Independent Thinking Blog

“Just Because” is a Stupid Way to Run a Business

It’s a new year, but are you still doing the “same old, same old?”

I wrote recently about knowing when to fold–giving up a product or a service or even a business development strategy that’s run its course. But there’s another thing business owners need to consider: what might be working, but doesn’t make sense.

This can show up in the people you engage with and the processes you follow. For example:

  • Are you loyal to an accountant, a lawyer, or even an insurance agent who does an okay job year after year rather than making the switch to someone who will really shine? (For the record, I have an awesome accountant if you need one.)
  • Do you keep using that cumbersome e-mail marketing system or time-management software rather than switching to something faster and more user-friendly?
  • Are you still faxing documents because you don’t have an electronic signature on file? (Oops, that’s me.)

Make every business action a conscious choice (not “just because”).

A case in point: My condominium association raises the parking fee by $5 every other year. But no one knows why they’re doing it. It’s just what they do. What they’ve done. You know why they’re doing it? Because over 10 years ago when I was condo board president I said I thought it was ridiculous to nickel and dime people with $2 and $3 raises. Somehow that translated into the current “policy.”

It’s a good practice to evaluate your business processes and policies from time to time. Now I’m off to find a scanner.

Photo by Evelyn Giggles (Flickr).

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