I shook my head as I replied, “Sometimes you have to break things in order to get ahead. If you’re going to continue to do everything the same way, even without this person, you’re not likely to achieve increased revenue and improve business performance.”
Breaking things allows you to find trapped opportunities that will lead to significant growth.
What Does it Mean to Break Things?
Don’t start by taking a sledgehammer and swinging indiscriminately. We’re not smashing china or tearing down the house.
We’re looking for the specific factors or elements within the company (internal, not external) that are either broken or working poorly. Some areas to look at include:
- Customer service
- Marketing methodologies
- Pricing models
- Communication between front line people and managers
I’m sure many more come to mind in your company. Choose one to work through as you read this.
How is this working?
Ask yourself how this factor is working now.
If it’s customer service, do you get kudos or complaints about your efforts to provide true, thoughtful and valuable customer service? If you’re doing customer service in name only, then it’s not working.
If you have a suspicion that communication between the front-line staff and management is weak, check it out. A Product manager recently called me, asking if I was interested in purchasing the HVAC unit I got a quote for four months earlier. He did not know that I had immediately purchased the unit! Imagine how many sales are lost because of poor communication practices between departments.
Do you approach the end of the year both eager and worried about raising your fees or prices? You’re eager because you’d like the increased revenue and you’re worried because buyers may go elsewhere. The thinking and decision making that go into your pricing approach are ripe for breaking.
The key to effectively breaking things is to ask, “What would we be doing if we achieved the success we’re aiming for?” Be sure your answer starts with the end goal. Don’t think in terms of tweaking this or modifying that. You need a fresh start.
Take your time answering this question. Make a list. Don’t edit it based on preconceived ideas about practicality, cost or the competition, the market or other factors. It is fascinating that the more we imagine, the more we able to imagine. One idea begets another idea and so on.
Where are the trapped opportunities?
Once you’ve created your list, you ask “Where are the trapped opportunities?” By trapped I mean opportunities or ideas that will be brushed off or ignored specifically because they are not like anything you’ve ever done. If you don’t want to break anything, you’ll gravitate towards the familiar. If you do want to break things, you’ll look for options that are completely new.
In order to pursue these trapped opportunities, you have to break the trap.
What does that look like? Who will be involved? When will we make it happen? What will it cost and how will we make the money available? When do we expect to reach the first milestone? When will it become the norm, the way we do things?
What do we have to let go of as part of breaking the trap?
2020: Your Best Year Ever?
I love this idea of your best year ever. It doesn’t say that there was anything wrong with this year. It simply guides you to think and aim beyond what you are currently doing. It helps you think big. What would we be doing if 2020 is to become our best year ever? Part of the answer is that you’d be breaking things, pursuing your trapped opportunities.
Now’s a great time to review the 2020 Profitability Checklist. When a company’s foundational strategy is to make a profit with every sale, it is forced to consider what needs breaking. We’ve included questions about these factors:
- Products and services
- Prices and fees
- Customer service
What needs improving and what is really a trap that needs breaking in order to release opportunities?
Break Your “The Way We Do things” Habit
Business owners are experts on everything within the company, which itself is a trap that needs breaking. An outside perspective always illuminates things owners can’t see because they are so close to them.
You know how to get to where you are. The question is do you know how to get much farther down the road? That’s what an outside perspective will do. Trivers Consulting Group brings our outside view to the way you do things and helps break the trap and release the opportunities within.
We hope you will make an appointment for a complimentary call. Just drop me an email or call 703-801-0345. The client results we work towards require incorporating your unique circumstances into our engagements. The discovery call allows us to agree on outcomes, the right methodologies for your company, and the appropriate timeline.
If you want to make 2020 your best year ever, don’t wait another moment to connect with us!