When I start working with business owners, one of the first things I ask is, ‘What is the purpose of your business?’ In other words, why does the business exist? Surprisingly, this simple question often causes some debate.
Imagine being above a ravine clinging to a rope – white knuckles and fear of your grip slipping would be understandable. As a business owner concerns about letting go may be inhibiting your company and your health. And if your team is now remote working you may want to cling on more tightly.
When we are asked who we work with and how our expertise is best deployed, a concise answer doesn’t always do justice to the range of work we undertake.
As a business adviser, I work with owners of all sorts of businesses – creative and otherwise. One thing that a surprising number of business owners have in common is that they just don’t plan their business.
The word ‘mentor’ goes all the way back to Greek mythology (it was the name of young Telemachus’s adviser in Homer’s Odyssey). And just as Shakespeare gave us many words that have percolated their way into everyday speech – including, interestingly, the word ‘manager’ – Homer’s Mentor became an everyday description for a trusted, experienced adviser.
In last week’s article I talked about how exit planning doesn’t necessarily mean selling your business. Rather, a good exit plan is an important business planning tool, helping you build a more valuable, efficient (and, yes, sellable) business.
Picture an ‘exit’ sign. Visualise those four letters above a doorway. What’s the first thing you think of? Chances are you think of something being over, finished and done with; ‘exit’ means there’s nothing more to see or do. Your work here is done.
Do you have a clear vision of where you’re going? Some business owners do and some don’t. When I start working with a client, if their vision is a blurry, vague picture, without a distinct destination or route towards it, I start by helping them clarify that picture.