A different sort of B.S.
So there you are – you’ve got your business launched and things are moving along nicely. That’s amazing! You’ve got this!
And then all of a sudden – you don’t. You’re not selling anything and you’re not making connections with clients. You know you’ve got a great product or service and you know you’re destined for success so why all of a sudden are things crumbling around you?
It’s probably B.S.
NOT that BS – this B.S. stands for business squirrels.
Shiny and bright – but not (necessarily) a delight
What is a business squirrel? It’s the shiny object that pulls your attention away from the actions that are actually going to bring in income to your business.
Here are some examples of business squirrels (this list is not even remotely exhaustive – but just a sampling of what we consider business squirrels):
- Personal Development
- Spending time comparing yourself to your competitor
- Searching for the next best way to get sales or clients
- Courses, worksheets and training sessions you sign up for, maybe look at and then never put into action
- Browsing Pinterest and Facebook looking for the next best thing.
Now – I want to provide a caveat here. These are all important activities in business growth (except that last one – it’s a total time suck) – but often they become the sole focus of business activity and we can say with 100% certainty that these activities on their own aren’t going to pay your bills. Don’t worry – we’re going to talk about how to add these items without making them business squirrel at the end. But how do you know if you’ve got a gem or a business squirrel?
How to identify B.S. in your business
If you’re struggling to identify B.S. in your business, we’ve got some very specific questions you need to ask. It’s not the five whys – but it’s something we probably all learned in elementary school.
Who | What | Why | where | when | how
- Who does this shiny new thing (SNT) serve?
If the SNT serves your client by adding value to their life, you’re probably onto something good. If it serves only you – you may be encountering a B.S.
- What value does this SNT provide for my business?
If the SNT directly translates into income for your business, you don’t have a B.S., you’ve got something that’s a gem (valuable and irrreplaceable). Watch this question though and answer it honestly – you can easily justify just about any SNT and convince yourself it’s adding value to your business directly.
- Why should I engage with this SNT?
This reflects directly back to questions 1 and 2. If this SNT adds value to your clients and will directly impact your bottom line positively – you’ve got a gem. If it doesn’t, you’ve got a big old business squirrel.
- Where in my business would this SNT be valuable?
SNTs are really good at convincing you that they are valuable for your business. However – will it bring in customers and will it drive sales? If you can confidently say that yes, it will then you’ve probably got a gem.
- When will I action this SNT?
We’re going to let you in on a little secret here. This is the most important question of all – SNTs can often impact your business positively – but only if you action them. We’re going to need you to be completely honest with yourself here – if this SNT is amazing but you’re never going to action it, then it’s unnecessary clutter and it’s going to end up in your “what if” pile. That pile sucks because it’s full of regret. So – if you never plan on actioning that SNT in your business, make it a hard pass because it’s the biggest, baddest business squirrel you’re ever going to encounter.
- Bonus! How will this SNT help my business to grow?
This one has some very specific subquestions about how a SNT will help your business grow:
(i) Will this SNT bring in new clients if I action it?
(ii) Will this SNT directly impact the bottom line and bring in income if I action it?
(iii) Will this SNT make me a better business owner or leader?
If you can confidently answer yes to all of those questions – you’ve got a gem and not a B.S.
If you can’t confidently say that the shiny new thing will add value to your clients or your business after answering those questions – you’ve got a business squirrel. That’s not to say the shiny new thing would never add value to your clients or business so we’re going to suggest that you put that shiny new thing back into your calendar for review in 3-6 months time – your answers might be different by then.
So you’ve found a Gem
When you can confidently answer the above questions and you’ve got a shiny new thing that will add value to your clients, your business and your abilities as a business owner or leader, you’ve got a gem. But it’s very important to ensure that gem doesn’t turn into a business squirrel. We’re going to give you the complete guide on how to do that below. And by complete guide – we mean the one thing you need to do. Yes – one thing. That’s it.
How to effectively use shiny new things
This is so easy but so many of us fail to implement shiny new things effectively in our businesses. And when you don’t implement shiny new things appropriately, they can quickly turn into gigantic, profit busting business squirrels.
This is something you were already doing before you discovered your shiny new thing. It’s going to be anti-climatic (sorry but it’s completely back to basics here) but we forget it all the time. Ready?
Make your income producing activities the priority in your business.
It’s really that simple. But it hasn’t really addressed the issue of your SNT you say? Actually, it has.
Your SNT is important to your business growth but right now, this second, it’s likely not bringing in income. So you need to work on your SNT around what is bringing in income. Get your income producing activities complete every day before you even think about working on that shiny new thing.
Let’s say you’ve signed up for a course on how to build an email list – super duper important for business growth – but right now you’ve got products that have had time and money invested into them sitting on either a digital or literal shelf. You need to work on the activities that are going to sell those products now. How that looks in your business is likely to be unique. It could include cold calling (shivers of anxiety running down my back as an introvert) or follow up calls/emails with warm leads. It could mean booking a trade show. Or it could mean uploading the products to your shop and then actively marketing them in some way – lots of options how to do that.
But you need to do that first. And once you’ve completed that – then you can work on the course to build your email list. But don’t you dare crack that book or video open until you’ve taken steps to actually making money in your business – your bank account will thank you.
One super quick note to finish up – it doesn’t need to cost a lot to be considered a business squirrel – and sometimes the biggest BS’s come for free. So don’t get caught up in the trap of thinking just because something is free that it’s a gem for your business. Work your way through the questions and if it’s a business squirrel – revisit it in 3-6 months because by then, you may find it adds value.
What’s your biggest business squirrel?
We’ve all got ’em. There’s no shame in acknowledging it! And in fact, unless you do, you’re going to end up like Dug in Up – distracted from your real goal. Even it’s only temporary distraction.
We’d love for you to share with us on our Facebook page what the biggest BS you’ve ever dealt with in your business was or is.
As always, we wish you success because you deserve it!