Do You Know or Are You Guessing at How Your Business is Doing?

  • Does your strategy look a bit like throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks? (And has anyone ever really thrown spaghetti at the wall?)
  • Do you keep doing what you’ve been doing even if you’re not 100% sure if it is working (for you)?
  • Would you rather do just about anything else rather than confront the sick to your stomach feeling you feel when you think about looking more closely at the return on investment of your efforts?

While there is a lot of inherent uncertainty in running your own business (like a LOT), there are also a good number of things you can actually know for sure.

Look at Your Business MetricsPhoto Credit: Flickr

Wouldn’t it feel good to know for sure?

I would think so, but I’m discovering that a lot of business owners would rather guess than know. Why is that?

Here are the top 3 reasons I find business owners avoiding the actions that would empower them with more certainty and business growth.

1)    Assume This Doesn’t Apply to Me

People make assumptions about everything; it’s the way you and I operate. Sometimes it works well (like assuming the rest of the cars on the road will also follow the traffic rules); other times it creates a gaping black hole in the way we make choices.

Whether you assume your business is too unhealthy or growing too nicely to take a look at what’s really going on, either way it is an assumption that limits your power and potential. Guessing isn’t knowing. Challenging your assumptions is a good thing. Challenging them doesn’t make you wrong, it makes you more confident and empowered in your choices because you have some data and knowledge to support your intuitive guidance.

2)    Feel Too Bad, Scary, Sick to Your Stomach, or Generally Icky to Take a Look

I’ve had more than one client tell me “it makes me sick to my stomach to look at my numbers”. In fact I’ll admit that there have been numerous occasions over the years where I would feel a pit in my stomach even thinking about looking at my financial numbers or business operations; that feeling where a root canal would be more pleasurable.

And do you know what? In the end it wasn’t remotely as painful as they (or I) feared. It created a sound starting point for strategy and action. Almost without fail it creates opportunities for income growth, saving money, and ultimately more profitability. If nothing else it gives you concrete clarity and certainty from which to navigate. That alone is worth its weight in gold.

3)    Don’t Even Know Where to Start

It can be hard to know where to start. When you’re in your business, you’re so close to it that you lose perspective. You may not have the business background or know-how to understand how everything works. There’s no shame in that! After all, most people start a business not because they love the business of doing business, but because they have a service, product, or skill that they are passionate about offering and want more freedom and flexibility from their career.

You start by looking at what is right in front of you (cash in and cash out for instance) and build from there by learning more or getting help from someone who finds this sort of thing second nature.

So What?

Business can be risky just like life is inherently risky. Calculated risks create growth (most of the time) but random guessing is a crapshoot. Which odds do you prefer when it comes to the viability and sustainability of your business?

Wonder what might be possible with a little “peek under the hood” of your business? This stuff comes second nature to me. Contact me for a discovery call and find out.



How to Prioritize When Everything is a Priority

Prioritize Your LifeFor business owners, being crazy-busy has become a badge of honor. Having just too much to do is the norm.  Yet the success of your business depends on your ability to focus on what is most important right now (not a hundred random to-do's). 

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How to Prioritize When Everything is a Priority

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