promising business, but the secret is to know what is needed to find success. The answers for building a successful business, or how to improve your current business, will not be found in profit and loss or income statements. Those are very important score cards reporting on what has happened, but they don’t tell you what you could do to improve performance. They are not much different than the score board for the Packers and Bears; I know the Packers win, but there isn’t anything the Bears learn from that other than they lost.

After the game is over, the reports are compiled; the coach goes to work with the players to analyze what could be done differently in the future. Yes, it is about changing the outcome. The game plan undergoes a thorough checkup.

When was your last physical? If you’re taking care of yourself, then isn’t it time for you to give your business a checkup too? There are a few very critical areas that need to be examined to determine whether you are really destined for failure or, more likely, great success. You have already proven that you want success because you haven’t quit.

You could make a very wise decision by contacting me and asking for a free 30-minute business checkup. Just like when you visit the doctor, this is all about you and not me. So if you are motivated to succeed, willing to make any necessary changes and, above all, prepared for a candidly honest discussion, then we’re on the same page. Let’s do it now. Ask for a free checkup – bob@robertschuster.com.

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