Smart small business owners on the road to profitability never set the expectation that it would be easy. But 60- hour work weeks without solid results are growing old and tiresome. It’s time for a change. Clearly, there has to be a better way. Let’s look at two of the common myths about running a business.

Myth #1: It will take a huge investment of money. Many businesses avoid tracking their operating numbers because of the perceived cost. If it works it must be expensive, right? Well, it could be costing you a lot more not to know your numbers than making an investment in the tools and techniques n eeded to keep you fully abreast of your business operations. There are more than a dozen or so packages that provide affordable business intelligence information; no need to break the bank. The secret is to get started on a basic level and expand only as you see fit.

My recommendation: Start small. Getting it right is important, but it does not require a huge financial investment. It will continue to pay dividends month after month as you monitor your operations and your costs, improve your decision making, and boost your profits. If you need help, ask your accountant, or you can search on or or other similar service sites. Templates and tools can often easily be modified over time as things change in your business or industry. You don't need to break the bank to get the management information that you need right now to boost profits in your business.

Myth #2: It will take a huge amount of your time. “It takes too much time” is a common refrain among harried business owners. “I’m too busy selling and delivering to stop and take a look at my numbers, besides I’m profitable. What else do I need to know?” The refining concepts of efficiency and productivity co me into play as you expand. Keeping the operation tightly managed is the guiding principle toward profitable and sustainable growth in your business. If your costs are increasing in direct proportion to your volume, you’re likely to be missing important economies of scale in operating your business.

My Recommendation: Devote only a few minutes a day. Automated systems are the essential to time savings and cost savings along with better information to support informed decision making. After the initial setup, the system can automatically run your target numbers. You can set alert flags for downward trends in sales and profits and upward trends in costs and complaints. After the system is up and running, others can monitor the output for exceptions that need to be brought to your attention. In just minutes per day, the time you spend on detailed management of your business will pay off in increased insights and new ways to boost profits.

Most successful business owners set aside a specific time after the periodic numbers are in and their dashboard information is prepared. They quickly review the trends, note any variances and exceptions, and take appropriate action. It doesn’t take long, yet it has a powerful impact on your business and your decision making.

You do not need huge amounts of money and time to succeed.

Remember – Just Say No to the Status Quo TM

Donna Marie Thompson, PhD

Author's Bio: 

Donna Marie Thompson, PhD is a Small Business Profitability Expert and Founder of Expert Profit Solutions. She is a two-time best-selling author who has spent most of her career problem solving in international management consulting.

Donna Marie has helped businesses meet their profit targets under challenging circumstances. She was a Director at PricewaterhouseCooper's Consulting, and has worked at Booz Allen, as well as local consulting firms. This wide range of experience in businesses of all sizes uniquely qualifies Donna Marie to guide small businesses to discover their hidden profit potential.

Donna Marie earned a PhD from George Washington University, an MBA from Virginia Polytechnic Institute, a CPA in the state of Maryland, and is a Master Practitioner of the Energy Leadership Index.

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