Running a business gets so demanding, that we often can’t
see the wood for the trees. We become preoccupied with
ensuring that everything in the business works the way it
is supposed to. In other words, we spend most of our time
working in the business.
The problem with this operational focus is that it is easy
to lose sight of what could be done in the business to make
it run better. The business will only prosper in the long
term if you devote a lot of attention to improving how the
business works and increasing its capacity.
Spending a lot of time working on the business, makes it
grow in the long term. Business growth is sustainable and
things just keep on getting better. If necessary, get other
people to work in the business. Working on the business
should be your top priority.
Failure to work on the business causes it to become
trapped. It is almost like the business gets stuck in a
box. The business is unable to dynamically take advantage
of opportunities. And it fails to adjust to a rapidly
changin g environment. Eventually, the business starts
losing its competitive edge. A one way downhill trip
becomes almost inevitable.
Most businesses fail or under perform because business
owners spend too much time working in their businesses. And
not enough time working on their businesses. The biggest
fall out is during the first year. 29% of new businesses
never make it into their second year. And 65% of businesses
close their doors within the first 5 years.
Research shows that the biggest cause of business failure
is the lack of a Strategic outlook. People who start
businesses tend to be very focused on operational issues.
The preoccupation with working in the businesses causes an
almost exclusively Operational Focus.
The lack of a Strategic outlook means that little attention
is paid to laying the foundations that business success is
built on. Because Strategic Action is not taken in the
business, it stagnates. And gradual decline follows. Even
if you get through the first five years, you aren’t home
and dry yet.
Many businesses that manage to get through the first five
years, also lack that all important strategic outlook. For
them, a different set of problems arise. Initiating
strategic outlook enables business techniques you will need
to become successfully occupied for the foundation, which
is the first building blocks of any business.
By Abe Cherian
Copyright © 2006
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