The High Cost of Indecision
By Tom Irmen
No matter where you stand politically, this year promises to be filled with political rhetoric that, if you’re not careful, can sideline you and your small business. Add to that the current health care debate and you might discover yourself talking to, or yelling at, the various talking heads on your television.
One of the potentially biggest costs confronting small business today is the cost of inaction that results in missed opportunities. And the fact is that the cost of these missed opportunities resulting from indecision may actually be far greater than the cost of making a bad decision.
Here’s an example. Recently an otherwise successful small business owner told me that very little progress can be expected to occur economically this year as most Americans remain transfixed on the nation’s presidential election. Rather than continue to successfully differentiate and promote his company’s clear competitive advantages, he has instead decided to embrace the status quo until after the election.
The cost of such indecision? It’s difficult to say. But if I were his competitor, I would use this period of inactivity on the part of my competitor and market leader to differentiate my own competitive advantages to gain market share and possibly catapult myself ahead of my competitor who has chosen to take his eye off the ball.
Don’t drive from your rearview mirror! Looking backwards in time to see how things “shook out” is a formula for disaster.
Get gutsy! The economy has materially changed your customer. What are their new perspectives, ideas, marketplace responses, and suggestions? Gather the data, make some assumptions about future marketplace direction, and make some bold decisions.
Build relationships! The number one reason for losing a customer is not quality or price, but indifference. People don’t care about how much you know until they know how much you care. Demonstrate to your customers your sincere desire for them to benefit from the goods and services that your small business provides. Put the customer first. And don’t merely “mouth” it; back it up with action.
Differentiate your small business. If your target customer can’t differentiate you from your competitor, then clarify your message. A SWOT Analysis is a great and inexpensive way of achieving this objective. Don’t allow yourself to become a commodity when you possess clear competitive advantages.
What are you waiting for? Why not take some bold action to put some space between your small business and the competition by acting today while your competitors are watching the 2012 Washington D.C. halftime show?
It’s time to lead.