Sunday, October 3, 2010

You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby. Five Lessons I’ve Learned in the Past Five Years.

As we progress as a company, everyday I learn something new in running Little Pots & Pans Co. While most days, I feel like that old cigarette ad “you’ve come a long way, baby”, it hasn’t been without learning a few lessons along the way.

Sometimes these lessons come gracefully and sometimes they drop on you like the anvil in an old cartoon scenario (Beep! Beep!). The best you can do is absorb the knowledge, take it in stride and keep moving forward. Below is a selection of five, which, um, struck me.

Business is not predictable.
Really, if the past 18 –24 months have taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected. We’ve seen sales rise with some clients only to loose others along the way. It’s not always an even one to one, and just because you’re on an upward trend doesn’t mean there won’t (or can’t) be a dip.

There will be snap decisions, go with your gut.
We are still small, and moving fast. Opportunities, ideas, recommendations present themselves and can’t always wait for analysis, review and/or discussion. Trust that you’re making the right decision. You know your vision and your company best.

You can never have enough cash.
I could have five times the cash banked in our company bank accounts and I’d want more. There’s always an expenditure lurking on the horizon. Equipment breaks, you need more inventory/equipment/employees to increase sales. Unfortunately, item #1 has a direct effect on what can be in the bank at any given time.

HR is it’s own special entity. 
I’ve come to appreciate people in the past who uphold a company’s policy, screen candidates, deal with hiring and firing (and all the associated paperwork). It becomes necessary at a certain point and I’ll take it as a sign we are growing.

Embrace risk.
You can’t run a business without embracing a certain amount of risk. Everyday presents a challenge and if you’re not able to take some leaps of faith with your risk to gain ground or reach for a business success, you’re not the right person to run it. (This is not to say I don’t lose sleep some nights agonizing over said leaps of faith).

I’ve certainly grown a lot in the past five years with the company, and while we’ve come a long way, I quite expect, we still have a long ways to go. I’m already working on the next post of five things… 

1 comment:

  1. I agree completely! Use all your successes to motivate you past any brief/momentary failures.