Finding the time… for me.
For months now I have writing about the benefits of owning a sign shop and how much fun we can all have. I have posted articles about sales, marketing, blogging, travel and all sorts of things. I have encouraged you, my readers, to grab ahold of your life and use your sign business to create fun exciting opportunities and great memories…
After all of that, I am ashamed to admit, that I have allowed my sign business to take over my life. Stupid, stupid, stupid… but thank goodness it’s NOT unfixable.
You all know the story and you all know the feelings of getting caught up in working in the business rather than ON the business. Potential clients are calling, faxing and e-mailing. Sales are coming in faster than we can get them written up. We have too much work and not enough hands to do it all. Someone on staff gets hurt and we get delayed even more. You are spending so much time hopping around keeping customers happy that the people you are working with are getting pretty Unhappy. You would like to take on more work but you can’t seem to find the qualified people you need to expand the capabilities. OK, OK, don’t start crying! I understand. I didn’t mean to upset you. I’ll stop now.
(On the bright side of things, I would much rather be having these problems than looking around at an empty shop with nothing on the board. Oh yes, these problems are much, much better than that alternative)
Heck! The whole reason I started this business was to create an asset that would afford me the freedom & time to enjoy my life!
The whole reason for starting this website was to help and encourage other sign business owners to avoid this exact trap and enjoy THEIR lives!
In the words of the immortal Charlie Brown… AUGH!
So, what have I done to begin to reclaim my sign life and bring a halt to the madness? I have done the unthinkable, the horrible, the totally unbelievable and utterly unforgivable…
I TURNED DOWN BUSINESS.
Yes, you heard it right, I simply turned down the business. I have written before about the 80/20 rule in the article titled Double Your Sign Business Income. Rather than continuing to run myself ragged keeping up with all of the new orders and potential new clients, I forced myself to step back and evaluate the impact that this type of growth will have on my current sign business model. It could be great to continue to grow but what type of growth will be best for me personally and the company as a whole? Am I only reacting to market pressures rather than dictating the direction I want this business to go? Following this train of thought I put together a simple list of Pros & Cons for continuing my hectic habit…
- My Free Sign Buying Guide works great and brings me exactly the right types of customers.
- I make more money, money, money
- I am able to continue growing the company
- I have been able to add more equipment
- I have considered expanding services and products
- Work 90 hours a week and never have the time to enjoy that money
- Growing the company in this manner will only demand more of my time. Further, my existing customers are bound to feel mistreated as their projects begin to suffer and get delayed (not acceptable).
- More equipment = increased overhead = more invested time
- More Services / Products = more time
- Other opportunities suffer or get completely missed
- No time for family as I go days at a time and not see my wife or children
Wait, I’m seeing a pattern here…
I am pleased to announce that I have realized the errors of my ways and am taking steps to once again Simplify My Sign Life. All things will progress and I will get back to enjoying life and doing fun things. I will go back and reread my own posts and remember why I started this business and what principles I should be using to foster steady, stable and controllable growth.
Please forgive me and Good Luck!