Do you go with your gut when it comes to business decisions? Or do you carefully pore over spreadsheets and data, trying to analyse the numbers before you make the leap and take action? In our latest blog, founder of Insight Finance Solutions, Helen Crapper, discusses the merits of intuition when it comes to making important business decisions.
What even is intuition?
If you’ve heard of intuition but you don’t really know what it is, indulge me for a moment while I take a minute to explain. The dictionary definition states that intuition is ‘the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning’. I believe that while intuition is normally a phrase reserved for talking about going with your gut, panicked parents who know instinctively that something is wrong with their kid, or fortune-tellers and tarot card readers about to predict your fortune, there is still room for intuition in your business.
When to take action and when to follow your gut
In the coaching space where I have worked as a money mindset coach, there can often be a drive towards only doing what ‘feels good’ to you. I tried this for a while and I can wholeheartedly tell you that it doesn’t really work in the long term or the real world. This applies to everything and not just business. If we were all allowed the pass and permission slip to only do what ‘feels good’ then I doubt we’d ever really make progress and get anything done. As I explained on my recent blog about getting up and getting going as part of my morning routine, you have to reclaim those sometimes unappealing actions as positives, even if they don’t feel particularly good, because you know deep down that they’re for your greater good.
As a business owner, there will be daily actions that you complete in order to run your business. Some of these action steps might not ‘feel good’ but if you didn’t do them, you might not be in business very long!
That’s why there is a difference between taking consistent positive action and learning when you follow your gut and what ‘feels good’.
An insider’s view on action v intuition
I am in a privileged position in that I see people’s businesses from the inside out. I can tell you first hand that those business owners who only take action when they feel like taking action and when the time feels right rarely move their business forward. That kind of attitude, while comfortable, leaves a business in the same place in three years time. If that’s all you got into business for and you’re happy with the way you operate and what you earn, then this is not wrong at all. If you’re happy and you’re living your life exactly as you wanted, then stick with this strategy. It is just worth pointing out that when you only make the business decisions that feel comfortable, you won’t move out of your comfort zone and into the growth zone.
The business owners I work with who take consistent action, even on the hard decisions and actions that are non-negotiable for business; operations, marketing, sales, processes and finances, are the ones that do get out of their comfort zone and therefore more often drive their business growth. The people who take action in their business, even though they don’t feel like taking action and making the tough decisions are the people who move their business forward.
At a time like now, as we move out of the quarantine restrictions of a pandemic, there are many difficult business decisions that get to be made. With cash flow and income either reduced or even non-existent for a large proportion of 2020 for many businesses, we are coming to a time with our clients where talk of redundancies, reduced hours or a pivot in products or services are the tough decisions that get to be made. Not many of these decisions feel good right now, but that is where our expertise, data and real-time information that we are able to provide as a contemporary accountancy advisory service come in very handy. We support our clients with these decisions and use data to drive those difficult actions that get to be agreed and completed.
We do encourage clients to trust their gut
However, in addition to providing a clear picture of the data and future scenarios, particularly using Float Cashflow Forecasting to create a visual graph view of how different decisions could impact income and expenditure, we DO encourage you to trust your intuition and trust your gut.
That isn’t us giving you a free pass to only make decisions on what feels good, we don’t want to you sit back and have an easy ride on this (because that will probably bite you further down the line). We want you to use your intuition and rational but creative thinking to make those important decisions too. At the moment people are making tough decisions in their business that don’t feel good. Having heartbreaking conversations with your staff about redundancies, reducing hours, reducing services and products means making tough decisions for the long term vision and the greater good.
For example; on paper that particular staff member being made redundant might look like the better cost saving on the spreadsheet, but in your gut, you know that their additional skills and experience will bring more than a wages cost saving to your business.
That service you have always provided up to now might look great as you forecast income for the last quarter of 2020, but your gut tells you that the product or service has a reduced place in a post-pandemic world.
You might want to try something new, a brand new project, product or service and your gut says it can work, but your head isn’t sure. While your brain might be screaming that you shouldn’t take the risk because the numbers don’t work and you don’t know enough of how the project will turn out, we know that nobody knows how any shift in business will turn out. That’s why we work with our clients through any big decisions and shifts or new projects and keep a close eye on the numbers, using them as a tool to be responsive and navigate further decisions down the line.
We are able to do this because we are a fully proactive accountancy service. We talk with our clients at least monthly, some clients weekly and more often. We support our clients through their business finance decisions and take pride in providing data in real-time so that real-time business decisions can be made, not months after when it is too late. That’s why we won’t stifle your creativity and innovation with new ideas, we will support you and provide you with both the factual data and forecasting options that you need to get clarity on your business decisions.
Always remember to trust your gut instinct. You know your business and the nuances of your industry better than any spreadsheet so do not be afraid to listen to the niggle and trust your gut on those important business decisions. We at Insight Finance Solutions will be by your side to support you as you move into new exciting business territory.
How to tap into your intuition
In the book, Willpower Doesn’t Work by Benjamin Hardy, it states that only 16% of business breakthroughs and creative decisions happen at your computer! Does that surprise you? It doesn’t me. I know that following my intuition and coming up with creative and innovative decisions don’t always happen in front of a spreadsheet or the laptop. You’ll know this yourself, if you’re anything like me, my most creative ideas and business breakthroughs come to me in the quiet moments like the shower, during meditation or out in nature. Meditation can often be a scary concept for some people but there are some amazing apps on the market or YouTube videos that help with guided meditations to quieten the mind. Getting out and walking during your working day, especially if you are currently working from home, will really help to expand your thinking. There’s something magical about getting out of the four walls of your office and taking time to walk and think about important business decisions.
Not your average accountants
No boring accountants here you know! And no stuffy accountants who will only be ruled by the spreadsheet. We’re real people for real people and we’ll support you to achieve your business and personal dreams (because the two are usually interlinked). If you’d like to be fully supported with your business goals and get stress free with your finances, we’d love to have a chat about your business and how we can help. We’re an accountant based in Bakewell, Derbyshire but we work with businesses all over the UK. Get in touch today here.
Helen Crapper is the founder of Insight Finance Solutions. Helen and the team specialise in accountancy advice at every stage of business and help make finances stress free for clients. Helen is also a coach and uses money mindset coaching to help business people remove their personal blocks and limiting beliefs to grow as people while growing their businesses.
To have a chat about your business finances and how Insight Finance Solutions can help you, get in touch.