Keep Your Business Healthy

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When faced with cold symptoms we rely upon OTC remedies and expect to recover within a short time. If the symptoms worsen we rely upon our Doctor to assess the symptoms and arrive at a diagnosis; diagnosis in hand, the prescribed course of treatment cures our ills. A business is very similar to the human body and while the illnesses are not physical they can be just as devastating. Our Doctor can teach us a lot about managing business ills. The best part is we don’t have to go to medical school to do this.

When that common cold leads to a deep, rumbling cough it’s tempting to ask for antibiotics. Not so fast- most upper respiratory infections are the result of viruses. Antibiotics are useless; in fact they may create bigger problems down the road. Without a proper diagnosis, we may actually worsen the condition. It’s called "treating the symptoms" and in business an awful lot of us do just that.

There are times when we believe we know WHAT is wrong and more importantly WHY it is wrong. Corrective action is taken and the problem goes away. However, if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck is it a duck? Yes, except for when it’s not really a duck at all. This is where we take our cues from the medical profession. Here’s a quick step process to "treat" your business ills:

  • If you know WHAT is wrong and WHY it is wrong, apply the most efficient and effective remedy (the OTC approach). However, be vigilant- recurrences do happen and when they do, you need to dig further.
  • If the OTC approach does not work, invest the time in diagnosis. Root cause analysis, brainstorming, any technique that suits your environment. The key is to dig deep. Yes, this step may be time consuming but it is hardly as disruptive as the same problems recurring again and again.
  • Once a diagnosis has been established, research and implement an effective cure. Maybe you have the answers, maybe not; if you need to, reach out for outside help. Remember, the illness remains until the treatment is complete.
  • If your diagnosis and treatment is accurate, it’s very likely that recurrences will be rare, but conditions do change. Take steps to identify trends and occurrences that signify a return to the previous state and act before they become a bigger problem.

Take cues from your Doctor- your personal health is very important and so is the health of your business. After all, a healthy business is a successful business.

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