Say It Isn’t So!

What’s Important To You?

It’s so! In my 61st year I have decided to refocus my efforts, and this will be my last business blog. I plan to leave my 2.5 years of newsletters and blogs open for everyone to continue to review and hope that someone will be inspired to greater things by doing so. I wanted to leave you with some final thoughts on your business.

You see, I have decided to move on after a review of what really matters most to me. Please do not get me wrong, helping others has been my #1 activity for most of my life. Helping people like you has been my life for the past 8 years and I have enjoyed every minute. That has been what was important to me for a long time, and now I am refocusing based on the things that are most important to me now. My point is this: What is important to you and your business?

That has really been the purpose of my newsletters, blog, and consulting advice from the start of The Excel Consulting Group in 2013. With a little twist. That twist has been to guide entrepreneurs like you to question what they believe is important to them and their business. I have challenged you to become more involved in working on your business rather than in your business. It is an old cliché, but it is so applicable since it is so easy for someone as busy as you to lose sight of. Day to day problems consume your time, and you love the challenge of tackling them!

The problem is that constantly battling problems means two things: 1) that there are issues within your business causing those problems and 2) you are not spending your time trying to determine how to fix those things. Growing a business profitably over time requires analysis of your business, if not regularly at some defined intervals. Hiring consultants with a third-party eye on your business can be enlightening, yet most CEO’s are reluctant to spend money on good consultants. You want a defined return on your investment and sometimes the returns can be less than direct.

For example, if you have never done a true budget, having someone walk you through the steps will be enlightening and teach you much about your business that you are currently only aware of on a cursory basis, if at all. You will most likely learn to read your income statement and balance sheet and ask questions you never have before. You will most likely learn about Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) that will enlighten you further. Hopefully, you will start tracking those KPI’s and using them to inform future decision making. All of that is going to make you a better leader, better CEO, better entrepreneur. What revenue increase can you contribute to such an effort? What cost savings? What return on your investment? It certainly isn’t straight forward or easy to calculate.

Process improvement takes an upfront cost with the returns realized later. Even those returns can often be difficult to define. As a result, the value of consulting comes into question. I read all the time that CEO’s are looking for new play books. The best play book you can use is the one that takes you through a complete analysis of your business. That is why I wrote my two books, and I hope you have read them. There are links to both in this newsletter. The first is more for start-ups, the second is for any business, including start-ups and large businesses.

So, let me leave you with a final thought, a New Year’s resolution of sorts. Please take the time this year to better understand your business through some planning. Financial planning is a great place to start, but it is insufficient without, and must be informed by, general business planning.

Best of planning!

Mitchell Bolnick – The Excel Consulting Group