How did that happen? You certainly didn’t have SMB firefighting as a business strategy when you created your company.
At the end of the day, how would you characterize the sum total of you and your employees’ activities? Tactical firefighting or collaboration?
I can see you smiling. Your answer is something like “collaborative firefighting.” It’s exciting when everyone rolls up their sleeves to address today’s SMB crisis. You all feel that you have accomplished something significant. And you have, if it’s a one-time deal.
However, when daily firefighting becomes the norm, everyone’s attention and energy is diverted elsewhere and sucked dry over time. Who has the energy to consider productive and profitable collaboration strategies?
I’m sure you didn’t have that scenario in mind when you formed your small to medium size business.
Smaller businesses are particularly vulnerable to being overwhelmed by tactical SMB firefighting activities.
For starters, everyone’s wearing multiple hats and covering multiple functions. Depending on the number and complexity of the projects you work on or orders you receive, and the absence of tracking and management software, stuff gets overlooked.
If it ain’t broke, you and your team aren’t alerted that it needs fixing, right?
What’s the opportunity cost of addressing issues only when they occur, rather than being able to proactively anticipate and address them before they happen?
The more drama in your daily activities, the greater the chance of overlooking things.
- This week, take a snapshot of what each day’s collective activities look like. Are you and your team being productively collaborative or serving as an all-hands-on-deck firefighting squad?
- This week, identify the types of projects or the point-in-time when projects start smoldering. Do you see a pattern?
Pull you and your team out of SMB firefighting short-sightedness. Take a 10,000 foot eagle’s eye view of your business landscape. Collaboration is key to getting you and your team to where you want to go.
Interested in learning more about collaboration strategies? Join me tomorrow, Tuesday March 24, for a free webinar. I’ll open up my own playbook to share with you and your team.
Babette N. Ten Haken, President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, is a business coach and management consultant. She remodels startups and small-to-medium size manufacturing and service companies experiencing unpredictable revenue streams and inconsistent growth and expansion initiatives.
Babette was named a Social Selling 2015 Top50 Influencer and a 2014 Top 50 Marketing & Sales Influencer. Babette’s blog won the 2014 Bronze Medal, Top Sales World. Babette’s book on horizontal business development and collaboration strategies, including tools, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.