In a challenging economy, or economic recession, many business owners tend to panic with respect to decisions that need to be made about the business. Instead of planning, thinking through and making the best decisions, they tend to make decisions as though they are chopping away at a piece of wood. Instead of strategically looking at the business, they tend to react to the environment.
Instead of reacting haphazardly to disruptions in the marketplace, looking at your business as the system that it is will afford you the opportunity to make good, proactive decisions about your business that may help your business not only survive, but thrive.
For our purposes, we’ll define a system as am organized group of things that work together to form a single entity. If you think about a family as a system, they are a group of people that started off, at some point in the past, as two people. Their goal was survive. They required inputs in order to do so, such as food, water, clothing and shelter. They also had to think about each other’s safety – how they would continue to survive.
Eventually, this couple would procreate. However, the primary needs still had to be addressed – they would not go away. They learned, quickly, that the younger generation could not care for itself, and thus, their basic needs expanded. Eventually, through procreation, this small family became a group, and by combining with other families, the group become some sort of village or community that worked together to provide food, clothing, shelter, safety, education and growth for themselves. They depended on each other to bring their gifts, talents and abilities to provide certain inputs for the continuation of the community or system. When there was something lacking – food, water, shelter, safety, etc., the community suffered. When there were excesses, the community grew.
Your business probably started the same way: you started off as a single operator, or with a partner or two, with some vision of growing the organization. You found a name, a market, products or services, resources, etc. in order to grow the business. Your inputs include a market, customers, cash, talent, etc.. Just as the village, when there is a shortage of one or some of your basic needs, the business suffers. When there is an excess, the business prospers. It is a system.
So, in a nutshell:
- Realize that your business is a system: all parts of your business work together
- Define and prioritize your business’s needs – keep first things first
- Be aware of the key items that you need to monitor and with what frequency you need to monitor them. These will include your key inputs
- Watch the external systems- look out for signs of approaching internal or external disruptions to your business
- Be proactive. Make good, informed decisions that will ensure the likelihood of the continuance of your business
Your business is a system. It requires ongoing observation, adjustments and inputs in order to continue for any length of time. Ignoring the signs around you will ultimately lead to its failure.
At Aepiphanni Business Solutions, we are a Small Business Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small business owners. We specialize in helping you develop strategies for your organization, and are committed to your success. If you have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].