Sharpen the Ax
"Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend four hours sharpening the ax."
Building a business is hard. There is so much to do, and not much time to do it. Sometimes, in the rush to build your small business, you can make it that much harder by not taking the time to plan and prepare. No matter the industry, a plan and the proper preparation is the difference between success and time consuming failure.
When you are preparing to do something to grow your small business, here are a few simple questions to ask yourself before you start.
1. Do I have the right tools?
Every job is different, and sometimes we assume that we have to make due with what is on hand. Often, you can find software or tools that will make the job easier, and will save you valuable time and energy.
2. Do I have the right skills?
Do you know how to do whatever it is you need to do? Often you will waste what little time you have trying to muddle through, when some preparation can help make sure that what time you do spend is productive.
3. Do I have the right people?
Do you trust those people with axes? Without proper planning, a group that is supposed to be working together is working around, over, or even against each other.
4. Do I have better things to do?
Is it worth your time to get those tools and learn those skills to get the job done? Is this something someone else can handle, while you focus on what can provide your business with bigger returns? Sometimes it is worth it to cut down that tree by yourself, and sometimes it is better to just call a tree service.
Of all the things that you give to make your business grow, your time is by far the most valuable. Don't waste it on a dull ax.