Everyone I talk to seems to be very busy. Sometimes people can find themselves busy doing the wrong things and subsequently they missed what they should have been doing then they have to get busy trying to catch up.
In a world where market dynamics can shift at the click of a mouse, at news that competitors just figured out how to “engage” with your customers and “pull” them away from you busy doing the wrong things at the wrong time can mean chasing rather than leading your market.
What Keeps Everyone So Busy?
Whether it be on line or off line our world has lots of distraction that waste our time and attention to the important and urgent matters that drive a business. As we head into the last quarter of this year people will find themselves “busy” doing budgets and planning for next year based on last years results. How many budgets have you produced that we right on target every month and every year end. The answer. ZERO!
The problem with budgeting is that it is largely based on assumptions which usually start with past performance. Given that for many businesses 2009 has been a bad year so the right question is “what will you do differently in 2010 that will improve your performance?” The answer ought to be something totally different than what you did in 2009 otherwise we’ll get the same results we got in 2009.
Doing something totally different requires you to think about investing your time where your efforts can produce improved results. Time spent on budgeting is a waste of time unless you have specific initiatives, activities, offerings and communications to your market that reflect improved value. Otherwise your results will likely be worse than the previous year because you are not doing anything different to add more value to your market.
Doesn’t It Take Time?
Knowing what to do differently may in fact take time. However, knowing and deciding to do something different only takes a decision. A decision is the first step in taking action. The longer it takes to decide to do something the higher the risk of loosing the value and position you could and should have been capturing.
I’ve worked with Fortune 500 companies all the way down to small business owners. I usually am engaged to help them define a new strategy which will drive revenue and lower cost. In many cases after spending the time to research their market, assess strategic opportunities, educate them of the opportunity and present probable solutions the client ends up wasting time to think about it too long. The usual excuse is “right now we’re too busy with other things or we’re trying to figure out our budget for next year”. Unless you plan to create new revenue your budget is useless and a waste of time.
Red Light or Green Light?
Business managers take the time to assess something they learn that may help drive new revenue. Once assessed they tend to find excuses as to why they can’t execute on what they’ve learned that will indeed help drive revenue. People get stuck in paralysis analysis, tending to the not urgent, not important and waste precious time to “go” to market.
When it comes to using social media effectively it doesn’t take time to execute rather it seems to take too much time to decide to go. Not going is the same as sitting still in a market that waits for no one. The first to properly and effectively engage your customer the more likely those people will become their customers. To execute means to go not sit still. Unless you go you are indeed sitting still and the “market traffic” you desires takes a different route, to you competitor.
Traffic lights are designed to manage the flow of traffic. Traffic represents commerce. Usually when you are at a red light and it turns green you go. If you didn’t go on green and instead decide to sit still then your holding up “traffic”. Every been behind someone at a traffic light that turns green and they sit still?
What say you? Stuck in traffic because someone can’t decide whether to sit or go? Wasting time is in fact wasting money. Get it?