By Simon Ellson, award-winning business coach
After a turbulent year for business owners around the globe, it’s safe to say that most of us are looking forward to seeing how the easing of restrictions will bring back a sense of life as we knew it previous to the pandemic. But here is where Simon Ellson, award-winning business coach at ActionCOACH in West Hertfordshire, predicts business owners may stumble if they get lost in the euphoria of a potential return to normality.
Here Simon reminds business owners of the top 5 mistakes they are likely to make as we edge closer to a new normal. He believes it is paramount for business owners to consider these in order to succeed after a difficult year.
- Not knowing what the business needs to look like when it’s finished – this is the chance for a new look at the business and its destination. After a crisis, it is always good to reset yourself and your ambitions. Whilst most people could tell you what their dream house looks like, they cannot do the same for their business. Starting with the end in mind is a fabulous way to get more from yourself and your business. I call this P3 or post-pandemic planning.
- No plan or map to navigate the business to the destination – when you have your vision of what the finish line looks like, how will you get there? If a realistic end point is in five year’s time, what would you like to achieve by the end of this next 12 months or by year three? Then think about what steps you can put in place to reach each of these smaller milestones. Make sure all of this is written down and not just in your head.
3. Doing everything yourself because you want it done properly, or faster – take the time to share your new destination with your team as doing everything yourself simply isn’t sustainable. Whilst it’s possible that the pandemic has caused you to reduce or to re-evaluate your team so you have had to take on more of the day-to-day tasks yourself, you will eventually need to build your team back up. If these tasks aren’t your area of expertise, then I would always advocate finding someone else who can do that job better than you. Think about hiring a local virtual assistant if you don’t want to commit to full-time staff yet.
- Never enough time to do everything so you work harder for more hours – wellbeing had been one of the most used words during the pandemic. In the midst of people worrying about their jobs and the health of their loved ones, many business owners have been set with additional challenges of ensuring the safety of their employees, a continuity of service for customers and, in many cases, the complexities of forced closure. Business owners will be tempted to work longer hours to get back on track and fulfil post-pandemic obligations for staff and customer safety and wellbeing. Here’s the crux of it – if you as the business owner don’t look after your own wellbeing, who will look after your business when you burnout?
- Little or no lead generation so sales are low and revenue and profit poor – you may be worried about spending money on marketing having just gone through a lean time but now is the time to invest in recovery. One of the common mistakes I see is the desire to cut marketing when things get tough. This is an instinctive reaction; however, I recommend to double down, evaluate what you have been doing to drive leads and sales. Is it suitable in a post-pandemic world? If so, keep doing it, if not, stop, check your strategy and then do what works for you. Times and expectations have changed and your customers and prospective customers may have changed too. Remember business is just numbers, leads generated multiplied by those converted equals revenue – less leads, less revenue!
Simon has teamed up with Lincolnshire-based business coach John McHale to bring three world-class speakers to an exclusive event for business owners to take their companies from good to great – Limitless Live.
“Focusing on business development is extremely important as we emerge from pandemic restrictions. Setting aside time to focus on your own development will always have positive effects, not just on you as the business owner but on your team too. Surrounding yourself with likeminded, motivational people is an incredible way to get yourself to the next step and see results. Immersive events such as Limitless are a great way to do this.”
Simon will use his expertise to coach and mentor just eight selected businesses during Limitless Live – those truly committed to substantial growth in the next 12 months. Limitless Live, the exclusive business growth academy event, will take place between the 21st-23rd June at the breath-taking Rushton Hall in Northamptonshire.