This blog originally published in Printing Impressions
Tether, fasten, and link virtually mean the same thing — connect. So, what point am I trying to make? Getting connected to your customers, getting your services and technology connected, and getting your team connected have never been more important than it is today. Things move fast, clients are loyal until the day they aren’t, and unless your team in synced, they are working against each other. I literally can hear the gears grinding now!
Technology drives virtually all of your applications and there is much less “wrench turning” today then ever before. The ability to fully connect your different applications, technology and equipment can be the difference between being competitive or not. Continually adding workarounds may buy you time, but they are not the answer, nor are they why you purchased the device, or technology in the first place. If you have the right people in place to solve the issue, let them solve it. If you don’t have the right people, don’t settle. Find someone to help you optimize your investment from the beginning, or else you’ll be kicking yourself for the lifespan of the investment.
Do you know your customers? No, really, do you know them? Not just the top five, but how about number 50? Time is precious I know, but having to find new clients also takes time and leaves a gaping hole. The focus with your top clients might be retention, growth and insight. On the other hand, the conversations with number 50 might revolve around helping them to grow their business through print and print related strategies. Make your clients significant to you, and become strategic to them. Try it, it can be a lot of fun.
Your team — the people, the glue that makes everything work. The folks who have been with you and have gotten you where you are today , and those that will get you to where you want to get to tomorrow. How are they doing? Do they play well in the sandbox? People just being people means that there are bound to be conflicts at some point. But are they aligned, are they connected to the cause to the degree that internal conflicts can be put aside? That’s your challenge. As the leader, if you do anything, it should be to drive the culture, the mission and the cause in such a way that any personality issues are checked at the door. This is probably the hardest thing that you’ll have to build on and nurture. Without it, clients don’t get what they need and go away, equipment doesn’t operate profitably or for enough hours to realize the ROI on your investment, and your good people will head for greener pastures. Get working on this and let me know how you’re doing in the comment section and remember, doing nothing is not an option.
Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic assessments, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.com, LinkedIn or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.