Today’s podcast is for all those who have vowed never to work for someone else again. Staying in the small business game for the long haul is an endurance sport. I’ve chatted with an ultra-endurance athlete on the podcast previously, and we talked a lot about starting my small business and how it would be my Ironman competition.
We will discuss how to stay in it for the long haul and the timeline for making necessary changes. I’ve also got an update on how my business has changed and evolved to support this community.
The Messiness and Uncertainty of Small Business Ownership
Running a small business is not for the faint of heart. There are ups and downs, as well as uncertainty and discomfort. The brain is hardwired to crave comfort and fear the unknown, so to be a business owner, you must retrain your brain to accept uncertainty. It’s important to be able to dig in and get grounded.
The most common words I hear are, “How long does it take to…?” People want to know how long it takes to start a business, completely switch your target market, make a pivot, become more profitable, and other similar topics. That speaks to the discomfort people feel. It’s natural to want timelines and dates. They want to know what to expect and when.
Over the last six months, my business has been changing. I closed down a group program that had made close to a million dollars for my business over the last five years. It wasn’t easy to make the decision. It came with a few tantrums and a lot of discomfort. I want to walk you through that timeline and show you how things have evolved. It’s a real-life example of making a pivot with a small business.
My Timeline for Pivoting and a New Direction
Let’s go back in time a bit. About two years ago, I started intentionally using Monday.com to manage and measure my business. My brain often struggles with project management and digital tools, so it has taken a lot of habit-building. There have been many times when I have set something up and then forgot ever to go back and look at it. Monday.com was no different when I started, but then I realized it wasn’t just another project management tool. It was the main virtual hub of my business.
Monday.com has workflow and automation capabilities. It replaced many of the different tools I was using and made everything happen in one place. I got rid of Typeform, Slack, Excel, and many email tools I used. Monday.com is a data repository and project management tool that helps automate processes. There is the opportunity to communicate about specific tasks, reducing the need for emails and Slack messages.
I felt comfortable using Monday.com as a system thinker. I like things that are structured and linear. It feels like the ultimate alignment with my 30 years of experience and my skill set. Realizing this perfect fit was a seed that was planted.
About a year ago, I started seriously playing with the tool and how to make work easier by leveraging this technology. It became obvious that there was real value in this, and we could probably sell these processes that we’re designing to other business owners. I call it the “lift and shift” because I can lift it out of my business and shift it into someone else’s with just a few minor tweaks.
I threw myself into education and getting certified in many of the Monday.com products. I joined their partner program and have attended meetings, workshops, trainings, and community events at their headquarters in New York. I have studied the product on a daily basis and know all about the resources they provide through the partner program. While doing this, I’ve collected data and insights about myself and the market gaps.
Innovation and Evolution are Vital to Small Business Success
Explaining this journey on the podcast is important to help others see all the little things I’ve allowed to pull me in different directions and experiment. Curiosity becomes a breeding ground for innovation, and that’s extremely important when it comes to entrepreneurship and small business ownership.
When you think about innovation, you don’t need to think about it on a grand scale. You don’t need to be Tesla or Apple. However, evolution is imperative to the success of your business. It’s important to be innovating and testing constantly.
My work in automating has allowed me to cut costs, reduce my team size, and reduce the number of paid tools I use. Last year, I saved around $50,000 in operating costs. These processes free up cash flow and allow me to keep more money as a business owner.
When I work with struggling small business owners, they typically struggle in two areas. One is process organization. Their business is a bit too chaotic and inefficient. The other place is team bloat. They have too many people on their team, even when automation and more streamlined workflows could lessen the workload.
Implementation is Difficult for Many Businesses
People were given the information to improve their business with clear steps, but they weren’t doing the work. There is a tremendous need for implementation support or consultants who can temporarily come in and do the work. I want to be in this space because there are so few people out there who want to do the actual work. Most people want to offer you a strategy or advise you on your business, but the implementation is left to business owners.
I’m working with clients in a fractional COO capacity, where I can do the work and implement changes. Using Monday.com, I can set people up with workflows and automation that improve their business and efficiency. It’s like the business owners are cloning themselves for a period of time to get some of these large projects done, and they can keep working on the daily tasks as well. I’ve been doing this over the last six months, bringing me a lot of insight and excitement.
My best clients want to scale their businesses, make things more efficient, and get some of their time back. These clients typically come to me through relationship marketing and referrals. The internet has always told me to focus on social media, but the business owners who really need my skills aren’t scrolling through Instagram. Instead, they are busting their butts to get the work done and seeking advice from other business owners in their network.
What’s Next and How to Work With Me
2023 was a year of unraveling for me. I unraveled my business model and how I’ve operated since 2014. I pivoted to a new business model that would allow me to stay true to what was important to me. I want to help build profitable businesses where the owners can keep more of their money and provide a better financial future for their families. I have created a new foundation to build from, and it’s a work in progress.
I will support my community by helping businesses evaluate if Monday.com is the right tool for you. I have a link that can get you a 14-day trial session. You can get support during this session if you are a business with $500,000 in revenue and two to three contractors or employees. This will help you game plan and make the trial worth it. My business provides project-based implementation support, helping overburdened business owners increase profitability and make work easier.
It’s important to remember that you will face a lot of uncertainty. Owning a business is messy and chaotic. Monday.com might be the right tool to help you streamline many of your tasks and boost your efficiency. If you are already using Monday.com and need support building out your system, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line Monday Support, and we will see if we can tailor a package to meet your needs.
If you are running a business under that $500,000 mark, the best place to start working with us is the Instant Profit Assessment. This used to be a free product, but now it’s paid. You’ll get an hour-long call where we review numbers, find bottlenecks to profitability, and talk about the clear actions to get things moving.
Throughout the year, there might be group workshops discussing different topics. Join my email list to learn about those, or continue tuning into the podcast. I’m excited about this new direction and to connect with you.