Business Management is all about knowing where you’re going and what’s going on right now. Are you tracking the business information you really need?
Pitching to a prospective Abtrac client, they told me with pride their profit was up significantly this year compared to last. Therefore, they said, they’re obviously doing something right and probably don’t need Abtrac project management software after all.
Darn!! The last thing anyone needs, is to be told their sales pitch is going to be a waste of time. However, prospects often start by putting you off your stride and these people had reconfirmed their meeting just that morning. So they must have wanted something.
After congratulating them on their good news, I asked them how they did so well last year. My point was, if they knew how they did it, they could do it again this year. The answer was they didn’t know. As far as the director was concerned, “We’re very pleased it happened. So right now we aren’t too worried about how it happened.”
Then he added, “And obviously we’re hoping for even better results this year.”
It sounded so impressive!!
Now here’s a question I was dying to ask them, but didn’t. Was the information they were so chuffed to tell me about, that their profit was up significantly this year compared to last, effectively useless if they had little idea of how it happened? I’d say, pretty much so.
In business, relying on luck and hoping for the best isn’t the way it’s done. Luck really helps. And for business owners everywhere, hope is your best friend, and sometimes your only friend. But you need a lot more.
If you want to give your hope a big boost with confidence, and be in a much better position to leverage luck to your advantage, you need to be orderly, systematic, and obsessive about planning and managing your business. It’s the only way to get to a better place.
Now I hear you say, “I thought all that stuff went out the window years ago and it’s now all about disruption and innovation and client centric”.
The answer is, damned right it’s all about disruption, innovation and client centric. Companies that are doing well, growing from nowhere and taking on the world are disruptive, innovative and client centric, and they do it by being orderly, systematic, and obsessive about planning and management to achieve their end goal.
They set a goal and maintain their company’s focus on working towards it obsessively. Everything is done to achieve the goal. They do this with planning and management that is unwavering. They do this with people with systems to give them hard data measures and anecdotal measures from everywhere ASAP.
And they’re not scared to innovate. They pick up a piece of data, an idea or a response that others may overlook, and they try to leverage it to their advantage. They’ll try anything, knowing that whether it works or not, at least they’ve learnt something.
But that’s not new. Anyone who succeeds has to have been orderly, systematic and innovative. Their attention and focus often resulted in a new way of doing something that others hadn’t tried. They’ve innovated and disrupted. Think of Hannibal with his elephants, Copernicus realising the earth revolves around the sun, Edison and his light bulbs, Einstein taking physics into a whole new world. And being patriotic, I have to mention Team New Zealand sailing designers replacing grinders with cyclists.
We aren’t talking people managing their businesses by the “Seat of their pants” here. They were all very structured, very analytical in their approach and highly focussed managers of their own and everyone else’s time and efforts. Setting goals is only the half of it.
I could name a raft of local and international businesses who have adopted the same approach in their product development, in their marketing, in fact in everything they do, enabling them to go from strength to strength while others have watched in awe and at times, in fear.
The secret is simple. If you want to grow your business, keep it strong, and see it succeed you need to know where you’re going and what’s going on. Only then can you successfully analyse and learn from what’s happened in the past to ensure you’re staying on track towards your desired future outcome.
Work so every person is thinking and being orderly, systematic, and obsessive about planning and management to achieve every goal. And start using a business information system that helps you do it all more easily. Good management software is essential.
Knowledge is power. If you want more, go after knowledge by being orderly, systematic, and obsessive about planning and management to achieve your end goal. You’ll be able to press the success buttons time and again rather than relying on luck. You’ll also have more time to contemplate and innovate. Try out new things. Try dumb things. Hit on successful things. Learn what works and what doesn’t, rather than blindly hoping for the good times to come.
Success in business doesn’t rely simply on luck or hope. You have to make things happen because success won’t just drop down from above. I’m sure Sir Isacc Newton would agree .
And as always, if you have specific queries regarding the above, or for more information on Abtrac, I’ll be pleased to hear from you at any time.
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