(hint: It is not the business, it is you).
Before you all get your undergarments in a bunch, I know that there are external factors that affect business. I understand that we are currently living some interesting world events that have taken a big hit on our finances.
But here is the thing, here is the ice bucket over your head, the truth you came to hear… NONE of that is in our control. Duh. We have absolutely no control over pandemics, or economic disasters, we had no control over the crazy amounts of printed money that came into circulation in the last few years. Which has now turned into the craziest inflation most of us have seen in our lifetime.
Now that we have established that these are weird times and there are a lot of factors working against us, we don’t get to just automatically blame all of our problems on global and financial issues. We hold a LARGE part of the responsibility.
It is time to face the music and ask yourself the tough questions. Is your business built to stand these trials and tribulations? How strong is your business? Do you really feel like you are running a well oiled machine?
Here are some of the questions you need to ask yourself about your business before you go blaming the government, the pandemic, the economy, China etc…
DO YOU HAVE A SET, REALISTIC, ACTIONABLE, MEASURABLE LONG TERM GOAL?
What are you doing this for?
There needs to be a reason you wake up every morning and try to make this all work. There needs to be an actionable, measurable and realistic goal that you are aiming for at some point.
Not just any goal you crafted out of thin air. Something that makes sense. Something that is a challenge but attainable. A goal that can be broken down into smaller marker posts. Something that you strive for and can check your progress on often. A tangible result.
DO YOU HAVE STRONG, EFFECTIVE, REPEATABLE SYSTEMS?
Are you running off data and facts? Or are you just winging your livelihood daily?
Do you think Daddy Bezos became who he is by winging the business every day. No plan, structure or processes, just good ol’ fashion intuition and guessing. Throwing dung on the wall and seeing if it sticks? I doubt it.
A lot of people start reselling as a hobby. A fun little activity that brings in some extra fun money. And that is totally fine if that is the route you are taking with this. But if what you are aiming for is a solid business that could someday turn into your main income, and possibly retire you early… then you need systems in place. What systems?
- Financial System: What do your costs and cashflow look like?
- Operating System: basics, the foundation of your business
- Sourcing and Pricing Strategies: Why do you do what you do?
- Shipping/Processing Systems: logistics
If you wanted to step out of the job and hire someone to do all of it for you, do you have something in place so you could easily train someone else to do what you do and disappear? If the answer is no, you need to get on that like yesterday!
ARE YOU THE PERSON YOU WOULD PAY TO RUN THIS BUSINESS?
This is the most important question you must answer. We do not have the luxury to hire high ranking executives to come turn this ship around. IT HAS TO BE US. There is no one else waiting for the job.
Do you know where your business stands at all times? Where are you financially? What are your operating costs? What does your cashflow look like? Do you know the ins and outs of your business?
If you were looking in as an outsider, are you the business owner here? Or a glorified employee? (You know, the one that was tricked into running the business but does not really make the tough decisions or get compensated fairly)
You need to be the one making the hard decisions. You need to be running this business with an eye on all moving parts. There are many issues I have seen doing the consultations that could have been easily fixed if the owner had a system of checks and balances within the business.
WHY NOW? WHY THE INTENSITY, ISA?
Why am I asking all the hard questions? Because there has NEVER been a more crucial time to get your act together as a business owner. We are headed into tough, ultra-choppy waters… if there was ever a more important time to run your business mostly on data and facts, it is NOW.
Are you going to face the storm in your crappy little patched up skiff boat? Or are you gearing up, and getting ready to navigate these challenging waters in a Thunder Child (a high speed, wave-piercing boat, build by the navy to be uncapsizable)?
The choice is yours. There is a lot of noise out there that says all businesses, are beautiful and everyone has the right to run their business the way the want to.
This is true. Everyone can do whatever they want with their business, but to say there is no better way to run a business is false.
There is always a more efficient and profitable way to run. The question is, what will you choose?
Thank you to everyone for coming to my virtual Ted Talk. I really hope that this newsletter inspires (and maybe scares you a little) into taking control of your business.
There is good money in this industry, but if you want to see real profits, you need to treat it like a serious business.
If there was any part of this piece that you found particularly interesting, please share on instagram so that others may join us next time.
Stay tuned for next week where I will be breaking down these concepts one by one. Starting with Business Goal Setting :)
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