“Action is the foundational key to all success”
As a business owner you should know this, but far too often inaction still becomes a contributing factor to the success or failure of a business. Inaction comes in countless forms in business, whether it be in simply failing to execute, failing to follow through or failing to apply basic elements to the business while at the same time, desperately hoping for success. For each element of inaction, there is a cost to the business, which may not necessarily be monetary, but will definitely have an impact on the overall success of the business.
The most common (and costly) forms of inaction include:
1. Inaction to promote your business.
Sales don’t just come, unless you own a truly amazing business selling something people deem a necessity i.e food perhaps? The implication on this is inaction will impact your sales. You have to not only know your sales process, but also the sales cycle and the time it takes for a prospect to become a client. In some businesses this can be several months, so switching off your marketing when sales are good, can cause a lag factor and a delayed impact and cost of having no leads should you lose some clients. The cost on this inaction to your business can be enormous if you are a service-based business with only a handful of clients at any point in time, and may even result in a period of zero revenue!
Your Action – maintain your lead generation processes even when you are booked.
2. Inaction to act on external help
Every business relies on external support, whether it is in marketing, design, sales or coaching. Many business see this need, seek out appropriate services then go ‘cold’ on the implementation phase. You could say this is due to buyer’s remorse, or a simple fear to commit and invest in their business. I see this often, where a business commits to coaching then delays their start. In this case you have to firstly ask yourself why are you seeking external support? The usual answer is to grow or gain back time. By failing to act, the investment cost of the service will be outweighed by several multiples of potentially lost revenue gain, business efficiency or profit increases for each week or month the inaction continues.
Your Action – If you decide to source external help and go through the process, commit and get started.
3. Inaction by failing to follow through with leads
When you get a lead, it is potential cash in your pocket. Too many businesses either fail to respond to queries in suitable timeframe, or don’t get back them at all! Develop a process or standard for your business on response times to all incoming leads and enquiries, whether it is within 24 hours, or another suitable time frame for your industry. Failing to act does your business a huge dis-service as you not only annoy the potential client, but the negative perception of your business they will convey from telling others will be detrimental
Your Action – Follow up, follow up, follow up. Treat each query not as a $100 sale, but as the lifetime value they potentially offer your business.
Given these risks to business, what do you do?
As the opening quote from Picasso states, “action is the foundation key to all success”. If your business is guilty of some form of inaction, not all is lost. Review your operational processes and determine where your gaps are. Seek help if needed externally (and follow through) and don’t let potential cash drain from your business.
Tony Ozanne – Business Coach