Knowing When Your Business Strategy Isn’t Working

George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin

In late February Trayvon Martin, a 17-year old black male, was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old Hispanic, in Central Florida.

And while recent evidence suggests Zimmerman did not act in a racially-motivated way, this tragic story has our nation up in arms yet again over the issue guns and race.

Zimmerman claimed self-defense, which immediately kicked in Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, the broadest protection of self-defense in the country.  Which, so far, has prevented Zimmerman from being arrested for the killing of unarmed Martin.

Whether Zimmerman acted on racist fears or just plain stupidity will hopefully be sorted out soon.

But what remains is the lethargy and hesitancy of the local police to prosecute the killing of a person armed with iced tea and Skittles.  Some of which the police could have handled much better, some not.

One thing they cannot handle better is the Stand Your Ground law, which prevents them from arresting Zimmerman.  To do so, by law they are required to prove he did not act in self-defense.

Which of course the legal process substantially.

The case has really become a mess.  It has embarrassed many in the police department as well as local and State politicians.  Zimmerman, now in hiding, has received hundreds of death threats against him and his family.  Not to mention the many thousands who have been protesting and marching against what happened to this young black kid.

Primarily because of this bazaar law.

While one might think it was a left over from the 30’s, 40’s or maybe even 50’s, you may be shocked to learn it was enacted only seven years ago.

Maybe one good thing to come of this incident might be the repealing of the law.

It is easy to have a position on something like a completely ineffective law, but I cannot help but think of how so many entrepreneurs and small business owners I have worked with use completely ineffective business strategies.

Business strategies like:

  • Sporadically sending newsletters
  • Marketing materials without opt-in boxes or calls to action
  • Outdated websites being used for nothing more than an expensive business card
  • Little or no engagement in social media
  • Not being positioned as an expert in their field
  • Worst:  using the “build it, they will come” mindset

Know anyone doing any of these or others not mentioned above?

NOTE:  The above ineffective business strategies are only an issue if the user of them is not happy with the results they’re getting.

Steps to Fixing a Broken Business Strategy:

  • How’s it Going?  Happy with the results of your business over the past 12 months?  Seeing growth in your business over the past three years?  If you’re not happy with the results, you may need to revise your strategy.
  • What Are You Committed To?  Your commitment will enable your results to change… or not.  For example, “I’m committed to creating the best XYZ company in my city.”  Or, “I am committed to make enough money to pay my rent.”
  • What Works?  about what you are doing.  For what isn’t broken, don’t fix. Be clear on this.
  • What DOESN’T work?  Also be clear on what IS in need of adjustment.  Marketing strategy, revenue model, team experience, finances, what?
  • What’s the Feedback?  Get outside opinions on what the problems might be.  Go to folks that actually know what they are talking about.  Like getting a second opinion before a major medical procedure.
  • How to Fix It?  Now you’re clear on what needs a change/overhaul, how will you do it?  Review the sources you’ll need:  like a marketing or financial expert, business coach, or web developer, etc.
  • How to Create Your Team?  With the resources you have to work with.  Hint:  it is in your vision of where you’re taking your company.
  • Is It Specific and Measurable?  What gets measured gets managed.  Have a specific outcome and by when that you will commit to achieving it.

Entrepreneurs easily get trapped into the status quo of running their company.  What gets them out of the rut is them stopping long enough to check and see if they are happy with the results they are getting.

Smart entrepreneurs do this long before the outside world gets wind of it.

And while it may be too late for Florida to repeal the Stand Your Ground law before the outside world becomes outraged by it, they still might be able to benefit from the steps above to get back on track.


Action Steps for the Week

How’s biz?  Really, how’s it going?  Happy with the results?  UnReasonably happy?  Or just coasting waiting for the next big gig to show up?

You can usually tell by how excited you are when getting up in the morning and ready to work on your biz.

If your answer is “business is great”, great.  Keep it going.

If “business could be better”, review what needs revamping.  Get clear on what it will take.  And understand what your commitment will need to be to make it happen.

Once you are clear on these, you can use the steps above to put an UnReasonable business plan in place.

Remember to always have a clear end goal in mind… and by when.

And stay UnReasonable!