Imagine a world, where your clients want you to succeed. Your employees are at all times acting in the best interest of the business and provide great value to your clients. In such a world, your business prospers. You are at the helm, giving direction and purpose without being bogged down by day-to-day business..

You are able to attract and retain top-notch employees, because they want to work for your business. Because your business is so successful, paying top salaries is not an expense, but an investment into your business’ future. Aside from value generation, people in your business constantly work on new ideas, which you can turn into innovative products and services, ensuring long-term growth and rejuvenating your business. It stays relevant and can offer ever greater value to clients.

You are free to live the dream you had, when you started your business. Would you like to own this type of business?

For most business owners, reality is very different. They become enslaved by their own business. Discretionary time, purpose and a cooperative culture are replaced by work pressure, nickel-and-diming the client at every turn and internal turf wars. In-fights about increasingly scarce resources are the norm.

Does this sound familiar? It does to me. Not only from my experience working with clients across dozens of industries, but also in my own ventures.

I started to think deeply about my business and took some time to re-evaluate my beliefs. This saved me and I want to share with you.

What doesn't work

Let’s Bust Popular Myths

 

I identified three main beliefs that I had taken on board without questioning and realized that they represented serious obstacles in building a successful business. Here is what I found was not only holding me back, but I observed these beliefs also among my clients, preventing them to build business to their fullest potential.

Work smarter not harder.

Despite this mantra being repeated almost daily, it doesn’t make it true. If your turnover, profit, or client satisfaction isn’t as high as you want it to be, it does not matter how much you fine-tune your processes to create your products or provide your services. The outcome is ineffective and no degree of increased efficiency can get you there.

Increasing efficiency to work smarter is always good, but you need to be sure that you are doing the right thing in the first place.

Looking for hidden assets and skills in your business and augmenting or replacing your existing processes with them can change your business.

The fee for a service / product depends on the time, efforts, and resources required to achieve the desired outcome.

This is flat out wrong and you leave money on the table. Allow me to give you an example to illustrate my point. Let’s imagine you own a diamond mine and unearth two rocks from deep below. One is a rough diamond and the other is an ordinary rock. Would you fetch the same price for each when you sell them? Surely not. Yet the amount of labor, expenses for mining equipment, operating fees and so on are identical for each.

If you follow the myth that effort equals price, the ordinary rock should be as expensive as the diamond. And if your costs of mining the diamond goes down, because you get a better deal on labor costs and mining equipment, the diamond should get proportionally cheaper.

Many struggling businesses operate this way. And the better they work, they less they can earn, because if they sell time, they will soon hit a ceiling. There is a limit to time and to how much you can charge per hour. It doesn’t scale well.

Charging based on the value created, is not only better for your business, but also more ethical.

The client is always right or never say NO to a client.

A client who calls on you to provide a product or service that they have identified will help them is not always right. Merely providing what a client asks for may work in the short term. It’s a short sales cycle and money is quickly in the bank. But in the long term, your reputation could suffer if the client needed something else and you knew it, but prefer to stay silent and run with the money.

Ironically, you’ll leave a lot of money on the table.

Some businesses use this tactic to get a foot in the door with the aim to show their real expertise later. This re-positioning rarely works. From the client’s perspective, instead of being an expert, you are a delivery driver. Instead of hired brains, you are hired hands – a commodity.

Experts comfortably say NO, if it is in their client’s best interest.

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