A problem gets heavier when the only one carrying it is you

Last week we discussed further about owning property in a company. If you missed that Read here. This week we are going to discuss some business strategy. We would hope to get a number of these posts out in the coming weeks. They will offer plenty food for though for business owners in the SME sector.

Running a business is not an easy thing for anyone. It can be particularly difficult for owner-run businesses. The reason is all decisions come from one source – you.

We recommend every business owner has at least one business partner. If that’s not possible you should have, a business confidant or friend. This helps to share the burden and responsibility. You can talk through the problem or bounce around alternative courses of action. It is through this dialogue that you separate the wood from the trees. And a result of this you can put in place a thought-through approach.

This conversation should be in an open, non-judgemental environment. You must understand and give all ideas air to agree on the best solution.

It is very unlikely you will ever find a perfect solution. But at least you decide through discussion and agreement. This has a greater chance of succeeding. Large organisations have Boards of Directors. It is more common now for Non- Executive Directors to sit on these boards. These are individuals, not working for the organisation, who have business experience. They can add informed opinions and information to the discussion. Small companies are unlikely to have Boards for many reasons. Yet, this should not prevent putting in place a process like a Board of Directors. It allows discussion among some of your trusted business partners/friends or confidants. It is very true that a problem shared is a problem halved and many heads are better than one.

A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week. Gen. Patton

Business is a game of managing scarce resources. It involves people, time, and money. If all were in full supply, then business would be easy, but it doesn’t work like that in the real world. In the SME sector, in particular, there is never enough of either resource. So, the trick is to get the best value out of the balancing of all three. The best way to balance is to have a plan of what you are going to do. Know how you will use your people to deliver the business goals. Understand how the cashflow from the business will keep everything moving forwards. There should be no fear of planning as you do not have to complicate it. Remember it is only a best guess now of how things will be in the future. Also, nobody knows your business better than you so use that knowledge to get something down on paper. Ask the questions – where do I want the business to be in 1,2,5 years from now? Write it down as this makes it real. Don’t be afraid to challenge your expectations. Once you write it down the next question is where my business is today? The final question is what is the gap between now and where I want to be in the future? Make some estimates of what you need to get there. Focus on the importance of

  • finance people
  • skillsets and
  • other resources.

Assign a realistic timeframe to each and again write it down. Hey Presto you now have a plan – a roadmap of where you are going and an idea of how to get there. Then put in place and get started with passion. Remember two things it’s your plan and things will change. That means you can adapt to any changes along the way. But you at least now have your direction of travel and a clear idea of the means to get there.

When you are ready to make a change contact us Alternatively, give Deirdre a call on 051396703 and she will point you in the right direction.