Have you seen the HGTV television show “Love It or List It” yet ? In the show, a couple is at odds over what to do with their home. One person believes that the house is no longer suitable for them because it’s too small, there aren’t enough bathrooms, the utility bills are too high, or the flow of the house doesn’t work for their family. Their partner believes that the house has potential and thinks that installing a new A/C system, repurposing a bedroom into a home office, or adding closets to the master bedroom will fix their woes.
Enlisting the help of an interior designer and a real estate agent, the homeowners begin the journey of looking for a new home while simultaneously renovating the old one. The element of drama comes at the end of the show after the homeowners tour the completed renovation, reflect on the increased property value, and weigh it against moving to a new home the real estate agent has found. Will they fall back in love with their home… or break off the relationship and move on to something better ?
Sadly, a similar scenario plays out in the hearts of many small & medium sized business owners when they fall out of love with their businesses.
- Maybe there's an overwhelming list of “honey do” projects piled up or goals that aren’t being achieved.
- The “flow” doesn’t work anymore because they’ve outgrown procedures that worked for a smaller team.
- They’re relying on “one bathroom” to serve everyone instead of expanding their capabilities (products and services).
- Or they’re simply frustrated because they can see the vision for what the business could become, but the rest of their employees don't.
Whatever the issues are, too many small & medium sized business owners go it alone when it comes to finding solutions to their problems and rekindling the romance with their businesses.
I think you’d agree that most homeowners are comfortable enough to grab a brush and roller to repaint a bedroom. But even skilled DIY homeowners will draw the line at replacing their central A/C unit themselves and seek professional help. Calling in a HVAC contractor doesn’t make you a DIY failure if your unit's down and it’s 105 degrees outside. The same is true for your business. Bringing in help doesn’t make you a failure. Why not engage some outside resources to bring a fresh perspective to your situation ? What if you could prioritize your needs, draft up the necessary plans, and start some real “renovations” because your underlying structure is sound ?
The TV homeowners who choose to stay in their homes post-renovation win in several ways. During the renovation process some unforeseen issues were probably uncovered behind the walls and addressed. Their new home functions better and has appreciated in value. And they don’t have to suddenly tackle another major project – moving – because they’re staying put.
As a business owner, you have a tremendous amount of time, effort, equity, and your heart invested in your business. If there are elements of your business model that are working, then investing in some key “renovations” to improve your business and personal effectiveness can have real payoffs.
On the other hand, if it was really time to move on to a better home, the TV homeowners were also winners. The unforeseen issues were fixed, the home has appreciated in value, and the “curb appeal” has been dramatically improved. All of this means that buyers should be more attracted to the home and make the time to sell it shorter than if they had listed it pre-renovation.
As a business owner, if you decide that it’s ultimately time to move on, then why not work with someone to help develop a proper exit strategy ? Completing some of those renovations, maximizing the value of the business, and preparing for the “what next” question will help to shorten the time it takes to sell your business. I’ve had the opportunity to take part in several business acquisition reviews during the past year. Regretfully, some of those businesses are still for sale today… or worse, they've shut their doors altogether. Why? Some of those business owners fell out of love with their businesses and simply put a FOR SALE sign up in their yard without thinking about the curb appeal.
There’s no denying the pressure that small & medium sized business owners face is pretty hefty. And there are days when it’s easy to get frustrated with the working hours, employee issues, lost vision, and a whole host of issues. If you’re facing a "love it or list it” dilemma with your business, you don’t have to go it alone. Almost every community has an economic development center where you might find help depending on your needs. Call up your local Chamber of Commerce to see what business networking events are happening in your area and talk with others facing similar issues. Finally, why not engage a business coach to help you do some renovating ? You might be surprised at what a business renovation can lead to.
I look forward to your thoughts / comments. If you'd like to discuss how coaching might be able to help you, please call for a consultation at 863-604-4403 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wishing you success in your business...