CPA at Centaur Digital Corp, helping busy business owners decrease the amount of time and energy needed to manage their accounting system.
Two years ago, Dave opened a marketing company. He was great at his job, and he was able to grow his company to two dozen employees. When needed, he used consultants and coaches to elevate him to the next level so he could continue to successfully manage his company. However, the last two months have been especially rough, and it has Dave thinking if this is really the right business for him.
There are many times while building a business that you can feel stuck. Times when you are not sure how to move forward or if it’s even worth it. In these times of desperation, it’s hard to think logically about the problem and find a way forward. Keep these tips in mind for how to move your business forward.
Tip One: Be Persistent
Just because you can’t find the solution to a problem doesn’t mean there isn’t one. Most of the time, perceived problems are future worries that will never come to pass. If you give up each time you hit a rough patch in your business, it will never make it to greener pastures. Sometimes the easiest approach, when you hit a rough patch, is to just muddle through it—persistence can be your greatest advantage.
Tip Two: Organize Important Goals
Business owners and managers alike can feel like their main job is to put out fires that their employees started. Falling into this pattern can feel like you are stuck, focusing on keeping the business together rather than helping it grow. To refocus on what’s important, organize your to-do list each week into two categories: important versus urgent. It will not be an even split, nor should it be, but to move your business forward you should ensure the important tasks also get completed.
Tip Three: Learn From Failures
The best way to move forward in business is to always learn from your failures. There will always be mistakes made, and it’s more important that you learn from them than to try and avoid them. Each time a mistake is made, by you or someone else, analyze it. If it’s a one-off mistake, you can probably ignore it as an accident; if it’s more persistent or catastrophic, then you can design systems to ensure it won’t happen in the future.
Tip Four: Disregard Sunk Costs
As human beings, we get personally and emotionally invested in what we do. When you also factor in monetary investment, it’s very hard to get out. In business, this is called sunk costs, what you already spent you can’t get back. Since you can’t get it back, then it should not impact your future decisions. If you find yourself saying something like, “But we’ve already invested so much time and effort,” you know you are likely dealing with sunk costs.
Tip Five: Analyze Future Benefit
One metric in business that can move a financial decision along is to analyze future cash flow; however, this can be expanded to include an analysis of any future benefit. Using this method helps you better disregard sunk costs and focus on what brings value to your business. You can use this method to analyze your whole business or parts of it.
There is no easy path to business success. In social media highlight reels, you only see the illusionary perfection of perfectly laid out plans that turned into blooming successes. The reality is that there were multitudes of rough patches, stumbling blocks, backward steps and repositionings required to reach that success. There isn’t a simple solution for everyone, so you have to develop your own way to keep going.
After discussing his issues with his coaches and management team, Dave decided that his current rough patch didn’t really require any major intervention on his part. He decided to follow the first tip and just be persistent. Sure enough, after another week the problems smoothed out and Dave was able to enjoy running his business again. Sometimes the best solutions are the simple ones, and usually, if the solution is too complicated, it’s likely the wrong solution.
The information provided here is not investment, tax or financial advice. You should consult with a licensed professional for advice concerning your specific situation.