(First in a series) By Jim Armstrong Overwork is epidemic among flooring retailers. It’s common for dealers to work 60-plus hours a week, get stressed out and feel like their business owns them instead of the other way around. In short, their business has too much control over their lives.
How do you know if your business has too much control? Take this short quiz to find out:
• Do you regularly work more hours in your business than you’d like?
• Do you spend more than 10% of your time doing tasks in your business you dislike?
• Do you often end the workday realizing you spent it putting out fires rather than taking meaningful action to grow your business?
• When you take time off, do you have to constantly check in with your office to make sure everything is running smoothly?
• Are you regularly more stressed out than you’d like?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, your business likely has too much control over you. I urge you to immediately take steps to remedy this situation.
I’m going to make a statement that will probably raise some eyebrows: The primary purpose of your business is not to sell quality products and provide excellent service. It’s also not the primary purpose of your business to pay taxes, provide employment or keep your installers busy. Those things are very important—just not the primary purpose.
The primary purpose of your business is to fund and facilitate your ideal lifestyle. Let’s unpack that: You could have gotten a regular 9-to-5 job and avoided all the hassles and headaches of entrepreneurship. But you didn’t do that. You decided to shoulder the immense risk and responsibility that comes with being a business owner. Why would anyone in their right mind do that? Because you decided—consciously or subconsciously—that by taking that on you had a better chance at a better life for yourself and your family than if you worked for someone else. If you provide great products and services, employment, pay taxes and keep your installers busy, but you’re working so many hours you’re denying yourself all the things in life that are important to you, you’ve missed the entire point of going into business for yourself.
That’s why I say the primary purpose of your business is to fund and facilitate your ideal lifestyle. If your business gives you the money and freedom to enjoy your life, then you’re much more likely to stay in the business for the long term. That’s good for your customers, employees, installers and the IRS. The environment for your business is also going to be a lot more positive for everyone who works for you. After all, no one likes to work for an embittered, stressed-out grouch. So, setting up your business so it facilities your ideal lifestyle is good for all.
In the next installment, I’m going to give you a simple strategy for quickly freeing up an entire day every week.
Jim Armstrong is the founder of Flooring Success Systems, a company that provides flooring dealers with marketing services and coaching to help attract quality customers, close more sales, get higher margins and work the hours they choose. For information, visit flooringsuccesssystems.com