Dr. Seuss knew that innovation was the key to problem solving. He tried to teach us in our formidable years by making thinking fun and whimsical. Even so, most of us wait until we are at the end of our ropes before we put our thinking caps on!
Innovation is the only way out of our economic woes. Continuing to do the same things and expecting different results is insanity. It is time to stop working non-stop and start thinking about how you can change your business to take advantage of the global market.
The first step is to know your exact position. Is your customer base growing, stagnant, or declining? If it is growing, are your new customers as valuable as your old ones? Or, are they hit-and-run visitors, looking to buy one item, never to return?
Are your resources allocated to the items that provide the most return? Is your customer satisfaction high? Is it declining or rising? Do you know the cost of fulfilling an order? Acquiring a customer? Keeping or reactivating existing buyers?
The list could go on forever, but the bottom line is – if you don’t know where you are, you can’t figure out how to move forward.
The second step is to know where you want to go? Do you want improve profits, increase growth, or go green? Or, do you have another destination in mind? You have to know where you are going before you can create a plan.
The third step is where the heavy lifting thinking actually occurs. It is also the hardest part. You have to stop doing and start thinking. At first, it will seem like a waste of time. Why sit, doing nothing, when you could be productive?
Because, the more time you spend thinking, the less time required for doing! This is not to say that you can be a slacker. You have to actually work at thinking. Start with a problem you want to solve. Schedule some time alone. Make a rule that you cannot use a solution that has been used before. And, THINK!
When you have some viable solutions, test, test, and test. You will find the answers to all your problems, one thought at a time.