Most have heard the saying that “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”. We all know that there is truth in this and yet we often fall into the trap of doing what we have always done and hoping that things will turn out better next time. The temptation to carry on doing the same thing is often strong when others have succeeded by following that path.
In a similar vein many business leaders misdiagnose the reasons why they are failing in some aspect of their business. For example they might assume that their sales have dropped because someone is undercutting their prices, that they struggle to retain staff because employees are not motivated anymore, that they need a new and improved logo to get people to look at their marketing material, or that they have cash flow issues because they have to pay their GST or PAYE.
For a business to succeed it is important that their leaders gather facts to measure what is and is not working for them. In the above examples it might not be the price that caused the customer to go to a competitor but the service offering, including the time it took to return phone calls. Staff might be leaving because they are frightened for their safety or their ideas are not being heard. Your target market might not be looking where you are advertising and customers not paying on time rather than tax obligations are more likely to be the cause of cash flow issues.
Business owners who gather facts rather than make assumptions are less likely to spend time and money on initiatives that are not going to work. If they are losing customers, they give them a call and ask why. They ask the customers who are buying from them what they like and dislike about the experience. They set aside time to listen to their staff and work with them to resolve their issues. They look at the timing of all of the cash coming into and going out of the business to improve their cash flow. And if they do not know what their financial reports are telling them they seek help from a professional.
Many business leaders find the impartial ear of a business mentor invaluable in this fact gathering process. A business mentor will not only challenge the assumptions made but will help set up systems that ensure that the information needed to make informed decisions are in place. They also help evaluate the merits of the opportunities that are available. If you think that your business might benefit from some fact-based decision making or a business mentor then call Shifting Focus Business Consulting today to see how we can help you.