It’s time to change the blade…

razor

It takes real effort to stay sharp – in fact most performance (whether it’s you or your team or both) naturally degrades over time if you don’t do anything to address it.

It’s not rocket science, but this outrageous insight came to me this morning while I was shaving.

It turns out that I have this issue about changing out my razor blades…I just don’t do it very often.  Not for any specific reason, it just doesn’t cross my mind.

However when I do finally change the blade – like I did this morning…Wow!  Huge difference!  The razor doesn’t pull anymore.  No burns, no cuts!  The whole process is smooth.  It’s faster…and the end result is much better!  It’s a completely different experience (and outcome).

Realistically I should have changed the blade weeks ago…but I didn’t consciously notice that the performance was degrading.  The old blade technically still worked…just not as well.  Because I wasn’t paying attention my morning shaving process had become a lot less effective.

What are you not paying attention to?

The world moves fast and most of us are spending our time and effort just to keep up the pace.  We fight fires.  We deal with the squeaky wheels and basically ignore everything else due to lack of time or energy.

But while you’re ignoring aspects of your business, the performance is degrading.

How about that website that you built 3 or 4 years ago?  Is it still performing for you the way it did when you launched it?  (Did it ever perform for you?).

How about your back office systems?  Is there a better…maybe a more automated way to create invoices, take payments, communicate or deliver your services?  Are you spending a lot of time and effort on certain tasks just because that’s the way you’ve always done things?

Chances are, if you’re still doing things the same way you did a couple of years ago and you haven’t really thought about it, you’ve lost the edge and you’re not performing as well as you could in that area.  It’s not a significant enough issue to shut you down, but over time when many parts of your business aren’t performing well…you’ll have a major issue (kind of like death by a thousand cuts).

The good news is that when you finally do upgrade you are going to be amazed at how much better things work.  Technology, new ideas or processes, different employees – all of those things can lead you to a new breakthrough way of running your business.  It’s a never ending battle, but by consciously looking at the neglected parts of your business on a regular basis, you can get ahead of the game.  It’s not quite as easy as just putting in a new blade, but it doesn’t have to be hard.

As an example, I upgraded to a new version of Quickbooks not long ago and I was able to cut a few hours out of my monthly accounting work…not bad for a small investment.

How about you?  What’s some aspect of your business that needs a refresh?  What process needs to be sharpened or replaced?  What’s something that is holding you back (maybe more than you realize) that you could fix up?  I’d love to hear your thoughts – share them in the comments below.

Shawn Kinkade  Kansas City Business Coach

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