How can I slowdown in my education business to make progress in the long run?

Slowing down in your education business has some great benefits. It allows you to spot and fix issues in your business that, if left unchecked, could cause major problems down the line.

Business runs in cycles. One moment, you’re making sales and that’s great but then you realise that your customer service department is swamped! So, you need to solve the problem there. You’ll do something – whether that’s hiring new staff or changing up your systems – and things will smooth out. But the cycle goes on and something else will crop up.

If you’re not careful, you’ll end up in a position where you are just firefighting, but everything you’re putting in place to fight those fires is merely patching over them rather than being a proper fix.

This happened to us at Classroom Secrets. We were growing so fast which was great, but we didn’t have time to notice the small fires that were popping up in all the areas of the business.

How do you know when it is time to slow down in your education business?

It is definitely a gut instinct. You’ll feel uneasy. Things may be going too well or progressing too fast and you’ll feel like you don’t have any control over it. Maybe you feel like you can’t continue to do things the way you are doing then now. Perhaps there’s been a change in the mood of your team members and there’s been a culture shift. Trust your gut when you start to feel these things and take action to slow down. It will be worth the time.

Will slowing down affect the money coming into your education business?

It’s natural to worry about money. Slowing down could mean making less sales or directing your team members to do other tasks meaning they’re not creating a product to sell. So yes, there could be some short-term impact to your profits. But it could cost more money later down the line if you don’t take care of whatever issue is in front of you now. It is important to be proactive and get ahead of the situation rather than being reactive. Ultimately you have to think of what is best for your business long term.

What if you can’t slow down because your education business is all about speed?

Speed to market is important, there’s no point in getting really great Christmas resources ready and releasing them in January! But it can be easy to continue to work quicky on things in your business even when they no longer make sense. I have been guilty in the past of racing through things without taking time to stop and think. We would get resources out at all costs regardless of whether they were what our customers wanted/needed at that time. We’d hire people who we knew weren’t a good fit but were the best of the bunch rather than hiring no one and having a rethink.

There is the pressure to deliver, but where does that pressure come from?

It usually comes from ourselves.

I see it in my team, individuals putting pressure on themselves to get something done.

Think carefully about the priorities in your business. What needs to be done quickly and what doesn’t? How will you convey this to team members who may be applying unnecessary pressure to themselves?

Do you need to start again with some aspect of your education business?

There may be times when slowing down will reveal to you that you need to just start again. That’s okay. It’s easy when you are in business to add new workarounds rather than addressing the problems. Don’t be afraid to say, ‘Does this work for us anymore?’. Doing things the way you’ve always done them doesn’t have to be the norm. Chances are, you’ll come up with a solution that will make you speed up and you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.

Take some time to ponder the elements of your business. Where could you slow things down to speed things up?

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