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When Nitty-Gritty Detail
is Critical to Business Success
Many entrepreneurs fail to succeed because they wonít, or cannot, sweat the details. Although itís important to see the big picture, it is equally important to get details right. Trouble is; many entrepreneurs view detail work as boring, time-consuming and petty. After all, they could be pulling off some exciting deals, instead of wasting time on "nitty-gritty" details.
However, by not dotting the i's and crossing the t's, those very same entrepreneurs could be running a serious risk of having their wonderful deals come unstuck. The fact of the matter is; even the smallest business mistakes can be costly in terms of both time and money. These could be small (but critical) mistakes like:
# Adding up money incorrectly.
# Getting customer names, phone numbers and address details wrong.
# Not getting a web site address correct in an advertisement or sales letter.
# Not checking local bylaws, regulations etc.
# Not understanding employment, health or safety regulations.
# Not checking the fine print on contracts, lease agreements etc.
Yes, simple mistakes like these can be very costly. And, itís not easy, when small business entrepreneurs are expected to know everything and be experts at everything. Itís a tough ask!
Fortunately most entrepreneurs have a positive outlook on life and seem to bounce back after making mistakes. Although their mistakes may have been painful at the time, most would put them down to experience and move on to the next exciting task at hand.
I guess we are all the same. We like to focus on the things we enjoy doing and things we are good at. Itís only natural when detail work is viewed as a chore and a bore.
As an example, I hate accountancy work, but I know it must be done. Important details like: if I donít file a tax return on time I will get hit with penalty interest charges. Ouch! Thatís why my accountant handles much of the "boring" detail for me. I know my strengths and I know what I enjoy doing - accountancy is not one of them. Despite that, I do understand the importance of getting the essential details right and thatís precisely the point Iím making.
So, getting the details right is important, but surprisingly enough, the opposite is also true. By focusing too much on detail, itís easy to get bogged down in specifics and lose sight of the bigger picture. I have seen many a success turn to failure for exactly that reason. Itís when the thought, which should be trained on big things, is diverted to attend to the detail of little things.
The fact remains, that too much attention to details can kill initiative and redirect the focus away from important goals. However in saying that, most successful entrepreneurs do understand the importance of getting details right. Even if they donít handle the details themselves, they donít ignore them. In all likelihood, many entrepreneurs will have learnt that lesson the hard way.
So, success doesn't necessarily go to the person who never makes a mistake. The fact is; those people tend to avoid risks at any cost. Rather, success tends to shine on those who recognize that life is basically a game of percentages. It isnít the making of mistakes thatís so critical. Whatís really important is fixing them when they do happen, without losing site of objectives and goals.
© Noel Peebles - author of "Sell Your Business The Easy Way"
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