Are you a Duct Tape Business?
Does this sound like you?
At first, it’s kind of fun. You offer this thing you do. Someone buys it. Then you try something else. That works too. Bam, you have a business. After a while, there’s no time to plan because things are rolling along too quickly. So, you hire someone because you need someone. You tell them you need things done but they do not seem to meet your standards. There no time to train them because you are so busy and they should know what to do anyway you hired someone with experience.
Then things start to go wrong and you start going through rolls of Duct Tape:
- Then you give a client a discounted rate because he asked, and hey, why not? He’s a nice guy and he was one of the first people to pay you. After awhile your low-paying client starts to demand more service and says they will leave you if you charge him more.
- Your website designer is actually your brother-in-law who does not make the fixes you need because he has another job in data management, so you have to wait for him to be available. Then he gets upset and crashes your website.
- Your assistant leaves because they got tired of having to deal with cleaning up your messes all the time.
Here’s the thing.
I must admit was that person and made all those mistakes plus many more. I did not even realize that was the path I was traveling until I eventually crashed. I did everything wrong because I was only putting in temporary fixes just to make it through the day. When I did finally decide to start pulling things together it was too late. In the end I learned amazing lessons and I hope you can learn from my mistakes.
So if you are that person I describe then at some point, you’ll have to decide if you want to continue to slap things together with a temporary fix or if your business is worth having. You need to decide if you want to own a job or own a business. If you want to own a job then keep things the way they are but if you want to own a business start getting strategic about running your business. Do not wait until it is too late.
So, what do you do?
Start by finding your biggest drains, what’s causing you the most pain in your day-to-day work.
Be brave enough to create criteria and standards for exactly what you want in each of those areas.
Build a system to deal with the routine tasks. Mandate that everyone in your company follows the same criteria and standards including yourself.
Put your Duct Tape away. Fix problems so that they do not continue to be problems.
It starts inside of you. Take your business seriously with your clarity and by not settling for any quick fixes no matter what. You’ll be amazed at what happens.