Small Business Goals
Too much small details for any small business can kill it before it starts, be it online or offline. And I'm not talking about details killing your business from the standpoint of being careless about them. While it's true that being careless can hurt your business, everybody knows that (even if they don't always put it into practice).
The way I'm talking about that details can kill your business is if you focus too much on them.
How on earth can focusing too much on details hurt any small business?
Ever tried to walk on a railroad track?
I remember my coach telling me about when he was a young lad, when his aunt and uncle had a house right next to a railroad track. His uncle once challenged him to walk on the track without falling off.
Hey, it's not like walking a tightrope. That track was as wide as my feet. Should be no problem. So he started walking it, carefully watching my feet with each step to make sure he stayed on the track. But he couldn't get more than a couple of steps before he'd lose his balance and fall off.
My coach’s uncle taught him that the only way to walk that track successfully was to look at a point a ways down the track – not down at his feet. By setting a goal and focusing on it, he could walk on that track as easily as if he was walking right on the ground. It was only when he was able to be focused on his feet that he tripped up.
It works that way with most small businesses, too. Our natural reaction is to put all our attention into "watching our feet" as we deal with this short-term detail and that. But when we do that, we "fall off the track" of where we wanted to go.
Now, I'm not saying that we should ignore the details of our small business as we gaze wistfully toward our vision of the knock-out business we dream of building. You never get anywhere without taking step after step after step to reach your personal and business goals. But you never get anywhere, either, if all you look at every step in detail.
When I am teaching or speaking at seminars, I always ask business owner why are they in business? It is amazing that over 90% come back and say to make money or work less and have more time off. The main point most small business owner and large business owners do not understand the purpose of a business is to find and keep customers. Money is a by product of getting customers and getting to keep buying from you, no customers means no sales.
The point in the distance that you need to focus on is the need your customer has and the solution you have that will fill it. It requires you to understand your customers – who they are and what they need or want and what concerns stand in the way of them choosing your solution.
It's way too easy for us to focus on too many small details, namely, on the latest traffic building tips or tools, the latest bells and whistles we can add to our small business website. Details are usually driven by facts, and facts are something we feel we can learn and control. Understanding the people who make up our pool of potential customers is a lot more scary. It requires us to step outside ourselves into the hearts and minds of other people, the customers.
Given the choice between dealing with predictable facts and details or dealing with unpredictable human nature, most of us will jump at dealing with facts any time.
But that just gets us stuck staring at our own feet as our feet inexplicably slip off the track. The only way to stay on track with your small business is by looking toward your ultimate goal: you helping your customers solve some problem in return for them repaying you fairly for the time and effort you put into it.
That's really the most simple definition of what business is. The details are not your business. The facts and the tips and the tools are not your business either. They're merely the steps you take to get to that point in the distance. And the more you take that to heart, the more easily you'll stay on the track toward your goal.
Moe Nawaz – Author – Speaker – Mastermind Strategist – Small Business Coach
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