failingIt has been a while since I’ve published a blog post. But, in my defense, I haven’t had anything new to talk about that I was passionate  enough to rant, I mean write about. However, I do now.

You may find the topic of this blog post shocking, “Your business is failing and you don’t even know it.”  I’m going to tell you why most of you are failing yet you have no idea. But, before I get into that, let me give you some background that led up to this blog post.

On April 18, 2014 I had the honor of speaking at the SMB Tech Fest in Irvine, CA. At this event there were around 60 -70 small IT business owners in attendance. I had the privilege of personally meeting 9 of them. By that I mean 9 people came up to my booth after my session, handed me their business card to talk to me about their business and how we might engage. Out of those 9 people, I have had further discussions with 3 of them about working with me. Of these 3 I have on-boarded 1. I’m not going to talk about the 1 because we have already started on the plan for their success.

Of the other 2, I had a great conversation with one of them and we spoke on the phone the following week. He said he would let me know the next day how he wanted to proceed. However, that was where the communication ended. I followed up with him 3 times throughout the rest of the week by leaving him 1 voice-mail and 2 emails; still, no communication. Now in his defense, aliens might have abducted him or something but, I don’t think that happened. I suspect he is just scared of what he would find out about running a business. At this point, I am done chasing this prospect. I know from experience that if he did engage with me I would spend my time spinning my wheels to help him and in the end, he would fail.

The second one is a bit more complex, but similar. Again, we had a great conversation and followed up with a phone call the next week. The difference was this company was already doing a few things to improve their business by engaging with some great vendors.  But then he voiced his excuses of why he couldn’t engage now and why he needs to wait a couple of months. I asked, “What is going to change in your business in the next 2 months?” He responded with complete silence. Yet another excuse to fail in business.

Here is another scenario that happened recently which is similar to others I have experienced time and time again. A company engaged with us for help in building their business. We started doing some great things internally with the staff. We helped define service offerings and processes. Then we started putting a sales plan together. Screech! The client put the brakes on by saying, I’m not a salesperson I don’t want to go and sell. Ok, we’ll figure something else out.  Fast forward to the epiphany the client had when he told me he has given some thought to doing sales. He says he has signed up for a sales training class. Great, we said, now let’s get you prepared for it. Everything was going great…oh no another speed bump! A key employee quit! The client emailed me to tell me what happened and that he had to cancel going to the sales training. I immediately emailed back telling him not to cancel the training; we have time to fix this and can hire a new employee…no response. I had a scheduled call with the client and give my input to the issue. He told me he already made the decision to cancel and didn’t want to discuss it any more. If you know me, you know I couldn’t let this go because he is going to have to deal with employees leaving him again at some point. The client got mad and told me that he was getting frustrated with me. One thing leads to another and we agreed it would be best to part ways. I told him I could no longer work with him because he never listens to advice and, worse yet; he doesn’t trust his own team he has built. Without being willing to try new things and to embrace change, he will continue to fail.

How many of you who read my blog have a small business of your own? How many of you are holding on so tight to your company that you can’t see your own success? Trust me when I tell you, I have done the same thing in every business I have ever owned, including Stuart Selbst Consulting. Just ask Loree. It isn’t healthy for the growth of your business, nor is it healthy for your personal and professional growth. People, it is time to let go and face the music…you are failing yourself, your business, your staff and worse, your clients.

Get out of your own way and move your business forward. I don’t care what your market is or what service you offer. I have a partner in a tiny market who continually kicks ass over partners in much larger markets. The secret to his success is putting trust in those around him, and yes, that includes me. If you can’t trust those you have hired, do everyone a favor and close down your business today because you will continue to fail. It will be just a matter of time until your clients leave you and you are forced out of business.

I will now come down off my soap box. But, I hope you can relate to what I have been saying here. It is now up to you to change the way you do things and work on your business. Get past your fears of success and ask for help.

Sales Pitch Time

At Stuart Selbst Consulting we have space available for new partners who are serious about being successful in their business. While we increased the investment to work with us back in January. We know that there are a lot of smaller firms who need help. We now have a lower cost of entry for smaller MSPs  that have less than 3 employees. Contact us today and get started on changing the way you do business. You can call me at 480-389-5481 x802 if you are ready to move forward.

All the best in success,

Stu

2 thoughts on “Your business is failing and you don’t even know it

  1. Coach Stu

    Great post and you hit the nail on the head.

    I don’t believe for one second that this is unique to MSPs but since you and I both work with them exclusively we will discuss them.

    First off…EVERYONE in the company is in sales and marketing if they like it or not. If you don’t, then get a data center job because that is all the use you will have going forward in the changing MSP economy.

    We train MSPs around the US and Canada each month at Ulistic and the same challenge. We give them the proven formula we used at IT Matters from 2001 to 2008 to grow our business from 3 guys fixing computers to 34 employees and $5.5M in revenue. We give them our process and our tools but still nothing. They all want it…but here is the difference.

    Those who succeed versus those who consistently struggle is this.

    The Successors Do The Hard Work. Not technical hard work but the business hard work. They understand sales is the lifeline to business success and they embrace it.

    Stu, you are a leader in this industry and like us at Ulistic…sometimes we need to focus on those who want to become better versus those who just pay it lipservice.

    Stuart Crawford
    MSP Sales & Marketing Consultant
    716.799.1999

    Like

    1. Thank you Stuart for the kind words. We all need to do what we can to help others, but if they are unwilling to trust those around them or those they hire, they will fail. It is only a matter of time.

      Like

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