Today’s topic is for all my ladies who have dealt with desiring intelligent, purposeful business growth but aren’t able to see the path forward that will lead them there.
Right now, I am currently working with a lot of fitness studio owners who I am trying to help with this crossroads. Fitness studio owners, as well as many of the other mompreneurs that I work with, are “bootstrap” business owners.
“Bootstrap” business owners are those that start their businesses often times by taking small loans from themselves, family or sometimes banks and then really get in there and get their hands dirty. These entrepreneurs are very strong, self-reliant and driven people who are ready to really do all that it takes to move their business in the direction of their vision of success.
These individuals have often invested their personal assets (from college or retirement accounts) or that of close friends and family who really believe in them, their ideas and their future success. And though it is a wonderful thing to have those around you willing to genuinely invest in your dreams, it also has a tendency to put a lot of extra pressure on them to perform well enough to be capable of paying those loans back.
Once they get their business open, these are the business owners who are working ALL of the time and relying on their perseverance and grit to get them through and past the first year of business. They handle all of the marketing and networking while also being the one teaching the classes so they don’t have to pay someone else to do it and lose valuable profits. This business model is passionate and inspiring but it also very quickly leads to burnout. And especially in the case of a fitness studio owner, it leads to not only emotional burnout but also physical. Handling everything on your own takes a real toll on both your body and your mind.
Now, I’m not against doing the hard work for your business and occasionally making a crazy sacrifice for your dreams. I think that is something that is within every true entrepreneur, but if it is to be done, it’s important to have healthy boundaries around it. There needs to a plan and a defined beginning, middle, and end to the push you are making. It cannot be forever because not only is it simply not sustainable or healthy, but it can also very quickly form bad habits.
It can be hard to know what steps to take once you finally decide that your bootstrap time is coming to an end and you need to grow your business. What do you do now? What does true “growth” even mean? This is important, so read it twice if you need to, but growing your business needs to be an intentional choice. This is not something to come to by accident or just to let it grow in all directions without any guidance because it can (and will) take over. If you let your business run you instead of the other way around, it will eventually start to feel like the “job” you left years ago because it was controlling your priorities and running your life.
After you have decided you are ready for growth, you need to sit down and really make some S.M.A.R.T. Goals.
The traits of a S.M.A.R.T. goal are: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results, and Time.
Here are some things to think about as you get started:
- Decide what portion of your business you want to grow and how you intend to watch or measure that growth as it happens.
- Do you want to grow sales or profits?
- Are you looking to up the numbers of products, programs or services you delivered versus last year?
- What about the possibility of expanding your business resources or space?
- Now, consider the option of hiring some addition heads and minds to help you in your business.
- Could you use a business partner or office manager?
- If you decide you aren’t ready to commit to a full-time employee, have you considered the option of a freelancer or online contractor to free up some time and help you accomplish some goals?
Asking and answering some of these questions for yourself can help you to really understand what your own definition of a successful business looks like and ensure you are able to see the path to growth and to enable yourself to really act on that path. So, what is your next step? Not sure? Still don’t know where to start? I’d love to help you make some plans and goals to get your business to where you want it. Contact me today for a free discovery session and let’s get started!