“Nothing changes if nothing changes.” – Unknown
In the past couple of weeks I’ve had a very frustrating experience on several different occasions. It’s happened before, but apparently my tolerance level is exceptionally low lately. So this week this abbreviated posting is going to be more of a venting.
If your business is struggling, and you want your business to be more profitable, there are really 3 things you can do about it. One is to increase margins. Another is to increase sales. The other is to decrease overheads. There are lots of variations of what you’re actually doing, but it comes down to those three things. But above all else is this – you have to change.
These frustrating conversations I’ve had the past few weeks go something like this: They start off by saying business isn’t very good. I ask why. They always say they don’t know, then they list a whole bunch of reasons, none of which they have much control over (government, economy, phase of the moon, whatever). Then I bring up margins – of course they can’t improve margins. Then I bring up sales – of course there’s nothing they can do about that. Then I bring up overhead – you get the idea.
So here’s what I tell them – if you can’t change any of those things, and you’re losing money, then you should go out of business right now and not waste any more of your time or money. Because it’s hopeless. And if you’re not willing to change, it really is hopeless.
Think about your organization. Think about the issues or opportunities you are facing. Most of them probably require change of some kind if you’re going to be successful. Are you willing to do it? Are you willing to go outside of your comfort zone? Are you going to stop making excuses? Or are you just going to ride life right into the ditch with the rest of the people who are too afraid/lazy/clueless to do anything about it? Change is hard and rarely looks like fun at the outset. But remember one of my favorite quotes: “If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.” (Gen. Eric Shinseki)
What are you going to change?