A financial advisor wrote on LinkedIn: “There are no short cuts. Success requires discipline, patience, and hard work.” I replied that I feel frustrated by experts who promote “hacks”—short cuts that are supposed to give you great results. Who needs discipline, patience, and hard work? Try a hack instead! And I asked, “Who would like to buy a hacked product or service?” Hacks are no way to make meaningful money and secure deep relationships that build your business over the long term.
I started thinking about what companies CAN do to get amazing results in less time and without waste. I know for sure, after more than 20 years consulting with business owners, that there’s never a short cut that helps a company increase its profit–the only thing that counts. You might have a brilliant idea that turns a buck quickly. Or that you can activate and leave alone-but those are short-lived and low value. And if you can do it, you know your competitors can do it, and then what?
Get Better Results in Less Time and With Less Waste-3 Keys
A fantastic plan: By fantastic I mean a plan that leads you to achieve a clear, specific, and valuable goal in a short period of time. One goal per plan and one plan at a time.
If the revenue of your company is flat year after year, the goal could be to increase revenue in the current year by 15%. What is that in dollars? Until you know exactly what that number is and think and talk about it all the time you won’t move the needle.
The goal forces you to ask questions:
• Increase prices or fees?
• Increase the number of customers and clients?
• Increase the value of our offerings for the benefit of existing customers and clients in ways that increase what they spend?
• Change our pricing model from hourly billing to fixed fees?
You may choose one of these or a mix. But unless you are specific about which route you’ll take, you’ll waste time and money.
Expertise: Speed and efficiency do not happen without the addition of outside expertise. The expert sees what you don’t see and is not burdened by “what we always do” and other habits that the owner is comfortable with. The expert should be focused on speed and efficiency themselves. We recommend choosing outside experts who offer their services for a fixed fee. Those who charge by the hour have the exact opposite goal from yours: they make more money the longer it takes.
Priority: The owner must make this goal his or her priority. If you focus on it, everyone else will focus on it and it will get done in the planned time frame. The hardest part of this focus is saying no to other seemingly urgent demands. There’s no such thing as a ‘top’ priority. It’s either a priority or it’s not. This goal isn’t a line on your to-do list. It is the only thing you’re doing.
Prioritization supports the timeline and the allocation of resources. That’s speed and efficiency.
There are no hacks for Plan, Expertise and Prioritization. These three factors are the absolute best short cuts to success. Instant gratification? Not instant, but pretty fast. And highly gratifying.
About Susan Trivers: Susan Trivers has helped business owners add more than $2 billion to their top line over the past 21 years. She works with privately owned professional, technical and scientific services companies to increase profitable revenue. The Trivers Consulting Group philosophy is Money Matters: that growing profits requires looking at the whole company; identifying strengths, finding gaps and uncovering opportunities that are trapped by disconnects between strategy, operations and financial factors.