Over the past nine months many of our businesses have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions but we’ve been able to survive by participating in the Small Business Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). It looks like we may benefit from another stimulus bill that will provide further assistance funds, albeit maybe not as much. During this time, we’ve likely found ourselves thinking about things we should do to organically improve our business performance. However, it’s also likely that we’ve put some of this on the back burner waiting for things to get better. In business it’s never a good strategy to wait for things to get better. A consistent proactive approach will always generate better results.
Interestingly enough there’s usually more than one of these issues or ideas and we just can’t seem to get them prioritized for completion. Yet these issues tend to be great opportunities to overcome challenges or capitalize on new ideas that will drive improved organizational performance. But something is holding us back.
Therefore, let’s look at 5 steps that will end the procrastination and accelerate the achievement of these opportunities.
1. Admit the Problem – We’ve all heard that you can’t begin to solve a problem until you admit that there is a problem. So, if your subconscious is reminding you every morning that you need to redesign your lead generation strategy, restructure the logistics department, provide an improved closing experience for your customers, increase revenue, establish a better work-life balance, or some other business issue, but it’s not getting addressed, we know we have a problem.
The question is, “How do we best solve the problem?”. Waiting to address the issue is holding the company performance back, and as the leader of the organization you’re responsible to keep everything moving forward. To begin the process, write the problem down. If there’s more than one, make a list. By writing these issues down you are proactively admitting that they need to be resolved. It’s the first step on the path to accomplishment.
2. Conduct a Situational Assessment – Now that you’ve acknowledged that there is a problem conduct a Situational Assessment for each issue. To complete the assessment, complete the following steps:
a. Define the current situation and process.
b. Define the desired situation.
c. Identify the process steps that will need to be changed.
d. Identify the resources required.
e. Design a Change Management / Implementation Plan
3. Face the Facts – As you go through the Situational Assessment process identify the constraints. What part of the change process is causing you to hesitate? As you do this you may find that there’s more than one. That’s ok. Just get them identified. Be honest. If you’re the constraint, admit it. For instance, if completing the process means a reduction in staff and you are uncomfortable communicating the elimination of positions, you may very well be the reason this isn’t getting accomplished.
If the problem is the availability of key resources, then alleviate the constraint by obtaining and providing the resources. If there is an inability to do this then the company has another issue, and you need to address it first, but in any event, face the facts.
4. Take Ownership / Be Accountable – Now that you’ve gone through this much of the process it’s necessary that you take ownership and be accountable to get the issue resolved. Initiate the process by putting it in motion with the first step. As we all know, “The buck stops here” so don’t let your momentum die. Which leads me to the last step.
5. Get Help! It’s Lonely at the Top. – I often find that business leaders don’t follow through on solving issues or capitalizing on opportunities because there’s no one to provide reassurances that their idea or solution is the right direction. Since they’re the one responsible and accountable they would rather not take the risk. It’s a basic fear of failure and is totally understandable. That’s one of the single biggest constraints in any business. The best way to overcome this is to hire an independent Business Coach and/or join an Industry Diverse Roundtable.
Here’s why. Relying solely upon individuals in your company, family, friends, and sometimes close professional colleagues to vet these solutions and ideas oftentimes results in slightly tainted feedback. The don’t want to disagree or upset you. You’re the boss, you’re their friend or their spouse. They’re just too close. I’m not suggesting that you never discuss these topics with these individuals, you should, you trust their input.
But to be sure that you get the best quality feedback use an independent Business Coach and/or join an Industry Diverse Roundtable. By definition, they are charged with the responsibility of questioning and challenging your approach. Not in an effort to prove you wrong, but in an effort to have you see the issue, opportunity, and solution from a variety of perspectives. This allows you to validate your final decision.
Now that you know what to do, Stop Waiting and Start Winning. Be proactive, be aggressive and take your business to the next level. Contact me to discuss how we can accelerate your success by joining my Navigational Roundtable. Join by year end and get a Christmas discount, a great opportunity to reduce your 2020 taxes, and accelerate your 2021 profits and growth!