consistent monthly sales number, you'll find that profits will compound quickly and you
will start to enjoy the trend.
It's basically all about managing your cash flow. Many times entrepreneurs get overly en-
gaged in the joy of growth and lose sight of the need to manage cash on a daily basis. This
might sound simple, but it can be a major issue if not handled properly. Business owners
have to understand that we may not be able to afford all the available growth. The amount
of cash available for investment can limit growth, especially in today's economy, when
many small businesses can't get loans or credit lines. I can't help but stress the importance
of cautiously managing your checkbooks, credit cards, and online accounts.
So if you're on a growth path and it's where you want to stay, remember that you need to
know when to say no. Once established, your business will have countless opportunities,
and the challenge is to choose the opportunities that work well for you. Some of this will
be trial and error, but if you approach each new project from a logical perspective, you will
see the shortfalls and make an educated decision. The point is that you don't want to lose
your focus and dilute your efforts by taking on projects or clients that don't work for you.
To continue your growth path, you're going to need to effectively delegate. You must grow
as well. You can only do so much in a single day, and growing your business will mean hir-
ing people to assist you with your expanding reach. The problem is that you're the creator
of the business and it's hard to let go of some duties. It's like sending your child to school
for the first time. You want to be there and make sure that everything goes well, but you
have to understand that it's better for the child to get an education and learn from another
adult. You'll have to let go.
Additionally, you'll need to transition from the “owner” to a “leader.” This is a tough thing
to do. You might be perfectly suited to run your own business, but to keep it healthy and
running with multiple employees, you will need to lead. In fact, I call it “cheerleading”
because that it what it is at times. Keeping your employees motivated and working in the
company's best interest is a delicate balance. You will need to discipline, praise, reward,
and congratulate your employees when they produce for you. But don't expect praise in
return—it's lonely at the top.
So hire smart. Hiring mistakes are costly and time consuming. Training your employees
will cost money too. So make sure that you don't waste too much time on a bad egg. If you
see a problem, nip it in the bud. I found that instead of looking for fully qualified people
for specific positions, I preferred to hire like-minded people and then train them “my way.”