A Picture is Worth…A Great Business Lesson!

I am often accused by family, friends and colleagues of applying business principles to any and every situation – it’s a blessing and a curse (especially when helping a teenager with homework).  My friend Michelle Stella Riordan of Photography by Exposure fame has a great photography blog and I often joke with her about how nice and easy it would be to just post a picture and write something about it – much easier than coming up with exciting business topics.  Soooo, in an attempt to either defend or prove myself, I asked Michelle to send me a picture every once in a while and challenge me to relate a valuable business principle.  You can challenge me as well.  Email your picture with a brief description about where it came from and any relevant links.  Now to our first Picture v. Business Challenge!

You Have to Limit Your Hats!

In the course of a year I meet with many different types and ages of business.  One big difference between a small, new business and a more mature business is the number and types of hats that the owner wears.  Like the baby in the picture, young businesses don the hat of their technical profession, but very quickly find themselves wearing the marketing hat, accounting hat, facilities hat, computer hat and the sales hat, which not suprisingly resembles a court jester hat!

On the contrary, the owners of more mature businesses, even those with no employees, have limited their hats and their focus to the things they do best and like to do the most. They turn over their books to bookkeepers and accountants, hire administrative professionals, bring on sales people, and pay people to develop their web sites.  Of course they have grown the business and have the revenue to support these resources now, but to at some point they had to make the decision to let something go.  They could have done it  themselves for cheaper, and it probably wasn’t done exactly like they would have done it,  but by delegating and taking the risk they were able to leverage their value and grow the business.

Grow Business By Giving Away Your Hats

As you plan and strategize about your business, think about ways that you can turn things over.  List the skills needed for that task and get pricing for contracting it out until you need to hire someone.  Most importantly prepare yourself mentally and emotionally to let go of doing IT and stick to managing IT – it will make you a better business person!

If you need help getting rid of your hats, contact us at Sigma College of Small Business – we teach business, consult on management and even teach you while we consult, what we call “Consultative Learning”.

Do you have a picture for The Picture vs. Business Challenge?  Email it to me along with a brief description of where it came from and any links you want me to include.  Thanks Michelle for getting us started – let me know how I did!