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The Business Management Triangle
When it comes to running a successful business, there's really only three main elements that need to be focused on - sales and marketing, finances/accounting, and operations - i.e. your actual product or service delivery. I refer to these as the cornerstones of business, or "corners of the triangle".
Sounds simple, right? Unfortunately the hard reality is that most self-employed people are focused on their service/product corner - and they own this corner, hardcore. This might sound like you. You are excellent at what you actually do, be it doing hair or teaching dance or building houses. Money is coming into the bank account on a steady basis and more customers have been calling requesting your services. I know this from firsthand experience.
A little background on myself. I was working up the retail management ladder when I became a victim of a round of corporate layoffs and suddenly found myself an unemployed single mom. I took this as a sign and ended up in a small business management program at my local junior college, learning under adjunct professors that ran actual businesses. All I wanted was a 9 to 5 job but I came out with an entrepreneurial mindset that set in for life. After a relocation back to my hometown in the Seattle area, I started freelance bookkeeping for first one, then two, then three local business owners. I basically fell into owning my business almost by accident while looking for a "real job".
Fortunately for myself, that one year of college was all-encompassing and I was taught all three corners of the triangle, and being a natural numbers person gives me the rare gift of being able to excel at TWO corners of my triangle. However; nobody can excel at all three corners. This is where the biggest and hardest jump into being a true business owner happens, when you realize this and you embrace the famously dirty word - OUTSOURCE.
Shark Tank's Daymond John had this to say about hiring an accountant:
That old saying rings true when it comes to being a small business owner - you don't know what you don't know. This applies to every corner of the triangle, but again, we are in business because we are good at what we do - the operations corner. So typically we need to outsource both the accounting and the marketing corners in order to be successful.
Is this easy? No! Most of us are type-A personalities that would rather do it ourselves than risk someone not doing something to our standards. Here's where we must stop and be honest with ourselves and ask the hard questions - are we really better at accounting or marketing than a professional? What would it look like to hand those corners off to a trusted professional and truly be able to focus on doing what you do?
Owning a business means sometimes making hard choices. Just relax, do some research and make those choices are educated ones and you will be on the path to success!
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