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Why are you in business?

posted 2 Dec 2010, 15:15 by Leighton Hill   [ updated 3 May 2012, 18:06 ]
Have you ever asked yourself “Why am I in business?”

Every business owner has their own reason: they want to be independent; they want to make as much money as possible; they are carrying on a family business in the family tradition.

Very often the reason is an emotional one and, particularly for men, ego driven. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with this and these are powerful driving forces in keeping the business going. How often have you heard of a business failing after the original owner has sold it because the new owner didn’t have the same emotional drive. So this drive is probably a very important factor is ensuring the survival of a small business.

My question, however, is does this emotional drive sometimes blind the business owner to the truth about his business?

  • Is their business as efficient as it could be?
    They would not consider changing the way they operate because: “We’ve always done it this way.”
  • Does their business consume their life and not allow them time to enjoy the money they have made?
    “I can’t leave the business to be run by the staff – they don’t understand” would be their retort if you suggest they take a holiday.

As a business owner, whether you started the business yourself or have inherited it from the family, it is your baby and you will protect it like any parent. Like a good parent you should nurture your child, help it mature and grow and then when it is ready let it out into the big wide world. Unfortunately this requires letting go, letting the child find it’s own way, make it’s own decisions and it’s own mistakes. This is not easy and takes a lot of courage, but this is the best course in the long run.

When all is considered the fundamental reason for being in business is to hopefully provide a life style that could not be achieved otherwise. Irrespective of the reason you are in business there will be a time when you have to let it go. This is inevitable. Owners who hang on to their business too long often damage the business, sometimes irreparably.

Every owner should have an exit plan and should organise their business affairs so that the plan can be activated when required. If you do not have an exit plan then you are not looking after your business and may not be able to achieve that life style goal. Finding the time and being able to view your business dispassionately in order to make an exit plan may be difficult without external help. We have relevant experience in this area and may be able to help you with this very important step.


To find out more contact us for a no-obligation free one hour consultation.