If your service business is stressing you out and frustrating you then you might be looking for an exit! But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can turn things around and build a business that you love. Here’s what to do right now to turn things around…
1. It starts with you – get introspective. Before you can change anything in your business, you need to look inward and figure out what needs to change in your own life. Some people might be tempted to skip this because it’s too conceptual and “foo-foo”… but I assure you, any change you make in your business will suck unless you first change yourself. Start by identifying what you don’t like about yourself and what parts of your life and business stress you out. Is there a toxic relationship? Do you have an addiction? Are you a procrastinator? Chances are, you already know some of the things that are broken in your life. Frankly, these are “anchors” that hold you back.
2. Work on YOU and break free of those anchors! I’ve shared how to find those anchors, now it’s time to start breaking free of them. This will take some work but the reward is worthwhile. Continually remind yourself of the cost of allowing these frustrations to exist, versus the benefits you get when you overcome them. Get some accountability from friends and family to help you stay the course. You’ll be surprised at how much easier you can change things in your business once you master yourself first.
3. Address your company culture. Next, it’s time to address your company culture. You might be tempted to make changes in other ways in your business but you’ll probably have better success by first changing your company culture. When you build a strong team culture, you’ll be surprised at how a few of the problems will resolve themselves, and how other problems will become much easier to resolve because of a better culture.
4. Level up your communication. This is closely connected to culture (because a strong culture is one that communicates well) but you’ll want to make sure you’re encouraging communication at all levels inside the company and with your customers. Very few people communicate effective so study communication and train your team to understand communication. This will speed up the efficiency in your company and it will help to reduce misunderstands between your team members and between your team and your customers.
5. Start measuring everything. I can’t stress this enough. Sit down and list out everything that is important to you and your company’s success. Then attach a metric to each point on that list and figure out how it will be measured and who is responsible for it. Post the important numbers so everyone can see them, and create contests and incentives around improving the numbers in your company. Share key numbers with your team and make sure everyone has their own numbers that measure them, and make sure they understand how their numbers fit into the overall picture. Make sure your measurement has consequences – so that you measure a team member’s performance at his quarterly review and that should lead to some kind of result (i.e. a promotion or raise for consistently good numbers, and retraining for consistently bad numbers).
Of course this won’t change everything. But if I were to go into a struggling service business to help it turn around, these are the first 5 steps I would take with the owner.
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