By: Ariela Balk, CEO/President, Ariela-Alpha International LLC, Smart and Sexy
2. Confronting reality…
As an employee, if you work very hard, have a great attitude, and collaborate well with others you can excel.
As an owner, so many skills come into play, even if you have many strengths, your weaknesses can be your business’ downfall, you must confront reality about your weaknesses.
Are you a good communicator, motivator, strategist, analyst? No one is the best at everything, but if you recognize your weakness, as you build a management team, you can look for executives who complement your strengths and fill voids where you are weak. If you don’t admit these weaknesses, even if only to yourself, you can’t remedy them. Yes, work on improving these areas of yourself too, self improvement is critical, but if you believe you can never excel is certain areas, hire someone who can!
As an employee, you role is generally limited to a single area of business, if its sales for example, your goals are clear, great customer service and drive sales! As an owner, every area is your area, and the weak link in your supply chain can be your business’ downfall, you must confront reality about weaknesses in your business.
Is your company great at product, quality, on-time delivery, customer service, innovation, sales growth, sourcing, compliance, customer service, generating profit, forecasting, shipping…? Identify your weakest areas, and hire experts and create a strategic plan to improve those areas.
As an employee, managing your personal income and expenses are fairly straight- forward, your salary/ income is generally fixed, your home and car payments might be fixed, but your other expenses are variable, you can decide every month what you should spend money on and how much, for food, clothes and entertainment. In your business your income may be variable too, meaning you may not always be able to control what is coming in, so you must confront reality about worst scenarios so you plan your expenses and cash flow accordingly.
Since sales are rarely consistent every month, your receivables will be inconsistent. Some of your expenses will be fixed, but some will vary too. Confront the reality that unexpected things will happen. Customers may push off orders, suppliers may need to be paid earlier than expected, always always leave a financial cushion. Keep fixed expenses as low as you possibly can so you are still sound if your business experiences ups and downs.
Being an optimist is great, but you must confront reality so you can actually make your dreams come true!
Please feel free to leave your comments below on what reality YOU confront!