Are you in love with your business? Do you have the same passion and energy for your business as you did when you first started out? As with anything, it can sometimes be hard to maintain excitement and enthusiasm, especially during slow or challenging times.
How do you rekindle that early business romance? How do you find that spark and that passion that was there when you first built your concept? New relationships are full of potential and promise, as are new businesses. After a few years, the newness wears off and reality sets in. Running a business is hard work, even after all of the initial work of its formation is done. It may be easy to become discouraged but don’t. Here are some ways to fall back in love with your business.
First and foremost, you must reevaluate your commitment to your business. Are you just in a rut, or is it something more serious. Unfortunately, for a multitude of reasons, some businesses are short-lived. If you are losing money rapidly, or if you’re life has taken you in a different direction, it may not make logical sense to continue on with your business. Take a hard look at your purpose and your methods. If something simple is lacking, fix it. If something more serious is at fault, it might make sense to hit the pause button. It is always possible to open back up for business after you reestablish some better business practices.
What were your original intentions when you created your business? What was your mission, what were your goals?
Have you gotten away from your original purpose? Maybe it’s time to reestablish your original business plan. You most certainly developed it for a reason. Most likely, you saw a need and had a passionate desire to fill that need. Refocus your efforts and make sure you are providing what it is you set out to provide. That is where your heart was and is.
Sometimes our businesses take a different path than we first envisioned, and that’s okay. Businesses evolve, and markets change. When I first started my business, Market Mommy in 2009, for instance, there was a tremendous need for affordable graphic design. Now, almost ten years later, that demand has dramatically decreased. In the age of the iPhone, there’s an app for nearly anything, including designing attractive graphics and advertisements. Does that mean Market Mommy isn’t still viable? Of course not. The variety of my business offerings allowed me to shift my focus a bit and still offer relevant, needed services. The key to success is being flexible and adapting to changes in the marketplace as they happen.
Are you feeling ho-hum and less than energized? How do you get that energy back? Start a focus group, or brainstorm with others about how you can add some new features or promotions. Put the excitement back in your shop with an expanded product line or some fresh new designs. Liven up your website with some new photography or a splash of different colors. Do some research and put thought into what exactly makes you and your customers click. The new ideas will bring energy and something new to be excited about.
Do you feel like there are technical or logistical issues holding you back? Take the challenges by the horns and work to fix them. Is your website less than desirable? Invest in a face-lift. Are you so swamped with the mundane day-to-day tasks of answering e-mails and shipping orders that you can’t focus on the bigger picture? Maybe it’s time to change your business structure and hire a virtual assistant.
As we grow, our needs, wants, and loves change. This is true in our business lives just as much as it is in our personal ones. If what makes you happy has changed, then you should change what you are doing. It is okay to take your business in a new direction. Finding love and passion in what you do is always the ultimate goal. This often means sacrifice when it comes to other aspects of our lives. Following our hearts is what led us to entrepreneurship in the first place, right? Always be true to yourself and your business. If you need to realign your business goals or even your companies’ overall structure; do it.
Mom entrepreneurs commonly say that you must have a passion for what you do. Loving your business makes it less like work and more enjoyable. Having that desire to succeed makes it more likely that you will. The beauty of having your own business is the ability to make it what you want. So, if you’re currently less than satisfied, for whatever reason, make a vow to improve. Work to fall back in love with your business, and you’ll reap the benefits.
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Dawn Berryman is the founder of MarketMommy.com and Market Mommy:: The Blog, online marketing resources for mom entrepreneurs. Market Mommy shows moms how and where to market their businesses. She holds a B.A. from Indiana University and has worked in the marketing/communications field for more than eight years. She resides in rural Ohio with her husband and two young children. For more information, please see Market Mommy.
Originally published February 16, 2012. Content updated February 14, 2018.