Just came across a blog post on the New York Times website that I had to share with you all without waiting for the roundup of interesting articles I do each month. In “Will This Business Ever Make Money?” blogger Jay Goltz tells the story of a custom cookie baker who is still struggling after six years in business. Her accountant is telling her the numbers show that she is going to fail, but Jay helps her identify the major problems and potential solutions.
This story hits on so many hot button issues for small business owners — pricing, hiring, production challenges, what markets to target – it’s all there! But perhaps the most important takeaway is about assumptions and preconceptions. The accountant delivers the bad news about her numbers but appears to have suggested no solutions. He seems to have assumed there was no way out, causing the business owner to assume the same thing.
Then there are the preconceptions that Jay points out to her. I think we are all guilty of having preconceptions that control our thinking and limit our ability to come up with innovative solutions. We need to identify these preconceptions before they drown us in red ink.
Be sure to read through the comments section as well because some of the people there have good insights too.