Weekly Business Idea

January 13, 2011 – Do You Study Your History?

Posted on | January 13, 2011 | No Comments

Main Idea
Do you ever have the feeling of Déjà vu? Do you have problems that surface periodically? Are you prepared for those? Do you ever kick yourself in the backside because you should have seen a problem coming?

Expansion of Idea
I was driving down Manchester Road the other day. As I went by the Wal-Mart store, it dawned on me that I just drove by the last two Wal-Mart stores that were within 2 miles of the new store. Both of the other Wal-Mart stores are vacant. I am sure that Wal-Mart signed a 15 year lease. The owners of the last two locations were assuming that they would be able to keep Wal-Mart longer than the 15 years or else that they would be able to lease the property to someone else. Instead they have an eyesore and vacant property. The owners of each of those properties are probably wondering what they could have done to keep Wal-Mart. The answer is that they couldn’t. If Wal-Mart can make an extra nickel from moving they are going to. The current owner of the new store better have a plan for 14 years from now. Why? We know that Wal-Mart will move out when their lease is up. How is this relevant? How often do we study our business history? Do you look at client issues and when they surface? Some major issues that need to be addressed in our businesses can only be found by stepping back and looking at the big picture, at trends and at our history. So often we focus forward on how we can sell one more thing or improve a system. We fail to look at our history. That is where we can identify our next major issue for our business. You might look at this as one more thing to worry about. I think a better way to look at this is that it is a way to make a major improvement in our business. I have had a couple of major issues in my business over the last two years. As I look backwards, I see some recurring themes. By focusing on those themes, I can design improvements in our systems and our services and hopefully improve relationships with our clients. This can be one of the most powerful tools you have to improve your business. As Winston Churchill said, “Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.”

Questions to Ask Yourself
1. How often do I look back?
2. Do problems catch me off guard?
3. Can I spend time looking back to see what I can improve?
4. Do I drill down to the real reason when we lose business?

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    These weekly ideas are brought to you by FitzGerald & FitzGerald P.C. For more information about how to use these ideas with your small business contact Tim FitzGerald at trfitz@fitz-net.com.