Are you sitting at your computer thinking “it’s Friday. Yay”, and then realising that there is no “Yay” to Fri-yay for you because you forgot what the word “weekend” means about 3 years ago, maybe more?
We all know that when you start a business you have to be the all seeing, all doing eye. Suddenly that beautiful job in corporate that you had once upon a time turns into marketing director, sales director, operations director, finance director, managing director, cleaner, admin assistant, etc etc. It all takes time, but you get through it. You get some sales. You recruit someone. Pressure gets taken off a bit.
Then you realise that people management is a full time job in itself and you don’t actually have any more time than you used to. Business continues to grow, your workload grows with it and now the 7 day weeks you’ve been working still aren’t enough and you’re sat there wishing it was legal to clone a human (you).
However, you’re still not making the money you want, or you still need more resource but you’ve got no idea whether you can afford it or not.
What’s more, your wife wants to spend more time with you, so do your children and you want some time to go on holiday or play golf.
1. The business isn’t systemised properly.
2. The business model isn’t fit for purpose.
3. You’re still working IN your business and not ON it.
4. You’re not getting the information you need.
5. You haven’t delegated properly (training takes time, if you get it wrong it will create nothing but unhappy customers, unhappy staff and unhappy you).
So, the question is: how do you fix it?
Well, I can’t officially help with point 5 because I’m not an HR professional.
However, let’s look at the other 4 points in turn.
You’re still doing everything manually, rather than using the wonderful technology that the technology fairies have planted in the world for you to use. We’re not still stuck in the age of spreadsheets (although I still LOVE a good spreadsheet, in the correct context!), creating manual word documents or having to go into the office to access your accounts system.
You can streamline and automate virtually your entire organisation with a few well selected and properly integrated apps and systems, like Xero, Mail Chimp, Bookings etc. Ergo, more time for you to do whatever you want to do at the weekends!
The age old saying goes: Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity, cash is reality.
People fall into the trap of thinking that just because they’re making a million in turnover that they can afford to buy that Lamborghini Huracan in Verde Selvans (it’s green, and also the colour I’d have. Although I’ll be buying a Ferrari F40 before a Huracan.).
Not always the case. Turnover means diddly squat if you’re still not making money.
Net profit =
minus direct costs (costs of making the sales)
minus overheads (costs of opening the office (or just paying for it at the moment if you’re working from home), internet, staff etc).
If the net profit number is either a negative or too low, that Lambo is never coming (and if it does it isn’t staying!). Sorry.
Getting the business model right often only requires a couple of little tweaks, but it can quite literally change your life, and often in quite a short amount of time.
If you’re still servicing customers on a regular basis, or you’re getting involved in your finance function more than asking for information that helps with the general running of the business, or having a management meeting at the end of the month with your Accountant or Bookkeeper to go through the performance of your organisation, you’re still working IN it.
As an MD, or CEO, or Director or whatever you want to call yourself, your time should be spent on activities that increase the worth of your business and the happiness of the team you have helping you to even have a business in the first place. If it’s not, something needs to give. If it doesn’t, neither you nor your business can move forward, and eventually you will end up with unhappy staff, customers and you.
This is a kicker. In your organisation there is data everywhere. Client data, financial data, marketing data, service data. You can and should use this to your advantage to move forward.
Take a step back, have a cup of coffee now (I’ll wait for you to go and make it) and seriously ask yourself the questions:
You can measure every single part of your business with data, which then allows you to see the strengths and, more importantly, the weaknesses.
Underpinning all of this is that you will be working those weekends until YOU make that change.
FacePalm FD can help you make the change.
Your Strategic Financial Partner