Today, I celebrate the ten year anniversary of my Finance Matters newsletter. When I started this venture, I tried to come up with a dozen topics so that I could make it through the first year. I got to ten and decided that I’d certainly come up with two more before the year was out. At the time, I couldn’t have imagined, crafting 120 newsletters or coming up with as many topics. That said, I knew it needed to continue far beyond the first year in order to have any lasting effect. And now, here we are ten years later. As I write this, I have a handful of notes for future editions. Some of these I have developed myself, several have been inspired by events at client companies, others sent in by my readers (for which I am always appreciative) and a few provided by my seven-year old son, Christopher.
I use this anniversary date as a tangible example of what can happen when one couples a long term vision with consistent performance. A long term vision without consistent performance is just a dream. Most likely, nothing will come of it. But couple it with consistent performance over a long period of time and it is amazing what can happen. On the other hand, consistent performance without a long term vision is unlikely to result in the kind of progress that causes one to look back over a long period of time and be satisfied or even amazed with what they have accomplished.
The world is filled with companies that have long track records of consistent performance. Often they do this without a lot of flash. Instead, they quietly do what they do each and every day. They focus on delivering a quality product or service to every customer and client. They work hard so that each interaction is a favorable and memorable experience. They may not be perfect but when they make mistakes they take steps to ensure that they make it right for the customer. They also take steps to understand the root cause of any underlying issues that may have caused the problem and take steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
As these businesses look back over five, ten, twenty year periods or even longer, they will likely be amazed with what they have accomplished. They did this by having a long term vision while at the same time focusing their efforts on the present.
Think about businesses you have frequented over the long term. Most likely, it is because you have had consistently favorable experiences. They have never given you a reason to look elsewhere. One good experience after another builds a brand loyalty that is hard to dislodge. I use the word “brand” intentionally. Often, people think of brands as something that big companies develop by spending millions of dollars on images, web sites, advertising and precise language to describe their product or service. While that is true, all businesses, and people for that matter, have a brand identity whether they focus on it or not. Consistency of performance, or lack thereof at times, will either support the brand image that the marketing team is trying to convey or can completely undermine it.
My Facebook friends know that I recently returned from a ski trip out West. One skis down a steep slope one mogul, one turn at a time looking only a handful of bumps and turns ahead. While there is the long term vision of successfully skiing down the mountain, it’s not helpful to look too far ahead as one needs to focus on the near term tasks at hand. That said, it’s always impressive to look back up at the slope once at the bottom and appreciate what you have just accomplished (especially when skiing with a seven year-old).
Think about your business. Do you have a long term vision? Are your day to day efforts focused on near term tasks at hand that support that vision? And when you look back over the years, are you impressed by what you have accomplished?
If your business could benefit from fractional CFO services, I would welcome the chance to speak with you. Please give me a call at (314) 863-6637 or send an email to [email protected] The archive of these monthly newsletters is posted at the Resources section of homza.com
your cash is flowing. know where.® Ken Homza
Copyright @ 2016 Homza Consulting, Inc.