I think it was Abraham Lincoln who said “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four hours sharpening the axe”
There are similarities in how we run our businesses, sometimes we are so obsessed with the chopping down of the treei.e. ‘running the business’that we forgot to pause for a while to see if our axe is still sharp.
Our axe in this case being our processes, systems, our people doing the right things etc all of which make our businesses run efficiently.
When we undertake a review of a business for a client, we start by pointing out that ninety percent of what we find needs improving they will already know about. They will have already been identified as issues, but the owner will not, for good reasons, found the time to deal with it.
Only last month having undertaken such a review for a client in the creative events industry, part of the feedback was that the logo and branding for the company looked very outdated and in fact looked more like a paint balling company than a creative agency. The owner agreed and in fact mentioned he had received negative feedback on it from both clients and staff alike in the past.
He tasked his marketing manager (who was one of those giving him negative feedback) to come up with a new logo and branding colours and within a week the company launched its new exciting branding which has already received excellent feedback from both customers and staff alike.
The owner also admitted wondering how many quotes/tenders they may have lost over the years due to the branding giving the wrong impression of the company.
It’s never too late to take some time to sharpen your axe (or indeed invest in new technology and replace it with a chainsaw?!)