Top 7 Business Strategies That Won't Work, Why And A Better Approach
By Dan Knapp
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Context: Small or start-up business and salespeople.
- Making a profit is the #1 goal. Not really. Profit is important as an accounting and taxation term. Profit has little to do with your day-to-day operations. Better approach - concentrate on cash flow. If your business generates a positive cash flow, you can stay in business. You could find yourself making a nice profit, but out of cash. Out of cash? You're out of business.
- Today will be a lot like yesterday. Not really. Instead, look at the world and local industries and you will see day-to day changes. You probably have a new competitor today. Customers may have found a substitute for your product or service today. What do you need to change from yesterday?
- People will keep their word. Not really. When someone tells you they will do something, about half the time they have no intention of doing it. Of the remaining half, about half the time they can't do it. Thus, you have about a one in four chance of someone doing what they say they will do. You have to accept that most people are working on their agenda, not yours. They mean well, but...oh well! Always have a Plan B, Plan C and Plan D.
- Problems will resolve themselves if left alone. Occasionally. Problems usually manifest themselves in ever-growing symptoms. Develop a checklist of business threats and review the list once a week. If a symptom appears, correct it fast, before it costs you time, energy and money.
- Customers will appear on their own when they hear about your product or service. Maybe a few. More likely none. You need to accept that your business is the marketing of your product or service, not the performance of your product or service. Let me say that again - your business is the marketing of your product or service, not the performance of your product or service. Outstanding products or services can exist in a failed business if you don't continuously market to existing and potential customers.
- New hires will fit in their job from day one. Never. New hires come with knowledge, skills and abilities. They do not have a context for the use of those knowledge, skills and abilities in a new position. Even if the new hire has vastly superior knowledge, skills and ability, they need orientation into the specific context of the new job. Accept this from day one and you will save time and prevent frustrating a new employee.
- Conduct business by your business plan. Only at the start. Your business plan (you do have one, don't you?) is a great starting point. However, as mentioned in #2, your environment changes daily. If you wrote a business plan to obtain financing, to analyze opportunities or to plan changes, you captured one point in time. At least using the business plan you will have a way to analyze how things change around you. Be ready to change the business plan when it encounters reality. In the military, we say that no battle plan survives first contact with the enemy. In business, no business plan survives the first day of business.
Dan Knapp Business and Personal Coach
Achieve Your Goals - Grow Your Business
(407) 679-9134 Orlando, FL
Article Submitted On: October 26, 2000