In a recent survey I did of over 100 business owners I asked this question:
What’s your biggest business challenge?
More than 50% of respondents answered, “Obtaining New Customers.”
Not only was it chosen by a majority of responses, but it was also the most chosen answer by owners of every sized business, big, established business and small, start-up businesses.
All of us want more business.
But you know what the second most chosen answer is?
“Finding enough Team Members to do the work.”
This perfectly represents the balance of running a services business!
If we’re bringing in new clients, we need to find good people, if we’re hiring good people we need to be bringing on clients to pay for them. It’s a continual wheel of frustration and juggling that never stops. That’s just what it takes to run a service firm.
Or is it?
Let me tell you how one of my clients focused on getting off of this treadmill by taking two actions:
- She focused on increasing her firm’s $/employee.
By focusing on increasing the efficiency of every employee, she was able to hire more experienced and expensive people who could produce more and take more responsibility for their work. Clients liked having the expertise; she liked not having to grow her staff to have more capacity.
- She focused on solving the most expensive problem in her market space.
She looked for the most expensive problems her clients and prospects had. If it was hard, and no one else knew how to fix it, she wanted it, and she charged a hefty premium to take them on. By finding bigger, more expensive, projects she needed to close fewer of them, there was less “competition,” and her margins were better.
Now her treadmill is going the other way; she hires experienced and knowledgeable people; they enable her to tackle more expensive and intractable client problems; which brings in more money.
What’s your biggest business challenge? Are you accepting that it’s inevitable, or challenging the way that everyone else is doing it?