Do not get comfortable at your business!

The goal of life in many ways is to be comfortable.  Comfort can in financial, health, or physical aspects of your life.  This should never happen in your business!  Getting comfortable in your business is a sure way to lose market share, make less profit, and be caught off guard.

Are you comfortable with how your business is run today?

Be honest on this one.  When times are good, it is easy to fall into this trap.  Ask yourself these three questions to see if it may be time for a change of mindset:

  1. Is your PROFIT MARGIN keeping up with your industry?
  2. Are your competitors offering new services you are not?
  3. Do you have a leadership team that gets together quarterly to clearly set goals and plan for the future?  Is this producing results?

The answers to the questions are less important than the thoughts they should provoke.  If you don’t instantly think, “I bet we could make a little more profit by improving our XYZ process”, or “You know, XYZ did just start offering this new service, maybe we should think about that”….you just may be a little too comfortable for your own good.  

Unlike our personal lives, the goal of a business is to grow and stretch all the time.  The comfort zone is a dangerous place to be for long.  The speed of business today means that only those that are not satisfied with the status quo keep up.

What is the opposite of comfort? Pain. 

This is what most businesses wait for until they address issues.  They are content that their people or processes are delivering the expected results…until they are not.  This is a very reactive approach and can be solved easily.

Three ways to ensure you are not caught off guard:

  1. Engage with outside partners to provide insight and strategy
  2. Employ CHANGING metrics to make sure that you are not managing to a the same number over and over again
  3. Question if there is a better way, especially as it relates to non-value added functions in your business

At Stringfellow we constantly review our business practices and processes to make sure there is not a better way.  Not in a paranoid sense, but using a methodical approach that ensures we touch on all our functional areas at least once per year.  Do not get comfortable….unless you are home in your pajamas!