The Trials and Tribulations of Business Ownership

Being a business owner has its trials and tribulations – as well as the benefits.  There are over 5.4 million businesses in the UK right now, 80% of them are struggling or getting by and barely keeping their heads above water.

Over 20% of all businesses are really struggling!

Living hand to mouth, with all the stress that goes with it – and not really sure how to change it.  They are caught in a spiral of doom and some don’t even know it!   They have no plans or clearly articulated goals and they don’t know their key business numbers.  They are more likely to have a nasty surprise at the end of each financial year.

Their business struggles with consistency.  To customer, staff and suppliers there is often a sense or appearance of chaos and disorganisation.   The business has difficulty in attracting and retaining the right people, with the skills and attitudes needed to really make a change, for real success.

The business owner experiences high levels of stress and uncertainty because of a lack of cash – and they lose sleep over how they are going to get though the next day, week or month.  In many cases they dread going into “work” but know that everything will fall to pieces if they aren’t there.  They only see their family when they are distracted, worried and unhappy.

60% of business owners are frustrated!

They might have some plans or goals, but more than likely not written down or shared with anyone who could help them.

They need to understand basic business finance but don’t have the time to learn about it.

They have inadequate management information and don’t do anything to make sure they have what they need to enable better decision making, often because they don’t really know where to start or how to get help.

The business owner is the main (if not only) decision maker, creating a bottle neck in many of the informal processes that the business has There’s a rudimentary understanding of “how we do things around here”.  They know they need a bigger, more skilled, team but recruiting takes up so much more time and energy than they have to spare.

Managing cash is a month by month challenge.  The business owner KNOWS the business could be so much more successful but they don’t know how to get it on the right track – there always seems so much to do that gets in the way of improving things.

These 80% of businesses are barely getting by.  That’s a lot of businesses!  And a lot of unhappy business owners.

Equally there are those who have great businesses, but have bad days.  Sometimes there are more bad days than good and that is a great sign that you need to start thinking about the next phase of your life and business – the getting out part.

Everyone has good and bad days in their business.  Even me.  For example.

Yesterday was a bit of a disaster.  Small in the grand scale of things but definitely a day where, if I’d stayed in bed all day I would have been better off!  I’m sure I am not alone in having the kind of day where you actually go backwards?  Everything I touched seemed to turn to dust and if it could break, it broke.

  • I lost a document I’d been working for hours on, deleting it in such a way it could not be recovered and losing work I did the previous days
  • I had to drive to an event which should normally take only 2 hours, yet 3 and a half hours later I was still in the car
  • A website I could normally access decided to not recognise my login details and left me shut out
  • My early morning yoga class was really difficult – for no real reason, I just wasn’t able to balance or stretch as much as I usually do
  • It was very cloudy, windy and dull, leaving the day feeling heavy and dark. The clouds felt oppressive and it appeared gloomy

Overall the whole day was hard work and I spent hours doing activities that should have only taken a few minutes.  The phrase “like swimming in treacle” came to mind!

These sort of day can have a devastating effect on your energy and motivations.  If I got stressed about all of these outcomes – none of which I had any real control over – then the emotional impact could have been very negative.  As it happens I have stopped looking at external sources of blame and started looking at the next opportunity for a positive outcome.  My evening was spent participating in an event where I was speaking so I had to be prepared.  Bringing negative energy into my presentation would have served no one, least of all myself.

The whole evening was thoroughly enjoyable and well attended.  I gave one of my best performances and made a lot of positive connections.  No one in the room would have guessed I had such a bad day.  Going to bed at a reasonable time, I slept like a baby.

This morning I woke to the sound of song birds, bright sunshine and a whole new energy.  As I was staying where I had been speaking, I enjoyed a bit of breakfast TV (I don’t have a TV at home so hotels become a bit of a treat) and had one of the best breakfasts I have had for ages.  The whole daily outlook was different – and the day light was probably one of the major factors.

The storm had passed!

Today was so much more productive, in fact I would say I was on fire and certainly made up for the loss of progress yesterday.   My journey home took a little over 2 hours but both before and afterwards I got more done than I could have imagined.  Starting the day with a positive outlook got it off to a great start.  Yet it wasn’t so different yesterday, with very different outcomes.

I could take time to try an analyse what was so different, but instead I am going to put it down to experience and not beat myself up too much about it.  As the old saying goes “Everyday the sun rises” – and treating every day as the opportunity for a new beginning keeps my motivation and productivity bouncing back and sustainable even in the face of some big challenges.

Our ability to ride these emotional storms will dictate whether we rise above and get going in the right direction.  Sometimes we just need a little help and support.

Do you need some support or are you ready to sell? Click here to contact Christine by email alternatively you can book a call with the Business Mentor of the Year 2020, author and speaker. Who helps business founders get their businesses exit ready so they can enjoy a happier, richer future.  She saves them THOUSANDS and increases the value of their businesses by MILLIONS.