“I long to accomplish a great and noble task; but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble” Helen Keller
“Little strokes fell great oaks.” Benjamin Franklin
“To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.” Leonard Bernstein
Same old, Same old…
As business professionals and entrepreneurs, heck, as ‘human beings,’ it’s easy to get stuck in the mundane lull of day-to-day status quo and complacence ridden performance; accomplishing (or not accomplishing) what we accomplished yesterday and will accomplish tomorrow; doing only the job that is expected or at hand, and, more or less, settling for the mediocre. Don’t get me wrong, this is still considered “work” and there’s nothing wrong with it. However, it is work that’s on auto-pilot. It is something the worker/performer/employee has either gotten repetitively proficient and/or good at doing and requires very little effort to push harder, improve greater results, and/or go beyond his or her comfort zone to do more.
For most, this is perceived as not a bad thing. It’s comfortable. It’s secure. Expectations are clear and risks are minimal. Some businesses might even thrive on this work ethic and manage to get lucky with ongoing or spurts of growth, profits, margins, and other business objectives. However, it’s those professionals that constantly challenge themselves and their business to improve and be better than previously established (or used to), or go one step further—that have the greatest chance of self-awareness, strength, a competitive advantage, innovation, creativity, accomplishment and ultimately, business success. These are the companies that continuously move the business needle and see great benefits and results from it.
What is moving the business needle?
Moving of any needle means making a noticeable difference. In this phrase there is a clear metric and focus on results, “the needle” that needs to be recognized and then its position superceded with accomplishment and/or achievement of some kind. That metric can take the form of productivity/output, efficiencies, sales revenues, profits/bottom line, market-share and/or exposure, to name a few. The phrase “moving the needle” includes a powerful verb, moving, which can be defined as traveling towards something; and that something being an accomplishment, achievement or goal. Moving entails actually doing something; getting off your butt and performing. In order to move the needle a few things are necessary though. These are:
- Commitment: You mush want to move the business needle. You understand the benefits of doing so and you are not resolved to settling for anything less.
- Knowing Yourself: Having a keen sense of your potential, limitations, boundaries and realistic capabilities, are key to moving the business needle. Some can only move the business needle in small increments whereas others set their expectations high based on their own capabilities and strive with longer steps.
- Having a Plan: It helps to have a clear plan with objectives, strategy and tactics. What is the needle? What are the means to that end? What is your goal? And, how will you get there? Writing down how you plan to move the business needle helps with focus and commitment. It becomes your roadmap. Day planners, post-in notes or briefs are great canvases for business needle plans.
- Execution is imperative! In moving the business needle, there’s absolutely no room for procrastination, time delays and/or distractions. It all comes down to drive, efficiency, determination and performance—that determine how well, how fast and how far one can move that needle.
Moving the needle in a business environment can be infectious. As a team and in numbers, greater and larger accomplishments are possible and skills like leadership and priority management, are subconsciously born. Make that mindset a part of corporate culture and growth and success are likely to become commonplace.
The Business Needle Today
So how will you move the business needle today in your small business, your practice, for your company, among your team? In most cases, it’s really up to you. Figure out a noticeable difference you can make. Be very specific in what your metric is and the means to achieve it. Make others aware if you wish. And “Stay focused.” Do not leave your work until you’ve achieved moving your business needle. Do this each day and be prepared for business success.
About the Author
Angelo Biasi is General Manager of SMART Marketing Solutions, LLC, a leading full-service integrated marketing company in Naples, FL since 2001. He has helped create and execute marketing plans and integrated marketing solutions for companies such as Playtex, Bic, Rogaine, Tauck, and over 35 colleges and universities, to name a few. Angelo has an MBA in Marketing from the University of Connecticut and teaches Marketing at New York University where he has for over five years. For more information or to learn more, email him at abiasismartmarketingllccom (abiasismartmarketingllccom) , visit www.smartmarketingllc.com or call 239.963.9396.