Have you noticed that too many businesses are merely surviving and not thriving? Chances are your company is one of them.
Most people in the modern western world have been taught the simple ABC’s of structuring a word and for that matter a sentence somewhere in kindergarten or perhaps the 1st grade. But most of those people have forgotten how that applies from a business point of view and therefore are struggling in the business world.
Let me illustrate with the following example. In the hot August heat of 2002, I was driving on the freeway on interstate 15 in Woods Cross, Utah right where the beltway merged with the freeway. Traffic was edgy and very agitating in the slow and go of rush hour traffic. Just then traffic picked back up to 75-80 miles per hour when I saw a gap in traffic just ahead of me. Another motorist pulled into that gap and ran over a motorcyclist flipping him up over the box van ahead of me.
I slammed on the brakes then positioned my car to protect us in traffic and got out to see if he was ok. I could immediately see that he had several potential broken bones, lacerations, and he was not wearing a helmet that made things worse.
I ran up to him, and the emergency preparedness merit badge I had learned in scouts suddenly came to mind.
I needed to check his ABC’s if we were going to keep him alive. You see in the medical training they teach to check the Airway first so that it is not clogged and capable of getting air to the rest of the systems in the body. Then you check breathing to see if it is shallow, deep, or nonexistent and help the victim in breathing. Then check the circulation of the blood to the extremities to insure that all parts are receiving enough oxygen.
Yes, I managed to save the life of that motorist that day by using a Scouting skill I learned many years before, but also learned that day that we as business owners and employees have to attend the ABC’s of business as well as to not get clogged or die off.
Just as in the medical field where there are a pattern of ABC’s that need to be followed in an emergency, and procedures that are done to ensure people get better from an accident, so too the alphabet applies to business success.
Compare the Medical ABC’s to the list for business survival and then it can revive so that it can thrive!
The Airway is the flow and success of your business, how well it is managed, and the problems or lack of solutions that your business offers. In other words it is the pipelines of sales and potential customers that are flowing into your business. If you are not getting enough air to live and breathe then your pipeline is plugged and you will need the business equivalent of mouth to mouth recessitation.
First you need to recognize that your business is choking by evaluating these vital signs: are sales down, is morale slumping, has activity slowed compared to better years, are the pipelines to thin or frozen, are areas or departments frustrated with one another, or have people bought into “the recession?”
If any of these are present in your business you may be in real trouble. This is the livelihood in your business and if the air is too smoky to breath something must be done. The longer that goes on the worse the environment becomes and the harder it is to recover. (Stay tuned to my next column as I address that subject and how to fix the air in there.)
This leads us to the Breathing of your company. The life blood of any company, product or service is our service to our customer, hence we need to take their pulse to improve or service and keep pace with the needs of the customer. To keep breathing we also need to have good people and a good atmosphere for success and trust. People tend to be your greatest asset, take the time to invest in them and you will find the air there is easier to breathe. If we are not constantly looking at the cardio monitor we may suddenly find our company has flat lined.
The last of the big three of the ABC’s and yes to keep a healthy company we must follow the other fundamentals of d through z (so contact me for the rest of the list) we need to check all of the circulation of the blood supply. Are your sales people regularly performing at their best and maximizing the needs of the clients and finding fresh and new opportunities in other segments of the market? Most sales people have become complacent and satisfied leaving gigantic pay raises for your competitors to go find. Fix the circulation by rewarding new contracts, and incentivizing all of your team for their performance. Only then can you experience true growth.
Business can be as simple as following the ABC’s and fundamentals that made you successful in the first place, but you need to have the right type of professional help for the best outcome. Stay tuned for segments on business survival and revival when I address being prepared for the emergency with a TENT, and COMPASS; next time on the Business Survival Guide.