By Hugh Stewart
scar•ci•ty: noun – insufficiency or shortness of supply; dearth.
One belief among business owners is that they do not have enough money, time or resources. Common complaints are:
- “We don’t have enough money to be able to buy the help we need”
- “We don’t have enough time to do everything that needs to be done”
- “We don’t have enough knowledge, we don’t have enough team members, we don’t have enough employee engagement, we don’t have enough talent, etc.”
What I discovered is that this particular position is a disposition. Often, it is not a real situation.
Business owners must examine their financial resources to determine their ability to build a business that is worthy of themselves and the customers they seek to serve. When engaging in a new opportunity, it is necessary to be efficient in the use of money. However, entering a situation on the cheap usually results in a cheap outcome.
Realize that, when starting a business, it may take time before the business can pay you. You must be able to float yourself long enough at the beginning to not only get everything done, but get it done well. Understand the critical tasks of the business and decide that you will not be able to do everything yourself; you cannot do everything yourself. This is probably the only thing that you cannot afford to do.
Ask yourself what can be delegated that is outside of your Unique Ability. Consider hiring an overseas assistant for as little as three or four dollars an hour if you can’t afford a full-time employee. Consider a joint venture with someone based on a revenue-sharing model that would be advantageous to all involved.
In the book The Rational Optimist, Matt Ridley makes a strong claim that self-sufficiency is a fantastic formula for poverty. The book is focused on addressing the issues of civilizations, but the application to business owners is quite profound. You are going to need other people, so the question really isn’t “what can I afford?” but “how can I afford it?”
Consider how you can creatively find ways to pay for help that delivers the customer service experience that creates delight. If you feel that you are cash-strapped, consider this an opportunity to be inspired. Know that not being able to afford things and being self-sufficient is not a good enough answer for the long-term success of your business.
Hugh Stewart, founder and CEO of Confident Solutions Coach, has both a substantial education background and diverse entrepreneurial background. Stewart was not only a nuclear fuel designer, but he has created and operated more than 17 businesses in the past 10 years in industries such as money services, real estate, advertising, reinsurance consulting, and coaching.
Stewart seeks to help business owners who are struggling or simply wish to move their business to the next level. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or sign up for a free business consultation here.
Originally published: Feb 13, 2012