As you grow your firm, you are likely to encounter one or more common frustrations and/or aggravations that stymie your ability to move the firm forward in the direction you envision. Many of you have likely already encountered some or many of these. For a few growing firms the pain has to become bad enough before any change is made. They have to become “sick and tired of being sick and tired” before making changes.
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Do any of these common frustrations sound familiar?
· I don’t seem to have control: As you grow and many things compete for your attention, you will feel a loss of control over your time and what really needs to be done. You end up “putting out fires” in order to survive. You need to control your business instead of letting the business control you.
· We have tried different things to improve the firm but they don’t seem to be working: Because you tend to get pulled in many different directions, it can become easy to try various quick-fix options (the band-aid approach)since you don’t have time to focus on everything you and your staff need to attend to. You end up not wanting to tackle new initiatives since nothing seems to be making a noticeable impact. You and your staff have become complacent.
· I am having issues with people: You have employees to manage, clients to communicate with, and business partners (vendors and associated professionals) that you need to develop relationships with. It can become frustrating when the communication between you (as the owner) and these groups break down. Do these groups listen to you (staff follow your vision and clients follow your advice)? Do they understand what you are saying (regarding vision and advice)? Are they following through with what you are saying (regarding vision and advice)?
· I am working harder and harder, but not seeing enough (increase in) profit: You are working harder and the business is growing, but you are working harder just to keep things going. However, the profit of the firm isn’t keeping up with the extra time invested.
· The firm has hit a plateau: Your firm has been growing nicely for awhile but the growth has recently stopped or slowed considerably. You have done #2 above but you can’t get your firm to the next level of success. You are at a crossroads trying to figure out what to do to get to the next level.
In order to move your firm ahead, you must recognize that you will likely run into these frustrations and be prepared to confront them and work through each to reach a new level of success.
Recognizing what ails you is usually the easy part; the more difficult part of the equation is actually deciding to remedy what is causing your angst.
Developing a strategic plan and consistently working the plan provides a roadmap to know which fork-in-the-road to take to overcome these frustrations. It also will provide guidance to preemptively identify and keep the frustrations from taking control over your time. Keep control by executing your plan.