Lane Maintenance… Are you being proactive?

A little maintenance can go a long way.  A few weeks ago it was clear some type of road work was going to be starting on a main street that leads to our neighborhood, as traffic cones and signs were being placed along this mile long section of 4 lane asphalt and concrete.  For those who drive on it regularly, it was a bit puzzling because the road appeared to be in good shape.  Road work…what was there to work on?

The following week a crew sealed small cracks in the driving lanes with hot tar.  This past week another team started methodically working down one side of the street cutting out sections of concrete curbing and prepping them for replacement.  Once the cracks in the asphalt were filled it was obvious where it had been separating.   And as the sections of concrete curbing were marked “X” with spray paint, the various degrees of damage were clearly noticeable. 

But prior to the cracks in the lanes being filled with hot tar and the sections of concrete curbing being replaced, a good guess is that 99% of the vehicles that traveled this street never noticed a single crack or crumbling curb!  You can’t see them when you’re driving 5 mph over the speed limit and being distracted by everything but the road you’re driving on.   

What does performing street maintenance have to do with you or your business?

Your business and your personal life can both be a lot like a street you travel every day.  You have two choices, you can proactively stay on top of it and perform routine maintenance or let it deteriorate.  If you choose the latter, eventually you’ll have “large potholes” that can cause significant damage or worse yet be stuck on a road that is “entirely impassible” because total sections have failed when stressed.  We’ve all seen roads that wash out due to heavy rains!  

What can you be doing proactively?

With 25% of the year now in the rearview, a lot of businesses have enough information to be making some confident projections of how their year is setting up to perform.  What’s working and where are adjustments needed?  You also may have set some personal goals for the year.   These are your lanes.  Slow down, narrow your focus and forget about all the distractions “outside the curbs” and focus on the road you’re on.  Focus on your lanes.  Give them some maintenance.

For businesses, year-to-date revenue, business in the pipeline, supply-chain issues, broader economic indicators, and much more, all are influencing your projections.  If you have personal goals it might include reviewing your workouts, diet, spiritual life, books read, or activities with your friends/family.  How you have performed in the first 90 days is a good indicator of how you’re going to do in the next 9 months.        

Sometimes long-term objectives are abandoned due to short term inconveniences.  If you’re confident any setbacks are temporary, keep your eyes on the road (your plan) and keep moving forward.  It may require making some adjustments but you’re making them with a purpose.  We’ve had to slow down, but our street has remained open the entire time the street crews have been performing the maintenance. Be strategic with any adjustments. 

Yes, there are still wildcards in play.  And to be honest, there will always be wildcards at play, it’s just that they are rarely on a global scale.  Regardless of the size, don’t let wildcards paralyze you.  It is common to make adjustments to plans, but it is impossible to make them if projections or goals were never set in the first place.

How about your business?   Were your first quarter goals on track?  What about your personal goals?  Have you reviewed your projections for the rest of the year?  Is it time to perform a little maintenance on them?  Lane maintenance is a good thing.   As always, we value your comments in the space below.

Chris Steinlage Kansas City Business Coach