Recently, I’ve been having an ongoing discussion with a business owner who is finding cracks in their business.
A lot of what we’ve been talking about is foundational.
Not because the business owner isn’t smart, but because it makes no sense to talk about the complexities of a bottom of the ninth inning squeeze bunt if you’re struggling to get to first base.
A few of those foundational thoughts:
- Every business owner is good at something. Likewise, every business owner is bad at something. Be sure to delegate the latter, focusing on your strengths.
- from former General Electric CEO Jack Welch – “Pick a general direction and then implement like hell.”
- Take a look at the fat part of the bell curve of your market. How is your business serving that market right now? Honestly.
- From 2002-2007, a rapidly expanding economy allowed businesses to rest on their laurels or “Just show up”. In 2008, we paid dearly for our sloth (and a few other things). For many, 2009 was like a long night spent hugging the porcelain. 2010-2019 are in no mood for “just showing up”. So don’t just show up. What Jack said (above).
- My dad told me forever (and repeatedly), “Be a good listener”, a lesson that took a long time for me to fully understand. Tom Peters talks about how doctors listen for an average of 18 seconds before interrupting the patient. Don’t be a doctor, at least in that respect. Listen.
- Call 2 customers a day and ask them what you could do to make your business more valuable to them.
- A last minute comment from today’s GapingVoid cartoon, where Hugh nails it with this: “If you want to be more successful, you have to take a leadership position on something that matters.”
Finally, none of this matters without execution. Get off your duff and make something happen. Like Jack said.