New Math for Business

September 15, 2021

How good are you at math? If you’re like many creative business owners, you might have to admit it’s never been your strong suit.

If your eyes glaze over when you look at a spreadsheet, you’re not alone.

And if, like many of our clients, you’re wondering how all the time and energy you are devoting to your business is not significantly boosting your bottom line or giving you the freedom you envisioned when you left the corporate world, maybe it’s because you’re doing the wrong kind of math.

Perhaps you’re adding when you should be subtracting.

If this sounds crazy, let me explain.

In our business culture, we’re accustomed to thinking that more is always better. If we’re not getting what we want, we automatically think of adding something…a new product or service, a new employee, a new target market, more time and attention.

We think if we’re spinning faster, being busier, trying harder, doing more…the money will start flowing more freely.

What if exactly the opposite were true? If you could have more of what you want by subtracting, rather than adding?

Here are five ways that subtracting can give you more of what you want.,,in both your business and your life.

Work only in your zone of expertise – If you find yourself feeling weighed down by tasks that don’t fall into your genius zone, take those things off your “to-do” list. Delegate to someone on your team who can do those things faster, more easily (and maybe better) than you can.

Eliminate programs or services that aren’t “pulling their weight” – Do you know which of your goods or services bring the greatest return at the lowest cost to you? Concentrate on those things. Invest your time and energy where it will have the highest return to your bottom line.

Focus on factors that are critical for your success – There are a thousand things you could be doing for your business. Not all of them deserve your time and attention. If you try to do too many things, it’s inevitable that not everything will be done well. We suggest to our clients that they set one major goal for the quarter and then identify 4-5 (no more!) things that MUST be done to reach that goal. Spend your time and energy on those Critical Success Factors and eliminate the things that are nice, but not necessary.

Don’t put off making critical decisions – Is there an employee who needs to go? A change that needs to be made, even if it will be unpopular? A business relationship that has outlived its benefit?  All of these postponed decisions and actions are taking up emotional bandwidth and worry time that could be better spent devoted to things that move your business forward. You may be spending precious time cleaning up the missteps or messes that result from keeping those tough decisions in the “pending” column. Make that decision and act on it now.

Take time for yourself – When you fail to take good care of yourself, you fail to take good care of your business. You won’t be doing your best work if you are stressed, exhausted, and frustrated. A planned vacation will take less time away from your business than a health crisis brought on by overwork. When you come to work cheerful and rested you’ll make better decisions, work better with your team, and have more capacity to respond to those unexpected crises without creating more chaos.

If you want to grow your bottom line, think first about what you need to subtract, rather than adding something else to the mix.

This new math might just end up adding profits to your business and pleasure to your life.

Go forth and do great things,

Martha & Chris