I was reading an article online this morning authored by Wayne Lynn. The opening paragraph reads, “Does your company matter in the market? If your customers woke up next Monday morning and discovered your business was no longer open, would you be missed?”
Now, that is a sobering question. I think we would all like to believe that our clients would be devastated and unable to operate without us. However, the reality is that they might shed a tear and move on.
As the owner of a company that used to describe itself as solely a “printing company”, I believe that our transformation has turned us into an organization that goes far beyond putting ink on paper. While the majority of the movement into new products, services and technologies has been primarily customer-driven, I always wonder if we’re talking to our clients enough.
We don’t want to be linked with those in our industry who are refusing to change – who believe that one day the economy is going to “wake up” and everyone will be clamoring for more printing. Our economy has fundamentally changed the way all of us do business, and Multi-Craft is no exception.
I asked someone the other day, “Do you want to be a printing company, or do you want to be a company that is successful and profitable?” This isn’t just a question that printers should be asking themselves. You can replace the word “printer” with whatever SIC code your business falls under. It’s a question that every business owner or CEO should have on their mind.
As the leader of an organization, we should all be focused on:
- What do we need to do differently today that will position us for success tomorrow?
- Are we auditing our organization to understand what products and services are driving revenue and which ones are draining revenue?
- Are we managing our cash to make sure that we can pay our bills on time and have money to invest in future equipment, technologies and people?
- Are we willing to take calculated risks to keep our organizations relevant to the marketplace?
- Are we willing to hire the expertise we currently lack, provide training for those employees willing to learn new skills and terminate those who aren’t willing to grow or who lack the skills that add value to the company?
If you’re happy with where your organization is currently positioned, then kudos to you and you have my permission to stop reading this blog. However, if you find yourself making less profit than you need to justify the risk you are taking, then what are you going to do differently tomorrow?
If we want different results, then repeating the same behaviors does not make sense. Change, just for the sake of change is silly, but intelligent change needs to be embraced, not feared. Intelligent change means
- Understanding what the market needs and which needs are not currently being fulfilled by others.
- Calculating the ROI from any needed investment – and being willing to talk away if it doesn’t make sense.
- Understand how to differentiate your organization and share that message to your market.
- Measure and adapt.
- Ask questions and listen to the responses.
- Hire expertise.
Businesses that survive and thrive will need to be willing to embrace change. Reinventing your organization will not be easy, but if it means that you’re still in business and profitable 5 years from now, the hard work will be worth it. www.multi-craft.com