Is Your Business Stuck?

The word “STUCK” is not a very fancy business expression, but it can carry tremendous negative power.  Sometimes the challenge of getting our business unstuck appears so overwhelming we will do anything to avoid having to confront the stuff that actually needs to be done.  The feeling of being stuck is horrible and it breeds things like complacency, stress and vulnerability.  You have heard the expression, sticking your head in the sand and hoping the problem will go away.  It won’t.  So here’s what to do.

You should not be offended by this prospect, because the world’s most brilliant minds get stuck.  I always knew when one of my most respected business executive colleague’s was stuck, because he would procrastinate endlessly if he was not comfortable with a problem.  I could beg, borrow and plead for a decision, but it would not come until he was ready.  This is called being stuck!

No matter how negative the impact of allowing yourself or business to remain stuck, you’d rather do nothing about it.  It is an overwhelming force that can easily take control so you would prefer to employ all your avoidance tactics instead.  I certainly can attest to this when it comes to cold calling

Surprisingly the solution is fairly simple:

Step 1:   It is like any other problem, the first step is to admit you are stuck.  Once you admit you are stuck you can start working on a course of action.  The simple act of admitting you are stuck will have a calming effect and give you time to start working on a solution.

Step 2:  The second step is to write down what you perceive as the problem.  It might sound something like - I have excessive inventory that won’t move, I can’t get a decent margin on my unit sales, cross border shopping is killing my business or my expenses are way out of whack with my sales volume.  It always helps to write things down first so you can focus your mind on whatever you are stuck on.  Then list what will happen if you stay stuck.  Do this and your worst fears will surface, which in itself will more than likely give you all the motivation you need to get unstuck.

Step 3:  The third step is to analyze your business in detail.  This could take the form of a financial performance analysis of your financial statements that will pin point the weaknesses that have your business stuck and not moving forward.  It could take the form of assessing the performance of your staff to qualify their individual contribution to the company.  Your analysis in whatever form it takes often will point out something entirely different to what you thought.  For example, what if your analysis of cross border shopping showed that statistics for your region and industry confirm that this only represents a potential loss of 5% of your sales?  If you believed it was 40%, would you change your approach and realize the problem is somewhere else in your company?  Knowledge is empowering and will give you the tools to solve your problem.

Step 4:  The fourth step is to design a plan of action.  From your analysis you can strategize on what can and needs to be done to resolve the problem.  This might employ discussions with your colleagues, suppliers, change in staffing, new advertising campaign or getting help from a consultant. 

Step 5:  The fifth step is to put your plan into action.  Business plans should always be flexible, but taking the last step and putting it into action will get you and your business unstuck.  You will feel better, reduce your stress and will gain a sense of accomplishment that your business can now move forward towards success.

If you need to talk about get you business unstuck, contact me for a free consultation.

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