Your business, my business, every business from the smallest one-person startup to the largest international mega-corporation is made up of many unique components. For the business to be successful, each component must work in harmony with all the others so the company will run smoothly, grow and prosper.
Just think of the many components at every company – administration, human resources, inventory control, research and development, bookkeeping, sales and marketing, maintenance, production, customer service, training -- and I’m just touching the surface.
When they all work in harmony things run smoothly, but if just one component is dysfunctional (think of just one cracked wheel in a 100-car freight train) the whole enterprise can self-destruct and spin out of control in a stomach-churning cascade of angst.
Imagine the scenario where sales are being made at a steady pace and product is delivered to customers on time and everything is working just as it is supposed to work. But what happens if someone in the office forgets just one little thing like, for example, sending out invoices; quickly the company is in a cash-flow crunch. It will take a massive effort to overcome this chaotic problem.
And while this problem is being attended to, it is likely another “little” problem crops up; maybe someone forgets to order new inventory or supplies, and then another problem … then another.
The outcome is that nothing gets done to move the company forward except for the time-consuming, stressful task of overcoming dysfunctions, which is a recipe for financial loss, even bankruptcy, or some other disaster that would look much like a train wreck with locomotives and freight cars strewn all over the landscape.
It is up to you to be looking forward, developing monitoring systems to keep the whole enterprise on track, training systems to keep everyone aware of their responsibilities and proficient at doing them properly, sales and marketing systems to keep customers coming in, and infrastructure so everything gets done on time and within budget.
It’s either keeping the company on track or a train wreck. Your choice!
Opinions are solely the writer's. Larry Galler, of Larry Galler & Associates, is a marketing and management consultant for small and mid-size companies.