Life is good. Billings are steady; the phones are quiet, so no clients are complaining; and the staff seem content. Yup. Everything is fine. . . . Except it’s not fine. Your business may be suffering from the most insidious maladies: the triple threat. Unnoticed, these three factors will kill your business from the inside:
Threat No. 1: All Of Your Eggs Are In One Basket.
This may sound like a no-brainer, but it can happen so quickly, totally under the radar. One day you notice that those interchange projects account for 45% of your billings. Maybe more. What happens when the federal government doesn’t pass a transportation funding bill, and there is no more money for those projects? It’s a rare business that can take a 45% hit to the billings and remain standing.
So What Can You Do? You need to diversify. Look for low-hanging fruit in other market sectors and get those jobs. Keep the interchange projects going, but lower your risk. And fast.
Threat No. 2: The Phones Are Quiet:
You’re spending your time completing the work you have, so there’s no time for business development. The either/or mentality is a silent business killer. Clients are notorious for putting projects on hold. How will you pay your staff when they’re on the bench, waiting for the job to start again?
How Can You Prevent This? Create a business development plan, and stick to it. If you craft it to fit into your existing schedule you’ll be much more likely to stay on course, and grow your backlog. Do this today.
Threat No. 3: Your Staff Are Mutinous:
What? Everything seems fine. The deadly word here is seems. You’re out of touch with your workforce, and this is the most poisonous threat of all. If you don’t have your finger on the pulse of your staff’s morale; or worse, you’ve got them firmly under your thumb, the dam is ready to burst and there go your doers.
How Are You Supposed To Fix This? Talk to your people. Because, after all, they are people. With families, hopes and dreams. Chances are high that your business is NOT their number one priority. If you don’t know them, and what makes them tick, your staff will disengage. Get everyone together for a pizza lunch once a month. Encourage the field guys to interact with the office more. Let them know you care.
There are a lot of external threats to your firm’s well-being, but if you take the steps necessary to root out the Triple Threat, you’ll be able to meet other challenges head on, from a position of strength.
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This article is published by Will Sherwood | The Sherwood Group |Website Design | Graphic Design | Marketing Communications: The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising, graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering, Now what do we do?” We are located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
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