"It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer."
--- Albert Einstein
Ten years from now networks will be showing reruns of "The Apprentice" and we will easily find the problems in most of the participant's business philosophy. It will be easy to see why those fictitious businesses didn't succeed. The vision of our hindsight will reveal every flaw.
One of the obvious ones will be the lack of perseverance. Just like other businesses in the world today, many sign companies fail because the owners don't give it time to grow. Overnight success is sought rather than looking to cultivate an enterprise. Like digging for gold, the real reward comes in the gathering of nuggets little by little, saving and re-investing the profits until your own mining company is in full operation.
"In the business world an executive knows something about everything, a technician knows everything about something and the switchboard operator knows everything."
--- Harold Coffin
As the leader of an organization, you are not the only one who needs to hold back on the get-rich-quick mentality. The other members of your team may be seeking early wealth from the proceeds of the company. Communicating the vision of the business to everyone on board will prevent future conflicts and frustrations.
Also, ensuring that everyone involved understands their job descriptions along with the agreed upon compensation, helps to relieve imaginary pressures and perceived expectations.
"In this business it takes time to be really good - and by that time, you're obsolete."
When talking to folks at the various trade shows that have been in business longer than 10 years, they tell us stories of the competition that used to be. They've watched others one by one close the doors to their shops because they were seeking the big break or the short cut.
Those businesses that have persevered through steady, consistent, sticking to the plan action, have reaped profits that are difficult to visualize in the beginning. It is only through unwavering determination to deliver quality products and services at fair prices that these companies last.
"A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business."
--- Henry Ford
One of the best ways to take the focus off of the "gotta-have-it-now" mentality is to focus all energies toward delivering the best product possible or providing the best service in the area or having the best prices in town --- something that separates your business from the average and that separates you from chasing the dollar. The money will come if these foundational practices are in place.
"I've got to keep breathing. It'll be my worst business mistake if I don't."
--- Steve Martin
To keep keeping on, we need to reevaluate the basics. To do this, make a list of what your company has provided for your customers in these past ten months. Be sure to list any extra areas of the industry that your company dabbled in due to a customer special request.
Then review your list and determine the most profitable areas of your business. If the same product or the same type of installation that has provided the bread and butter comes to the top of the list, make a note of it. It may be, that some new activity is now surpassing the old way of business, so make a note of that.
"There is no substitute for accurate knowledge. Know yourself, know your business, know your men."
--- Lee Iacocca
Finally, determine where the majority of your business income is derived from, and study that area of business. Dissect it; review how your company does things in regards to that area. Seek out new technologies that might support it, research better, faster and less expensive ways of providing it. In other words, find out how to do what you do best, better.
"If a business does well, the stock eventually follows."
--- Warren Buffett