Can you imagine MIchael Phelps in the pool but forgetting how to swim? Highly unimaginable!
If you are a small business owner, can you imagine forgetting what got you started in the first place? Highly unimaginable but shockingly, many small businesses may be doing exactly the unimaginable!
Whatever the reason, whatever your “why” behind you starting your own business, the one unmistakable thing you did was to take that (hopefully) calculated risk to start that business. You became an entrepreneur. You may have already known your craft before starting out or you may have learnt it on your way or both.
Merriam Webster Dictionary defines:
an activity that involves making something in a skillful way…
a boat especially of small size
If we imagine your small business like being a small boat – your craft – that involves making something with your skilful way (you craft):
Your small business is your craft that you craft!
Ever notice craft anchored in a harbor points towards the water currents?
Small business “anchors” itself in the community and “weathers” the economy. Small business owners always feel like they fight the current.
That is because it is anchored. Small business, particularly in today’s economy, needs to leave the harbor for bigger waters. Others may need to come to shore.
What use is the craft if not to explore the waters?
A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.
― William G.T. Shedd
True entrepreneurs are never satisfied with anchored craft…but hungry for navigation. They know that the engine is never in the water when a craft is anchored. And that’s when the craft is always fighting the current.
You might know your industry. That’s why you created your craft and pushed it into the waters (business). But not all craft-owners may know everything about business. An accountant who has been helping small business owners for years told me that:
accounting is the engine that must be in the “water” (fully entrenched with business) to enable the business to navigate.
A good accountant will tell the entrepreneur how the currents have been affecting the business.
A great accountant will help small business owners to safely leave the harbor and navigate bigger waters.
Sara Rotman, founder of ad agency MODCo, says the best advice she ever received was from her first accountant who told her to only have enough cash on hand to barely survive and in Sara’s words “to stay hungry“. And staying hungry means you need to go out in larger waters. Unknown waters represent a risk. Anchoring is for business that stays in the harbor. Putting the engine in the water and weathering economic currents by taking calculated risks is navigating your business towards growth and success. Calculated risks, you might consider, directly relates to accounting and it’s systems. Calculated risks in business is a numbers game, is it not?
Are you a small business owner? And if yes, is your craft “anchored” in the harbor? And if yes, is it because you are not helping your accountant to put the engine in the water? Just like it is unimaginable for Phelps to forget swimming, it should have been unimaginable for you to not think about leaving the harbor into bigger waters. The question is : is it so?
Please share your thoughts on what will liberate your small business craft from the harbor.