Ever wondered how some business owners just seem to always take the right decisions and never make a false move? Is it just a matter of luck, or are they super-humans?!
Neither of those. As someone once said: "Successful people aren’t born that way. They become successful by establishing the habit of doing things unsuccessful people don’t like to do." In short: anyone can do it, but very few choose to do it.
Believe it or not, they never make decisions off the top of their head. And if they do, it's just because they know their numbers by heart and can visualize how every possible decision will affect them. They're well aware that data doesn't lie, emotions do. Which is why they've adopted this super simple routine and made it a habit: once a week, they have a date with their numbers.
Don't expect anything too fancy, really. Business owner and numbers sit in front of each other for about 15 minutes: the former asks the questions, the latter replies. Lies are banned. The Qs vary from time to time, but their goals remain the same:
Insignificant as it may seem, it's true, this habit cannot guarantee results (because honestly, nothing can), but it does give the best possible chance of creating them.
If the regular appointment with your numbers became a habit, the nights spent awake wondering would certainly be only a distant memory. Analyzing your numbers, in fact, you learn to recognize the wastes you could avoid, the purely necessary expenses that you just can't do without, and the real investments, which yes are a cost in the short term but give their fruit in the long one.
Well, forgetting about Sundays spent in the workshop is pretty easy when your numbers have no secrets. If saying yes to a customer may always seem like the right thing to do, it's often not the case. Sometimes, it's better to turn down a job that would only be a waste of time, rather than risk leaving one behind for a client you've been working for every month for years. Knowing your numbers in depth allows you to do just that: to distinguish minor jobs from those that strengthen the trust of your most valuable customers.
If your numbers weren't perfect strangers for you, avoiding these nasty surprises would be more than possible. But not only. Besides not falling from the pear tree at the end of the year, realizing the direction in which your business is going also gives you the opportunity to correct it if it is not the right one. Why going straight in the wrong direction and then realizing it only once you arrive at your destination, when you can just follow the directions?
When you ignore your numbers, you miss two big opportunities:
In other words, you leave a lot of money on the table. And if you want to grow, that’s not what you want.