businessThe main barrier to making your business dreams reality, is you. The quote “Consistency is key” is true for anything and everything that you want to be successful at. Doing a good job might come naturally, but it’s difficult to keep performing well over a long period of time. Most businesses experience periods of success during their journey, however, to be successful in the long term requires you to consistently maintain a high level of performance. Consistency separates successful businesses and people from those that are struggling.

Consistency doesn’t mean you have to worry about performing at maximum every second of every day, but that you maintain a level of high performance on your business every day.

As a business advisor and finance expert, I have seen that most businesses have a hard time staying consistent, even in the simplest tasks. And, speaking from my personal experience, I have felt frustrated with the relentless stop start nature of my business. This frustration allowed me to set my mind to becoming more consistent in my business, particularly with regards to my visibility. By focusing on results, efficiency and consistency, I was able to grow my business and walk away from the regular 9-5.

You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t interested in improving your own consistency, so let me share the 5 top lessons I’ve learned, particularly the reasons why inconsistency comes about in your business and what you can do to turn things around.

  • You are unclear on your vision

What do you want to achieve in your business and what are your goals? Without knowing the answer, you’re simply taking shots in the dark. You should have a clear destination in mind before starting a journey, otherwise, you will never reach it.

With an accurate road map and clear goals, you’ll reach your destination sooner than you expect. Without a clear vision for your business, you will end up wasting time on tasks and activities that are not getting your business any closer to your desired goals.

As part of your vision, you need to confront the difficult, time consuming tasks you may not want to do. Without a vision, you may fall at the first hurdle, giving up when things get difficult. Question what exactly you want, what your big vision for your business is, and how a particular activity can contribute towards the accomplishment of that vision. Having clear answers of these will put you in a better position to reach your goals.

  • You’re Setting Yourself Up For Failure

Firstly, identify the factors that could damage your success. It’s a basic human nature to opt for the path of least resistance.

Pre-planning can enable you to ride the consistency train for a longer period. If you’re finding it difficult to publish blog content on a daily basis, rather than simply ignoring it and hoping it goes away, create a content brainstorm and a plan with a timescale that you can stick to – whether that’s every other day, once a week or even once a month. It’s better than not at all, after all, and you’ll remain consistent.

We all have tasks and activities that we know we should be doing but put off or don’t have the time to get done. In fact, we sabotage ourselves because we are not ready for success. Think about what you intend to achieve and plan for it.

  • Eat the Frog

I personally like to group tasks to be done on certain days. I plan my content creation for a certain day, and client meetings on another day, etc. I also prefer to do as much as possible early in the morning so that I can enjoy the rest of my day.

Identifying the important, but often mundane, tasks and scheduling them early into your schedule is known as “eating the frog”. It means getting the most difficult task out of the way first, and the easier ones later. This way, you rest assured the most difficult / boring tasks are out the way and you become less stressed as you take on the comparatively simple / fun tasks.

How do I incorporate this into my life? Take your whole vision and break it down into as many small parts as you need to, so that you can manage them over the course of days, weeks, months and years. Next thing you need to do is plan and write it down on a schedule. Once your goals are in your planner, eat the frog and do what you need to do to get it done.

  • You’re Giving Excuses

Most people are great at coming up with excuses to not do things they don’t want to. Such excuses generally stem from inner fear or self-limiting beliefs.

What’s the main task that you’ve been putting off and not doing on a day to day basis?  What is it that’s holding you back? Most people will say they don’t have enough time.

However, in reality, people make time to do the things they really want to do. Instead of making excuses, dig deeper to understand what underlying fear is stopping you from getting it done. By analysing your excuses and the ways you’re sabotaging yourself, you will become will become more attentive.  If it’s not inner fear holding you back, it’s laziness. Some people simply don’t want to do the hard work required to get the desired result. Without the motivation to do the things you need to be successful, you’ll never get started.

You Don’t Have Emergency Funds in Place

Being consistent in business is only possible if you have consistent cash flow. Most businesses experience financial instability at some point, however, the key factor is maintaining consistency in how you manage cash flow both during stability and emergencies. Without consistent cash flow, you’re unlikely to be maintain consistent profit and could end up in trouble. Many business owners fail to put aside an emergency fund to deal with financially tight situations. This hampers their business and is one of the major reasons why they are inconsistent. The best business I could give you is to make sure you have an emergency fund or plan in place.

If you can’t get together a fund, make sure to research alternative business funds to handle any potential periods of financial instability. There are many different types of alternative fund options available such as cash flow finance, invoice finance and property finance. These are your safety net, allowing you to bounce back from any potential, unforeseen financial issues you may face no matter how large your business.

Being consistent in business starts with a decision and taking action. To succeed, you need to go above and beyond your competitors and be better, so make sure you have the dedication to make it happen.