“Never confuse making motions with making money” is an axiom a mentor taught me in my early career. Another was, “The young are always busy.” My mentor was trying to teach me that being busy is great if what is keeping you busy is leading toward success. We all tend to fill up our time with what we enjoy doing, versus what we don’t enjoy. The problem with this is that we may need to focus on what we don’t possess to be successful.
To kickstart business growth, here are four ways to rethink your business.
1. New products and services are added regularly, but few are ever deleted. The number of products your company offers should be in direct proportion to how many you can effectively support. If you have one product for each member of your team, you will not be able to help all of them during peak times. Lacking support causes leaks in quality control and service, and that leads to unhappy customers.
2. Products become sacred cows. What was once the newest shiny thing over time can become less relevant, or irrelevant. Perhaps invented by a founder who is no longer with the company or an employee who has since moved on to a new position. For some companies, the thought of killing a product is like killing one of their children. Although I have a small degree of sympathy for this feeling, it’s incredibly tiny! Get rid of products that no longer have a strong ROI.
3. Alignment is not considered when creating a new product. When a company starts creating new products without a strong commitment to its vision misuse of resources and time can occur. Each new product should be required to integrate into the company’s current products or be offered as a replacement to them. Simply adding new products without thought of eliminating non-functional products over a short period can begin to erode the company’s reputation.
4. Lack of an evaluation process. Organizational strategy and performance are the keys to driving growth. For instance, understanding how well your organization can adapt to change and make high-quality decisions under pressure is something you would prefer to know before a change occurs! Moreover, the change will occur. Not having an objective basis for evaluating these abilities leaves the company open to market downside shifts.
It takes an enlightened leader to look at the busyness of the business and willingness to say “No” to new ideas even if they are the leaders’ ideas! Because the marketplace is so challenging many leaders don’t want to experiment with their products or take risks with them. This often leads to being surpassed by a more innovative company that isn’t afraid to take risks to win.