I have always been fascinated by those who can juggle multiple items (bowling pins, fire, chainsaws – lol) and those who can walk tight ropes without a net as this is not a talent that everyone possesses. The ability to be able to perfect balancing to the point that danger does not stop you is impressive.
Maybe that is why I pursued being a business owner and choosing to help other companies because I can relate to the need to have many items up in the air at once while balancing the needs of companies without dropping the ball and/or losing my footing. Truth is, owning a business is the ultimate balancing act. From new business startup to the final exit/selling of a company owners are overwhelmed with the many day to day responsibilities and knowing that if they drop the ball that everything can come crashing down around them. Not many owners have that safety net to catch them as many are balancing their companies by themselves making the risks that much more pressing.
50% of business fail within the first 5 years of business and less than 1/3 of businesses survive 10 years+. Many of these companies failed simply due to their inability to juggle multiple areas of their businesses at once. The dropping of the ball when it comes to financial planning and monitoring, marketing, staffing, inventory management, order processing, customer mining and acquisition, billing, to only name a few, can be devastating to a company’s vitality. When one area of a company dips or takes a hit it greatly affects other parts of the company as well. Example: If sales are down that affects the inventory you can order. If inventory is low then order fulfillment will lag. If orders cannot be filled customers will not be serviced. If customers are not satisfied then you lose money. When you lose money – well, you know the rest!
Consider another scenario: Your company is doing well. You hit a stage of growth but did not plan ahead. You are not staffed for the increase nor did you contact your suppliers to notify them of the increase of supply needed so you cannot keep up with the demand. Customers are not happy, sales drop, suppliers become frustrated, it becomes a trickle-down effect. Every action has a reaction. Balancing is everything.
So what is the answer? How do business owners keep from losing their footing when they lack the talent for balancing all the areas of their business that they have to juggle daily? Easy answer – get someone who can! Whether you take on a partner that has this talent, hire management personnel that excels in it, or you hire someone to help you manage the stages of your business from the outside – it is quint essential to ensure that the company has someone in it to keep the balls in the air and to watch your footing. Finding the right people, affordably, is key and can be done – SHOULD BE DONE – if you want your company to thrive. ‘The ability to multitask, in fact, is a common trait shared by successful entrepreneurs’ (25 Common Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurs.com )
Understanding if you do or do not balance well up front and as soon as possible will be the first step in making it 10+ years. You have to be honest with yourself about this one as there is too much as stake to fake it! Many owners try to do it all themselves and statistics show that they wait too long to seek help or hire those needed to help, afraid of the costs involved, but with more information they would have found that there are very affordable ways in incorporate help into their companies without hurting their bottom line. And what hurts worse than closing your company due to not getting the help that you need and deserve?