In our last blog we told a story about a gourmet bakery that turned into a pizza shop. Today we take a look at what went wrong.
To begin with, if your one and only goal is to make money however it can be made, then perhaps turning your dream bakery into a pizza shop is no big deal. “Go with the flow” may be your philosophy. There is nothing wrong with that if it works for you; but in the previous story, the owner ended up shutting down. He had not intended to become a pizza shop! It happened slowly with seemingly small daily decisions. He was focused on solving the problem of the day rather than looking into the future.
So what went wrong for this new business owner? First, the owner noticed his sales from the bakery items dropping. Instead of doing some research, talking to customers, and brainstorming with employees, he got busy making pizza. He was so busy that he never found time to look beyond what had to be done today.
Secondly, the owner did not make his decisions based upon his vision or long range goals. Instead, he made a decision based on what would help him out immediately. This decision making method may relieve some stress for the day, but tends to create problems in the future. His concern that sales were dropping made him jump at the first opportunity that arose. It solved an immediate need, but destroyed future opportunity. More importantly, the most successful business owners like what they do. They have a vision for their lives and their work and they work towards this every day. When an opportunity comes along that does not fit their vision, it doesn’t bother them to say “no.” They are willing to be creative and adapt, but always with an eye towards their vision.
What do you like to do and what is the vision for your company or department? This vision or purpose is what will keep you motivated. Consider whether today’s decision will keep you on course towards your vision or take you on a completely unchartered path you did not intend.
Just starting a business? I highly recommend reading The E Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It, by Michael E. Gerber.