My granddaughter, Miss Olivia, has been clinging to her pink, silky blanket since birth. It's tattered, torn, and almost always dirty since she doesn't go anywhere without it. She even kisses the "blankie" and says "I love you blankie, I'll see you later." As you can see in the above photo, she even carries her blanket to the lake house (while playing dress-up bride). BTW, I am saving this photo to display on her wedding day.
This pink blanket has become Miss O's security. It shadows (or should I say, over-shadows) everything she does. The same is true in business. We often cling to security blankets that have become extinct and no longer serve any useful purpose (other than presenting a sense of false security). Occasionally, we need to reassess our business plan and make necessary changes. Yes, saying farewell to our security blanket(s) is difficult, but ultimately it promotes growth. Is it time for your business to kiss those security blankets good-bye? Here are 10 examples to recognize whether you have fallen prey to business security blankets:
- I don't need to keep a customer database. If my customer ordered once, they will order again in the future. This may have been true 10 years ago, but not today. If you are selling online, the competition is getting tougher. You're going to have to fight for the repeat business. Determine a way to keep in contact with your customers on a regular basis.
- The customer is always "king". Bad customers (and we all have them) do not give us the right to abuse our loyal employees. In most cases, those bad customers just aren't worth the fight. Let them go.
- I can run my business by myself. WRONG! You need to surround yourself with amazing people that both encourage, support, and help you achieve your business goals. Even if you can't employee the help of workers, you can still surround yourself with a network of individuals that can help your business grow.
- I only want to work a 9-5 job. REALLY! If you run an Internet business, you can't have banker hours. The Net has made us all global. To succeed, you need to rethink your response time to emails and customer service response time.
- Believing you have the expertise to deal with all problems. Just as doctors specialize in various aspects of medicine, you should consult with and hire specialists in those areas you find lacking.
- Believing that you only need to sell within your country. THINK GLOBAL. Let go of that security blanket that makes you believe that international sales are too complicated and risky.
- Failing to explore new business trends and letting go of those business trends or products that do not sell. Explore the market. See what's selling, navigate the Net to determine what is hot. If a product isn't selling....get rid of it!
- Failure to see emerging technology as a means for promoting or selling your product.
- The attitude of "That's Good Enough".
- Failure to identify what needs to be changed and ignoring the consequences of not changing.