I’m not your average poker player. I could have a lousy hand with one good card in the mix and I’ll still keep playing because of that card. It may have all of the odds stacked against it, but the worth it holds kindles a fire inside of me that the hand I’d been dealt may just be the one that wins in spite of it all.
Not everyone plays poker like me and when it comes to running a business, I know it looks easy to drop that one good card in favor of a fresh hand. The fresh hand is new and exciting. You don’t know what you’ll get but the assumption is that since it’s not what you just had, it’s bound to make you a winner, right?
This is why my next piece of advice may surprise you to hear: don’t drop the good card. Hold onto it and skip the new hand.
The good card is the one that is working. It’s what drives the revenue to your business. It’s what helps you create new departments within your company and invest more time into how your business looks, sounds, and appears to customers. It’s also a unique card, despite the fact that there is seemingly one just like it in every deck. You don’t use it like everyone else does and by sticking with it that gives you your edge.
Poker lingo aside, July is the make or break month for many businesses in terms of the direction they decide to go in next. Six months down, six to go until the end of the year. It’s tempting to start all over again with a clean slate, but it’s an even better idea to figure out the core of what drives your business.
This is the time to focus on the numbers, the revenue that you’re driving into the company, the expenses, and the profit that came out of them and educate yourself on what makes this all possible. Once you’ve identified what is working, you can then work on building on that. I don’t advise scrapping everything because doing so leaves you with unknowns and too many questions left to answer, some of which you may not be able to focus on and have the time to address properly. The more unknowns, the more this can lead to questions that you won’t be able to answer and so on… it’s a nasty domino effect.
For small businesses working on smaller budgets, it grows all the more difficult because while focusing on what works is great and should be done, what happens to what doesn’t work that you invested time and extra hands into? If it doesn’t work out and doesn’t drive enough revenue into your company, then don’t pay for it. Just because it didn’t benefit your business right now doesn’t mean that it might not in the future.
And that’s the beauty of focusing on the good card. Working off of one solid card can later lead to more great cards joining the deck and leaving you with a full house. You can’t forget about the ROI when it comes to your business because at the end of the day, that’s what makes your business what it is. Learn to face the odds and work with them to keep what’s working in place and raise the stakes from there once you’ve figured out what’s turning it all around.
You can still keep your poker face on.
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation, an online filing services company that specializes in incorporations and LLCs. Find her online at mycorporation.com and on Twitter @deborahsweeney and @mycorporation.