I was listening recently to this motivation guy Brendon Burchard who was talking about going to war on the area of life that is causing you the most difficulties. It got me thinking about how this concept is very relevant to business.
Imagine you are a general in an army. There is key territory that, if you can take it, will be a prime position for you for all communication and a base where you will be able to launch future attacks on your enemy. It will be the difference between whether you win the war or not. This is valuable territory and it is a must-win - get this and you have made some serious ground - lose this and things are going to be much harder and you will be at a major disadvantage. Basically this is the tipping point for success or failure.
So what do you do? Try one attack and hope for the best? No, it's way too important to stop there, so you throw everything at it until you win. You send in spies to get the lie of the land, planes and missiles to disrupt the enemy, place ground troops in key locations, you have back up troops in case the first layer are overcome, you have boats waiting with more men in case they are also over-run. You have bulk supplies of weapons and food in case it takes longer than you expect. You send in your best most highly trained soldiers at key times. Basically you do whatever it takes for as long as it takes.
What about if you just did one thing? You send in your troops, and if they don't succeed then at least you have tried. What would the result be? You might get lucky and catch the enemy off guard, but most likely you would fail the first time. Would your peers be happy with this approach? I very much doubt it. Yet often I see this approach in business; all too often, even when the key territory will make or break the business.
Let's look at how this approach relates to business:
A local restaurant is struggling. It's the middle of winter and sales are down - our humble business owner is losing money. The bank account is in overdraft. Basically his problem is that these lean months are eating away at the hard earned profits he has made during the year. If this keeps going he will have nothing to show for his hard work for the whole year.
So he puts an ad in the local paper - it doesn't work - not a single customer! Oh well, he did his best, he tried, but it's winter time, what else can he do? Just have to wait until things get a bit better and bleed in the meantime. No! No! No! He can do way better than that!
What if instead, he decided to go to war on the problem? What if boosting profits during winter was the key territory he must take? What if he threw everything at it until the sales and bank account moved in his favour? Let's have a look at some quick strategies he could apply:
He could increase sales by:
- Using his customer database to send his regular patrons a special invitation and free dessert promotion for winter
- Teaming up with the local jeweler and offering a voucher for a free main meal at the restaurant when customers buy jewelery over $500.00
- Training his staff to give better service and up-sell desserts and drinks
- Offering the local businesses in the area a takeaway lunch special
- Encouraging his best customers to put their feedback on dining websites like Dine Out and Trip Advisor
- Launching a Facebook page and advertising to his local market
- Trying Google Adwords with a special offer
- Starting up a happy hour with a live band (where there are good margins on drinks)
- Having a themed party night and promoting the heck out of it (eg if you had an Indian restaurant what about a Bollywood night)
- Initiating loyalty cards with free extras after spending x amount
- Doing a good old mailbox drop of nearby businesses and homes with a special limited time offer
- New signage, or signs advertising specials of the day
He could reduce costs by:
- Negotiating with key suppliers for better deals
- Reducing staff hours in the most quiet times
- Modifying the menu and getting rid of the poor selling meals which take all his chefs time
- Reducing wastage
There are plenty of other things he could do also, but you get the picture.
By just picking one of these strategies each week - it won't take long before the bank account and profits are looking a whole lot better.
So are you ready to go to war in your business?
What "key territory" do you need to capture for your business?
What will make all the difference?
What is the biggest frustration or challenge in your business right now?
What is the obstacle stopping you from achieving the results you want and need?
TIME TO GO TO WAR.
1) Pick that one problem in your business that is causing you the most grief and decide to go to war against it.
2) Write down at least 8 strategies you will use to beat this problem once and for all.
3) Schedule time to apply one of these strategies each week in the business.
4) Commit to completing the whole 8 weeks and don't give up if the first few things don't produce results.