If it's broke, fix it!
I have known this motto for years – it was one my Dad used to try and ram into my head, but it was always from the other way round:
“if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”
However both are essential approaches to business, and successful businesses need to follow both aspects.
Let’s start with the more common version.
1) IF IT AIN’T BROKE, DON’T FIX IT
In my case this translates to focusing on what needs to be done, not what I prefer to do!
When starting a small or medium sized business, there are many, many tasks to do. Some enjoyable, some less so.
I hold my hand up and say I tend to leave the less enjoyable tasks to last. If it was only this – leaving them to last – then it would be ok. However, I am even worse. I “invent” new tasks to avoid performing those less enjoyable tasks.
Now, these less enjoyable tasks are still crucial to developing a successful business.
I know that and yet I somehow still find something to fix which is not actually broken in order to avoid them.
I have recently taken a more pragmatic view to growing a business. This can be summed up by:
“It may not be perfect, but it is good enough”.
This is a great phrase – it shows that I accept there is room for improvement, but it is good enough for now.
This allows me to accept tasks which I would love to develop, explore and continue are effectively working and so “don’t need fixing”.
I therefore find myself with the time to concentrate on those less enjoyable tasks which are essential to grow a successful business.
2) IF IT’S BROKE, FIX IT
This is the reverse of the first motto (and the subject of todays blog entry).
Interestingly though, it translates to the same thing for me.
Focus on what needs to be done, and do it.
There is a subtle difference however – identify the areas which need improving and fix them regardless if they are enjoyable or not.
There is a fantastic example which illustrates both these mottos – the AB Publish website which is one of our main marketing tools.
One of my personal joys is “tweaking” an Internet design.
I love creating business websites (and so jump at the chance to design my own business Internet site).
However, although there is always room for improvement to our Internet site, I need to let go and concentrate on other areas of marketing.
I looked at the AB Publish business website this morning and noticed there is no telephone or easy contact details on the pages. This is shocking!
Our main marketing tool does not have an easy message explaining how to contact us for further details or more information!
I therefore concluded the Internet site is “broke and needs fixing”.
Immediately after posting this blog entry explaining my thoughts, I intend to make this my priority task and I will fix it.
For me, this is an enjoyable task.
However I am determined to not fall into the trap of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.
I am determined to stay focused on my business objectives, the most important one being to market our business.
I will not overly tweak and continually improve the AB Publish Internet site today, instead I will perform the tasks me and my fellow team members of AB Publish have identified as being key to the success of growing our business.
Even if these are less enjoyable…
Thu 10 February 2011 12:20:42