Taken as a whole, these weaknesses create an overgrown elephant that everyone sees and no one wants to acknowledge. Unfortunately, that pachyderm wanders around a company’s hallways and meeting rooms every day.
You know it. I know it too. Since I catalyze clients to make hard calls, let’s get these vulnerabilities out on the table.
Today, I address the first 4 SMB strategic Achilles heels hobbling small to mid-sized businesses.
For starters, the majority of businesses in the US are micro- and SMBs. Consequently, the collective impact of SMB strategic Achilles heels on these companies’ viability is daunting. However, the issues at hand are far from insurmountable.
Ponder whether the following factors impact your own company’s competitive competencies. Otherwise, how often can sales or engineering teams perform triage to salvage client relationships?
The first 4 SMB strategic Achilles heels impact nearly 90% of the SMBs I work with.
Not surprisingly, these Achilles heels revolve around whether a SMB has outdated, unaligned or non-existent business and operational processes.
- First, ponder whether or not business from the majority of customers represents repeat orders only. Regardless of the level of customized design required, or how sexy the customer is, this scenario creates a major customer acquisition issue.
- Also, when the leadership team takes orders from one or two (usually family) members, a SMB develops biased strategic perspective.
- In addition, consider whether or not a solid human capital strategy exists. Far too many SMB HR departments serve only as order-takers. As a result, hiring practices reduce breadth and depth of employee core competencies.
- Then, as sales teams focus commissions, they easily oversell capacity. Consequently, these dynamics create manufacturing backlogs and signal that the tail truly is wagging the dog.
Chances are, past efforts to address these strategic SMB Achilles heels involved the drama of an organizational root cause scavenger hunt.
Most often, SMBs are so mired in the present that they have difficulty gaining perspective about the future. Also, SMB Achilles heels tend to be addressed simultaneously, in an effort to save time and money.
As a result, outcomes look like one of those family holiday meals gone wrong. Please! Things do not have to be this way.
Alternatively, consider simple solutions providing the greatest impact on strategic SMB Achilles heels.
Realistically, overcoming the SMB Achilles heels which hobble an organization are catalyzed by taking an honest, first discovery step. Most of the time, overwhelming reluctance to address these factors represents the biggest impediment to organizational recalibration.
Do any, or all, of these strategic SMB Achilles heels sound familiar? What actions has your company taken in the past? What steps would you like to take, moving forward?
Babette Ten Haken is a STEM-trained catalyst, corporate strategist, storyteller and facilitator. Her focus? How collaboration revolutionizes and humanizes the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) value chain. The results? Increased customer loyalty, customer success and customer retention.
Babette’s One Millimeter Mindset™ programs draw from her background as a scientist, sales professional, enterprise-level facilitator, Six Sigma Green Belt and certified DFSS Voice of the Customer practitioner. Babette’s playbook of IIoT team collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon. Do you know the Top 5 Negative Customer Retention Scenarios? Find out here.
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