Every once in a while I get a feeling that it may be time to get a little more serious about how a business should be is run in today’s economic climate. Some indicators like the stock market and real estate are showing encouraging signs of an economic recovery. Others, like the cost of goods, the national debt, health care, gas, food and the high cost of other everyday necessities, are telling a somewhat different story.
I believe that we are due for some uncertain times in the next 3 to 5 years. Marketing (making it happen) will still be heavily emphasized to continue growth, but the internal management systems, and the financial aspects of running a business will become much more important.
For many small businesses, the tripod (marketing, finance and management systems) which holds up the business is often standing only on the marketing leg. The other two legs receive minimal attention, leaving a very unstable foundation upon which to build. Not all three legs need the same amount of time in order to be fully “extended”; marketing will still require the most time but finance and management must be given the necessary time to allow them to complete their function.
The finance leg tells the marketing leg how effective its efforts are. It provides the measuring stick for where the company will be going in the future. It tells us if we can buy new equipment and if it is time to expand the business.
Management systems allow for efficient delivery of products and services and through those efforts, it provides marketing support by virtue of satisfied clients.
Risk factors need to be considered in a rapidly changing economic and technological environment. Identifying safety nets for the “what ifs’” become part of the necessary analysis process. In a small business not only is the financial well-being of the company part of the equation but ownership’s financial well-being, both present and future, enter into the calculation.
This is the “must” time when a business has to look not only at tomorrow, but the next six months, next year and into the future. To achieve the necessary business equilibrium, the “un-fun” parts of running a business ( finance and systems) need to be given the time and attention needed to stabilize the tripod.
I believe very strongly in the necessity of this preparation time and am working with my current clients to achieve these goals. Take a good look at your tripod, are you in balance?
Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is the probable reason why so few engage in it. Henry Ford
Nick J. Petra CFP subscribe to this blog at www.strategicduck.com . if you are serious about success and are not afraid to work, the second quarter of 2013 will change your life.