Business flexibility: small business friend or foe?
I want you to consider these two "business flexibility" stories.
Business flexibility story # 1
Last month I bought a service which required the company to come to my house to provide it. In a conversation with the young serviceman, I discovered that for an additional $25.00, I could have something else done that I did not know that they offered.
That's when my nightmare began.
The young man could not make the decision. He had no authority to do what I wanted. He was not prepared to risk his job so he had to call his boss. (Big sigh on my part…)No problem...?
But in the age of iPhones, ipads and all the other ways to connect, he could not find his boss!
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday (WTF)! Are these people for real?! I became really mad! I cancelled the entire contract and ask for a refund of my money immediately, if not sooner!
Can you believe a small business could be so unaware of the need to practice business flexibility?!
Business flexibility story # 2
Since I was “once bitten twice shy”, I decided to do a better job of selecting another company to do what I wanted. Therefore, I took a whole month of searching to find one – and I did.
This time the serviceman showed up on time and before he started working he had a conversation with me. In the process of this conversation, I discovered that I could have what I wanted in another colour – at no extra cost. (deja vu?)
He called back to his company and arranged for the delivery of the other item. Then he went right ahead and began his installation process until it arrived.
Wow. Wow, Wow! I was impressed.
What is the difference between these two businesses?
The first one is a really small bumbling Bureaucracy and the second one is a small flexible Business which knows that its #1 asset is business flexibility. And they certainly know how to implement it for their customers!
I can't stress this enough small business owners. Your #1 asset is NOT your location. It's NOT even your employees. It's how you combine your resources to be flexible and agile in serving your customers and responding to your markets.
What is business flexibility?
I want to define business flexibility as:
"anticipating changes in you customer preferences and needs and having the business structure and systems to readily respond to these.
This is the essence of small business success. But how often do we get this?
Sometimes I observe with amusement, disbelief or patient frustration, the way in which you small business people run your businesses. You use the exact model of the large corporation that chewed you up and spat you out, with a sum of money called severance.
I think you chose this model so that you can give the impression that your businesses are really larger than they are. But to me, and the rest of the discerning world, it is just an indication of your poor understanding of the business of being in business.
What are the benefits of business flexibility?
1. You can make decisions quickly and you can empower key team members to do the same
2. You reduce the time between deciding and implementing a decision and depending on the circumstances, these can happen together and in real-time
3. Instead of focusing heavily on internal operations, you make 3 -4 daily key decisions that will increase the opportunities to market your business and increase its level of success
4. You reduce the need for several levels of one-person management that makes decision-making a nightmare. In this scenario, a decision takes at least 5 days to be made and shared with the 6 front line employees you have.
5. You strengthen your connections with your team and with your customers and this generate more sales quickly
6. You lower your operating cost and make more use of your productive time
7. Your business strategies are more important than your operations and or a strict organizational structure
8. It is a means of differentiating your business
Now it's over to you...
You must embrace business flexibility as a success factor for your business.
To realise that success, you must carefully select your team. Then you must ensure they are trained and coached to confidently and constantly make correct decisions, which are in sync with the culture of your business.
If you can manage this successfully by yourself, I am really proud of you. However, I know that if you work collaboratively with me and my team, you will see results faster than if you struggle on your own.
Check out our business services and contact me right from the page and I’ll help you figure out the “first” next step you have to take to have a business whose main pillar is flexibility.
To your business flexibility success…
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