“If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough.” – Mario Andretti
Where customers would wait a few weeks for a product or service just three short years ago, they now want it in a few days. And long gone are the days that your loyal customers will continue to work only with you without considering the options.
What we see today: everyone is looking to streamline their business and get the most out of each and every new bid and opportunity.
It’s safe to say we all know and understand this. So it strikes the ECS team as odd when a prospect has a known issue, understands that they need to do something about it, but then doesn’t move forward. They don’t get it (something, anything!) done.
What’s going on here? They could simply be making excuses. It could be they are waiting for “the perfect time” (whatever that means). They may be gripped by fear of making a mistake, or they could just refuse to take decisive action or make a decision and hope that the issue they face will go away over time.
I beg of all the small to mid-sized businesses out there: recognize that one of your greatest competitive advantages is an ability to change direction and address a growing need in a marketplace.
And also understand if you see the opportunity and do nothing about it, you’re giving away your greatest advantage. You are, in truth, letting your competitors eat your lunch!
So you don’t fall into this trap, here’s our 4 steps to making sh*t happen!
1. Identify the opportunities
Opportunities to improve a business, to provide a new offering or to just do it better are always around us. You and your team need to be vigilant in watching for and finding them.
As a business leader, be sure to encourage EVERYONE to bring those ideas to the table. Never ridicule or put down an idea – and celebrate them for just bringing it to light. Too often we see companies belittle ideas coming from front line workers – and in the process they end up missing a chance for big results.
2. Determine what problem your solving
Companies often get the process wrong and come up with solutions to problems that don’t exist.
You see this all the time coming from SaaS companies with new offerings to people who don’t have an issue. So always pause and ask – “What problem are we solving?”. If the problem is hard to define or it’s really not that big of a deal, drop the idea. Move on and use your resources elsewhere (and don’t look back).
3. Lay out the plan to solve
Once you’ve identified an issue and determined that – Yes! – it is a big deal! – it’s time to start pulling together a plan to solve the issue.
Start by identifying the steps from where you are today, and follow a logical path to what the final solution looks like upon competition. If you don’t have the right resources internally to solve, go find a company or person that can help (there are thousands of great resources – including ECS!).
4. Get to work: When you have the plan in place, the people to execute – just GET TO WORK!
To keep moving forward, make sure you’ve built timelines and milestones into achieving your goal. Don’t procrastinate or over-analyze. Trust me, you’ll never have a 100% perfect plan that you don’t need to adjust. But start the process, get going, and simply be prepared to be agile and flexible along the way and then great things will happen.
When we think of the greatest companies we have come in contact with, the leaders of these organizations don’t let time pass by without trying to improve outstanding issues, build new lines of business or just in general do it better. They take action and demand continuous improvement from themselves and their teams. They get s*it done.
Don’t let the one thing you’ve been dragging along (perhaps avoiding confrontation?) stop you from being great. If you have something you just can’t figure out how to improve, give me a call and either I, or someone else on the ECS team, would love to help you get through it.