We’ve Always Done It This Way. Where Are the Results We’ve Always Had?
A manager in a small business recently commented to us she was frustrated because the firm principals were disappointed that the business was not seeing sales improvement and profitability increases in the winter months. A seasonal business, colder winter months were not as busy as the spring, summer and fall selling periods, and sales were slow. They were depending on tried and true marketing and sales tactics. Why weren’t they working?
After leaving a corporate meeting with the firm principals, the manager was frustrated.
“They just don’t get it!” he said. “I have tried and tried to tell them that if they expect different results, we have to do things differently. I suggested quite a few ideas. However, I got shot down every time.”
This manager has over 25 years of experience in the industry. She knows all facets of the business, production, inventory control, sales, and customer service. Her principals are both college educated corporate executives who elected to leave the corporate world to try small business entrepreneurship. The business appears to succeed. The lights are on every day, and their products are made and sold.
But as any small business owner learns (sometimes the long and hard way), what the book says and what happens in the real world are often different!
“To continue to do the same thing over and over and expect different results is pure insanity.” Albert Einstein was right. The business principals continue to do the same thing and expect different results. As the manager tried to explain to them, if they are expecting different results, they must use and employ different actions.
Besides being open to new approaches, business owners need to listen to their staff, a critical element for overall business success. The staff is intimately involved, wants the business to succeed, and knows that’s the way they continue to have a job! Most times, the staff has great ideas because they do the work and specific tasks every single day.
So, listen to your staff. You may not agree or understand what you’re hearing, but if you’ll take the time and effort to learn more about each specific idea, concept or opportunity presented to you, you will be amazed at the results.. Sometimes, you may not have the information needed to sustain a solid idea. You can explain, in simple terms, why the idea is not viable now but could work with some changes, new approaches or different angles! It’s up to you to listen, get involved, contribute your expertise and try something new.
Try it. Different results await, if that’s what you’re looking for.