Sustainability means more than just saving the environment. For a business, it’s about growing in a way that doesn’t set yourself, your finances, your team or the world unintentionally on fire. Despite what you might see online, there’s no magical potion, secret recipe or other clichés that will grow your business oversight. Here’s our big ol’ dish of tough love about what it really takes to action change now.
Only invest what you have
Haven’t got a budget for marketing? For fancy technology? For a pretty office?
Not every business need to start with angel investors, begging family members for money or taking a second mortgage on the house. There are ways to structure your growth so that you can launch, move into new markets and build new products without a giant wad of cash. The bad news is that this approach takes a whole lotta hustlin’.
At Ignitzee, we’ve built up lists of pragmatic solutions and trusted partners for businesses at every price point – from free to premium. Admittedly, you do get what you pay for, but hey, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth (or in my case, the pony that your parents paid for with a case of beer…).
Look after people, starting with yourself
Hustlin’ is hard. You don’t have to pay for a weekend retreat or a fancy conference to know that we connect best with people who have their sh*t together. It seems obvious to say that nobody wants to do business with someone who is time-poor, stressed, chronically unwell or sleep-deprived. But ask yourself, how much sleep did you get last night? Are thoughts of your business niggling at the back of your mind right now?
Kindness is a funny thing. It starts with being kind to yourself and spreads from there. You’ve got this. Don’t compare yourself to other businesses. It’s like the Wizard of Oz – you never know what’s happening behind the curtain. If you need an afternoon nap, take one. You’ll come back refreshed and with a clearer mind to tackle things.
ONE thing at a time. Just one.
Growth doesn’t mean putting your business out in every direction at all once. After all, you are only investing what you have and looking after yourself. Whether you are trying out new products, new channels to sell or new types of customers, just do one at a time. Have a theory about what will grow your business, test it, measure it and tweak it. Again and again and again and again until you get it.
Get time back in your life: standardise then automate
There’s no magical technology system that will solve all of your business challenges (but if you find one, let us know 😉). Getting in control of your business starts with having consistent ways of doing things (YARS, PROCESSES!). Once you’ve got that in place, then you can level up to automating that bad boy. If you start with the technology first, all you’ll end up doing is stupid things faster.
Be part of the community
We all want to feel like we are something bigger than ourselves. It can be as small as sponsoring the local football team, donating to the school fete or making sure that your business is environmentally your location, the broader industry that you are part of or something solely online. Community means rubbing shoulders with people that we wouldn’t usually. It’s only natural to want to work with people like ourselves. But, think about building a tribe that challenges you. They’ll get you thinking, and growing, in ways that you never imagined.
Don’t forget that small business matters
Small and medium-sized businesses have the power to bring about real change. Educating and empowering them has the potential to transform our communities into something truly amazing.
Wow. That was a lot of tough love. Here’s a kitten for your troubles.