The digital display made patience barely possible. 10 seconds. 9. 8. 7. 6. 5. My hand was already on the handle of the microwave, ready to open immediately upon reaching zero. 4. 3. 2. 1. Finally! The sound of completion brought about a Pavlovian response. Opening the door, I retrieved my warm bag of Orville Redenbacher wondering to myself why it takes so long to get this yummy goodness. 2 minutes and 45 seconds can seem like an eternity.
Strategic thinking and careful planning are the methods successful business owners use to select the best ingredients for their business.
This modern day impatience can often bleed over into all areas of our lifes. In traffic, we change lanes over and over hoping to move ahead of one car. We complain about slow browser page loads that are 2 or 3 times quicker than just a few years ago. A 60 second commercial grinds on us so we quickly grab the remote. Business owners can be impatient too. The business news is crowded with stories of overnight success and startups that go from idea to millions in months or (gasp) a year or two. This puts added pressure on business owners who have to not only deal with their own impatience, but also the opinions of the communities around them that might gauge their success on misplaced comparisons to businesses that make the headlines trumpeting their fast rise to business stardom.
“Microwave” businesses, those with quick times to market and steep growth curves, are great for case studies and being media darlings, but that doesn’t mean that this business speed is right for your business. There are advantages and disadvantages of this approach. Advantages include immediate gratification, failing fast, and the excitement of operating with a high sense of urgency. Disadvantages include the stress of the “nuclear option” (it’s all or nothing), valuing speed over customer value, and not making the time to refine your approach or delivery.
The opposite of the microwave business must surely be the crockpot slow cooker business. These companies don’t get much attention and are often not examples that should be followed. They often exist on that jagged edge of “almost success.” They generate revenue, satisfy their customers, pay their bills, and are neither growing nor declining. A slow cooker business does have some advantages. Mistakes happen slowly and can be corrected, approach and delivery can be refined, and the pace may be less stressful for the owner (and their family). Disadvantages include lack of significant growth, the potential to become complacent, and not being very exciting.
Most reasonable business owners want a pace of business that is somewhere in the middle. A slower pace and better quality than a microwave dish. Faster with tastier flavors than a crockpot dish. They might appreciate local ingredients, seasonal changes, and preparation with care and quality versus fast times or ease of preparation. These owners are seeking revenue growth at a realistic and sustainable rate, new customers that appreciate the value of the products and services they deliver, innovation and refinement of their approach and delivery, and the rewards, financially and lifestyle-wise, of growing their business according to their design.
How do you know what is best for your business? Strategic thinking and careful planning are the methods successful business owners use to select the best ingredients for their business.Identifying why they are in business, who their ideal customers is, and how their business will differentiate from all the other businesses that say they do the same thing, are necessary to establish the right growth elements. Successful business owners practice measured execution, constant improvement, and the continual refinement of their ideal customer. They temper impatience with the confidence that their path is correct.
Valens Point’s Business Strategy service can help you build a business strategy that is simple, actionable, and measurable. Find more information here.