Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Will Your Business Slide Into the Ditch?


Yesterday I was driving home from a speaking engagement which was about 90 miles away. The drive usually takes about 75 minutes or so, but due to Winter driving conditions, it took me nearly two hours to get home. I counted dozens of cars which had spun off the road, resting in a snow covered ditch after losing control.

While I was moving along at a snail's pace on Interstate 80, a car flew by me. He was completely ignoring the conditions and I could pretty much predict the outcome. Not long after he had passed me, I saw him again...in the ditch. I'm sure he thought that he would be fine and the rest of us idiots were taking far too long to crawl along the interstate. He will be much later in arriving at his destination than he would have been otherwise. I counted 42 cars in the ditch and 3 overturned semis over the course of my 92 mile journey. Having grown up in Minnesota, I have visited my share of ditches (especially in my teen years). I just developed a healthy respect for the conditions, and would rather arrive late as opposed to not at all.

I don't know what the conditions are looking like on your business' road to success. I do know that it is essential to understand what the conditions are surrounding your business; even if you don't like them.The condition of your employees, customers, and competition play a huge role in your business strategies and action plans.

If an employee has personal issues bothering them, often times they just need an ear for ten minutes to vent. This will put them "back on the road" to being productive. If you are dealing with an upset customer and don't let them express their frustration because you are trying to solve their issue right away, you may wind up with an undesirable outcome. If your biggest competitor is running a successful promotion that is wooing customers, find a way to model it.

In business and in life, we must take risks. We must forge ahead, but also realize that sometimes conditions will necessitate a slight adjustment in the speed at which we are going. This is not a bad thing. It will just help keep you on the road to success.
For more information about booking The Shef for your next event, visit http://www.theshef.com or call our offices at 1-800-863-2591
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