31 Aug Entrepreneur Syndrome
By Teresa Sanders and Ruy Garcia-Zamor
Thunderclap! A great idea for your next business hits you like a freight train. Whoa! Is your current business really ready for you to shift your focus? Whether it’s starting a new business or launching a new product line reducing your focus on running your current business can be devastating!
Harry’s great ideas led to the invention of unique equipment and paints for painting lines and logos on the grass of professional sports fields. Not only did his equipment paint the grass in record time but the paint actually helped the grass grow. Launching his business was almost too easy since he did everything right.
Harry knew the value of his business was the sum of his inventions, branding, processes, financial records, advertising materials, and profit performance. Harry put the right team in place from the start and that made all the difference.
He recruited a talented attorney to form a business entity, file patent applications to protect his inventions, file trademark applications to protect his branding, and file copyright applications to protect his advertising content. His accountant set up his federal and state tax accounts, implemented accounting systems that facilitated workflow and ensured profitability, created budgets and projections, prepared costing models, and generated financial statements for banks and management.
Harry’s company is doing well. His innovative systems have met with great acclaim and contracts for his services are rolling in! So what should Harry do next? Refine his advertising, improve his systems and customer service, widen his network to meet new customers, talk to current customers to ensure satisfaction? NO!! Harry has a brand new idea!!
Harry is about to dive off the cliff of serial entrepreneurialism. Why keep your eye on the ball when you can play with the next shiny new idea? This is especially tempting since Harry feels like he has the Midas Touch! This is a symptom of the entrepreneurial syndrome.
Over the next few months Harry works on his great new idea. Meanwhile, his company is languishing in a sea of neglect. His current customers are not getting the attention they need, his employees are making it up as they go along, and quality control is spotty. Without someone actively at the helm his ship is heading for the rocks. Harry is unaware of the impending collision. Cash is still coming in and his enthusiasm for the next shiny idea is huge.
Fortunately for Harry the team he set in place at the beginning has the experience to see the rocks on the horizon. His accountant and attorney pointed out that with his focus diverted to his new idea the existing business is endangered. The business is starving for leadership. Funds and other resources that should be used to growing the successful business are being misdirected. It won’t be long before current customers go elsewhere as they no longer receive the quality attention and support they have come to expect.
Harry was furious!!! His team didn’t believe in him. The heck with them – what do they know! He was the one with the great idea. This new idea will be even bigger!
After cooling off Harry realized that maybe his team was right. Upon reflection he now saw that sales were slipping, new customers were no longer coming in the door, and marketing efforts were stagnant. What an epiphany! His team really was looking out for him – thank goodness!!!
Reinvigorated Harry dove back into his core business (and postponed the next shiny idea). Sales soared, customers were happier than ever, and profits continued to grow.
So for all of you entrepreneurs out there, please learn by Harry’s example. Don’t lose your focus, pay attention to your profit centers, protect your assets, and be patient before pursuing the next shiny idea!!!
Ruy Garcia-Zamor and Teresa Sanders bring a collaborative team approach to your attorney and accounting needs. With years of experience they have successfully aided businesses large and small.
If you have any questions regarding business entity formation, employment and subcontractor agreements, trade secret protection, software licensing, branding, trademarks, patent planning or other intellectual property matters, please contact Garcia-Zamor Intellectual Property Law, LLC. Ruy Garcia-Zamor has been helping individuals and businesses with their intellectual property needs for over nineteen years.
If you have any questions regarding accounting, bookkeeping, and business/process consulting services please contact TBooks. Teresa Sanders has been helping individuals and business with their accounting, bookkeeping and business needs for over twenty years.