You should sweat the small stuff

Be boring

At the beginning of every year we are inundated with posts reviewing the past, predicting the future or making plans for the year ahead.

Whilst all of those things are useful to a certain extent, most of the time they are actually not prerequisites for success in any business venture. None of the key drivers of the current economic environment were widely accepted in the mainstream – until it happened.

(The trend that matters most can be found here only because it is a meta-trend that has been happening in repetitive cycles for over 3000 years.)

What is crucial is to be in the moment. It is what you DO today that matters most.

People confuse planning to do with doing. People confuse reminiscing about the past with analysis.

Success is more boring than all of those things. Success is about doing stuff today. (There are very good arguments to suggest even doing random stuff is more likely to lead to a successful outcome than trying to pick a winner, but I won’t push our acquaintance that far so early in the year.)

You should make time to work on your business plan, research the market and analyse the competition. You should be evaluating shopping cart technologies for your new website. You should allocate time to think. Of course. But not at the expense of doing and not at the expense of doing the boring stuff.

1.      Do the post-Christmas stocktake – and enter the data in your system

2.      Clean the store

3.      Check the lighting

4.      Do a safety check

5.      Clean out your database

6.      Check your website, your store, your signage etc for all 2012 leftovers

7.      Refresh the merchandising

8.      … and build a ‘system’ that will make all these things happen all the time!

Engaging intelligently with the ‘system’ that is your business is more likely to produce an innovative insight than crunching ‘big data’. Attention to little details such as these is what separates the mediocre from the excellent and the lucky from the smart.

Then, and only then do you have the foundation from which to change, transform, adapt or grow a new, better profitable business.

Sweat the small stuff because it is all small stuff.

We have a ‘strategic’ plan. It’s called doing things.”  — Herb Kelleher (Southwest Airlines)

Dennis Price

GANADOR: Conceiving and implementing SMART solutions to create high-performance retail environments.