I think many of us would agree we could make a better taco than Taco Bell. However, not many of us could make a better taco making system. While you may not endeavor to be in the taco business, your business has the same litmus test for viability and success. Do you have a system which scales? If you design, is it always custom? Or is there a method? If you sell, do you have a predictable, refined and high quality process? Or do you show up and “wing it?”
Look around at the successful businesses around you. They have something in common. They can scale. Another one can be built halfway across the country. Without a business model which is predictable and connects with the customer, you have to continually work harder. You are a custom shop. Custom shops have their place, but usually, there is a lot more work and a lot less leverage and predictability.
It is likely you have a trade or something more intangible. The same principle applies. What are the steps to winning a customer? What is the delightful sequence for servicing the customer? How is each step executed with precision? Do you make the customer experience the focal point? Crack this code, and regardless if you want to stay small or grow big, your business will be highly leveraged.
I enjoy a well thought-out experience. Whether it is a fine restaurant, a sportscar or a computer, the way I buy, experience and get service all matter. It helps me to see beyond the commodity. Behind the elegance is a process. A process which delivers consistently, scales.
If you can predictably envision being in the same place in 5 years, you fail the scalability test. Start taking aim at how you execute and deliver your service or product. Make it repeatable and delightful. Automate it to perfection. It should be your art form, or you may be in the wrong business altogether. Artists love to perfect their work and create a reaction with a recipient. This is essentially what will allow you to grow your business while your competitors just keep working harder with inconsistency.
We are living in times where everything is going to be cut back. We have too much inventory of goods, services and businesses. If you want to play in the downsizing of today, ensure that what you do moves beyond custom work that has to always be managed and re-created. Get to a scalable business model, and make it delight every time.