Successful Solutions Are At Your Finger Tips – Tip of the Month

Throughout this last year I have passed along a tip each month that hopefully has given you some insight into how your financial statements can help you better manage your business. It was apparent that the salaries tip was probably the most popular, and why not, since it is the biggest and most volatile expense on your P & L Statement. However, this month's tip is one that I think is more important than all the others combined. What is it?

In sports they say you have to believe you are the best or you will never win. When you listen to the top tennis players, golfers, boxers and the list goes on, they will tell you that they are the best and that they must believe that to win. This can often be mistaken for an inflated ego and in some cases that is exactly what it is.

To not recognize that there are people in business that may know more than us is a fatal mistake. Let's not, however, mistake ego with confidence. It is important to have confidence in your skills and abilities, and as entrepreneurs you have already demonstrated your willingness to take the ultimate risk and to make a business run under extremely difficult conditions. This takes talent!

I think it is human nature to try and do everything ourselves. We have been trained in business to believe that if we ask for help or advice it is a sign of weakness. We want to maintain the illusion that we have all the answers and therefore are the ultimate authority.

I learned an important lesson very early in my career from a manager I very much admired. He sat me down on my first day on the job and said, "The day you think you know it all and are indispensable is the day you will be out of a job." I have never forgotten those words of wisdom and it has been proven to me many times that people like this are poison to a company's success and will more than likely fail in their career.

So my very important tip of the month is, don't let pride stand in the way of searching out resources that can help you with your business. Talk to your fellow colleagues, encourage your staff to participate with ideas, and don't be afraid to pick up the phone or write an email to outside consultants that can help with specific aspects of your business. It doesn't cost anything to ask questions.

My own case presents a very good example of setting aside pride in search of answers. I recognized very quickly when I launched Lifeline Business Solutions that, while I had over 30 years of experience in Finance and Credit, I was going to need help starting my own business. I sought out a consultant who specializes in "Building Your Business" from the ground up and Martin Povey brought to light things I would have never thought of in starting a new business. Oh, I had my research data, could build my analysis templates and was confident I could enhance dealer profitability through my services. But, if I had tried to do this on my own, I question whether I would still be here.

As one of my very insightful clients, who owns and operates a large dealership told me "We weren't business people, none of us, we were enthusiasts who turned it in to a business, we all need the help, it is just a matter of admitting it." Strong words from one of your own colleagues that may not be case for everyone, but certainly makes a valid point that I think should be heard and appreciated.

Whether you are the Prime Minister of Canada or the person who is busting their butt for minimum wage, we can all benefit from outside help in making key decisions. Keep an open mind so you can soak up all the expert guidance that is available. I guarantee you will be proud you did and will reap more profits because of it.

I love to listen to your business challenges because it helps me build better services, so contact me, it doesn't cost you anything to chat.

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