So many of us start our own businesses with the dream of escaping the 9-5 grind. And if you run a business, you’re probably grinning a little ruefully at the thought.

But once we start to find ourselves working from early in the morning until late at night, 6 or 7 days a week. And despite the gruelling efforts we put in, there’s usually something wonderfully fulfilling that comes from it.

If your business is anything like the one I share with my partner Kerry, it provides the scope (and let’s face it, sometimes shackled reality) for our efforts and funds for our lifestyles and it also contributes significantly to the wellbeing of others – our clients, suppliers and team and the Albury (and wider) economy more generally.

More than that though, they allow us to hang our personal dreams on our businesses – where can we go, what can we achieve, how can we change the world? And really, what’s not to like about that?

Focus on what matters

One of the issues we often face as business owners, is that it feels like we’re only having to keep up with the industry, the competition, the latest research, trends and constant change on all fronts, but that we have to be leading that change – being the best that we can be, always striving to be better, offer more, be more productive, etc. And when it comes down to it, all that does is make us tired!

The reality is, doing what you do well, if you’re doing it for the right people (customers) and charging the right price (yes, the right people at the right price is critical to your success), is more than enough.

So if you’ve got the seed of your business idea or have actually started your business, you only need to be focus on getting up and running or your first phase of growth (both of which require total focus on tracking down those right people and sussing out the right price and then either doing the work or supplying the goods).

Start-up and growth are widely regarded as the two most exciting parts of the business building process – but they can also be the most daunting. Lots of things to do, ideas to harness – oh and you have to begin making some money too if you’re going to take your idea beyond idea stage into being a ‘real’ business. But focussing where it matters, is key to your business ultimate success.

The secret to real growth

In the 7 or so years since I started Mason Lloyd, we’ve seen many, many of our clients’ businesses go from early start-up phase to significant businesses in their industry niches. Almost all of them have started as one or two people and grown from there. They’ve worked long and hard for the businesses they’ve got today.

But if I really think back through my accounting career on all the businesses that have achieved significant growth over time, I’ve seen few, if any create real, lasting, sustainable business captaining a team of one.

So once you’ve found your customer tribe and figured out a working model for making income from it, employing staff will be the next and possibly one of the scariest steps you, and any other business owner, will take. I remember my first hire as a business owner and the knot in my stomach that ensued. However, if you’ve done your due diligence, hiring the right person or people can take you to places that you’ve only imagined.

These days of course there are other ways to ‘hire’ staff and depending on what kind of business you run, you can take baby steps along the way – such as outsourcing to virtual teams – who might work down the road or across the country. Take a look at your business and see if taking that step might help take the business to that next level.

Of course, if you and your business are at that point in time where you’re looking to grow to that next level – stop and think – are you aiming to captain a team of one or do you want to build-in long term sustainability to your business? If we can help, please get in touch via the form below.

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