June 28, 2006.
Small business = Tweaking
Being an artist, I always want to tweak something. Whether it was a project in school, faux painting my hall way, a mural in my son's room, or an image on one of our plates - I have the need to look at it and think....hmmm, it just needs a little something right there. So, you might say I am a 'tweakin' expert', 'cause I swear I get it, I know the need and desire to tweak.
However, had I realized that running a small business would mean continuing to tweak, and tweak, and tweak a little bit more day in and day out - I don't know if I would have jumped on board. Well, let's face it, I would have said 'bull-sh*t' and done it anyways (assuming the person that told me was wrong). Running a small business is a continuous tweak, here are a few:
- Changing a shipping procedure to guarantee no breakage
- Tweaking the development so less people actually touch the product
- Tweaking the order entry, changing the naming conventions, shortening lead times
- Finding ways to increase margins, but keep quality
- Tweaking a job description to meet a new job
- Altering art to make a large channel happy
- Adjusting shipping charges to accommodate increased shipping charges
- Changing filing system
- Purchasing in bulk instead of direct
- Removing a product that is not selling
A small business is like a moving target, and what once worked sometimes does not six months later. Accounting makes me take long hard looks at all aspects of the business quite frequently - trying to find how we can tweak it. I often think someday I will not have to do so much tweaking, but I am sure there will always be ways to improve.
Many small business owners, mompreneurs if you will - that I know - are not always willing to take that long hard look and make the hard decisions. I feel that I would rather be the one looking at my product and choose to change it, rather than a customer finding out a problem I had not seen. You should know your companies strengths and weaknesses - a customer should not be able to shock you with something about where your product falls short.
Hence, taking the time to write this tonight....I am in the middle of a major tweak....and I am procrastinating - cause it's late and I have like one brain cell left.