When things are going well in your business it can be easy to think things are going well without realizing that your business is way off track. Because real life happens every day it can be tough to see problems in real time that are building up in your operations or other parts of your business. A growing business is usually focused on keeping up with daily demands and doesn’t often times doesn’t have metrics and feedback loops to catch mistakes that build up into real problems.
Imagine being the CEO/CFO of a company and being told by your largest stakeholder that your leadership has resulted in the company being a “bloated organization” and then losing your job? This recently happened at Expedia where the focus over the next year will be on simplifying the business, reducing the number of vendors and sub-contractors being used as well as leveraging the inter-business relationships and resources that the company has. Under the leadership of the now departed CEO and CFO, Expedia grew but in the process of growing somehow ended up becoming a complicated and inefficient organization. Barry Diller, who happens to be the largest stakeholder in Expedia, said “We’re stopping doing dumb things and starting to do what we think are good things.”.
What metrics are you watching in your business? A growing business or a business being fixed needs to be profitable and efficient while it executes on its business strategy. Does your business have a disciplined approach to how it manages its costs? Does your business have a disciplined approach to sales, marketing and other tasks? Discipline means structure and structure means feedback loops that help you see problems before they happen. Problems can be expensive so spend some time and money today to prevent and avoid tomorrows challenges.