Identifying strengths and weaknesses are keys to righting your business ship.

Why is it we’re so much smarter when visiting other companies we don’t compete with or when we experience, as a consumer, the way another company operates?

We’re so smart because we’re not so emotionally invested in what’s already in place and that makes all the difference in allowing the blinders to come off.

The good news is you can be as smart about your own company starting tomorrow.

Here’s what I teach my clients to do each day to make them smarter about their own company.

Pause an extra second at the door to your shop each morning and say to yourself, “What would I see if I was arriving here not as the owner but rather as someone who didn’t own this business? What if I really knew a ton about business in general and in particular a lot about my kind of business?”

Then, make a list of all you’ve observed and plan a course of action that will change things for the better.

My clients use the power of their “Top Five No. 1 Projects” list to help them proritize. This gets them working on the right things at the right time in the right way. You can do the same.

For some clients, this process is still tough to do. So, here’s another surefire way I teach them to get the blinders off and to gain a clearer vision of what is and isn’t happening at their company. I have them:

1. Imagine they’ve closed the doors at their existing company and decided to reopen across the street.

2. Think about who they would take with them, what would they bring with them and what would they do differently.

3. Step up and act according to what they now know.

Honest Assessment

No one I speak to or work with is ever my guinea pig. I discovered the power of doing these specific exercises at my own shop years ago. I, too, was a victim of the symptom I call being “unable to see the forest for the trees.” It was all because I was too close to it and too emotionally invested in the status quo.

The great thing about these tools is they helped me and they are now helping folks just like you. The best way to think of these exercises is like hitting the reset button on your business and getting a fresh start.

Amazingly, things will become much clearer. I know because I became instantly free from the weight of defending the status quo and from trying to patch up what I knew was broken at the core or beyond repair at my company for years.

And if you’re willing to do these mental exercises and apply yourself, you too will be able to let go of what isn’t working and grab hold of what you need to get a fresh start.

So, if you were to start fresh, what would you do differently?

Here are just two of the things I suggest you focus on:

1. Decide who your missionary techs are and who will never become one of them. A missionary tech is someone you’d love to clone because they have the right habits when it comes to being part of a team. They have great sales and communication skills, great operational habits and they’re technically superior.

The awful truth is you might not have any! 

 2. Decide who your missionary inside staff members are and who will never become one of them.

A missionary inside person is someone you’d love to clone because they’re good team players, they have attention to detail, they’re flexible when it comes to working assignments like accounts receivable, accounts payable, customer service or dispatch because they have pride and love learning to do more.

Once again, you might not have any!

Whether it’s missionary techs or missionary inside staff, you need to be honest in your assessment of what you’ve got today and begin to train those you can make into missionaries and let the others go. This is the right time because the economy is providing you with the perfect opportunity to do this.

OK, what’s been holding you back from building a missionary staff? Most likely it’s a lack of documents systems, formalized training and a lack of accountability.

Only with acceptance of these facts can you make the fundamental changes for the better at your company. One more thing…you need to get started today.