In this tough economy, amid the layoffs and budget cuts, you’re probably tired of being told to “do more with less”. The phrase has become such a cliché that it may very well belong to a dictionary of corporate B.S.
The solution, however, is not to “work harder” at doing the same things, but to renew our focus on the things that are important-that 20% of our actions that Pareto showed us produce 80% of our results. The idea is not to “do more”, but to “accomplish more” with less.
Before doing anything, spending any resources, or hiring anybody, stop and ask yourself these questions:
- It this action or expense directly tied to my business mission?
- Is it consistent with my business strategy and brand positioning?
- Will it help me achieve my goals for the year?
- Have I strengthened my business systems? Have I automated everything that can be automated? Am I building a scalable business? (If the answer is no, this is probably the right time to read or re-read Michael Gerber’s The E-Myth.)
- Have I examined each and every one of my business processes under a Kaizen point of view? Have I identified those small improvements that I can make to my processes so that together they make a big difference?
- Existing customers are more profitable, especially in tough times. Have I taken steps to make sure they are treated extra special?
- The customer is not always right. Some customers are just a waste of time. Are you ready to fire those customers that don’t contribute to your bottom line?
- Are you doing a simple ROI (return on investment) analysis for every dollar you spend? Some necessary branding and personal development activities may be hard to quantify, but pretty much everything else should pass the ROI test.
2020 has had a really rough start to the year, but what can you do to turn things around? Businesses should focus less on the resources they don’t have, and focus more on being more resourceful.
Brian Jackson is the former owner of Shoestring Branding, a marketing and branding blog for entrepreneurs, with an emphasis on internet-based tools and strategies. It was recently acquired by BrandBlast.com