In reworking my business over the last few months, I've had to accept a lot of blame for how poorly I executed things.
I thought, like many fledgeling entrepreneurs, that I could do a hundred things at once and do them all well. However, no one does that, nor do they do it even vaguely well. But I knew that I would succeed. Now, with almost $400,000 fewer of my own dollars to show for my efforts, I must admit: I was wrong.
After this realization, I had to decide how to move forward, and how to make up for the money I lost.
We've all heard that you can't cut to grow—I disagree. But that's because I mean it differently.
What could you cut?
When I launched my company, I thought it would be great to have four main products. I didn't have one started, so I have no idea why I thought four would be a great number—it just seemed reasonable. So, right out of the gate, I started with four, when it might have been great to launch with one.
Okay, if you're a restaurant, maybe you can't launch with just a hamburger. Or maybe you can. What if it was a really really good hamburger? What if you made up for having only one kind by having wild bread/bun combos and crazy condiments?
Learning to cut, right from the start, is a powerful and important tool for your business.
Cutting things out online
I'm the kind of person who tells you that Twitter, Google+ and your blog are the future and that you have to do a lot of things to build business from them. But are they helping?
Always assess. Always ask whether you're doing too much, whether you're writing too long a post, whether daily is getting you anywhere faster than weekly would. Ask whether two hours a day on Twitter matters. Ask if you should be using that time elsewhere. I did, and the answers have changed how I do things.
Cut things out everywhere
Are you on a bunch of volunteer committees? Are they helping you? Are you doing them because "someone has to?" How's that working for you, time wise? Are you watching two hours of TV a day? Sure, it might be to "unwind," but is that time better spent on your fitness and health, on your business, on your growth? Look everywhere for things to cut.
In figuring out budgetary changes, I surrendered my office so I could go back to working in coffee shops until I could get things back up to fighting speed. I also looked around at what other changes I could make to support my business in the short-term that wouldn't impact me in the long-term. And that last part is a huge thing. When people say that you can't cut to grow, they're right if you're talking about starving yourself of resources. They're not right to say that you can't cut anything.
So, where would you cut?
What makes you look for a certain kind of cut or not? What's the cut that matters to you or doesn't? Where will you find what needs cutting? And how will it help you grow?
If you still think nothing, read this article again.