Weekly Business Idea

June 9, 2017 – What Can I Control?

Posted on | June 9, 2017 | No Comments

Main Idea:

How likely is it that you will hit your long-term goals for the business?  What are the levers that you can adjust?  How often do you adjust them?  What is the impact when you do adjust a critical piece?

Expansion of the Idea:

Over the last few months I have had a number of clients talk to me about their financial situation.  They were concerned they weren’t going to be able to retire well.  I decided to do a couple of workshops on simplifying the financial planning process because non-financial planners do not understand the words or the process.  The problem with not understanding is that people tend to put things off if they don’t understand them.   As I was doing this I decided to develop a simple spreadsheet that demonstrated the essence of what people need to do to retire well.  I ended up with three controllables that people can use.  These will have the most impact on whether they can retire in the manner they would like.  They are:

  • the age you are going to retire,
  • your annual spending, and
  • how much you are saving between now and retirement.

Everything else is fixed or is pretty much outside of your control.  The key takeaway is that the earlier someone addresses this planning the more they can impact it.

The same is true in our businesses.  We have certain things that we can control that will impact our businesses.  Here are my top five things that I think will impact small businesses:

  1. Our time
  2. Our mindsets
  3. Our investment in our people
  4. Our marketing and our messaging
  5. Our planning

Most small business owners focus on one thing, sales.  Most of us can’t go out and just sell one more item without extraordinary effort.  It is hard to find potential customers that are ready to buy our products or services, convert them to actual customers, deliver the product or service and make sure that they are ecstatic with our customer service.  It doesn’t matter what we are selling.  All of our people, systems, branding, marketing need to be working in sync to generate new business and then to keep those customers coming back and referring new customers.  And we need to be doing it in a way that is profitable for us and for our team.   When we have good sales months, it can mask whether our business is operating well.  When that happens, we don’t do the hard things to make sure we are successful in the long term.

I will go into more detail on these in the next few weeks.  I would encourage you to think about these items that might impact your future.  Just like our personal retirement planning, these controllables won’t automatically guarantee the desired results.  However, inattention to these controllables will almost always guarantee unwanted results.

Points to consider:

  1. What are the top 3-5 controllables in your business?
  2. Of those, what will have the most immediate impact if you focused on it?
  3. Which would have the greatest impact?
  4. Discuss this with your team.


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  • About

    These weekly ideas are brought to you by FitzGerald & FitzGerald P.C. For more information about how to use these ideas with your small business contact Tim FitzGerald at trfitz@fitz-net.com.