So, you ask—why the 17-second challenge?What does that mean?Glad you asked. First, I am tired of the term “elevator speech,” and second 17 seconds is about all the time you have to communicate something to another person before they lose interest. So here is the assignment:You have 17 seconds to make your point. By the way, you should time yourself when doing this, which you should do right after reading this post. That way, you’ll do it without preparing something and as if you had to do it on the spot—otherwise 17 seconds is too much time. Please act quickly…
After years of consulting with companies of all types/sizes, several things have become clear. There seems to be a logical way to group organizations into one of three types. The first group is the one that makes things happen. These guys are the ones acquiring other companies, diversifying, thinking about 2015 and are in growth mode.
The second group is the one that watches things happen. This type of company is cautious, yet will make a move once it sees other companies moving in a specific direction. An example of this is when printing companies waited until they saw others buying and having success with wide-format and/or digital presses and then decided they, too, should jump into that game. Thus, they went out—many without a plan—and bought such equipment.
The third group is the one that wonders what happened. This group thinks social media and Facebook are the same thing. Note to reader: Facebook is one of countless parts of social media. Many have been lapped. Some have given up. Some do not even realize they are not in the game. There is a way for such companies to turn around, but some do not want to try, are not willing to invest time or money to do so, and they long for the glory days. I call this pure insanity. Definition of insanity: Doing the same things over and over and expecting different results.
Here is my question as we head toward a new year. Do you want to get better? Do you want to grow? Do you desire to change? Do you want to think beyond equipment and grow the front end of your business? Are you willing to invest in your human resources and think as a business, and not a printing company? Please be honest with yourself; do you really want to change?
Companies in our industry that are growing are “outthinking” the competition. Everyone can offer a competitive price, adequate customer service, a reasonable turnaround time and good quality. These do not make your firm unique. By the way, your competition is everyone and everywhere.
So, I challenge you to take time to think of what needs to improve within your business. How do you change your culture? Your strategy? Your brand? Your sales? Your talent? A changing industry? A new workforce? Many say they desire to be a make things happen company, but few do it. Why? You have to ask yourself that. However, always remember it is easy to sit back and play it safe.