24 Jan 2017

Staying Light On Your Feet

You'd remember in a previous post I was talking to that guy from the UK about how he had obtained that lucrative deal fitting out hotels in Britain and Europe.

Well, there was something else he said during that conversation that I want to share with you because I think it is so important to keep this in mind in business.

It's the importance of staying light on your feet.

What do I mean by this? You may know it as "pivoting" - or you may know it as "pirouetting" - whatever you want to call it, it is so important to be ready to change tact at any given moment while running your own small business.

Hand's up if you have been pigheaded - or dogmatic - in some aspect of your business where people around you have been saying -

"You need to change that"

and you have said (or at least thought) -

"Don't tell me how to run my business'?

We've all done it, but the one thing to always keep in mind is to stay focussed on the environment that you're trading in.

Let me give you an example -

If you are over the age of 50, remember this -

Black and White TV

AM radio (i.e. no FM radio)

Push button cash registers

Telephones with numbers on a circular dial

Envelopes and stamps

VHS videos

Now - with this in mind - how much did your life change as each of the above went off in search of the dinosaurs as they wandered off into extinction?

If you're true to yourself, you'll agree that many of these changes had a profound impact on your life (I hated not being able to record movies on TV when DVDs took over from videos, didn't you?!!!) so if these changes impacted so profoundly on you, why won't the same thing happen to your business if it simply "marks time" instead of pirouetting to meet the changing world around it?

Well, this exact topic came up in the discussion I was having with this guy from the UK.

Colin (his name) made mention that when they first started their business they were focussed not on refits for hotels in a specific chain, but for repairs and maintenance to the existing fittings on hotels in the British Midlands, however, during the process of tendering for work it became obvious that refits were not only the most cost effective way to upgrade the hotels, but it also gave hotel guests a more luxurious experience in the form of more modern and comfortable amenities.

Once this became obvious, Colin's business did an immediate "pirouette" from marketing their services as a repair and maintenance business to one that did complete refits.

The "downside" of this change in direction was that many of the smaller independent hotels throughout the British Midlands could not see the benefit of complete refits, but this one hotel chain immediately saw the benefit of giving their guests a more luxurious experience and as a result hired Colin's business to provide the service.

The moral to this story is to always stay "light on your feet" when you are running your own small business - we are living in a time where things are changing at an extremely fast pace and your ability to change direction quicker than your opposition can put you at "the front of the class" very - very - quickly.

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