I’ll never forget being out to eat with my cousin and both of our families. Now, my kids are older than hers and she was a relatively new Momma. So, there we were and one of her kids was “misbehaving” at the table. Nothing huge, just the kind of stuff that young kids do that embarrass their parents.
So, she looks across the table at my kids. (Aren’t they cute back then? In this picture, i think they were about 4, 6, and 8.) Anyway, here’s what she asks me, “WHEN did your kids start behaving at dinner?”
I knew what she was asking for — an approximate AGE — but I didn’t have an answer. All I knew was what DIDNT happen: The kids DIDN’T wake up one beautiful morning and –being so inspired by their new age and maturity — decide to be perfectly behaved.
No, that didn’t happen. Because behavior is trained. WE decided the parameters of expected behavior and trained them to WANT to be within those parameters. (Oh… it was so simple then. Now, with teens and pre-teens I’m swimming with sharks, am woefully ill-equipped and I know it. How I YEARN for the days when all I worried about was whether they’d embarrass me at Olive Garden. But I digress…)
Let me get to the point. The SAME principle is true in your business. Do you KNOW how many times I get asked when — at what age — my business became profitable? As if these people should hold on just another few months for the big “turn around” in profitability.
We’re told that businesses don’t turn a profit for years. And for some reason that I can NOT bring myself to understand, masses of people accept that sort of thinking. Busily working a business — for YEARS — that never yields them a profit. I simply don’t get it.
So, they want to know: At what AGE should I expect my business to give me money? Listen, your business giving YOU money is the point. Right? That’s what you’re here for. Your business should be RAISED up — from the very beginning — to do it’s core job: GIVE. YOU. MONEY.
Not the other way around.
The key here is that with kids’ behavior OR with the performance of your business — it’s not about AGE. Your business will not wake up one day and say, “Whew… I’m five years old. Let me start making gobs of money.” any more than your kid will wake up one day and decide that they outgrew misbehaving at dinner. BOTH of these situations will require some tough love from those in charge.
So, if your business is UNDER-performing and not making money…. don’t wait for something to change on its own. It won’t. DEMAND profitability from your business. Here’s a very rough sketch of a plan to do so:
- Look at all of your expenses — and cut them. These are profit vampires. Slay as many as you can. Healthy businesses are LEAN businesses.
- Create more sales. In the unnecessarily complex and confusing atmosphere of doing business today, business owners are burdened by too many options. Web sites, YouTube, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, blogging, Google Places, networking, oh my! In this buffet of options, SALES are getting lost. Big time. Create (at least) one day a week to be in sales conversations. Schedule them. Show up. Cold Call. Whatever you have to do, do it. But sit eye to eye with someone and sell something. Hate to be the one to point out the obvious, but THIS –selling something — is the only way we make money, by the way. If you’re too busy doing this other stuff to speak to / sell to your prospective clients, cut your losses and close your doors. You’re fighting a losing battle.
- Know YOUR Numbers. Look at your “business scale” AT LEAST once a week. You should know how much you’re working. (HOURS) You should know how much you’re spending. (EXPENSES.) And — if you do nothing else — you should know how much you’re SELLING. (MONEY)
- If you don’t know how to sell, email me for my special report on selling.
- My cousin’s kids turned out wonderfully behaved, athletic, fun, smart, respectful and yes– dinner-certified! Lol…. Truthfully, they’ve always been great. I think in that moment they were just having a bad day! Hey — we (and our kids) all have them.
- In answer to your question, my biz started giving me money in MONTH ONE. Why? I couldn’t have it any other way. I invested $50 to get it off the ground and — out of necessity — demanded a profit. I encourage you to be equally rigid in your demands of your own business.