6 Lessons on Starting Up From Norm Brodsky

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Understand Your Numbers

When winging it is no longer enough to build your company, it's time to learn your numbers. "You really can't know what's happening in your company or make consistently good decisions without mastering the numbers," warns Brodsky. And there are many ways to acquire that knowledge. Brodsky suggests four. Familiarize yourself with the accounting software you use. Hire an accounting person who could also serve as a tutor. Sign up for an introductory accounting course. And read Financial Intelligence and Financial Intelligence for Entrepreneurs. "They provide the best, clearest guides to the numbers that I know of," he says. (For more, read "Understanding Your Company," February 2011.)