Big Grower November 2019 - 10

THINK BUSINESS
TO STRUGGLE OR
NOT TO STRUGGLE?
Today's business environment places many unprecedented challenges on companies as well as
individuals. Are you taking the right steps to address these challenges?
BY MARK RICHARDSON
S
ometimes we confuse being busy as
doing well. Sometimes we think when the
phone is ringing that we should be happy
not overwhelmed. Sometimes when we are
creating great projects, we should be making
money.
While all these may be true, then why are
so many businesses struggling? Why are these
businesses falling short on the sales targets
and their gross profit margins, and are slipping
dramatically on the forecasted net profit?
Every business is unique; however, there are
some common denominators.
TODAY'S BUSINESS DYNAMICS
Today, the pace of business is faster than
ever. If you drive a car at 40 miles per hour,
you have plenty of time to react when a deer
is crossing the road. On the other hand, if you
are driving 80 miles per hour you have very
little (if any) time to avoid an accident. The
risks are much greater. Your reaction time in
business today is a fraction of what it was 10 or
20 years ago.
Today, customers are more demanding
than ever. This is partially a result of their
stress but also the desired transparency in
today's business processes. They often know
as much about your products and costs as
you do, and therefore ask more and more
questions, and their trust levels are less.
The talent pool is not as deep as it
used to be. Not only are the experienced
growers getting older, but they also have many
employment options and are less loyal to
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you. This is resulting in more turnover, which
really disrupts the process and the business.
The proliferation of products, processes
and choices also adds a level of complexity
to everything you do and therefore makes it
more difficult.
These are just a few common denominators
that I am sure hit home and therefore make
things tougher out there.
BE PREPARED
As a coach and an advisor, I generally don't
like to just be a master of the obvious. The
following are a few tips on how to counter some
of these, so you struggle less.
1. Know your numbers: Today, you need to
really drill deep into your key metrics.
Go deeper than in the past. For example,
it is not enough to say, " We got 10 new
leads this week. " Where did the leads
come from? How does this compare to
the forecast? How does this measure up
to last year? How many leads resulted in
an appointment? What are the lessons
learned? I suggest you spend an extra
hour each week really knowing all the
numbers more deeply and making little
adjustments based on this knowledge.
2. Focus on your sweet spot projects/client
demographic: Think of your business like
a target at a shooting range. The bull's eye
is you sweet spot. Try to identify the right
client demographics, the right geography,
the right project/product size and type.
Then make sure you eliminate or say no
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to the ones that are not in the sweet spot,
and work hard on the ones that do meet it.
3. This is a team sport: You are not alone.
Leverage the team. When you struggle,
the team dynamic and culture often
break down. It is more important than
ever that you focus on the culture. It is
important that you listen to the distant
voices and react quickly. If you are
struggling, then be assured the team
might be having a tough time too; so
make the team a priority.
While these suggestions may be obvious,
many businesses struggle, in part, because these
are not a priority. When you get overwhelmed,
you tend not to focus on the one thing in each
area (people/process/product) that will keep
you on track.
You probably are not going to be able to
change the pace of life or all of the demands of
customers, but you can change how you look at
things and how you react to these conditions.
The skills required today in business are
higher than ever, but I do believe it is a choice
whether to struggle or not.
Mark Richardson is an author, speaker,
columnist and business growth strategist.
He has written several books on business
management including " How Fit Is Your
Business? " and " Fit to Grow. " His latest book
is " Control Your Day Before It Controls You:
The 7 Steps to Mastering Your Time. " All of his
books are available on amazon.com. He can be
reached at mrichardson@mgrichardson.com.
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GPN accepts no responsibility or liability for the validity of information supplied by contributors, vendors, advertisers or
advertising agencies.
10 NOVEMBER 2019
CEO Matt McCallum
mmccallum@greatamericanpublish.com
www.facebook.com/BigGrower
Advancing Alternatives ......................................7
Berger .........................................................................2
MasterTag .................................................................5
Premier Tech Horticulture ..............................11
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Big Grower November 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Big Grower November 2019

Big Grower November 2019 - 1
Big Grower November 2019 - 2
Big Grower November 2019 - 3
Big Grower November 2019 - 4
Big Grower November 2019 - 5
Big Grower November 2019 - 6
Big Grower November 2019 - 7
Big Grower November 2019 - 8
Big Grower November 2019 - 9
Big Grower November 2019 - 10
Big Grower November 2019 - 11
Big Grower November 2019 - 12
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