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Fix This Next

Fix This Next

With just a few short weeks to go before the 2020 Presidential Election and 8+ months into a global pandemic, the world around me appears uneasy, angry, and anxious.  In my own life, I am a big believer in order and organization.  To quote Ecclesiastes chapter 3 verse 1:  “To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.”  Personally, it drives me crazy that so little is within my control during this time in history!  My most important role is that of a mother to 3 teens.  As such, when I think of out-of-control situations, I think of the kids first…  How are the kids supposed to learn anything when the teacher quits or takes a leave of absence before the kids arrive in the school building?  Does my teen have a gaming addiction?  Why is it that one in 5 teens is contemplating suicide?*

Certainties in the Small Business Community

Since so much uncertainty and insecurity has been appearing in our daily lives, I wanted to take an inventory count approach to the opposite.  That is, there are some things that we know for certain in our personal lives, in our communities, and of course, in our small businesses.  What are the certainties that we can depend upon in our small business community?

Business goes on.

I am fortunate to be in a community of passionate entrepreneurs who have broken away from working in corporate America, in exchange for staking their own claim to growing a business that will help them flourish as individuals, support their clients, and eventually leave a legacy of impact in their communities.  In times of difficulty, we come back to the core principles of business that entrepreneurship is and always will be about solving people’s problems.  When we solve a problem in exchange for a price, business continues to go on.

In business, once one problem is solved, a new problem will appear.

Mike Michalowicz explains this concept so very well in his latest book “Fix This Next”.  He calls it the Business Hierarchy of Needs and you can count on business problems repeatedly falling into one of 5 basic business needs:  We need a creation of cash first, followed by the creation of stability, and then the creation of efficiency.  Once those problems are solved, the business owner can create a transformational experience for their customer, and finally, the creation of permanence.  If you can figure out where your business problem lies, you will perpetually be able to solve the next thing and the business continues to evolve.  There is peace of mind in realizing that business follows a hierarchy of needs, and that we can move within the hierarchy with order.  Business does not have to be haphazard; instead, we can count on a hierarchy of consistency.

Technology transforms business.

Technology is transforming how we live, work, and play at amazingly fast speeds.  This does not mean that an entrepreneur needs to be a techie to run a business.  Rather, the business owner needs to identify where technology will support their business and execution will change the way in which they do business and connect with their clients.  One just needs to focus on the world as it is and recognize that focusing specifically on your clients and being prepared to adapt will help them utilize technology, rather than blame it for a changed environment.

We each have the power to navigate uncertainty within.

If there ever was a time to seize the moment, that time is now.  Your business is more important now than ever before; in these uncertain times, your clients need to know that you are in their corner.  We can face uncertainty with courage knowing that, as a community of small business owners, our perspectives and contributions matter.  We bring our voice of calm and confidence to our clients when we speak out about our entrepreneurial struggles.  The unanswered questions on uncertainty can be solved with measurement.  Our tools as small business owners are to manage uncertainty with measurement.  Use that Business Hierarchy of Needs to identify where uncertainty lies in your own biz, measure it, and find a way to fix it.

Going Forward

Business uncertainty requires measurement to solve the problem.  My hope is that each of us can identify an unresolved need in our business, set up a plan to resolve it, and set up criteria to measure the results of your plan.  Your business will likely not look the same a year from now as it does today, but you can overcome uncertainty by identifying your core need, finding a potential way to fix the problem and to measure it.  Once you are done with one problem, move to the next one…find it, fix it, measure it and do it again!


(*source:  https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/promoting-student-well-being/202009/america-is-facing-teen-suicide-pandemic)

Angie Noll