Friday, June 11, 2004

think, think

Part of my job can only be called "consulting", though I cringe at the term (because it implies deep expertise on narrow subjects). A set of meetings culminating this weekend got the ball rolling with several clients whose businesses (and the their corresponding requirements) have put my brain on overdrive: a coffee chain, a fastfood chain, a salon and a sports complex.

I need to create plans for all of them, before we can create materials that help market their products and services. To create plans, I need to understand the business (and I'm quite meticulous in this regard, wanting to know everything from supply chain to franchising). To understand the business, I need to listen and think and draw from my growing knowledge of how things work, of consumer nature, of human nature - I need to be able to draw connections, see best practices, analyze numbers - before I can offer a considered opinion.

Right now, it's exciting but the sheer volume of things I need to think about is starting to intimidate me. But it's all for a good cause, of course - growing my business, growing my mind, growing my experience.

The rather obvious truth I realized early on is that nothing in business is truly arcane (well, except for accounting things like valuation and such which my partner can handle with ease). For many situations, it's a matter of common sense, best practice or innovation. And there are lessons to be gleaned from other businesses that come and go, thrive or die - to a degree, since little can ever be guaranteed.

Nothing is certain but we can sure as hell give best efforts based on intelligence, chutzpah and elan.


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