Navigating the trials and tribulations of business property

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Director Prosperwell FinancialAsset Advisor RJFS

Owning a business can be awful and awful at times.

You may feel like you’re on a roller coaster, feel the thrill of climbing one day, and then the next day (or hour) feel like you’re in a free fall, completely scared. Corporate ownership is a rollercoaster of highs and lows. Other days you feel like you are on an island – that you have no one to talk to or no one to empathize with your daily life.

Many days can be just wonderful, and others can be the worst and overwhelming. Balance does not exist.

I was in Arizona and went to this local restaurant for breakfast. We arrived a few minutes before 9am. The woman inside apologized and said they open at 9am and we could wait. We did. There were two cooks and this one woman in front. She took orders. We ordered. She kept taking orders. We kept waiting. She kept taking order after order and didn’t make drinks. The line got longer and longer with people now waiting for drinks and food. It was a hot mess. The woman left the counter and went to the kitchen. The lobby was completely packed with people.

Then the owner of the restaurant came in. You could read the shock on his face.

He walked into a room with customers waiting and no one at the counter and no one making drinks.

I could empathize with that feeling of being overwhelmed. shocked. In despair. He pressed a button on his phone and called someone and said, “You have to come here now. There is a line out the door and no one at the counter.”

He asked his employee to start making drinks and stop taking orders. She kept taking orders. He asked her again to start making potions. It was painful to watch him put his feet on the ground and get this situation under control.

After a 30 minute wait we finally had our food and drink to go. The owner gave us a gift certificate. We returned it. He did his best. We could compare. Sometimes all you can do is just the best you can in the situation you find yourself in. It’s all about making choices and persevering. It’s all about keeping your customer in mind.

So, what can you do today to take your business to the next level? What can you do to provide a better customer experience? Here are a few ideas for your business to do your best:

1. Form a client council. This was one of the things I dreaded the most, but it was the most satisfying. Once a year, we meet with our board for advice, ideas, feedback and more from our customers and centers of influence.

2. Read. I love reading. The book Traction by Gino Wickman was transformative. At my company we now have daily conversations, weekly meetings and monthly development days. It felt counter-intuitive to me to take time off the company, but I learned the importance of working on the company as a team so you can work harder in the company. I recently read too Chief Inspiration Officer: How to lead the team everyone wants to belong to from Val Ries. Running a business is all about learning by making mistakes and learning by reading and then applying what you read.

3. Give yourself grace. Running a business is difficult. From the outside it can certainly look glamorous. But as I’ve seen in Arizona, many days are not. It can be more than overwhelming. You may feel that you are isolated. You are responsible for everything. So it’s important to give yourself grace – to cherish the great times and learn from the mistakes.

By the way, the croissant breakfast sandwich was the best I’ve ever had!


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