Tools for Success: Master Blocking and Tackling

The first article in this series listed more than 25 tactics to increase your business success, all of them based on my experience. I started with nothing and didn’t get to college, so I know you can achieve maximum success, regardless of your education. E-mail me to get the first article (or any of the other articles) in the series. Each takes a closer look at one of the tactics listed in that first article.

Stop looking for the Holy Grail. It doesn’t exist. And stop worrying about what your competitor is doing because it appears they are doing better than you. There are no secrets and no magic formulas. In most cases, you know what to do, but you aren’t doing it, so you’re looking for something that is new and better. I know, your competitor has a twitter account so you think that you should start to do that and to spend more on Facebook. But you haven’t even looked at your pitiful web page in 3 years since your cousin’s nephew put it up for you.

You’re looking to expand your product line, but you’ve spent no time studying what sells and what doesn’t in your current product lines. You aren’t tracking any metrics, so all your actions are based on your gut instead of any real data or industry benchmarks.

Before you are seduced by what is new, work on your blocking and tackling.

Work on the stuff you know works. Devote time to the fundamentals that you’ve been ignoring. You haven’t even bothered to measure anything in years. You haven’t reviewed your marketing, your production, your buying, or really much of anything. One thing is for sure, what you used to do isn’t good enough today. And you haven’t spent any time making sure it’s all happening like your expected. You haven’t looked for ways to improve any of the basics. When you start looking closely, you will be amazed by what you find.

Want to cut expenses? Get serious about reviewing every financial decision. My boss at Ford, Dixon Thayer, gave us an idea. Look at every expense in the context of, if not done, would we go out of business? If the answer is no, then don’t do it. It’s easy to add it back later.

Every business I’ve ever consulted for had too many employees. Most had been doing the same marketing stuff for years, with little or no thought about how their customers or products might have changed. Read my article about client and prospect acquisition cost and use it to think about your marketing.

I am all about innovation, but the incremental effects of innovation are unlikely to make up for a poor execution of the basics. Never try to grow with a bad foundation; it’s a failed strategy. If you can’t do the blocking and tackling, you will struggle with innovation and growth in double digit percentages is hard to achieve if you aren’t on your game. Too often, I see businesses trying to borrow money to cover operating losses while they try to grow, but that’s a terrible mistake unless the owners are on the way to solving the fundamental underlying reasons for a lack of profitability.

Remember only you can make business great!

Ron Sturgeon, Mr. Mission Possible, has been a successful business owner for more than 35 years. As a small business consultant, he can deliver wisdom and advice gleaned from an enviable business career that started when he opened a VW repair business as a homeless 17-year-old and culminated in the sale of several businesses he built to Fortune 500 companies.

Ron has helped bankers, lawyers, insurance agents, restaurant owners, and body shop owners, as well as countless salvage yard owners to become more successful business people. He is an expert in helping small business owners set the right business strategies, implement pay-for- performance, and find new customers on the web.

As a consultant, Ron shares his expertise in strategic planning, capitalization, compensation, growing market share, and more in his signature plainspoken style, providing field-proven, and high-profit best practices well ahead of the business news curve. Ron is the author of nine books, including How to Salvage More Millions from Your Small Business.

To inquire about consulting or keynote speaking, contact Ron at 817-834-3625, ext. 232, rons@MrMissionPossible.com5940 Eden, Haltom City, TX 76117.