How do you know if you are doing well or not?

Many business owners, especially if they are a sole trader, struggle to know whether they are doing well or not.

The reasons for this are as follows:

Firstly, many business owners do not have a plan for their business. This means that, even if they have up to date profitability figures in front of them, they don’t know if the figures are good or bad. It is only by having a robust plan, covering several years and based on your own goals, that you can judge whether your business will meet your goals, or not. A business which does not meet the owners’ goals is not doing well – however much profit it might be making.

Secondly, many business owners do not have up-to-date financial information. This means that even if they know their goals, they have no idea if they are meeting them. Some business owners keep a pretty close eye on sales/turnover but leave the rest to sort itself out. However, sales are just part of the picture. If you don’t control your costs or your cashflow, your business will struggle.

Thirdly, it is vital to know who’s definition of ‘doing well’ is important. For me, the only measure which is meaningful is YOURS. I see business owners struggling to match someone else’s ideal, rather than their own.

Finally, if you don’t know whether or not you are doing well, the chances are you will via to one extreme or the other. You will either believe you are doing far better than you are, or you will believe you are doing far worse. The first delusion will probably mean you come across quite unexpected problems with cash flow. The second will leave you feeling disillusioned and demotivated.

So, do yourself a favour and make sure you have a robust business plan, which you are updating with current financial figures. That way you will know for sure if you are doing well.

Fiona 🙂

Which is your team?


Well it’s all behind us now!

The World Cup with all its highs and lows is over and, as always, we find ourselves dissappointed at the results.

It occurs to me that this sporting event exemplifies many of the trials and tribulations businesses come across in trying to be successful. If you have a team full of players who are only interested in themselves as individuals, it is likely you will get poor results, even if the players seem to be very talented. However, if you have a team of players who are willing to sacrifice their personal status to further the team’s ambitions, the sum becomes greater than the parts and real magic can result.

Further, it is important that the team has a clear and common vision, which is driven through by the directors. If individuals in the team go in their own direction without reference to the vision, or ignore clear management guidance, the team as a whole will suffer.

So my advice is to look at your business and decide which team you would like to be.

Will your company resemble Brazil, Spain, or indeed England? Or will you be like Germany and hold the World Cup aloft?

Fiona 🙂