The best business advice, opinion, news and expertise in Greater Manchester and further afield.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Member Blog: The Jumping Off Point

By Kieron Hill – Owner, Kieron Hill Employment Services Limited
There comes a time in the life of a company where the owner has to make a clear choice. Are they self-employed or do they turn the company into a business? The trigger for the decision usually comes when the business owner finds that they are working long hours but still not earning as much as when they were employed. The dilemma is this, they need more work to earn more money but they don’t have enough time in the day to service their customers.

If you are that business owner, the first question that you need to ask yourself is “Do I like doing the work that my company does or do I want to run the business?” The two are not the same. If you are a plumber that enjoys plumbing then you like doing the work your company does and that is what you should do. Therefore if you are not earning enough money you have only a limited number of options, either charge more or do more.

If you are a plumber who likes to research new markets, try new products and services and expand your business then you want to run a business. There is no moral issue here both options are equally valid the choice you make is based on your aspirations. Anyone who tells you that one way is better than the other is what my daughter would call a “butinski” and should spend more time with their family!

In many cases however the business owner decides that they want the adventure of creating a business and working on it, not in it.

So the process begins. First you need to define your aspirations, in terms of what you like doing for a living and what you want to do with your life. For those with the joy and pain of family commitments there is also the cold wind of financial reality that needs to be considered.

Having got your aspirations nailed down you then need to analyse what jobs needed doing in order to achieve those aspirations. You then have to allocate those jobs, whether by outsourcing, investing in IT, purchasing machinery or employing staff. Finally (and this is often the hardest part) you have to take action.

So it’s aspiration, analysis, allocation and action. Suddenly a horrible thought strikes me, I’ve just invented one of those awful management clichés like “the 10 steps to business success” or “the four S’s to marketing excellence” (or the 6 Z’s to a boring business lecture!)

But cliché or not it’s my firm belief that it’s a decision every company has to make sooner or later and then revisit on a regular basis, because the priorities you have when you are in your 30’s will be quite different from those you have when you are 56.

I made my choice a few years ago and decided to build a business but I’d love to find out what other people have decided to do when they reached their “jumping off point”, or was the whole process too much trouble and you decided to carry on as you are?

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