The key to success for businesses in this environment is to remove the distractions and focus on the core, after all, this is what will make your profit. The distractions we have in our daily business and personal lives are the things that distract our actions (distractions) from being implemented.
Business is different today, or is it? Business is tougher at the moment, or is it? Is this the reality or is it just an excuse that supports the fact that business owners are too distracted from the key actions that continue to drive profitable businesses. I am not saying that times are not tougher as a result of external factors that business owners cannot control: reduced demand, tighter credit, the European Crisis. Small and medium sized businesses have to work harder for their profits and cash flow. True, but the reality is that where we are at is just part of the same business cycle that always plays out. Boom and bust. The good times are always followed by a tightening of markets, which results in a clean out of businesses, and the remainder having to invest in actions to drive profitability whilst competitors fight for a bigger piece of a smaller market. The cycle always turns. When the good times were here, let’s call this pre GFC, businesses didn’t have to work as hard for their money, the opportunities rolled in the door. Now we have to look for the opportunities. The last 4 years have been negative: tight credit, slower cash flow, constant doom and gloom in the media. This has to have an impact on our ability to think clearly and remove the distractions that get in the way of critical actions.
The question that I have been asking business owners, and in particular, professional service firm principals, is: “Where are you spending most of your day? Is it in the areas that are distracting you driving the critical action to ensure success?” My advice is to remove the distractions and focus on your core business. It is these distractions that distract you from your actions. DISTRACT ACTIONS.
The number one action that business owners in tougher times need to focus on is their revenue strategy. Too many businesses focus on the production and delivery part of their business. This is critically important, but the need to invest in your product strategy, creating a strong sales plan and developing a marketing plan to support the sales activity is critical. You still must have efficiencies in your production and deliver on time, but without the sales, there is nothing to produce. When times are tougher, it is easy to be distracted by the constant noise. You need to block it out and focus on the actions that drive the results.
Don’t be distracted, take ACTION.