Option 4Be honest with yourself, have you ever really taken time to analyse and dissect the DNA of your business and the way that it operates in your local market? Have you looked at your website? Your marketing? The appearance of your office? Ever studied the competition and broken down the differences between the ways that you operate your respective businesses? Or, alternatively, sought honest feedback from ex- clients as to the service that they received from you and how it might be improved?

Markets, technology and competition are all dynamic in nature, and often it is incremental change over a period of months or years that can make what you do and the way you do it less relevant than when you first started your business. Loss or static market share is normally the first tangible sign that you need to take a closer look at the way you are operating and, perhaps more importantly, try to understand what is going on around you.

The human condition can play a part in seemingly conspiring against you, as when you first started trading, you were keen and hungry, and your offices were shiny and new. Now, some years later, and with increased competition on your doorstep, you have personally grown weary or distracted and you have a business that appears to the public to reflect your mood.

This scenario is not at all untypical, as small business demands of its owners to “wear many different hats” and, sadly, not afford time to step back and “take stock”; with medium to long term strategy understandably giving way to the humdrum issues of day to day trading.

If this sounds eerily familiar, well, do not despair as help is now at hand in the form of ideology consulting (specialist business brokers and management consultants to the UK estate agency sector). We recognise the challenges that confront small business owners and offer forward (and financial) planning, as well as mentoring and support to those clients who recognise the need to take decisive action and make progressive improvements to the way that both they and their businesses operate.

Self- employment can be both tough and lonely on occasion, so why not talk to someone who understands?

For more information, call 0333 939 8010 or go to www.ideologyconsulting.co.uk