What’s Your Weakest Link?

Creative Genius Podcast
Season Two Episode Six

If you had to choose just one thing in your business that, if you fixed it, would make it hugely successful, what would that be?  Not sure?  Then you’ll want to listen to what our guest has to say.

In today’s podcast, Gail talks with Mike Michalowicz, entrepreneur, advisor, and business author.  Having built and sold four multi-million dollar companies, Mike decided to devote his time to helping other entrepreneurs succeed.  His best-selling books include Profit First, Clock Work, The Pumpkin Plan, and, most recently, Fix This Next.

Gail asked Mike what was the inspiration for his new book, Fix This Next.  He said that when he asked his clients and followers to name their biggest business challenge, many named several.  He realized, he said, “The biggest challenge business owners face is knowing what their biggest challenge is.”  Fix This Next explains the need to focus.  Find the one thing you need to do now that will have the greatest impact on your business.  When you’ve solved that one, go on to the next, and so on.

“Most entrepreneurs don’t focus on anything; instead, they try to do everything,” Mike said.  Just as a chain will break at wherever is the weakest link, a business will stall or fail because of its greatest weakness or challenge.  That’s where business owners need to focus their energy.  The way to find it, he said, is to gather data—customer data, sales data, market data.  Whatever is needed to understand what’s working and not working in the business.

Once you’ve identified the weakest link, then you need to follow a logical process to correct the problem.  Mike set out four steps for what he refers to as the OMEN process:

  • Setting an Objective (what’s the thing you’re going to work on?)
  • Measurement (collect and review data to see if you are making progress)
  • Evaluation Frequency (how often do you need to review the data to track progress?)
  • Nurture (give yourself permission to change; get someone else involved who can look at what’s going on with an unprejudiced eye)

All businesses, said Mike, have the same hierarchy of needs.  First, they have to have sales.  Then they need to generate profit from those sales.  Next is order and efficiency, so that the business runs smoothly.  After that is impact, how does your business transform customer’s lives?  Last is legacy; how will the business keep going, what will it leave behind?  At different times, a business’s weakest link will be related to one of these levels, and that will change over time.

To learn more about how to navigate the business hierarchy and how to overcome challenges, listen to the entire podcast.

Mentioned in This Podcast

You can learn more about Mike and his books at his website mikemichalowicz.com.

Mike advised that before buying his book, perform a free 5-minute business evaluation on the book’s website at fixthisnext.com.

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