It has been a roller coaster of emotions over the last 3 year and for me, incredibly taxing. I remember the fear of not knowing what was happening when the pandemic hit and the sleepless nights thinking about saving our business, whilst also worrying about keeping our staff employed so they could pay their mortgages. Since then, there has been so many emotions, up and downs. I am sure we would all like to be able to take a breather, but 2023 is throwing up more challengers for business owners to tackle head on.
I am a planner, but in this current environment it is very tough. Rate raises and cost of living have impacted industries very differently. I feel for the building industry at the moment with some very well-run businesses going under. When the cost of materials surged so quickly they had no chance of keeping up. Then there is the restaurants and gyms who had their struggles but have enjoyed a solid recovery. I am not sure this will continue as peoples disposable income is squeezed.
I am constantly asking myself how I can reduce the stress I am feeling and provide myself with the breathing space to think. I keep coming back to planning and simplicity. I try to keep the business as simple as possible so that we can plan, monitor and guide the business through these uncertain times. In our business, this is about understanding the key pillars which ensure success. For us, the number one determining factor of success (or otherwise) is the number of referrals we receive. We have measured our average conversion rate and average income per deal for many years now. This means that I can get certainly around our income if we meet our referral targets. This clear focus on referrals enables the entire business to understand the importance of their role in the process.
It is also important to align your focus with your values. We want a place where people come to work and are fulfilled, safe and happy. If we can manage to bring the team together and provide them a with clear, uncomplicated focus, then we can take the stress away from the uncertainty of the times we are facing.
I would love to know what other businesses owners do to reduce the stress in uncertain times. Please reach out if you have any suggestions as we can all benefit from our collective experiences.