Running a business is very much like being in a relationship. You constantly have to work at it. You have ups and downs, times when things are hot and exciting, and other times when things are just plain dull.

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You will probably find that you are most in love with your business when the relationship is reciprocal – when you get back what you are putting in. It is natural to feel disconnected and out of love if you seem to be the only one making an effort. When you are not seeing any returns, it’s normal to feel some resentment. You could also feel as though you are losing interest in your business because things have become a little stale and mundane. The honeymoon just feels like it is over! It’s time to spice it up!

Change your mindset

Firstly, recognise that your relationship with your business is in some trouble but that most of what you are feeling is about perception. You need to shift your mindset. Think back to the excitement of the beginning, remember the good times and draw on that for some inspiration

Remind yourself why you went into business in the first place. Reflecting on our purpose can renew your energy. What is it that you want to offer? Who are your customers? What do you want to achieve? Are your business goals aligned with your personal goals? Have you lost sight of these?

Watch your language. The way in which you speak about your business will translate into how you feel about. Try to use positive affirmations and remind yourself daily what it is that you love about your small business.

Identify your pain points

Figure out what is making you feel lacklustre about your business. Write them down and try to find a solution for each one. Could your task list be too long? Are you working too many hours? Is your work life impacting your home life? Could it be that staff morale is low? Do you have equipment that keeps failing and causing you unnecessary stress? Could it be time to shake up some negative employees? Are customers placing undue demands on you or your staff? Could it be time to cut them loose?

Regain your focus

You should always have a focus. Your focus may shift from time to time, but you cannot lose focus. Too many business owners try to be all things to everyone by servicing too many customers, over diversifying their offering and trying to do too much. Define your core business, understand your core customers and focus on what you are good at.

Cull your to do list

As a small business owner, you wear numerous hats. You’re the financial manager, the human resources administrator, the marketing guru, the customer relationship coordinator, the IT administrator and everything in between. This makes for a very long list of things to do, some of which you might not enjoy because you find them mundane or you are not skilled at them. Cut down your task list and delegate to competent staff. Focus on what you are good at and what you most enjoy doing. If you can avoid getting bogged down by low value tasks that somebody else could be doing while you focus on higher value activities, it can go a long way to rekindling your interest in your business.

Set the scene

Spruce up your workspace, streamline processes and efficiencies, and invest in the tools and equipment that you need to make life easier and more pleasurable. If you are constantly struggling with technology issues, admin challenges or equipment, you will feel frustrated and dissatisfied. You could even buy something that is not strictly necessary but would make life at work so much better – a cappuccino machine or a new piece of software to streamline some of your processes. Create an environment that will make you love going to work every day.

Set some goals

There is probably nothing more motivating than to have a goal to work towards. If you don’t have a goal, you will struggle to find purpose in what you are doing. Identify goals and objectives, and create a plan to guide you towards achieving them. Take time every week to look at your plan and check your progress. It can be tremendously inspiring to see even the smallest gains taking you closer to achieving your goals.

Invest in your personal development

You should be investing in your personal development otherwise you will feel like you are stagnating in your business. As your business grows and evolves, so will your skills and development needs. Lifelong learning and development are key to long term success – and avoiding stagnation. Learning new skills is empowering and inspiring. Figure out what it is that you wish you knew more about. Sign up for online learning programmes, read books, attend seminars and go to workshops. Be excited about applying your newfound skills and ideas in your business.

Create a great working environment

When your employees are happy and enjoy coming to work, you will too. If staff morale is low, find ways to boost it. Create a fun and happy work environment. Ask your employees what you could do to make their working environment happier. Keep the lines of communication open. Have regular meetings and send out communication to share how the business is doing, what they have done to contribute to that. This will help your people to feel like they are part of the company’s bigger picture.

Get a business coach

When you are overwhelmed, have lost focus, and aren’t sure of your mission, find a mentor or advisor for objectivity and guidance. A business coach is there to bounce ideas off, inspire you, offer objective advice, and help you regain your focus.

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Written by ActionCOACH April 17, 2024
ActionCOACH is recognised as the creator and most successful practitioner of business and executive coaching methodology that offers owners and managers a new perspective on their businesses and companies.