ActionCOACH Southern Indiana

Is Your Business in an Eclipse?

This April there will be a total eclipse when the light from the sun will be completely obscured for about 4 minutes. Those in the path of the eclipse will see a different view of what would normally be a sunny afternoon. For some, not seeing the sun might even be a little frightening.

When extraordinary events happen, or when we are not able to see because of an obstruction, we often feel challenged and unprepared. Business owners are often so immersed in the day-to-day tasks of running things, they don’t always see the changing landscape until something as big as an eclipse hits them.

Your business vision can be blocked by a number of things. Small changes over time make it easy to miss the bigger picture of what is happening. Let’s look at some of the causes and some suggestions to keep your vision clear for your business. 

Here are some questions to be asking yourself and your team:

Do I Have a Clear Mission and Vision for the Company?

Is the mission and vision for the company clear, and does everyone understand it? Owners and employees alike need to be reminded of why we do what we do and understand how important each role is in achieving the mission. Weekly staff meetings and huddles are a great time to review this. To go one step further, make it a habit to recognize a team member who exemplified the mission during the past week. Positive reinforcement will not only encourage the person who was recognized, it will inspire other team members going forward. 

Is this Decision or Action a Short-term or Long-term Solution?

Short-term actions that result in short-term profits may seem like a great idea. However, you need to make sure that they will not be at the expense of long-term goals.  Make sure that there are no long-term ramifications, particularly when it comes to finances. What does that great buy do to your ability to pay next month’s bills or to your ability to borrow? Take your time when making decisions to ensure that a short-term gain builds for the long-term as well.

Is Everyone Talking to Each Other?

Poor internal communication is one of the largest obstacles to success. Resources, especially money and people, are scarce. The tendency is to compete for them. Having a shared vision and goals will make sure that teams or departments are working together and not against each other. Sharing ideas and resources creates a winning environment and makes for a much happier team.

What are you Afraid of? 

Everyone has some fear of failure. That’s human nature. Many people are also afraid of success. Remember what FEAR stands for, False Expectations Appearing Real. When you eliminate fear and instead foster risk-taking, you will create an environment of creativity and innovation that will move your business forward.

Are you the Center of the Hourglass?

Your role as the leader of the organization does not mean that everything has to go through you. If you have to be involved in everything, you are the biggest obstacle in your company. Invest in your team, train them, then let them make mistakes and learn from them. When you empower your people, they will build the business.

Seeing Beyond the Obstacle

Taking a good look at the obstacles your business is facing and dealing with them before they become a total eclipse will keep you moving towards growth and stability. Revisit your Vision and Mission statements, sharing them with your team regularly. Watch for long-term impacts on any decisions to make sure that you are not derailed in pursuing your goals. Encourage communication, risk taking and innovation. Build your team and so they will build the business.

Finally, be willing to make adjustments along the way. Keep watching for issues before they become a total eclipse. Small changes over time are easier to manage than a complete overhaul and they will not be as dramatic or need special glasses to get through it.

Author: Sandy Merritt, Business Coach