How many of you small business owners are Ross? How many are Rachel...and who will admit, yup, they are a Chandler!?
There is no denying this is a strange time. Businesses cannot, and feel free to argue, cannot really make projections for each quarter. We can guess, and can even make calculated quantitative plans, but...if March 2020 taught Canadian business owners anything...it's "Nice effort, but nope."
If I said this 7 months ago, you would've said I was crazy. But here we have it, we are adapting...and already some of you forgot.
Please don't forget. Put it in your journal. In your calendar. In your CRM as a popup.
Don't get comfortable.
The fact is, we are not in control. Any time a mandate can change everything we worked for. So rather than blindly rolling with it and putting your hand out to whatever help you "graciously take". Plan. Prepare. Protect!
Look at worst case scenario...really look. Take off your Canadian conditioned glasses (which happen to be red and white, which colours also happen to make a lovely rose colour.. ahem ahem...just saying)...and really look.
Next, look at best case scenario.
Now bring those two hands together and meet somewhere in the middle. This usually falls in the area of "reason" "averages" "most probable".
Now pivot there.
What does your business need to do to be prepared for this "hands in the middle" scenario? What does your business look like? What do your financials look like? What does your family look like?
Rather than staying stuck in what you do now and what you've built, can you adapt to the "new norm"? Can you look at this as a long term plan, rather than "it's only for a few months"? (So many of us looked at it that way!!! No shame!)
We are in this together. And this is HOW we are in this together
▶️ By saying the hard things, working together and protecting each other!
So are you a Ross? Determined! "With a sketch and everything"? #wevegotthis
Are you a Rachel? Goes along, with little investment, but goes along. Heavy lifting. Carrying the burden blocks. Going in whatever direction she is told. #agreeable
Are you a Chandler? Reluctant to be there and is ready to quit. #imdone
Fall fashions need fall lips.
As a small business owner you have to look the part for whatever it is you are selling. And it's a 24/7 deal (If you are serious about what you are doing).
You are just as much the product as the physical product itself. And if you are the product...need I say more?
I have absolutely been in situations where I'm in the middle of sanding and painting shelves, laying flooring...and I need to run out. I end up in a great convo with some guy or some gal (potential customer/referral/IG audience)...and they ask...(cringe)...
"What is your store? What do you do? 🙈🙉🙊
My pale, tired, skin with drywall cracked hands and hair that looks more like desirable real estate for the blue jay that's been hanging out in my backyard than anything else...I cringe!!!! Do I say "I own a beauty and design studio"?...I am by no means a poster for it! So what do you do? People are very visual, and if you are thinking "they know you are laying floor, you are in #homedepot!" Think again! People do not excuse you. Unless you are selling mediocre service/products...then sure, you got by.
But I'm not talking to mediocre business owners am I? You aren't people who want to catch a small fish when you could have caught numerous ideal customers utilizing every moment.
Fast forward... #girlwashyourface has never been more applicable! Lol don't get caught like that. Everyday think about your business #marketing. TIP: find a quick topknot that looks on point (or any anti squirrel condo style) and find a fashionable lip that suits your complexion...it wont kill you to put mascara on either, I'm almost sure of it lol. (3 min max) All you want is to look alert and ready for anything, representing who you are and what you do.
No matter what you are up to, a top knot and a hot lip will still say, "I know what I'm doing, you should see me for my business services/products, I just also happen to be a bad ass #handywoman #DIYgoddess who takes pride in her shop".
How your situation speaks to your encounters will be customized to you, but you get the idea.
Disclaimer: Angry, boring or lazy also have a look.
If that's what you are selling, you do you.
I've been able to innovate and change a few things, I've been able to collect a rather awesome group of people...and all in all, for that alone I am completely content.
So back to business. Contentment, friends, bridges that are intact, loyal following...does that equal a successful business?*
Having friends is great
Having a Rolodex of contacts (sorry, to other generations, that's a fancy terms for a CRM)
Having an IG full of vanity metrics...
DOES NOT A BUSINESS MAKE
So sit back and ask yourself, "why am I doing this?" "Is this my livelihood?" "Could I live without this project!" "Could my family go without food, winter clothes, shelter...without this is".
If you need this business, if this is your "job" then stop treating it like a hobby and get real. How is this business going to feed you and your family? That's is not melodramatic!!!! Believe me, if you were an employee of your business....you would have a whole lot of rights...and feeding your family would be a legitimate concern. Don't pull a Cris and undervalue yourself for years. Know your worth, plan and implement!
People quickly forget. Oh do I have stories! They forget about everything you did for them... quickly and easily. So start putting yourself on the priority list!
What is your hour worth?
Is your product or service fulfilling this regularly?
What does that look like in 3 years? 5 years?
Start asking yourself, "Is what I'm doing scalable? And then get to the drawing board!
If 2020 taught you anything...
Sure, when you need to.
Every business requires a Hustle.
Economic changes & unprecedented time (ahem ahem ahem.... The C word!)
But is hustle the permanent hashtag for an entrepreneur?
I certainly hope not.
Hustle. Spelled backwards is "Eltsuh". And Eltsuh is the sound you make when you are burnt out, sick in bed and hurling.
The key is balance. We all say that, but how do you ACTUALLY do it. Right?
Don't look at me! What the heck do I know! I have a million ideas & projects and am helping people when I should be working on my own business! Oooooooh....
Wait...I do know a thing or two.
I make committments to myself and my immediate family because it forces me to stop, prioritize and stop.
I give myself permission to work when other people think I should be doing something else. But then I also give myself permission to read, study and connect with dear true friends, because I know there is an ROI. That may sound cold (ROI), but when you have hit rock bottom, have been hospitalized because you literally burnt out trying to please everyone...and not yourself...you start to calculate. If you have listened to me at all, you know I'm all about facts, figures, the nitty gritty. And we are all entrepreneurs right? So what's the ROI? ▶️ Peacefulness, happiness, trust, support. This is what you get back when you make time for most important people in your life.
It's up to you to decide what's important and how much you can reasonably give to each of those items. Every person has their own struggles. Their own limitations. Some people have nice nets parents have set up for them, (or grandparents) some are on their own and some are now parents themselves.
No matter what you do, if the thing that is stressing you out and is putting you on a heart monitor...might need to rethink that.
If that thing is you are lazy and procrastinate...👋 Slap! You need to figure out what you are afraid of, and face that fear asap! #mentalhealth is a #now #issue not a #tomorrow one.
There, that is one thing I know.
Me cerca 2010.
"You may feel that way, but what do the numbers say?" Is something my staff have heard me say over the last nine years. Even before owning my own Studio or Boutique location, turning to the numbers was a practice of mine, yes since my managing days.
In business, especially in sales many employees, reps, head office staff...(wow I'm just thinking about the roles I've had) it is very difficult to argue with surveys, reports, averages, counts, cashflow statements, UPTs, ATSs, RBRs, etc., etc., etc. All industries will have different calculators.
But the key is that solid businesses watch, track and review.
I have had employees (whether my own or ones I'm managing) say they FEEL as though they have been selling and should be rewarded. Or I've heard complaints about not being booked enough. Buuut then when we go the schedule vs. timing. vs. numbers it's like a flashing light hit the issue. "If you could finish as blowout under 75 minutes we could book you more". (Right 🙉)
Staff, employees, contractors, often (not always) come at you with emotion. It is your responsibility as a manager/owner to have concrete facts at hand in order to show what is really going on in the business.
Quarterly reviews with staff are non-negotiable. However much staff may contest (I've been guilty of pushing things back in order to appease) you must protect your business.
I had a labour board officer tell me once, "Do you know it's okay to say no? If they quit they quit. But the way you are "being nice" isn't protecting your business. I can see very clearly what is going on with you and your employee. Your problem is, you needed to say no. Don't bend your rules because they roll their eyes or make you feel bad. They are doing that because they want to take advantage". That is advice I will never forget.
Record. Record. Record. Review!
Cris Mac is an entrepreneur through and through. She refers to her businesses as "projects" and is constantly working on something new, helping others along the way.