If It Ain’t Broke It Will Be

You probably heard someone say, “I was just walking along minding my own business when it happened.” Perhaps you were the one who said it. Businesses, especially small businesses often operate the same way.

But Everything Was Working

Many businesses operate much like the person above with an attitude of if it ain’t broke, don’t worry about it. Everything was working just fine, and then it happened. What happened? Perhaps sales began to fall, expenses started increasing, cash got tight, employees became unhappy and started jumping ship, or a host of other things. You didn’t even see it coming, and that raises a question.

Should You See Problems Coming?

While there will always be surprises in business and life in general, there is one constant and that is that change happens. So, with that mindset, perhaps we can take ownership of failing to see some of these changes coming. For example, few products have a perpetual life cycle, even if only in how they are delivered. Also, employees, being human, change. Their desires change. If their growth stagnates, they are highly likely to become restless and want something new. Likewise, production methods change, consumer tastes come and go, equipment wears out, etc. It is the nature of life that change is for certain. The form of the change is what we have trouble predicting accurately, particularly if human nature is a component of it. However, even there we can be astute about listening and trying to make educated guesses as to what things will look like in a year, 5 years, or even 10 years. Note how many times the word change was used in this paragraph. Change happens. Get use to it. For some more thoughts on what causes us to be blind to the need for change see We’re Making Money – So Why Change?

You’ve Got Ears and Eyes

You knew that of course, but I’m not talking about your own. I’m talking about those of your employees, customers, vendors, and others you interact with in business. Be willing to ask questions and really listen to what each of them has to say. Doing this demonstrates relational intelligence and serves to lift up others (See A Leader’s Choice), helping you even more in the future. They are your extra sets of eyes and ears. None of us knows it all. Whether it is your most trusted employee, an administrative person, or even the crew that cleans your building, everyone can have valuable insights. The bottom line is to ask and really listen to the responses. You may learn things that help you avoid future problems.

Independent Voices

It is also a good idea to constantly be learning (See Read, Read, Read). Industry insiders as well as those from other industries can provide food for thought and help you see coming changes before they blindside you.

So think about. Is anybody really just walking along minding their own business or is any business really working just fine. NO. Cause sooner or later, if it ain’t broke it will be.

If you want to know more, contact AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.

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