I got an interesting email this week from a CA with a big problem.
"My focus as a CA is business advisory services to small businesses. Unfortunately I find that even after signing on clients to an engagement, the clients don’t do the required action plans to grow their business.
This has me stumped. We had a conversation that they initiated, they bought into what services and investment were required , but once I send them the engagement letter everything stops. They have all sorts of reasons for not moving forward.
If you have any ideas , any advice or referral would be appreciated."
Does that problem sound familiar? I think it's pretty common.
Here's the response I sent.
"I have certainly noted this paradox before. (Don't worry, it's not you.) I call it "entrepreneurial inertia" - the inability of small business owners to do the things they know they have to do.
My (still evolving) theory is this: entrepreneurs like being the boss. It means they're in control. They call the shots. This means no one can ever force them to eat canned beans or broccoli ever again. When you have a mindset like that, it takes a lot of character to decide to go ahead and spend a lot of A) money and B) time doing some complicated thing that you really don't understand and probably don't believe in."
I wrote about this whole thing in a Financial Post column last year, and then followed it up with additional thoughts in a blogpost about what to do about it.
You can click here to read the blogpost, and at the end of that post you can click through to read the Post article.
I finished by asking the CA, "Let me know what you think. If you can find a cure for this, I'll nominate you for the Nobel Prize in Economics."
What do you think? Is there a cure for entrepreneurial inertia?