Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Is your business stuck in a rut…and it seems like there’s no way out?

Blaming the economy, the business cycle, your employees or customers is not the answer.

Ever have this nightmare? You’ve fallen into a 12-foot ravine – the rain is pouring down and the walls are covered with mud.  Its dark, the wind is howling…and you are totally alone. You make one valiant attempt after another to climb out from this “fresh hell,” but every time you pull yourself up two feet, you slide back three.  You are frightened, exhausted and expect the worse.

At this distressing point, you wake up in total relief that it was all just a nightmare.  But metaphorically speaking, many business owners find themselves in a business rut; far too often and try as they might, they can’t seem to get out of the deep pothole that obstructs their road to growth.  Their customers aren’t buying, sales departments aren’t selling and employees are not profitable.  What’s worse, the longer time spent in the rut, the more it becomes the norm…or business as usual.

Just as you wouldn’t willingly live your life at the bottom of that ravine, neither should you be content to have a business languish.  The bottom line is you need to get out of that rut and grow.

So, what keeps business owners in “the rut”?  It’s too easy to blame “the economy” for why a business isn’t performing the way it should; but when we’re in “rut” mode, the focus is often on the low-hanging fruit.  We concentrate more on price and less on quality and deliverables.  And the domino effect is that we then accept mediocre results from colleagues.

Far too often, we do what is easiest and most familiar, rather than focus on developing new market initiatives that work, and cultivating deep quality business relationships.  It’s easier to blame the economy and the fact that people aren’t “buying” rather than demonstrating leadership and guiding the company out of the rut.  In fact, when the financial chips are down, that’s the absolute time for leadership and for business owners to do whatever is required to help their business grow.

But remember…there’s a huge difference between organic growth and growth that is linked to a well thought out business plan driven by key performance goals; the former happens naturally and in its own sweet time, while the latter is controlled by you, the business owner. After all, why settle for 3% or even 5% growth when you could do so much better?

With a vision-linked strategy and the right plan for your business, so much more can be achieved.  In future columns, we’ll explore specific ways to grow a business – ways that will free you from that dreaded rut.

About our Benefits Installment Author: James E. (Jim) Moniz, CEO of Northeast VisionLink, a Massachusetts firm that specializes in structuring executive compensation. James E. Moniz is a national speaker on the topic of wealth management and on executive compensation. Jim Moniz will be presenting at this years SHRM conference in Phoenx, be sure to check out our presentation: “Creating and Sustaining a Competitive Advantage, The Role and Impact of Effective Compensation and Rewards Strategies”

Request your free CD presentation “Vision-Linked Growth by emailing

Keep an eye out for Jim’s new book “Grow Dammit” due out in the spring of 2012!