The real cost of chaos in your business!
When you’ve moved beyond the startup stage of your business and you find yourself in the messy middle, it’s easy for chaos to creep into your business. This has a real impact on your business, your clients, your family, and ultimately, your health. But it doesn’t have to be this way. With the framework and support in place, you can take steps to regain control and come back to running your business from a place of joy and ease.
When you first start your business, your focus is understandably on getting things off the ground. However, as your business grows, not having a clear long-term vision can lead to chaos. Without a vision, you may find yourself distracted by bright, shiny opportunities and industry norms that don't align with your true goals. This lack of focus can introduce instability and chaos into your business. Today I share how getting clear on your vision, mission, and values will provide a roadmap for your business's future, helping you set goals and make informed decisions that align with your vision.
Another thing that can wreak havoc on your business and personal life is a constantly fluctuating schedule. When you lack predictability in your client schedule, you might take on clients who don't align with your business or regret hastily made decisions. This unpredictability also makes it challenging to plan holidays and maintain a consistent work-life balance, which as you’ve heard me say many times before, is absolutely essential for building a sustainable business. The answer here is to establish a predictable client schedule which reduces uncertainty and stress.
Properly managing your time, calendar, and productivity is also crucial for maintaining order in your business. Without structure, you may find yourself constantly switching tasks, procrastinating, missing deadlines and quite frankly, being inefficient. Moreover, when you blur the boundaries between work and personal life, you risk burnout and strained relationships. In this episode, I share how to combat this chaos by creating a structured calendar, designating work hours, and prioritising your tasks effectively.
After listening to this episode I encourage you to take a broad look at your business and the way you operate from day to day. Are you feeling busy throughout the day but don’t have anything to show for it?
Are you spending nights and weekends working to squeeze in all the extra tasks you didn’t get to? Do you know what your week will look like, or are you chasing your tail each day, unsure what will inevitably land on your to-do list?
Chaos can manifest in various ways within your business, especially during the messy middle stage. However, recognising and addressing these chaos points can lead to significant improvements in your business, whether your goal is growth or simply more ease, profitability, and joy.
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[00:00:00] Kristy: For many business owners moving beyond the startup stage and into the messy middle stage of business brings new challenges. And for many, that means navigating more chaos on the back end of the business. If you're a regular listener here on the podcast, you will have heard me mentioned many, many times before that real change can only begin once you have awareness. Awareness that a problem exists and the impact that problem has, which is very often my intention here on the podcast and the conversations that I have is to shine light on the dim areas in your business so that change can occur from that place of awareness. In today's episode, together we look at the chaotic areas of your business and the true impact that chaos causes on you, the business, your clients, and more.Are you ready? Let's go.
[00:01:00] Hello boss, and welcome back to the podcast. There is not enough space held for business owners who are in this stage where there is chaos and a lack of control across many areas of the business. And I know that whilst your business is growing and you're hitting and reaching milestones and goals, you're in no way ungrateful for what you've achieved and what you're doing and where your business is at. However, In saying that it can still feel hard, and I want to acknowledge this for you. My goal is always for you to feel seen here on the podcast.
[00:02:16] For the most part, I don't think you enjoy chaos in your business. Maybe from time to time you need to shake things up and make things interesting and maybe cause a bit of chaos there, but largely speaking, I know that you want to have predictability and stability in your business, and that can be easier said than done, especially in the messy middle stage where you're very often experiencing growing pains.
[00:02:50] So, as I mentioned, this conversation is about helping you to identify the chaos in your business, as well as the impact that chaos causes so that you can begin to examine your next steps for moving forward towards a business that has more order and calm. Because when we have order and calm in our business, that allows us to also enjoy other things beyond our business as well.
[00:03:22] Okay. So let's get into it. The first one may very well surprise you as it might not be something that you've considered as causing impact or in fact, being all that impactful. It is not being clear on the vision of your business. When you start your business, You're trying to figure out what your business is. You're trying to figure out what your offers are. Get those first few clients, get things going, delivering your services and all the things that you need to focus on in getting your business off the ground in launch mode, right?
[00:03:57] And it may not make sense to be thinking big picture, AKA the vision of your business. However, when you get beyond startup, so you're an established business and you're starting to grow, it is actually something that you need to look towards because if you don't have a vision for your business, and when I say vision, essentially what I'm talking about in really simplistic terms is a long range goal for your business. So where is your business going? are you moving towards? What does it look like? What does your ideal business look like in 10 to 15 years from now?
[00:04:38] So what you might not realize is that by not having a clear vision for your business, it does cause chaos on the back end, in the sense that you find yourself feeling unclear of what it is you want your business to be and where you're heading, as I said, and as a result of that, you often follow the bright, shiny objects of the internet.
[00:05:04] So you'll be scrolling content, for instance, and you'll see something that makes sense to you and something that you can do and so you go to roll that out. Or the norms in your industry is suggesting that you need to do this type of offer and that type of offer and all of the things right? And so that can cause more instability and more chaos because you're trying to introduce things that really don't fit for the business that you're wanting to create. The other impact that this can have is that, as a creative modern business owner, I know that you have a lot of different interests and you're not short of ideas.
[00:05:48] And when you don't have that clear vision or that clear path that you're moving down towards your business, you can find yourself getting way off track. You can find yourself bringing in things that are completely left of field into your business that really don't make much sense, but you're interested in.
[00:06:08] Ultimately, what happens when you don't have that clear vision is that will bring in more chaos into your business and will take you further away from building a business that you love, and that also supports your life goals. It's also important to acknowledge that we need to take stock and identify the vision that we want for our lives, because the same thing can start to happen. We can find ourselves introducing things that really don't fit or doing things that are not congruent in our business for our lifestyle as well. And there's a reason why when I start working with my six month business accelerated coaching clients, that we sit down together in our first meeting and reset the vision, the mission, and the values for the business. So the vision, obviously, is that long range goal. Where are you moving your business towards? The mission is what your business stands for, for your clients. And the values is how you conduct yourself within your business.
[00:07:15] And without this, what can often happen is, as I said before, business owners are chopping and changing, and they're moving in so many different parts, or they're offering services that don't actually bring them closer to where they want their business to be in the bigger picture. so when you've got the vision, mission, and values clear, you're able to set goals that bring you closer to achieving that vision, you're able to then set clear objectives that's going to move you closer to those big goals and those short goals. And it makes the planning process all the more easier, but more importantly, all the more effective.
[00:07:57] So not having a clear vision for your business is going to ultimately create more chaos in the short term because you're haphazardly chopping and changing, introducing new things, rolling out this project over here without that clear path for how that fits into your business goals long term. The second thing is not having predictability in your client schedule.
[00:08:25] There's a couple of ways that this shows up for business owners, but most specifically boom and bust. So one month you are run off your feet, you're booming. And then the next month you are in bust essentially with no clients to speak of. What I'm talking about here is that your business lacks consistency from month to month and the impact that that will have on you is firstly, you will develop fears of where your next client is coming from.
[00:08:58] So, as a result of that, you will begin taking on wrong clients or clients that aren't really a client that you want to serve and then regretting that decision later. It can also lead you to making fear based decisions in your business. So reactive marketing, for example, where you're putting up haphazard posts to try and win back business.
[00:09:23] When you don't have predictability in your client schedule, it'll also impact your ability to plan for the future. It'll impact how you are going to have holidays. So if you are not sure if you're going to be busy or quiet and you plan on taking a holiday and then all of a sudden you have all this work on or you don't have that consistent revenue to be able to support you income wise, to be able to step away from the business, that can create so much pressure systems for you personally and also for your client deliverables. And not having predictability in your client schedule means that your calendar is going to be all over the place.
[00:10:05] And I'm going to talk about that in more detail in the next point, but essentially your calendar will lack rhythm in your daily, weekly, monthly workflow so you're almost reinventing the wheel and having to re engineer everything from scratch the next month over. Having predictability in your client schedule would mean that you know what days you're working, roughly what type of tasks you're going to be doing and that means that you're having to think less about the structure of how you're operating your week, but you're also being most effective. And as I mentioned earlier, you'll have greater predictability with your income as well if you were able to get this part of your business settled down.
[00:10:56] So consider for yourself, do you have predictability in your calendar? Do you have clients that are on your roster or retainer clients that you're working with week in, week out, or month in, month out? Do you have a ton of offers that you're trying to execute, or have you refined that into a really simple business model that is consistent from month to month?
[00:11:23] The next way that chaos shows in your business in the messy middle is that you don't manage your time and productivity effectively. it's similar to the previous point, but also a little bit different. The challenge here is that you lack structure in your calendar.
[00:11:44] You are not being overly effective with the time that you have. Maybe you don't have designated work times, and I've spoken about this before on the podcast, where even as an online business owner, having somewhat open hours is actually going to serve you because then you also know how to fit things in outside of your business. As well as creating a delineation between when you're in your office working and when you're off, because there can be so many blurry lines when you're running, particularly a business from home, where you're on, but also you're off at the same time and trying to traverse the two and not doing either particularly well.
[00:12:30] So when it comes to not managing your time calendar or productivity effectively, what that could look like is that you don't really know when you're doing specific tasks. You find yourself procrastinating or delaying tasks or prioritizing other things in your business that don't actually lead you to your bigger goals or even your short term goals.
[00:12:53] Time management is a key component of helping you to feel calm or to be calm as a business owner. And if you don't know what you're working on when, it'll be really hard for you to achieve those deliverables for the work that you're doing on your business, as well as the work that you're doing for your clients and that's going to take a toll on you over time. The impact of not managing your time, calendar and productivity effectively is that you actually end up working more than you need to, because what can often happen is you're switching tasks and when you're switching tasks all the time, because you're trying to put out fires or you're trying to do too many things at once, is that you lose focus and that takes time to regain as you're flipping tasks, which results in everything taking so much more.
[00:13:55] The other impact of not tightly managing your calendar and productivity is that you miss deadlines and that will either impact your clients, getting things to them on time, or it will impact your team. So if you do have a team that's working for you and they're waiting on you to deliver things, then you're going to find that that becomes a challenge for you. And that could result in them getting delayed or not being as effective in their time.
[00:14:27] And I alluded to this earlier, when you're neither in the business nor on the home side, you don't have that real sense of on or off. And it just feels like you're working all the time and over time. That is what really leads to burnout because you're not having that deep restorative rest, and you're not having that deep focus time to drive the business forward.
[00:14:57] And I can't talk about this without talking about referral pain. And what I mean by referral pain is on the medical sense, um, one of my kids had their appendix out earlier this year and had the operation and then a few days after the operation, it wasn't the incision that hurt them, it was the referral pain from the gas up in her shoulder, and this is the same in your business, in the sense that you can have the obvious pain and the obvious challenges of these things not working. And then you can have a knock on effect or referral pain or secondary pain that happens elsewhere. And when you don't have your calendar locked down, tightly managed, organized, and predictable, you may find yourself being really snappy with your family because you're stealing time on the weekends or you're stealing time at night. You're not getting enough sleep or that deep rest that I talked about. You're feeling under the pump with that mental gymnastics going on in your business, knowing that you've got these deliverables and not really sure where you're going to fit them in.
[00:16:08] And that's also going to have a cost on your health. Okay, so I'm not trying to be doom and gloom here, but that constant pressure will eventually lead you to you know, , not feeling great within yourself, or maybe not even getting out for a walk or eating well, or all of those other things. So there's a lot of referral pain that comes from not managing your time effectively, not knowing how to dial in fully and how to dial out fully.
[00:16:39] And the last way that chaos shows up in your business and the impact for that, that I'm going to talk about today is that you don't have good business foundations in place. And you're going to say, Kristy, you talk so much about that and it is for good reason that I talk about the importance of having that structure and those systems and those tools in place, because without it, your business is chaotic and that chaos permeates into all areas of business and life. So what I'm talking about here is, is that your business backend is in chaos, there's very little systems to support the processes that you have for your client deliverables, for the things that you do in your business.
[00:17:28] And you very often find yourself doing things on the fly. And that makes sense. Of course, when you first start your business and you don't have as many clients and you do have the time to do all of these things manually. However, as I've mentioned on the podcast so many times, doing these things haphazardly or on the fly when they could be automated or streamlined or processed is a sunk cost and it will impact your client experience.
[00:18:00] It will become harder for you to continue to operate in this way, if you want your business to grow. Because those little things, they add up, they contribute to your time and your mental load. So the impact of course is leaky time. Do you get to the end of the day or even the end of the week and think, what on earth did I do? I haven't stopped all day, but you haven't really delivered the things that you thought you could.
[00:18:33] Here's the thing, we don't often account for those little tasks that need to get done, but if you had all of that streamlined, automated, systemized, you could potentially outsource that, or you can have a tool that's supporting you with that, then you can actually focus your time and energy on the big things in your business.
[00:18:55] The other thing that you might not have considered is that you actually are less profitable. So if you're doing all of what I call rats and mice of your business. That's where you're spending your time. And that time is money, because businesses have profit centers and they have cost centers, much the same as any corporate, you'll have people who sit in a profit center and people that sit in a cost center. When you're running a business, you want to try and minimize those costs and very often we're looking at the expenses of our business, but have you looked at the costs in your time? looked at where you're leaking time that you could actually be delivering more services and earning more income. sitting in the profit center of your business, or that you could be building new things or focusing on scaling and growing your business.
[00:19:47] the impact of not having good business systems and foundations is that you have an impacted client experience. So I've mentioned this in a few of the other points, but you're delivering things late, you're not communicating effectively with your clients. You're not in front of your clients. Having an amazing client experience is about preempting the needs of your client and getting in front of that before they discover it. You can't do that if you are on the back foot and you're manually pushing everything through.
[00:20:20] The impact as well for not having good business systems, tools, and structure and in some ways, this point actually encompasses all of the previous points as well, is that you're not able to grow and scale beyond your current reality. if you are in your business on your own and you're maxed out with doing all the things and you're sitting there and you're thinking, how can I grow beyond this? Well, as unexciting as this may seem, working on your business systems and your business foundations and the operational model of your business is ultimately going to support you with that goal so that you're not stuck in the same situation, leaking time, massive mental load of trying to keep up pace with where you're at with all the different things, both on the business and in the business.
[00:21:10] And you can actually focus on growing your business. You can actually focus on working with more clients. And it reminds me of something that Jemma Mrdak said for her episode in 120 building an agency model business with Jemma Mrdak is that when she was able to sort out her systems and her operational model, she was able to extract herself out of the doing in her business and focus on The aspects of growing her business and also doing work that she enjoys and loves. You've been at this for a while now and you can do work that you love without getting caught up in that, you know, more trivial or mundane things.
[00:21:54] Chaos manifests in various ways within your business and periods of discord are always going to be inevitable. However, what we've explored today is particularly characteristic of businesses that are navigating the challenging stage of the messy middle. Overcoming these chaos challenges will enable you to focus on growth and scalability if that's your objective, or perhaps it's that it will allow you to have greater ease, simplicity, profitability, and let's not forget joy. Either way, chaos isn't going to serve you and there's only going to be upside if you work through it for you, your clients, your business and your family.
[00:22:43] If you'd like my help to resolve the chaos in your business, I can support you in two ways. Firstly is the 90 minute coaching call. And this is awesome if one of these things is a sticking point for you and your business and you want a clear direction on how to move forward and you want my eyes on this challenge to support you with a different insight and clear steps for resolving this challenge.
[00:23:14] Or if you have more systemic challenges in your business and you really are at that messy middle stage of business where you've got growing pains in various areas of your business, I am taking on clients for 2024 inside of the private business accelerator coaching program. Inside this program, we together will transform your business. As I said earlier, the first stop is looking at your vision, mission and values and making sure that the goals and the plan that we set is congruent for the big picture lens of your business. Together, we're going to set your goals and map your strategic plan forward with fortnightly coaching calls to support you as you're taking action. You will have access to my tools, my framework, coaching, support and so much more to help you to build a sustainable, predictable business that allows for both growth and also joy.
[00:24:19] Boss, if any of these speak to you, head down into the show notes, click the link to learn more. I appreciate you. I understand how hard this stage of business is, and I hope this episode served you and that the prompts gave you somewhere to look. You don't need to have chaos long term in your business. By identifying where the challenges are, you can then begin to make changes.
[00:24:49] Thanks for listening to the episode as always, I look forward to chatting with you next week. This podcast is recorded on the land of Killin Darbin. I pay respect and tribute to the elders, past, present, and emerging of the Turrbal people.
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About your host, Kristy
Hi, I'm Kristy, thank you for tuning in to the Run Your Business Like a Boss Podcast. My purpose for the podcast is to help Business Owner’s in the growth stage of business (messy middle) have a sustainable business, they love.
I’m an online business coach, based in Brisbane, Australia. I provide 1:1 business coaching, to Service Based Online Business Owner's and a group coaching program commencing in 2022. I believe whole heartedly that having a Business Coach is what gives you the competitive edge. As your coach I support you to overcome challenges quickly, uncover blindspots and make business decisions with confidence and clarity. All of which keeps you moving forward and maintaining momentum.
As your Business Coach, my role is to help you organise and formulate your ideas, turn them into a goal and then into an actionable plan! All while meeting you where you're at and providing you relevant tools and support along the way.
Thank you for tuning in to the Run Your Business Like A Boss podcast!