"If you find yourself trapped between stagnating sales, staff turnover, and unhappy customers, what do you fix first? Every issue seems urgent -- but there's no way to address all of them at once. The result? A business that continues to go in endless circles putting out urgent fires and prioritizing the wrong things."- Mike Michalowicz, Fix This Next
A business may have a debt issue or a margin issue. A business could have an employee engagement problem or a client engagement problem. A business could have all of these at once. But even in a scenario where a business needs triage, we must always fix it by addressing its most Vital Need first. By pinpointing the Vital Need and fixing that next, we will be doing the right thing at the right time. And that is the only way to grow a healthy business.
The experience is like this: We sense a problem, such as the lack of money at the company bank account. We react to the problem by immediately offering a discount in the hopes of drumming up sales. When that doesn’t work, we run an ad for a “rain maker” sales person. And when that fails we try doubling our prices. And on and on it goes. Problem = action. Random solution = reaction. And the whole time the problem may not have been sales related but efficiency related.
We stay stuck in a continual cycle of problems and quick fixes for the entire life of the business. In other words, we stay stuck taking two steps forward, but three steps back.
In Fix This Next, Mike reveals the BHN (Business Hierarchy of Needs). Similar to Maslow’s Hierarchy, businesses have a specific hierarchy of needs that must be served. If foundational needs are skipped or ignored, the business is inherently compromised and won’t be able to maintain healthy growth. When foundational needs are adequately served, then higher level needs can be addressed, driving the business vision.
Most businesses stay stuck because the owner or leader(s) is reacting to apparent issues instead of identifying the most important singular issue the business needs addressed. This is made particularly difficult with your own business as you can't "see the forest through the trees." And as it turns out, we are not biologically connected to our businesses like our bodies, so our instincts and "gut feelings" tend to be far less accurate than we'd like to admit. A trained and experienced 3rd party, without attachment to the business, is just the ticket to figuring out what you need to fix next.
Discovery is about getting to know your business. This generally includes a couple of calls, reviewing financial information, digging into the numbers and a review of your products/services/marketing/etc. This stage is define to be revealing and to uncover the realities of your business.
With all the information at our fingertips, we are able to home in on which stage your business is at and where your vital needs are. We can figure out exactly what you should fix next. Depending on what it is, this may become your company wide focus for the quarter.
Finally, we set to fixing it! In this case, we will work with you to outline your next steps toward a fix AND offer up recommendations from our network of experts and professionals who can help with your particular vital need. We will also make an accountability plan to follow up and ensure you actually get the fix in place as you plan it.
Finally, its time to step back to the drawing board to start the process all over again - identify the next vital need, map out a solution, fix it, and repeat... We have options you can explore for ongoing support throughout this ongoing process.
Senior Coach at New Work Revolution
Head of Fix This Next Coaching
Billy is an experienced strategist and coach with over 10 years working with companies ranging from interior designers to venture-backed technology startups. He is a Certified Human Performance Practitioner as well as a certified Scrum product specialist, and some may argue occasionally certifiable.
CEO of New Work Revolution
Coach & Speaker
Brandon is a business coach, speaker and strategist. He has never saved a baby from a burning building or scaled Mt. Everest. However, through years of running different operations, he has an uncanny knack for seeing other business owner’s vision and putting that into an actionable plan for success.
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