Something that I see a lot of small business owners doing is people grasping at straws when things aren’t going that well in business and I find it’s usually when the money isn’t coming in.
I’ve definitely fallen into this trap.
What is grasping at straws? It’s basically the equivalent of someone falling off a boat out at sea and trying to grab onto anything in the hope that it will keep them afloat. In this stituation grasping at straws would not help at all.
Let me give you few examples: Jennifer is a freelance writer and she isn’t getting enough work in, so she spends hours and hours searching the internet for the thing that’s going to change her life.
Adam’s small high street shop is struggling and he’s signing up for all kinds of things that could give him his break and he’s getting more and more into debt. He’s got no focus anymore and is not fully committed to anything.
Whilst I think it’s a great idea to research new options, what I call this is grasping at straws. There’s no clear plan behind the actions and can often end up being incredibly costly and getting you nowhere.
Can you relate to this?
Have clear goals and a clear plan of action
For me, I think this is absolutely essential. There are definitely those people who can just fly high on the success plane with no goals and no planning, but for most people it doesn’t work that way. They get lost without the goals and action plan. This is definitely true for me.
I wrote a whole (long) blog post on Business Goals and Action Plans
When you have clear goals and a clear long term, monthly weekly, daily action plan, you are productive every day and focused. You’ll be taking planned out action rather than just grabbing at straws and hoping to find the key to success.
Track what’s working and what’s not
I always recommend tracking what’s working and what’s not. If something is not working, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should give up, it could just mean you need to tweak some things.
Here’s an example
Social media is a way many business owners market their business. I talk with a lot of different business owners and we often talk about social media.
My top social media advice, is get really good at each platform, then try a new platform wh.ilst maintaining your work on the original social media platform
So let’s say you’ve chosen to use twitter.
- Learn the basics and get started
- Take some time every day learning how to use this platform well.
- Have a plan and stick with it for a month then review and tweak.
- Be constistent and be real (too much me, me, me rarely works on any social media)
My advice is to stick with a social media platform for at least 6 months, before you ever make the decision it’s not working for you. You need to give it time to build a real presence and grow your following.
You can read my Goals and Action Plan for March I’ll stick with this action plan for the whole month and then review what’s worked and what needs tweaking.
You can also check out all of my Social Media posts
I also recommend using a time tracker. Use your diary or simply write down in hourly slots what you do during that hour.
I have put together an Hourly Time Tracker printout with instructions. If you’d like a copy of this free printout, just add your details below for access to all of my printouts. No need to add your details if you’re already subscribed. I’ll be emailing the new printout to you.
When things are not going that well for you in your business, it’s so easy to go off searching for something new (grasping at straws). This is a sure fire way to speed up your business failing.
Stay focused, set clear goals, create a very clear action plan and then track and tweek as needed.
Have you ever fallen in to trap grasping at straws in your business?
Best wishes and success always.