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Mark on loving numbers

Accidental passengers

· maths,Business,numbers

I was recently working with a group of property management companies and among the terms that defined them was the word Accidental.

Accidental Landlords were defined as people who did not start out to be a landlord but became one as a result of an interest in property. They see themselves as something else.

The term Accidental resonated with me.

When I meet business owners and start working with them the question I ask is Why?

Why did you go into business? The answers include the usual suspects such as income, more time, control, less hassle, and freedom. As their business grows they encounter obstacles and phases on their journey.

I believe many enterprise owners may be described as Accidental Passengers on a Journey.

The issues they deal with on a day-to-day basis are more often a consequence of unplanned actions than as a result of any planned approach.

Stress builds and so you seek to employ, needs build and so you seek to employ, your skills become stretched as your business grows and so you become an Accidental Passenger.

Why did you start in business? Did you model the decisions? Is the formula understood? If you had a formula when you started is it the same formula you are using today? What has changed as your business has grown? Is it likely to give you the outcome you desire?

Try this. Take a piece of paper and turn so that it is landscape. Divide it into a grid across the page, let us say there is at least 20 columns and 8 rows.

Title each row with a job function such as sales, sales admin, marketing, production, infrastructure admin, and product, distribution, strategy etc..

Score the value of each one to the business relative to cost and revenue.

A sales person might score 2, and an infrastructure admin might score -1.

Now build your business by only recruiting 1 person at a time in each column. Carry a total score at the bottom. Can you see a trend line?

What happens as you recruit people? If you see these, how would you build your business going forwards? If you started with an idea of the total score you wanted what would you do differently?

If you had done this when you started would your outcome be Accidental?

Understanding the mathematical formula removes the chance of you becoming an Accidental Passenger on your business journey.

Love Maths

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