Let Your Business Contribute Quality To Your Life

Written by Joe Driscoll

November 23, 2009

Quality has been one of the key buzz words of the business world during this decade. Rightfully so, it is the production of quality goods and the delivery of quality services that creates long term value in every bottom line.

Every business owner spends a substantial portion of their time focusing on the question of the quality of the end product of their business. The results have been impressive. From the automobiles that we drive to the delivery services that carry our packages, the quality of the goods and services that we purchase are generally better than ever before.

But there is another aspect to quality that the business owner or manager must be equally concerned with. It’s the quality of their life. Many have climbed the ladder of success only to find it is difficult to enjoy the fruits of their victory. It is often the case when you become the boss that the hours get longer, the burdens get bigger, the pressures build and there is no one to turn to for help. You know that you can handle it, because it’s that ability that got you there in the first place, but that doesn’t ease the burden.

Quality of life will mean radically different things to different people. While the quality of product is reasonably easy to define, it is difficult to define what quality of life is for an individual.

We have been successful in pursuing quality products and services because we were able to objectively define them. Once defined we were able to measure our progress and to take actions that achieved our objectives. With individuals, it is next to impossible to define how a business should contribute to the quality of their life. It will vary from individual to individual, and from time to time with each individual as they progress through life.

While it may be impossible to determine what will contribute to the quality of life, it is possible to identify those factors that create the stress and uncertainty that interferes with the quality of life for a business owner. It is by methodically identifying and addressing those issues that we improve the quality, regardless of the personal values.

Confidence, pride and optimism are the strong suits of entrepreneurs, business owners and mangers. But building and running a business is tough, uncertainty lurks around every corner. Insecurity and anxiety are common companions for this otherwise confident breed. No matter how successful you are, each step up the ladder of success gets you that much higher off the ground and the potential fall becomes all that much more traumatic.

Your business is most likely your major asset. Get an independent opinion on its worth and what your options are for maintaining, enhancing and eventually realizing that value. If your business is successful and it is your primary source of income, begin to give consideration to diversification.

There are a limited number of choices for what you can do with your business. With a few variations, you can either sell it, give it away or liquidate it. While you may have no immediate plans for any of these alternatives, you should have a general idea of which direction you will ultimately be heading.

Everyone looks at your success and stature, but they don’t realize how precarious building the whole thing was. Others don’t recognize that everyday the morning mail can shoot bullets that need to be dodged and deflected. Canceled orders, slow receivables, new competition, increasing costs or regulatory requirements can present a new hurdle at any moment.

Planning is the instrument for dealing with uncertainty. Build a business plan not for the purpose of attempting to chart an exacting course for the future but rather to establish a platform from which to judge the impact of future events.

Plan for management succession. Address the question “what if I didn’t show up to work tomorrow” Developing managers capable of doing your job, won’t force you out of a job. It will give you the peace of mind that there is a plan for continuity in your business. It can free you to move on to what needs to be done next. If you do a good job in developing others, it will give your business the strength that comes when more that one person understands the business.

Improving the “Bottom Line” will contribute to the building of your business, but only you can determine if the building of your business will contribute to the quality of your life.

I wish you the best .

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