5 Things I Learned from the Growth Council
Just this past week, we kicked off our new strategic advisory group that we call the Growth Council. In a nutshell it’s a group of 12 business owners, across different industries, with different size businesses who are all interested in learning how to successfully scale their business. As a group, we’ll be doing a few different things for the year (along with some 1 on 1 coaching) but it all starts with the quarterly 1/2 day workshops – and we held the first one of those earlier this week.
Our topic for this session was Product Growth – which focused on what it takes to identify the product (or service) that you offer that’s going to be the easiest or most productive when it comes to scaling your business. The reality is that if you don’t have the right product (or service) focus it can be almost impossible to grow past a certain point.
Anyway… the session was awesome – as you might expect. 😉 And everyone walked away with at least 1 or 2 key ideas that they can start implementing that will have a major impact on their business – either by helping them grow or making life easier… or both. Now I can’t get into the specifics that each business owner took away from the session, but I would like to share some general observations that I picked up from this group of successful business owners that might be helpful to others.
Lessons Learned from The Growth Council
#1 – You’re not alone!
Several of the participants mentioned during the course of the morning that it was refreshing to learn that they weren’t the only ones who had struggled with a particular challenge or issue. Obviously, this doesn’t immediately help you in your business, but it does give you a sense of confidence that others have faced your challenges and found solutions.
Lesson Learned – Every business owner (at some point in time) feels like they are going through things that no one else could possibly understand – unique problems that only they are facing. It turns out, that’s not true. Not only have others faced those challenges, there are answers and ideas that will work for you if you’re open to it. Get some outside help…
#2 – You’re on the right path…
Along with learning that they weren’t alone, several members of the council were also relieved to see that they were headed down the right path based on what others had tried and succeeded with. Again, not an immediate benefit but it does help those owners keep the faith and hold true to the path they’re on.
Lesson Learned – Doing the right thing when you’re working ON your business can often be a leap of faith and it can take a while to see positive results. Knowing that others have been able to make something work can really help bolster your commitment to an idea.
#3 – You’re way off the path and you need to step back…
Another common theme for many of the owners was a realization that they weren’t on the right path – often because they had been unwilling to address a problem that they had known about for some time. Getting feedback and examples from others on what NOT to do can be just as valuable as what TO do.
Lesson Learned – It’s human nature to hold off on making changes, even when you know you’ve got a problem. So it can be very valuable to get the kick that you need to take actions and address those changes.
#4 – We all have bad clients and it can be wonderful to get rid of them!
We had a great discussion on the importance of assessing your clients or customers and recognizing who’s a great client (and how do you find more of them) and who’s a bad client. It was interesting that almost everyone had had the experience of having a bad client that they purposely held on to because they couldn’t stomach the idea of losing revenue. However, many had cut those ties (eventually) and reported that not only did the business become much easier to run, but they also were quick to regain that revenue with better clients.
Lesson Learned – It’s critical to regularly assess your clients and find a way to get rid of the one who are the very worst (difficult, don’t pay on time or just don’t fit).
#5 – The E-Myth will change your life!
Almost everyone in the room had not only read the E-Myth by Michael Gerber but had also been greatly influenced and impacted by the big ideas in that book – starting with the importance of working ON your business rather than IN your business. I wasn’t surprised by the impact (it’s a great book) but I was a little surprised that everyone was familiar with it.
Lesson Learned – Read the E-Myth Revisited and figure out how it applies to your business!
There were a lot more specific lessons learned by each business owner, but these seemed to apply to most – which is why I thought they might be helpful for you.
When’s the last time you really tried to improve your business? Could you benefit from finding the right ideas to help you make more money and work less? In case you weren’t sure – that’s what we do with our clients and we’d love to talk to you. Contact Us and we can set up a meeting.
Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Shawn Kinkade Kansas City Business Coach