Let’s be honest: Building a business that doesn’t depend on you isn’t easy. It’s going to take lots of time, attention, and know-how. You’re going to be drawn into fighting fires you wish weren’t happening; you’re going to worry about having the right resources to create the right results; you’re going to have to make things happen that you don’t really know how to do. At times, you’re going to feel let down by the very people you depend on to free you.
If you’re fortunate enough to have taken your company on a journey through all of its highs and lows for 5, 10, even 20 years or more, chances are you’ve had those moments when you wished your business weren’t so damn dependent on you. No matter what you’ve achieved, most business owners know in their heart that if they walked away—whether for six months or two weeks—they probably wouldn’t have a business when they got back.
I met with my client, Paul, earlier this week. Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, it had been three weeks since our last meeting. I was looking forward to reviewing with him his list of Key Strategic Indicators that he’d committed to delivering – the critical, quantifiable reference points he’ll use to track the health of his business and his progress towards his stated goals. An hour before our call, nothing had been posted. Not a good sign.
The money you make in your business is hard-earned. It’s the reward for all of the sales calls, difficult client deadlines, and customer support challenges. So it’s hard to give it up to anyone—least of all the government. Yet, taxes are a part of doing business in almost every country on earth. And we want you to focus on one thing: keeping as much of your money in your pocket as possible by taking advantage of every possible legal method of reducing your year-end tax bill.
Topics: Managing Money
If, after reading part one and part two in this series, you’re starting to see the value in better understanding your financial performance, then we’re in a good place to move forward. If you’re thinking, “Sure, that all sounds good, but there’s no way I have time to put this much energy into tracking and thinking about my money—nor the ability to pay someone else to do it,” then you need to stop and reconsider. A relationship with your numbers is a key ingredient of your success, but there are some tools you can leverage to reduce the technical work significantly.
Perhaps you use Google Analytics to track every visitor to your website, right down to the country they’re visiting from. Maybe you even use wearable technology and a smartphone to measure the steps you take in a day or how much sleep you get at night. But what are you doing to measure the financial health of your business? If your only measure of financial performance are the sales you generate each month or the balance in your bank account—you’re missing out on a wealth of information about your business.
How many times have you heard someone say, “I’m just not a money person”? Have you ever been that person? It’s a common expression and an easy escape hatch to fall through when you’re staring at spreadsheets full of numbers and formulas. But it’s a phrase, and an attitude, that’s ultimately unproductive and stopping you from taking your business to the next level.
Our recent post about systems should have your gears turning already, but for your business to truly thrive, the best-designed systems alone won’t suffice.
You need people. But not just any people: You need a high-performing team. The kind of team that makes your systems—and your business—really work.
Our natural world is a great example of systems at work—solar systems, ecosystems, weather systems, bodily systems, and so forth. As humans, we naturally look for patterns to solve problems and make extraordinary advancements. We search for ways to turn chaos into order and to discover efficient and repeatable ways of doing this to preserve our resources and energy. It is no different being an owner of a business. You want productivity, control, and predictability.