One of the many challenges of operating a business is taking time to analyze its current state.
There are all kinds of distractions involved with running a company. Most involve the day-to-day tasks required to operate.
You create some kind of product or service. You're busy managing those processes and people involved. You're dealing with new and recurring problems all the time. Mostly it's a fight to stay afloat.
There is little time to take a breath and analyze what's happening. You might sense that things aren't going as they should, but when you're so busy it's difficult to figure out what is going on.
There has been a trend on TV for reality business shows. The general concept is that a business is struggling and someone comes in and helps them fix it. Usually with a freshening up of the surface, but also a good look at the operations of the business.
It's easier for an outsider to look at a business. When you're close to a business you see things as they've always been. And for some reason that's difficult for humans to overcome.
Think of that ugly chair you keep in your home. You know it's ugly, but because it's been there for years you can't get rid of it for some reason. Yet if you walked into a friend's house and saw that chair you would have no issue telling them to pitch it to the curb.
It's the same thing with owning a business.
So the takeaway here is to look at your business as if you're an outsider. Almost as if you're going to buy your own business.
Think about how you would rate the operations. How you might look at the financials. The red flags that seem like they should be fixed right away.
This is not an easy process. Bring in someone to help if you're still struggling. A colleague or friend. If they bring up concerns and you find yourself providing excuses, it's probably a sign that they are identifying issues that you're glossing over because you're too involved.
Put this on the schedule every 6-12 months. It's important. It's usually more important that the tasks you do every day and week. It's your job as the owner and manager to look at the overall operation.
Look at your business as if you're an outsider and it should be easier to identify changes that would be obvious to someone else, but difficult for you to see.