Are You a KISS Fan – Keep It Simple, Stupid – Approaching Life and Business?
I love when situations, challenges or problems can be summed up by proverbial bugs and as I was reading an article recently written by AP and USA Today, a small business writer, Rhonda Abrams, I think that It has two principles that are criteria for measuring your ability to achieve notable success in your business. Or if you are a potential entrepreneur, if you can not operate according to these two principles, you might consider a different career path or strategy.
His article featured 7 Rules for Small Business Growth and the two rules I want to highlight are as follows:
- Take care of your bread and butter business first, and
- Do not bet all your money on a horse.
These two business principles are multiple and as you can easily see, they pull you in opposite directions. The first point I want you to consider is your ability to hold two opposing goals in your mind and operate them both at the same time.
You could quickly conclude that, yes, you can continue your main activities and expand into different areas at the same time, but I urge you to think a little deeper. Will you end up going through the motions on one while your heart is fully invested in the other?
I've heard a lot of people that I respect saying something to the effect that you can not have more priority and I also know that our productivity drops dramatically when we do more tasks. In addition, experts like Shep Hyken will tell you horror stories about companies that have derived from their "way".
All this to say that finding and "driving" another "horse" to ride – to use the language of Abrams – is not easy: but it is necessary.
As I wrote elsewhere on these pages, I think we are currently in a special economic era and the polls prove it. Small business optimism is at its highest level. A growing economy combined with tax reform should maintain optimism at a high level in the medium term. This means that the coming months are the perfect time to place some bets on other horses. These favorable conditions for business growth, when they disappear, may not return long.
Discuss some ways to find other horses:
Expand your customer list. If you are too dependent on a handful of existing customers, be creative by adding names to your list. Expanding your geographic reach is, of course, a way to do it. If you are hyper local, go to the statewide; If you are in any state, go national; if you are national, go globally; if you are local, do e-commerce; or if you are alone in e-commerce, design a brick-and-mortar strategy. In addition, some of the following may expand your customer base.
Acquire a related company. Perhaps the easiest way to expand into a neighboring state is to buy a business there. This acquisition may be a business like yours, a supplier or a related industry. Amazon's profits come from its web services and not from its retail sales. I believe that when they developed their fantastic ecommerce system, they realized that they had created an incredible Internet infrastructure, so why not use that expertise to create a web service? In the same way, Uber has developed to deliver food to the restaurant.
Vertical integration. Whether through acquisition or expansion, think about how you can apply the principle of vertical integration to your business. What are you paying for doing what you could do yourself? In addition, when you set up this new operation, are there any others to which you could sell the service or the product?
But let me conclude by going back to what is really my central theme: are you the type of person who can balance these expansion tactics while still providing the right level of care and attention? Food to your core business? ]
Many of us lean heavily on one side or the other. Some are hard-wired to stubbornly manage the core business, while others like to pursue new opportunities. After honestly evaluating your position in the balance between these two rules or success principles competitors, if you conclude that you are deficient in one, it may be time to get help.
You could bring a partner whose strengths complement yours. A higher level manager could also be a possibility, perhaps even a short term project manager to manage an expansion project. If you think your strength is to open new doors to your business, calling on strong operations managers to advance the core business could free you to do what you love most.
What are you saying? Do you have what it takes to succeed by balancing these two goals or do you need a plan? Do not wait too long to answer these questions. The opportunity is to hit!