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The Numbers in the Snow Business

For those in the snow business, and in any business……

You alone also control your ultimate destiny with regards to profit and cash flow. Lack of profit is not what usually sinks a company. It is lack of CASH. Collecting receivables timely is important to success. Growth for the sake of growing is not a wise move. Controlled growth is necessary. Your accountant can tell you how much your “profits” will allow you to grow without running out of cash. Take if from one who knows – uncontrolled growth can create more problems than lack of profit. Growth that is uncontrolled can feel good, look good, make others envy you – but some day you’ll run out of cash and say “what happened?” A true “professional” has a handle on “the numbers” and knows where things stand at all times. And, most of us entrepreneurs are so hell-bent on growing the business through hard work and long hours, we don’t pay attention to what the numbers guys might be telling us. Uncontrolled growth can kill a business as fast (if not faster) than lack of profits. Part of being in business is working at the business as much as it is working in the business. This too is related to attitude.

If your attitude is such that you only want to be out in the truck pushing snow – then consider being a subcontractor to someone else. However, if your attitude and personal makeup is such that you need to be self-employed, realize and understand that selling and servicing is only part of the deal. Pay attention to the numbers all the time. Listen to your accountant (or, in some cases – your wife) so that you don’t take on more than you can effectively handle – both from a total size standpoint and from an accounting standpoint. For those who say they are “making a profit, so all is well”, are not looking at the total picture. This attitude can be the death of any company.

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