Is the ‘can do’ attitude sabotaging growth?
A Kiwi’s natural tendency to get stuck in is often seen as a positive, but it may also have a darker side because business owners (SMEs) are so busy doing, that they don’t see the train coming. Assia Salikhova, the Managing Director of Wellington business development agency Smarketing Lab, says she comes across business leaders […]
A Kiwi’s natural tendency to get stuck in is often seen as a positive, but it may also have a darker side because business owners (SMEs) are so busy doing, that they don’t see the train coming.
Assia Salikhova, the Managing Director of Wellington business development agency Smarketing Lab, says she comes across business leaders who were caught out by the disruptions that resulted from the recent school holidays slow down, even though school holidays come around four times a year, every year.
“During the school holidays—the following school holidays are already less than two months away—people go on holiday and defer decisions. For a small business, one or two people on leave means the owner must also roll up their sleeves. Not a lot gets done.
“This leads to a slowdown in marketing, sales, and tighter cash flows. Growth doesn’t even feature. It can all be alleviated if we spend less time doing and more time planning and preparing.”
Salikhova (pictured below) says business success hinges on consistently; being the best at what we do day in and day out. Getting rumbled by things like school holidays shatters consistency.
“One reason New Zealand’s productivity levels are so poor is that we are so busy doing that we end up having to roll with the flow, drifting instead of driving.”
She offers the following advice to business owners and leaders:
1. Study the calendar
“A good look at the annual calendar will reveal potential threats and opportunities. School holidays disrupt, general elections slow things down, and awareness days offer opportunities. The calendar plays an important role in your business strategy.”
2. Maximise visibility
Salikhova says that life after COVID is one where buyers rely on their research to inform decisions.
“Invest in education. You don’t have to be on the radio every five minutes, but you do have to maintain a visible presence, and education is a very effective way to do that.”
“Automating as much of your administration, financial, and sales and marketing as possible frees up staff to be more productive in other areas and makes you less vulnerable to absences, holidays, and other disruptions like bad weather.
“Many people start a business because they are good at something and have a vision. In the beginning, they have to wear many hats and have a plan to move forward. Progress is impossible if we’re start-stop all the time. Many events, including holidays, elections, and personal stuff, can stop us. But we cannot achieve business growth if we give in to the disruption.
“What if we apply smarts and a DIY attitude to finding a solution that means we don’t freeze in the face of market changes but instead do the best we can? Could that lead to more profits and better living regardless or even despite Government actions and market realities?
“I choose to trust it is possible,” says Salikhova.