As small business owners, we all recognise the importance of working “on our business” to keep it developing and growing. To be successful a business needs to keep growing and developing to meet the needs of a rapidly changing marketplace.
How has your business grown and changed since you established it? What things are you doing to develop your business? Most business owners spend time networking to grow their market base. Over time business owners improve systems and procedures, upgrade equipment & introduce new ideas that they believe will develop and grow their business.
Have you seen the benefits of these things in your relationships with customers, suppliers and most importantly, in the financial returns?
Why you need to develop yourself
We all realize how fast things change, and how our business needs to keep pace with a rapidly changing world. When something happens in our business, information spreads far and fast. To keep up, there’s a lot of information to take in and understand quickly. We are often required to make decisions on the spot, which can turn into a ‘knee jerk’ reaction, instead of a considered decision. In these unexpected situations which demand an immediate response. We often respond using ‘old ways’, without thinking of how best to respond to the new situation.
While businesses need to be able to adapt and respond quickly, we also need new strategies for determining whether we are making the right choices. The fast pace expected of us as business owners also creates higher levels of personal challenge and stress. Therefore we not only need to develop and grow our business, we also need to develop ourselves. What’s the cost to our business if you can’t handle new pressures, or you begin to lose interest or focus?
These days people who want to excel in some area of life engage a coach. While it has been a necessity for sportspeople it’s now being recognized as a necessity with businesses who want to improve their results.
To develop yourself both personally and professionally, coaching needs to focus on these three core factors:
- Self-awareness – knowing your strengths and capabilities, having effective self-management skills for facing challenges and handling pressure.
- Mindfulness – noticing what’s happening around you, within you, to be able to make more informed decisions
- Reflection – innovation comes from place of reflection, thinking about what we’ve done well so we can repeat our successes, and reviewing mistakes so we learn from them -> continuous improvement.
It’s useful to know the things that your business does really well, and likewise we need to know what we do really well, so we can draw on these strengths, and have strategies in place to counteract our “weak spots”. Knowing yourself will help improve your business practices.
Mindfulness is about focus and attention. Noticing what’s happening around you, and within you.
Being Mindful allows us to manage situations more effectively. Running a business involves handling difficult situations with staff or customers. Using mindfulness strategies helps us pay attention to what’s happening inside us when we’re in those difficult situations, and adjust our behaviours accordingly. When we’re uncomfortable, we develop tension somewhere in our body. But we’ve learned to ignore those body signals. Mindfulness helps us notice those signals.
And lastly, reflection helps us understand and repeat our successes, and learn from mistakes. One simple strategy that helps us continually improve our performance is to review ourselves after an event, asking ourselves “What did I do well?” and “What would I do differently next time?”