Make The Shot

In watching the Warriors and Cavs play on Friday night, I was surrounded by a rabid household of boys questioning calls and generally freaking out over the performance of the refs in the game.

What became crystal clear in the second half was that if the Warriors would have just made their shots, the refs wouldn't have mattered at all. While the Cavaliers magically made shot after shot—from the paint to 35 feet away—the Warriors were consistently denied. Shot after shot for the Warriors made that horrific thunk as they bounced off the rim in an unfruitful attempt to advance the score.

My advice to you...

Make the shot.

The game of basketball is no different than the game of business. If all of the shots you attempt go in, you enjoy the fruits of your labor. If they do not, you struggle to get ahead.  And when you're behind—maybe with lenders or vendors—it can be easy to blame the circumstances for the result.

Take a struggling startup or a business turnaround for example.  Cash can be tight and paying for everything an insurmountable task. You may find yourself in a situation of fighting the terms, feeling indignant, trying to fend off the debt collectors and getting nasty calls. But if you increase sales and bring in the cash to make the payments to satisfy the debt, you'll find you're in a much different situation. Or said differently— a situation where the refs calls don't matter quite as much.

My advice to you is this: make the shot.

Sure. My team and I can help you with triage cashflow, vendor negotiations, debt restructure and more. But the reality at the end of the day is that sales in and of themselves solve most of those problems.

How are you ensuring that you're making that shot and growing as you should be?  Here are three tips to staying focused and precise in measuring your performance:

  1. If you find yourself in survival mode, is it short term and is there a light at the end of the tunnel?  The best example of survival mode would be the days where you were living on Top Ramen in college. You were scraping by; but you knew it was temporary, and you would be a gainfully employed adult once you graduated. How does this translate to your business?  Is there a light at the end of the cashflow tunnel?  If there's not a yes in there somewhere, it may be time to re-evaluate.
  2. Are you keenly focused on metrics in your business that effect sales?  There are types of variance analyses in business that can help you dissect why and how your revenue changed. If revenue changed between two periods of time there are two possible reasons: price and volume. For example, let's say you own a restaurant and sales are up this month over prior year. Part of that change will be due to a change in the number of people that walked through the door and part of it will be due to a change in the average price they paid. You need to know the breakdown in order to evaluate the change properly.
  3. Are you setting clear goals and sharing them with your core team?  You can't hit a target you can't see. Get really specific about your goals. Don't set general goals like "I want to make lotsa money". No one knows what a "lotsa" is. Get specific and enlist your team to help.

Looking at how you can improve sales volumes and staying focused on your overarching goals will give you the ability to change the cadence of the game.  You will insulate yourself from minor setbacks and have much more control over the outcome for your business. 

If you need help with setting goals and managing cash in your small business, call us at 775.359.7600!  We want to help!