How many of you throw your business receipts into a drawer in your desk? Is your idea of filing building mounds atop your desk?
We have all heard stories of the reluctant business owner forced to compile these things only to dump them on the accountant’s lap. It’s not a fun task for either party.
What we may not realize is that this “shoe box mentality” has an emotional effect that indirectly translates to the performance of our businesses.
A shoe box mentality is where we drop the importance of knowing and understanding the numbers in our business and opt for a shoe box or other method of hiding the evidence.
Emotional drivers to consider:
- Is there a fear motivator lurking in the background?
- Is this an act of self-sabotage due to a self-esteem trigger?
- Is this a lack of understanding in the value of accountability?
Ever since Visions to Excellence began working with entrepreneurs, small businesses and start-ups, we have noticed these common phenomenons. While it may seem minor at first glance, holding yourself accountable, not only in your strengths, but also in your weaknesses is vital to your business.
For most of us, it is very easy to put customer needs before our own so doing paperwork falls to the back-burner. If we are single or two person operation, the back office is in the back for a reason.
It is understandable that in the very beginning of the start-up phase you will go through some chaos, some disorder and some trial and error. Accountability is not necessarily on your radar. Think of this phase, though, as the place to prove a concept and then build accountability. This will serve you well in the long run.
→ Choose your first area of accountability, for example: sales, budget attainment, customer satisfaction, or production. Now look at the areas where you can build clear comparisons for analysis and build on that. Improve your internal systems.
Whether we want to admit it or not, we all let internal systems fall by the wayside to some degree or another. We are all business owners and we always can make the argument, which in our minds cannot be rebutted, that we do not have enough time. Our sole focus is on the next sale and fulfilling customer needs.
clutter = smothering of creativity = sloppy business
The sooner we realize that the correlation above hinders us, and we take action to create organization systems, the better off we’ll be.
Here’s what we can do to begin to effect change:
- Connect with your core values
- Reorganize your top three skills
- Get support from family, friends, community
- Build a strategy to change the result and enlist your support to follow through
This post is part of a series.
Top Secret Tasks to Small Business Mastery, Part 2: Accountability
Stay tuned for more on this powerful topic.