The other day someone asked me why I do what I do.
Without a pause to think about my answer, I heard myself answering the question, from my heart. “I do what I do so you can do what you do.”
It’s true. I started a bookkeeping services firm as a direct response to the struggles and failures I was witnessing among small businesses that simply had no bookkeeping system, no way of keeping track of the money, and no way to know if they were turning a profit or not.
I believe that your small business is a vital contribution to our world. I believe that the gifts you have to offer are incredibly important and necessary. I do what I do so you can do what you do.
In order to deliver services or sell goods, the business owner must be supported. The level of support needed by a business owner is unique and the amount of profit needed by that business differs from the amount of profit needed by another business. But in order to continue offering whatever it is you have to offer to the world, you must run your business like a business.
You need to know how much money you need to survive and support yourself (and perhaps your family as well).
You need to know how well things are or are not going in your business so you can implement changes and correct course along the way.
Because if you do not know these things, if you do not have this awareness within your business, you may fail. And if you fail, you can no longer do what you do. And that is not what you, nor I, want.
I want your gifts to reach the people who most need what you have to offer. I want your incredible talents and skills to serve you and your family. I want your clients to have you and your business as a resource for years to come.
I do what I do so you can do what you do.
I am just like you. I have skills and talents. I have dreams and wants. I have needs. I have a gift to offer the world.
I get scared just like you do. Sometimes even I don’t run my own business like a business. Sometimes I too fall behind with paying attention to the numbers side of my business. Sometimes I forget that in order to do what I really do, I have to do the business side of things too. I have to make enough money to support and sustain my business, my family, and myself.
When you’re in business to make a difference in the world, it’s easy to focus on the world and overlook your business. But without a regular, consistent, and specific focus on your business, the world will miss out on your unique contribution.
I know you want to do the work you love to do. I know you want to provide your clients with the thing you know they are most needing, the thing you are uniquely qualified to offer to them. But in order to do so, you have to find ways to take care of the aspects of your business that enable you to do your real work in the world.
If you don’t, you will fail. You will not be able to support yourself. You will not be able to continue serving your clients. You will eventually be forced to address this aspect of your business, either willingly or involuntarily. That’s what we’re seeing in the world today – countless businesses who’ve failed to operate as such, who’ve focused on anything and everything but making a profit, and who’ve had to face the inevitable results of failing to run by the numbers.
Within our current economic climate, it’s simply no longer adequate to check your bank balance online and assume that if there’s money in the bank, all is well. It’s simply no longer enough to charge what you think is a “high enough” price. It is, to be blunt, not acceptable to just hope that you’re making enough money to remain in business.
You need to fully step into the role of being a business owner. You need to become aware of the financial aspects of your business. You need to know if you’re turning a profit and if you’re not, you need to learn what it’s going to take to make that happen.
You owe it to yourself. You owe it to your clients. You owe it to the world.
Because it’s folks like us, the small business owners, the talented and skilled entrepreneurs of the world, who have the ability to truly make a difference.
The time is now. Before it’s too late.
So if you’re not sure, if you wonder about the future of your business, if you’ve fallen behind with the numbers side of your business and can’t say for certain that your business is on solid financial ground, then take action. You don’t have to do it alone, but you have to do it.
The future of your business lies in your hands. The potential to thrive and keep your business alive is within reach.
The knowledge and wisdom to make a difference in your business, and in the world, lies within the information of your business’s books. So if you don’t have an up-to-date accounting system within your business, today is the day to start making changes. Today is the day to pave the way for the future of your business.
It’s time. It’s your responsibility. It’s your possibility.
The choice, it’s yours.
By Jessica Reagan Salzman, March 2, 2009
Are you ready to make a difference in your business?
Read “Is This You?” to find out.