My grateful thanks to Ian Dickson for giving me the opportunity to write a guest piece in his blog – so let’s think if I’ve got anything to say…
I’m not the average, typical accountant I have to say. Numbers are a part of what I do but numbers are not the be all and end all of my life – there are things in business much more important than numbers.
Don’t get me wrong – it’s infinitely more useful to have them than not have them but they are a tool – and just one of the tools in your armoury if you are running a business.
Numbers tell you what you’ve done and (if you’re forward looking) you can see what you actually did against what you expected to do but, if they’re a few £s out, does that affect your decision making process? – Hopefully not.
I’m not going to tell you how to run your business – not in a few hundred words anyway – but I would just like to mention a few things I’ve found out on the way through my business life.
For good decision making it’s better to have something up-to-date, even if some of the numbers are best estimates. Just make sure they are indeed your best – and be realistic.
- Co-operation vs. competitive working
I’ve been out of kilter with the business world for years over this but it looks as if everything is changing in my favour – life’s much nicer if you get on with everybody, even in your own industry and there are loads of people who might not be my ideal client but would be a perfect fit for someone else. Following on from the above, be generous. Give with no expectation of return and you will be surprised how life has a habit of making it up to you from some other source.
Having an adversarial relation with your staff does no one any good. If I had a £ for every time I’ve said “if it wasn’t for person X this job would be straightforward”, I’d be a very rich man indeed. But – if you and your staff have a common goal (or at least overlapping ones) your business will do better than one where they do not – and it’ll be a nicer place to be. By the way, I frequently (always?) add clients/customers and HMRC to the above quote…
- Hard work
If hard work and lots of it made you successful, teachers and janitors would be the best paid people in the country. Doesn’t happen does it? Life’s just not fair – live with it!
My daughter Penelope runs my Instagram account and I pay her to do so – inspirational quotes and some narrative to go with it – she finds it easy, I don’t. So give it to someone who actually likes to do the things you find hard and give yourself time to do what you do best.
Lovely story I read about a software engineer (publication upon request) who was earning $250k and was considered to be the firm’s best engineer. It was later discovered he spent his entire working days looking at social media and had outsourced all his coding to a firm in China at a cost of $50k!
Needless to say the firm fired him. Nowadays I think I’d probably promote him (as does the author) if he was working for me. Get him to set up a department to do it properly! “Question is – What would you do?”
Many thanks to Colin for guest blogging this month… Please feel free to comment, like and share. If you would like to guest blog here, please do drop me a line and lets see if we can include you here too. Ian Dickson