There are two personalities running every business. First is the extrovert; speaking to customers, winning contracts and bringing in the money. The second often sits at the back of the business, in a dark corner of a room or a mind, the introvert; business administration.
These personalities have a symbiotic relationship and each requires constant monitoring and nurturing, particularly for start ups. Every business needs to the extrovert to be out earning money, otherwise the company wonâ€™t last long. But donâ€™t forget the introvert! Doing admin at night or your next spare moment might isnâ€™t good. Although administration doesnâ€™t earn you money, it can cost you.
Firstly admin tasks take time. The more time you spend on admin, the less time you have to earn money. Being organised, and doing your admin little and often will save you time in the long run. Secondly are mistakes! Forgetting to re-order paper for the printer is annoying, but not paying your taxes correctly could be more serious.
If youâ€™re starting a business and donâ€™t understand the administrative side, get some help. There are plenty of local people and businesses that can support you, but donâ€™t hand over admin completely. Theyâ€™ll make sure you pay your suppliers and do your tax returns, but also use them, and learn from them, to get the information you need to run your business. For example, how does your cashflow look for the coming months? Are customers paying? What are you spending each month? What costs are rising? Are you making a profit on each job? Every business owner or manager needs to know these things!
Anyone who doubts the power of introverts, listen to Susan Cainâ€™s TED talk on this topic!
In Pixalytics Sam is the extrovert; the face of the business: speaking, networking, winning the contracts and doing the work. Iâ€™m the introvert, responsible for doing administration and making sure the business runs smoothly. This enables Sam to concentrate on doing the work and earning the money. Focusing on what weâ€™re each good at makes our business stronger â€“ besides my Earth Observation knowledge is miniscule, despite attending the recent UK Space Conference!
For all you extroverts out there, make sure your business has an introvert hiding somewhere. Properly nurtured they will help you manage, control, develop and grow your business.