Why on earth would I leave one of the most fun jobs I’ve had with tons of upward potential to start writing? I loved Product Planning, the ability to influence millions of dollars worth of investments and the challenge of developing product strategy on a global scale. But I left it all for this right here: Small Business Decisions. I’ll start with a little bit about me and we’ll move into why I think small business decisions need some structured problem-solving.
Hi, My Name is Nate
I love everything involved in business decisions and I’ve done a lot of it at a very high level in Corporate America. My key to success has been my ability to apply useful statistics in business scenarios. In many cases, this looked a lot like I was just using my Six Sigma Black Belt training or the things I learned in my MBA, but it was also supplemented by my specialized focus on predictive statistics.
I have been using predictive statistics in business and engineering for more than 10 years. What started as a passion for statistical insights in engineering turned into a huge “leg-up” in business analysis and decision making. The methods I use were considered “best practice” by Cummins Inc. a $17.5B to $19.2B a year Fortune 500 Company. During my role at Cummins Inc., I oversaw $100M in annual R-Spend planning for their fastest growing business unit. I was eventually asked to lead the Global Functional Excellence Processes and Tools Committee because of my ability to effectively use business and statistics for better business decision making.
Problem Solving Frameworks, Methods and Tools
Just because the word ‘small’ is in small business, doesn’t mean we have small problems to solve. Small businesses account for nearly half of the US Economy (last measured in 2010). That’s somewhere between 8 and 10 trillion dollars per year. I can’t quite wrap my head around that, so let’s break that into numbers that mean something: $9 trillion a year is equivalent to $24.7 million per day, $1 million per hour, and $17k per minute. That is an incredible amount of work and productivity, which means there is an incredible number of business decisions being made.
The big hairy problems that every small business owner faces deserve some serious methodical problem-solving attention.
In both of the Fortune 500 Companies that I worked for, we used a lot of frameworks, methods, and tools to solve our biggest problems. The most popular one was Six Sigma, which is a statistics-based process improvement method and toolkit that I happen to have a Black Belt in. There were plenty of other frameworks, but none quite as popular. I plan to use all of the tools and methods and anything I can possibly borrow from Corporate America to go after the big small business problems.
Why am I Doing This?
I started this business because I love what I get to do. Running this business gives me an opportunity to serve the customers I want to serve in precisely the way that I want to serve them, and I take great pride in doing so. Doing the work I love and making a difference for my customers are huge priorities in my life. If I were profiled as a business owner I would be considered a “Passionate Creator”, which means I am interested in creating something unique, making a difference in the world, and driving economic growth.
Di, my Wife, and I are currently traveling the country in our Winnebago with our two Wiener Dogs Frank and Tee. We LOVE traveling and eventually decided that we enjoy traveling more than our traditional “American Dream” home in the suburbs and high profile corporate careers. We’re living our dream. To build something of our own, and to travel and experience as much of the World as possible. Oh, and while we’re at it, we’ll be tasting and learning about a lot of different wines and cheeses.
So, as I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, I left all of that wonderful corporate stuff and the American dream because I can help improve the lives of small business decision-makers. Small Business isn’t small, it’s a huge marketplace and we all have some surprisingly similar problems, each with their own twist.