I’ve heard it said that the most powerful leaders are ones who can say “No” from time to time. Rather than taking on every responsibility that comes their way and stretching themselves thin, they finally have the power to turn down less-than-ideal offers. I have a better word – probably the most powerful word in the business world: Enough.
The reason this word is so compelling is because it is difficult to achieve, but when it happens it leads to tremendous success. I’ll talk about having “enough” of five things to show how important it is in a business setting.
Do you find yourself not having enough time to handle all of your day-to-day operations, to say nothing about planning for the future? Many small-business owners run into this problem as their companies grow. To free up your time so you have enough to accomplish everything you need to do, you should delegate as many tasks as possible, eliminate unnecessary processes, and streamline overly complicated ones.
Most startups reach a point where they need to add employees to keep up with growth. On the other hand, many businesses find that they’ve increased their efficiency through automation and/or software, and they don’t need as many workers as they did before. To find the right balance in your workforce, pay attention to your workers’ productivity and which processes are irreplaceable.
How much money does it take to run your company? Do you have enough to make payroll, pay rent, and meet other expenses of doing business? This goes back to knowing how many employees you need and which operations are necessary. By focusing on frugality, you can make your business a lean, growth-oriented machine that doesn’t cost too much to maintain.
Do your best to be prepared for changing conditions. Too much growth can be just as damaging as stagnant growth. A sudden jump in demand could leave your customers with a bad impression of your company if you are ill-equipped to give them what they want. Study sales trends and other developments to plan for seasonality, supply issues, and more. And aim for a sweet spot of healthy growth without going overboard in the pursuit of empty numbers.
Measure your inventory turnover ratio to see how many times you sell your average inventory in a given year. Depending on what kind of business you have, your definition of “enough inventory” will be quite different from other companies. For example, a grocery store needs to sell its fruit, milk, bread, and other perishable items in a few days, so its inventory turnover ratio will be much higher than an electronics manufacturer or an appliance store. Find what works for you and stick to it. The key is measuring your performance.
Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough
Do you have enough time, employees, money, growth, and inventory to keep your business running smoothly? That’s an important question to ask yourself. By constantly reaching and working to be successful in these areas, you’ll find satisfaction in knowing that you’ve done everything you can to build a strong business. And for many business owners, that’s enough.