Back in the days when the term entrepreneur was somewhat avant garde, a former colleague decided to leave the corporate jungle and set up her own HR consultancy. Sally spent the next several months kitting out her new home office. She devoted each and every day to researching the best office chair for posture and back health, locating just the right size desk, buying all sorts of stationery ( I helped her with that, I’ve always loved stationery) setting up an elaborate filing system, and of course choosing the best coloured laptop.
What I didn’t see Sally doing was anything related to actually creating her business. There was a rudimentary outline of a business plan – from a typical corporate template- and a simple budget based largely on how much money she wanted to earn from the business. But there was nothing which even approximated determining things like target market and routes to that market let alone going out to find prospective clients to have a chat with.
After quite some time, Sally felt the inevitable pinch of no money coming into the household. She was genuinely bewildered. Why didn’t she have any clients? After all her friends and former colleagues knew what she was doing including how they could support her. Didn’t they? And what about all the hard work she’d done, including stuff like preparing swathes of useful material such as staff appraisal templates, a guide to managing poor performance, training needs analysis tools and much more. She had certainly built it; why did they not come?
Unsurprisingly Sally came to the conclusion that the commercial world wasn’t quite ready for her yet. She returned to the familiar surroundings of management meetings, report writing, and those business lunches which to be fair she had missed. But Sally Global HR Consultancy Ltd was no more; and nor was it ever.
Sally’s journey was and is far from unusual. And it’s no less prevalent today than it was when Mark Z. was recruiting his fellow under-grads onto a totally new way of organising frat parties and sharing study tips. And rarely is the outcome Sally experienced any different.
Today’s entrepreneur has more tasks on their to-do list than they can ever hope to clear, even with help. Most of these tasks are important. All of them can be confidently justified. And there’s absolutely no doubt that many of these ‘things’ must be done. Yes you do need to see what your competitors are up to on social media, and tracking where your website traffic has come from is pretty much critical. And the myriad of other things that need doing in any business.
But here’s the kicker. At the end of the proverbial, your business needs cash. Cash means clients paying you actual money. Clients are not self-generating.
Most – but not all – of that ‘other stuff’ is important, but if you’re not devoting adequate time to those activities that directly result in more money coming into your bank account than you’re needing to spend, your next best scenario is this: You’re going to be catching up with Sally for a skinny no-foam double mocha, ideally a bit before the lunch rush. Please tell her Richard says “hi”.
Richard works with entrepreneurs, startups, and other high-potential businesses helping them to fly. You can get in touch with him at firstname.lastname@example.org
He’s also a director of IdeaSquares Worldwide Ltd. We at IdeaSquares support businesses raising investment through equity crowdfunding. Working with us significantly increases the chances of your crowdfunding campaign succeeding. Get in touch http://www.ideasquares.com