Sustainable doesn't mean navel gazing.
Sustainable means being able to quickly get at purchase orders and invoices and contact info for some screwed up job from 3 years ago with someone from that company on the phone screaming at you about god knows what. Sustainable means having those docs available to prove your point and cover your ass.
Simple, basic, bulletproof data control is essential. The blue sky stuff is equally essential of course, but without data and document mastery in place, that blue sky stuff gets cloudy fast.
If you want both you and your business to be sustainable, you need smart, rugged control systems in place from the start.
Then you can go navel gazing in peace.
Interesting blog! I'm part of a small company that, thanks to our partners' previous experiences, has managed to keep the important records accessible. We're using QuickBooks for the financials, GoldMine to track all contacts and our history with them, and ClickTime to track our hours worked for each client and our admin time. We also spent the first two, very difficult, years standardizing on the tools we use and our business processes. That's how we're still around - that, plus the grace of God and the happiness of pleased clients.
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