The third of 5 top tips to grow your food business
2. Know your numbers
3. Resources - Physical, Financial, Emotional
4. Your opinion doesn't matter!
5. Smart Change - What have you got in the pipeline?
Resources - Physical, Financial, Emotional
OK, we all know that you need dosh to run a business (your financial resources), also we all know that you need stuff (physical resources) but how come nobody mentions emotional resource.
Being your own boss, is one of the most rewarding things that you will ever do but you’ve got to know that there are big compromises and sacrifices to make with your non-business life. There will be times when there will not be enough hours in the day or perhaps you might be working when you really should be with your family. These things will be impossible to forecast but they will happen.
Here’s a couple of those bear traps that you may come across and a tip or two of what to look out for.
If you are unsuccessful, you will run out of money, if you are successful, you will run out of money. Either way, juggling your cash will impact on you emotionally.
Obviously, unsuccessful businesses have costs that outweigh their sales, that’s the quickest way to see your bank account drained. Rather less obviously, rapidly increasing turnover can also drain your bank account. Perhaps your new big food customer is not paying you for 60 days when your suppliers want their money in 30 days meaning that you will have to fund the 30-day gap. Maybe the extra business means that you will have to expand either premises, machinery or people, all of which need paying before the new customer starts putting money into your bank account.
So, you’ll never get rid of your money problems whether they be good or bad ones but you can at least reduce the drain on your emotional resource by having accurate, real time access to how much money you have now and know how much money you should have in 3 to 6 months’ time.
Business at all levels across all disciplines is about people and how well they communicate. You may be lucky enough to have a fantastic team helping you to roll out your hopes and dreams. But, their house is not on the line if your business misfires. So, as good as they are, they will not be as committed as you.
This means that there will be changes over time. You’ll get brilliant people and not so brilliant people working with you. The ‘not so brilliant people’ can stretch your emotional resources to its limits.
To reduce the drain on your emotional resources, make sure your people are looked after, trained superbly well and motivated to share in your success. Yes, all of these things are an added expense but believe me, it’s the best money you will spend for the sustainability of your food business and the reduction of your stress levels.
Celebrating your success
As an Operations Director for a food manufacturer I was often criticised for not celebrating my successes with my team. The criticism was right.
My point was that there was no such thing as the perfect day’s production so how could you celebrate? I was wrong.
What was happening was that I hadn’t defined what good was so I wasn’t able to identify when we had got it right. This built up pressure between me and my team and it became a strain on our relationship.
I negotiated with my team to define what ‘good’ was and from that day on we knew when we had done well. This cleared the air, got us all pulling in the same direction and reduced the stress that not being good enough was causing.
Finally......look after yourself
You are your business. Your business is important but it is not as important as your emotional health.
Make sure you know who are the most important people in your life and make sure that you create enough time for them. That will ensure that when your business has finished, you will have no regrets.