Number Blindness


When running a company, it is very easy to get lost in numbers. On a daily basis, I have to analyze at least 15 different excel reports that gives me an indication of the company performance and which direction we are headed. Getting my head buried in the numerical noise sometimes leads me to number blindness. This is when I forget the core of conducting a business: People.

Your customers are people, your suppliers are people, and so are your employees. Without these 3 groups, no matter how many excel reports you analyze to strengthen my company’s performance, it will not make a difference. So, for those of you out there that have the same issue that I have about forgetting your people and getting blinded by numbers, here are some tips to help you remember:

  • Walk around the office and talk to your staff. Get to know what they are doing in their daily work routine and what issues they are facing. You will be surprised what your employees have to share and what great ideas they might have. Also it is a healthy practice to walk after every 45 minutes at your desk. Increases your overall productivity, posture, and helps you control your waistline.

  • Be your own customer. Try out the product and services that you are providing on a timely basis to understand what people face when they are using your product. Do it under an anonyms name so you will be getting the same experiences everyone else. I even go to the extent of calling up customer service pretending to be a really annoying customer just to see how they would react and what actions they would take!

  • Go meet your suppliers and partners every once in a while. For a country like Thailand, I feel that is extremely important where cultural norms play a big role in business dealings. Being the head of the company and meeting with suppliers will help you build a “personal” relationship and as a result, close difficult deals that would normally take weeks. Focus on selling a business long-term relationship; not your services.

These are some of the things that work for me. Do let me know in the comments below what has worked for you.

Harprem Doowa

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