Win Some, Lose Some
The old idiom, "You win some and you lose some," when applied to a business, can mean customers coming in the front door and going out the back door—in other words, the business is just running in place, going in circles, but not gaining ground—NOT GROWING. Another idiom in the business world that you may have heard is, "If you're not growing, you're dying!"
I can testify to the truth of both idioms, because both of these statements were a reality in our business, until I became aware of SYSTEMOLOGY, the study of systems. Once I became aware of that, it was like my business and I were "born-again"—for the second time!
You see, before my conversion to systemology, I (probably like the majority of small business owners) was a believer in a common doctrine that says:
A MESSY BUSINESS = A BUSY BUSINESS, WHICH = PROFIT, WHICH = SUCCESS!
My belief in that myth cost me dearly! It stole my joy, my peace and the freedom to do the things I had always dreamed of, but could never find the time, much less the money to do. That was the main reason I started my own business in the first place; and I'm sure that's why most people start their own businesses.
Back to Winning Some and Losing Some!
In 1988 I started my tiny print shop (400 square feet) on top of a bank, with poor visibility for customers. However, through hard work and not just a little help from God, our sales grew from nothing to about $20,000 a month, in less than a year. We kept growing until we got to about $30,000 to $40,000 a month and then, suddenly, things began to slow to a standstill.
No, our country was not in a recession then, which might have accounted for our stagnant growth, and I was working harder and longer than I ever imagined anybody owning a business having to work.
Philip Beyer, founder/president of Ebiz Products LLC and founder of Beyer Printing Inc. in Nashville Tenn., is a chronic entrepreneur, business systems analyst and consultant. Author of "System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business" and recipient of an InterTech Technology Award for the design and development of System100 business process management software. Beyer speaks to business owners across the country on how to bring lean, sustainable order to their businesses. Contact him at (615) 425-2652.