Running a business inherently entails many complexities, any of which can throw your business off course from executing on its plan. As a business owner it is your responsibility to ensure that the business stays on track while being available to assist, guide and develop your employees, service your customers and chart a vision for your team to follow.
Putting out fires becomes a daily routine, and while you may be working long hard hours, you are not doing the work that will move the business forward. You are so worried about working “in the business” you are not spending enough time working “on the business”. Over time this leads to missed goals, declining sales, employee turnover and unhappy customers. As the business owner, you begin to feel frustration, anger, anxiety over the direction the business is heading.
Being just 2° off
You may have heard of the proverbial plane that takes off from New York flying to Los Angeles. The pilot is multi-tasking and in the process of running through the pre-flight checklist, checking on weather reports and communicating with the tower for instructions, he sets his course heading but is off by 2 degrees. Throughout the flight, the plane stays on a course that is off ever so slightly from the required course heading. Five hours later, when the plane reaches California, it lands in San Diego, 120 miles south of Los Angeles.
The pilot’s inability to identify that he was off course and to take corrective action put the plane off of its intended destination. When business owners fail to work on their business, they are failing to check on their heading and make necessary course corrections, and the business ultimately will end up off course as well.
When a business runs off course, it means lost jobs, lack of profits, lack of income for the owners, disappointed investors, employee turnover and loss of faith in the business by your customers. In my experience, businesses who are failing to keep an eye on their key performance indicators (“KPI”) will drift way more than 2% off course. At some point, drifing too far makes it impossible to get back on course.
Getting Off Course and Getting Back On
How do businesses drift off course? It could be a toxic culture, an underperforming sales team, a lack of a cohesive sales and marketing strategy, a failure to clearly communicate the founder/owner’s vision to the leadership team, failing to hold employees accountable, poor customer service, inefficient processes, poor recruiting, lack of a retention program, or poor financial/cash planning, to name just a few.
A strong advisory board and/or business coach can help you make sure you are paying attention to your KPI and making the necessary course corrections, and that your keeping your business on course.
Success breeds success and a properly run business will attract better talent which will lead to better customer experiences which leads to profitability which leads to happy investors which leads to income for key performers which leads to the life you envisioned when you started your business.
I can help.
As an experienced financial, operations and sales executive, having just sold my 5th business, I have the experience and the tools to help you reach your goals. My programs and tools are not wedded to theory but are practical applications with a proven track record of achieving business and financial success.
Over the next several months I will publish various articles on topics that are common issues for most business owners. I hope these articles and tools will help you keep your business on course.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts, questions and suggestions on topics you would like to see us publish.