An Outlook On Life

I would like to put a couple of ideas out there today about life and business. You see, the Pittwater Peninsula (Northern Beaches, Sydney) has the highest concentration of small businesses in the country per capita .That suggests that the concentration of entrepreneurs on the peninsula has manifested into a hive of activity. The other statistic that begs mentioning is that more than 70% of start-up businesses fail in the first three years.

Why? There are a multitude of reasons but I wonder whether one of the major ones is we only try to succeed. I am taken back to Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back where a young Luke Skywalker is being asked to perform an “outside his perceived ability or comfort zone activity” and says to Yoda – Jedi Master – that he will try. Yoda quickly retorts with a phrase that reverberates in my mind “Try Not! Do or do not! There is no try”

We in small business are all out there trying to succeed but are we doing all we can? Many of us are so caught up in the forest that is our business that we are “too busy” to step back, look at the forest as a whole and work on the business. The traps are there that capture many of us – discounting, extending credit, errant debtors, inventory levels and fixed costs to name a few.

My advice to all businesses, be they start up, small, medium or large is, get some advice – talk to your accountant, employ a business coach or a general manager. They do not have to be full time in your business – there are plenty of useful consultants out there. More importantly once you are happy with the consultant – heed their advice. Advice is only valuable if it is put into motion. Remember Try Not – Do or Do not – There is no Try

To all the businesses out there on the Peninsula – Live long and prosper

Jeff Banks is a Director of Pittwater Business Limited and the Principal of Banks Consultancy – “Not Your Ordinary Accountants” based in Austlink Park in Belrose. www.banksconsultancy.com

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