Keeping the ‘dead horse’ in the race won’t bring success
By Leanne Hoagland-Smith January 19, 2013 1:00PM
Leanne Hoagland-Smith. | Provided photo~Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 21, 2013 1:44AM
Conducting business as we have always done it produces a lot of wasted energy, leaving what I affectionately call a path of dead horses.
Human nature truly does not like change and will stay with the same behaviors, the same processes, the same attitudes even if internally people know what they are doing will not work. This resistance to change has been well researched and documented in books such as “Change or Die.”
One great example of a dead horse is the reluctance to upgrade to a smart phone or a better cell phone carrier. Yes, it is a hassle to switch all your contacts over and worse yet learn a new phone. However, the question I always ask my clients and colleagues who continue to pay for poor cell phone coverage or outdated cell phones is “What is that costing you in terms of sales, relationships and wasted time?”
Mobile technology and the resistance to embrace what is currently called digital marketing is another dead horse. Then there is the dead horse of “Captain Wing It” where actions are sprayed all over the place with prayers that something will stick.
Another example of a dead horse is clinging to traditional marketing by designing and printing 5,000 brochures. With so much change happening, this is truly a dead horse because most brochures end up in the trash. Most technology savvy business people want electronic brochures (PDFs). Any marketing firm that proposes this dead horse may not truly understand marketing in today’s marketplace. If you think brochures are a good investment of your limited marketing dollars, check the trash bins at the next tradeshow.
I could provide example after example of dead horses that I have observed when working with clients or listening to other business professionals. With even more change being
thrown at small business owners to sales professionals, I thought it just might be a good idea to once again share these 10 tips when riding a dead horse.
10. Buy a stronger whip
9. Change riders
8. Declare, “This is the way we have always ridden this horse.”
7. Appoint a team to revive the horse.
6. Ignore the dead horse… What dead horse?
5. Create a training session to improve your riding skills.
4. Outsource contractors to ride the dead horse.
3. Appoint a committee to study the dead horse.
2. Arrange to visit others sites to see how they ride dead horses.
1. Harness several dead horses together for increased speed.
Riding a dead horse is an example of working harder and not working smarter. Once the dead horses are identified in your small business, then you have become smarter. Now you and your employees must work harder to eliminate all those dead horses so your business can truly grow and be more productive and profitable in 2013.
P.S. Shout Outs: Islamorada Fish Company in the Portage Bass Pro Shop has good food and great décor. In Schererville, Teibel’s lake perch is still No. 1.