Why your business is more successful than you think

- August 10, 2023 3 MIN READ


As business owners, when we start or purchase our business, it can be a nerve-wracking time. Diving into the unknown is normally an incredibly creative period where we invent, dream, ponder and give birth to new and wonderous products and services. All the while hoping there is someone out there who values our offering enough to enable our business to take flight, writes entrepreneurial strategist Chris Green, author of Business By Design.

Soon enough, we go from crawl to walk to run and enter a high growth period of business acceleration. An exhilarating time, where we have evidence that this just might work. Our offering is in demand, and we are highly responsive to the needs of our customers.

Unfortunately, unless we do something different, demand will inevitably outstrip supply, and it is here that the day-to-day can become chaotic and overwhelming. The challenges seem to compound, and no matter how hard we work, we struggle to scale our business beyond our own capacity.

Trapped under the entrepreneurial ceiling

As a mentor to small and medium-sized businesses with over twenty years’ experience, I have seen many entrepreneurial business owners find themselves trapped under the entrepreneurial ceiling. They never seem to be able to break through and the reality is, unless they do something different, they could well be trapped indefinitely.

The good news is that you are already successful if you have hit the entrepreneurial ceiling. You have managed to get your business model to the point where demand for what you offer has outstripped your capacity to supply. This is no mean feat, and many would say this is a nice problem to have. The issue is, as you continually find yourself in the metaphoric weeds, unable to extricate yourself from the daily fight, it doesn’t much feel like a success.

You have done this before

What got you to here is not going to get you there, but that’s ok because you have all the skills and attributes needed to break through. After all, they are the same skills you deployed at the startup and grow phases. Hard work, creative thinking and problem-solving must now be leveraged to empower individuals to navigate their way through operational tasks and challenges without every issue having to go through you.

You have the knowledge

Once it would have been an arduous task to capture your knowledge and leverage it into a business system. This era of screen recording, mobile phones in every pocket and AI becoming mainstream means you have everything at your disposal to make the capturing of your knowledge as frictionless as possible.

Start by prioritising the biggest time-consuming operational tasks you do. Use these modern tools to capture how it’s done and build a cloud-accessible library, well indexed as you go, so it is easily searchable. This will enable your staff to locate and review information, which will equip them to execute the task as you once did.

Play the long game

We all have heard of boom businesses that go from startup to mega-success overnight, but this is usually perception not reality.

If we focus on where we have come from and what we have achieved rather than comparing ourselves to the perceived success of others, we can gain confidence from the progress we have made. This then fuels the motivation to play a long game and gradual transition to a system-driven, capacity-laden business that is not reliant on us.

Just like going to the gym, losing weight, or learning a complex skill, anything worthwhile generally takes time before we and others notice the shift. It is critical, therefore, that we stay committed by creating incremental steps that nourish us through the process. As James Clear, best-selling author of Atomic Habits, said, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour.’

The great news is your business is more successful than you think. Your business model has created the demand; that’s the hard part done. All that is required now is to harness the magic, bottle it in a business system and build the capacity of your people to execute.

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