6 big picture challenges small business owners need to think about

big picture challenges

John Nieuwenburg

John Nieuwenburg has been a professional business coach since 2004. Prior to becoming a coach, he held executive positions with Tip Top Tailors and BC Liquor Stores. In 2019, MacKay CEO Forums awarded him with Canada’s CEO Trusted Advisor Award in the Small Business category. Since becoming a coach, John has worked with over 350 clients, taking them through a systematic process that helps them feel organized, confident and in control of their businesses.

When you own your own business, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day running of things and forget to look up and think about the big picture.

In the e-myth, these daily activities are referred to as “working IN the business” – and the bigger picture as “working ON the business.”

What might those big picture challenges be? Great question!

Here are 6 that I routinely work with my clients on.

1. Developing a clear and powerful set of both personal and business goals and having a clear vision for your company

As Yogi Berra once said: “If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.”

You need a clear vision for your company so that you can make decisions that align with where you want to go.

Once you have that vision, you can set goals to get there.

It’s important to consider your personal goals, not just your business goals.

After all, the purpose of your small business is to give you the LIFE you want.

2. Creating a systems dependent company rather that a people dependent one

Does your business have a key employee or two that you can’t do without?

Is one of them you? 😉

One of the key projects for working ON your business is to develop systems to run things.

At W5, we say: systems run the business, people run the systems, you lead the people.

When you have well-documented systems, you’ll find it easier to hire and train people.

You’ll position your company for growth.

AND you’ll be able to take some time off!

3. Building consistency into product and service delivery

When you build consistency into your product and service delivery processes, you’ll be providing better levels of customer service.

This results in a more rewarding customer service experience – which leads to repeat business and positive word of mouth.

4. Finding or rekindling your passion for your business

Running your own business takes a significant amount of time and energy.

After a few years – especially if you’re caught up in the day-to-day grind – it’s easy to lose your initial passion and forget why you even started the business.

Taking some time to find or rekindle your passion will help you get your heart and mind back in the game – so that you can enjoy running and building the business again.

5. Making a solid business plan of action

Are you and your team focused on doing what matters?

Or are you caught up in the urgencies of the day?

Take the time to articulate your goals and develop a plan.

Focusing on what’s most important is what will get you the biggest results.

6. Developing a straightforward succession plan

Business owners often don’t give much thought to their eventual exit.

If you don’t start planning for this early, you may find yourself stuck when you’re ready to leave or retire.

The key thing to do in this area is to set the business up to run without you.

Then when you’re ready to exit, it will be easier to replace yourself with the right people.

How are you doing in each of these 6 areas?

Which one will you work on first?

Because these are important, but not immediately urgent, they’re easy to put off.

If you’re serious about making these changes, you might want to seek outside help to keep you accountable.

Otherwise, you may find yourself back here next year – looking at the same list and wishing you’d acted today.

If you’d like some help implementing, you can book 15 minutes on my calendar here: time with John.

The Ultimate Guide to Scaling Your Business

w5 what does it mean to scale your business

How to grow your business without sacrificing time freedom

This post is part of my Ultimate Guide to Scaling Your Business. Visit the guide homepage to get my best advice and coaching exercises to help you:

  • Develop systems and processes to free up your time
  • Hire and manage a great team to run your business (mostly) without you
  • Make the mindset changes that enable you to grow your business bigger - faster than you dreamed possible