You do great work.
That’s a given.
You wouldn’t have achieved the success you have without that. But within your success to this point also lies the seeds of your shortcomings. You’ve come this far because you are skilled in your profession and have been able to build a good reputation with your clients. But try as you may, you struggle to take your business to the next level.
Your sales have hit a plateau and no matter how hard you work, it seems like you’ve hit a barrier that you can’t break through. One day you have more work than your team can handle. But before long, you are wondering how you can keep everyone busy, because somehow, you need to fill the pipeline again. As you look back over the past few years, you’ve work hard at it, but the growth you hoped for just didn’t happen. It’s like this for most business owners trying to break through to the 7 figure level and beyond.
At the same time, clients are growing more and more demanding and giving you less opportunity to use your talents and expertise to make a difference. As they try to commoditize what you do, you are pressured into shaving your fees or trying to get projects done in impossible time frames. As a result, the pressure grows. Not just for you, but everyone in your business suffers as well.
You care about the people on your team and want them to have a satisfying career, ideally helping you to build your practice. Maybe you see the possibility of one or more of them taking over management of your business in the future. But you are also frustrated at times when the most talented ones leave, having decided to move on for greater opportunities that exist in a larger firm. It seems like you take one step forward and two steps back sometimes. The people who are still with you are competent, but the stars you need don’t stick around to help you fulfil your dreams for the future.
You have to face the fact that growing a business is challenging. Most owners of professional services firms work hard for their business, but it’s a continual struggle.
But what will eventually happen if you keep running your business the way you have always run it? If nothing changes, the future looks just as challenging as it ever was, if not worse. Well, that was what it was like for me when I was trying to build my first practice, and I’ve since discovered that it is also the reality for the most professional service business owners.
If you are in that situation and want to change your current reality, you need to rethink what you are doing. What got you to multiple 6 figures won’t take you beyond the 7 figure level. You need to stop being stuck in the center of your business and crack the code to real business success.
For a true entrepreneur, the business works for them, rather than the other way around. It is created and built for that purpose. The business is the machine that produces the products or services. The only reason for the entrepreneur to work in the business is to discover how the business works best and to create the systems that will become the foundation for future growth. That should be the goal of any business owner, including service professionals, starting a business. And once that job is done, it is time to step out of the operational processes and get into the driver’s seat where strategy and direction become the priority. The aim should be, not for you to work for your business, but to create a business that works for you, running on autopilot, providing you with freedom and prosperity.
Just like any other production process, there are a series of steps that need to be taken from conceptualization to completion. In the autopilot business development process, these steps are:
1. Take Charge
2. Plan for Autopilot Stage and Beyond
3. Build a Sales Escalator
4. Create Systems to Remove Dependency
5. Build a Self-Reliant Team
6. Develop Your Control Mechanisms
7. Break Free without Fear
Putting your business on autopilot is the key to cracking the code to business success, where your business grows beyond the 7 figure level, while it works successfully for you, instead of you being the one that makes it work.
It’s time to decide whether you will remain frustrated and struggling, or whether you will take the steps to enable unlimited business success.
If you want to go on that journey, it’s time to get started.
Are you ready?
You have been reading an article inspired by the introduction to my book, Cracking The Code which was written specifically for owners of professional service firms with a team of between five to twenty employees, whose turnover has plateaued. You can read more and get access the book at https://crackingthecodebook.com.au.