You Can't Steer a Parked Car
“You can’t steer a parked car,” said the host of a recent podcast. Although his subject had little to do with the business world, it reminded me of the countless business owners we’ve encountered over the years.
Yep, we have witnessed many small businesses that seem to continually operate in “neutral.” PARKED, as it were, with no ability to steer, to keep their business on the “growth road.”
In fact, some have operated a “parked” business for years, with little to no forward movement. You’ve seen it, new clients coming in the front door, old clients leaving out the back door. That’s a parked business!
Many small businesses grow for a while, but as sales increase, a nasty thing called “disorder” also increases. For this reason, operations stall and moving forward seems futile.
Getting Out of Park and Into First Gear
The first thing needed to get a business in gear and moving is to find out WHY the business stalled and how to get it out of PARK.
Not surprisingly, without even looking under the hood of a parked business, it’s not hard to figure out why it doesn’t move forward.
- Continual Errors/Mistakes
- Poor Internal Miscommunication
- No Operations Manual
- No Corrective Action System
To be sure, if these items remain UN-addressed using a systematic method, the business will either remain parked, or at best it guarantees a rough ride.
Again, to steer a parked car properly it must be moving forward.
The good news is, even in first gear a car moving forward is at least steerable.
Imagine operating a business in full drive, without the owner having to keep both hands on the wheel!
Did I mention? Great systems work!
Philip Beyer, founder/president of Ebiz Products LLC and founder of Beyer Printing Inc. in Nashville Tenn., is a chronic entrepreneur, business systems analyst and consultant. Author of "System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business" and recipient of an InterTech Technology Award for the design and development of System100 business process management software. Beyer speaks to business owners across the country on how to bring lean, sustainable order to their businesses. Contact him at (615) 425-2652.