Mojo is a fickle thing. Some days your business has that magnetic charm that draws people in, yet other days you feel your business has lost its way when it repels the very customers you’re trying to attract.
Hey, don’t beat yourself up about it. Even Austin Powers, the king of mojo, has had his Mojo stolen and had to work hard to steal it back. Business is a rollercoaster of wins and losses and if you don’t get thrown out on the ride, there are bound to be days when you get sick of waiting in the queue.
The key is to recognise when your business has been missing its Mojo for weeks on end and then committing to do something about it.
What exactly is Mojo?
Gary Bertwistle, in his 2007 book Who Stole My Mojo? , Bertwistle calls Mojo “the extra spark that is the difference between having a good day and having a great day. It’s the difference between getting good results and outstanding results”.
Bertwistle says that “once you get your Mojo working and put that vitality and vigour back into your [business], the rewards come tenfold”.
How can you tell if your business has lost its Mojo?
John Knight, Managing Director of Queensland’s business advisory firm businessDEPOT is fascinated by business Mojo. He and his 30-plus-member team have advised hundreds of businesses that have lost their Mojo and want advice on how to get it back again.
“Constantly declining sales and profits, decreased staff motivation and attendance, increased staff and customer turnover, plus a lack of new ideas being put forward by both staff and management” - these are all important signs of a business losing its Mojo, says Knight.
Other signs include: customer feedback is being ignored and not actioned; team members are tired, overworked and overwhelmed; management feels bored and uninspired; and/or there is an unusual amount of tension in the team.
How can your business get its Mojo back?
1. Go back to your ‘why’
It’s easy to get lost along the way. So, take yourself back to your reason for going into your business in the first place. Stop. Rethink. Refresh. Then come back and re-strategise. If you don’t have a ‘why’, take time out and find one that matters to you.
Sunshine Coast Fashion Festival entrepreneur Jacinta Richmond had been running her annual event for nine years when she lost her Mojo. After much brainstorming, she realised that she had the wrong ‘why’, which was causing her to struggle when she hit bumps in the road. On the verge of closing the festival for good, Richmond’s new ‘why’ has brought her back in 2017 with a renewed vigour and an excitement about her festival’s 10th anniversary this year.
2. Decide if the problem is you
Sometimes, the business hasn’t lost its mojo, it’s you who’ve lost your mojo and because your business is your life, it’s hard to make that separation.
3. Identify exactly where your problems are coming from
Knight references the Pareto principle when he explains that 80 percent of the problems may come from 20 percent of the product lines, 20 percent of the team members or 20 percent of the customers. He urges business owners to find out which part of the business is broken and needs fixing, before they overhaul the whole business or worse still, rush to sell it.
For example, at Trigger, we regularly hear customer testimonials for our time tracking solution such as this one from Dan Clowes from Litoria Consulting in Brisbane: “Trigger has been a life-changer. It has made our business so much more efficient and really helped us go from break-even to profitable”. So, sometimes all it takes is a clever tool in your business to help you find what’s broken, fix it and bring your Mojo back.
4. Ask for help
Too many business owners carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. Most times, people like to help. It makes them feel valued. In fact, a series of studies found that people underestimated the likelihood that others would agree to a direct request for help by as much as 50 percent.
If you don’t have a team to help, consider tapping into the wisdom of a business advisor or mentor. For example, sites like Knight’s can offer a marketplace of trusted providers to help. Or if you want some instant advice, try sites like Clarity to tap into the wisdom of mentors all over the world.
5. Stop doing a task you don’t need to do anymore
Ask each team member to identify one task that they hate doing that they might not need to be do anymore - either if management requirements are updated and/or if there is an online tool out there to help automate the task. Alleviating just one headache from each person’s desk could in essence relieve one big headache for the whole business.
6. Do something that makes your team smile
Knight says that sometimes it’s the simple things that make the biggest difference. “Shifting your team’s focus from the grind of the negative to the fun of a positive, can work wonders for motivation and results. Help your team to smile again and your business might just smile right along with you.”
7. Don’t bury your head in the sand
You don’t want to end up like Kodak when you could be Apple, or Blockbuster Video when you can be Netflix. If your business has indeed lost its Mojo, you need to face it, talk about it as a team and brainstorm together how to get it back fast, before your competitors swoop in with a new enthusiasm that steals your market share.
So, the good news is that if your business has lost it’s Mojo, there is still hope and there are steps you can take to get your Mojo back.
If you’re seeking inspiration, check out the new video series, 12 Reasons why successful businesses fail to implement, courtesy of Knight’s team at businessDEPOT. Or join a LinkedIn, Facebook or MeetUp group where you feel comfortable talking openly and/or seeking ideas.
If, despite all your best efforts, your business cannot get its Mojo back, it might be time to sell and move on. A change can be as good as a holiday, or, in the case of a typical small business owner, a change might be the only way to get a holiday (smile).