Friday is almost always pizza night at our house. This past Friday we went to Vito’s for dinner; it’s one of our favorite pizza places. I had a productive week and mentioned that my one remaining task was my monthly post. My son suggested I write about Halloween. When I challenged him to relate that to business, he quickly offered an idea, so here we go!
Every Halloween, my friend Keath Hausher of Shark Fitness Training offers cash for push-ups rather than candy. At first, kids (and many parents) are a bit taken aback by the idea but most in his neighborhood have gotten used to it. They know that if they walk up to his front door, they’ll earn some cash based upon the number of push-ups they can knock out according to their age. Regulars at Keath’s doorstep know that they can earn some money to put toward something that will last longer than a piece of candy that will be consumed within seconds. They are choosing to make a long term vs. short term trade-off.
Everyday in business we make decisions. And many of those decisions have short term and long term consequences. Paying dividends, buying capital equipment, pricing, customer concessions, employee compensation, sales practices, strategy, expansion, bonus plans, benefit programs, hiring, organizational decisions, inventory levels, capital structure, and borrowing, all have long term consequences.
Last month, for example, I wrote about building A Strong Balance Sheet and it’s just one example of short term vs. long term thinking. Strong balance sheets are built based upon long term thinking, which often means sacrificing immediate gratification.
I published my first newsletter, Why Have A Financial Plan?. April 2006. Over the 15 years since, there have been some times when the easy short term decision would have been to skip a month but in more than 15 years I’ve never missed my self-imposed publication deadline (although many times I’m writing on the very last day, like today!).
There are times during the year we specifically think about the longer term. If you develop an annual budget, that is a time you are thinking longer term. And certainly, if you develop a five or ten year plan you are doing so. But I’d encourage you to give some thought to the longer term on more of a day to day basis. How do some of the smaller, daily decisions impact the business longer term?
Be like those kids who walk up to Keath’s doorstep knowing that there will be some short term pain in exchange for longer term gain. Think long term. Happy Halloween.
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]
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