Is God or the Devil lurking in the details (small strategies)? The small strategies are critically important to your enterprise.
Many of us get so caught up in the big important things we neglect the little things until they show up at the worst possible time to bite us in the worst possible place. What criteria are we looking for?
Criteria of Simple, Small Strategies for Short Term Success:
1. Simple and fast to implement
2. Easy for everyone to understand
3. Quick to produce visible results
4. Small investments compared to payoff
When Rudy Giuliani was mayor of New York City he inherited “squeegee men.” This brigade of men would saunter up to a car stopped at a red light or caught in traffic and spray the windshield then wipe it off with a rag, newspaper or stick wrapped in cloth. If the driver did not respond to a request for payment, they were often subjected to varying levels of intimidation. The “squeegee men” would spit on the windshield or kick the door if the driver did not pay.
Giuliani writes in his new book, Leadership, that despite estimates of at least 2,000 “squeegee men,” there were actually only 180 of them. A handful of people were creating a miserable impression of the city. The aggressive ones worked the bridges and tunnels, major tourist portals.
The simple, small strategy was to give them a ticket for jaywalking and arrest the ones who resisted. Giuliani writes, “In under a month, we were able to reduce the problem dramatically. Things had visibly improved. New Yorkers loved it….”
Criteria of Simple, Small Strategies for Long Term Success:
1. Simple and easy to implement
2. Easy to maintain
3. Easy for everyone to understand
4. Slower to produce visible results
5. Small investments or effort with big payoff
Examples of Simple, Small Strategies:
1. Eat 100 fewer calories a day, burn 100 more calories a day and the average person can lose 24 pounds a year. This is doable and maintainable.
2. Consistently add subscribers to your newsletter a few at a time and provide useful, interesting information to them. Your list can grow to the magic number of 10,000 which, I am told, is the million dollar threshold.
3. Use the power of compound interest. A dollar a day ($365 a year) invested in a mutual fund with an average annual growth rate of 9% will yield over a million dollars in sixty five years. You cannot buy a cup of coffee at Starbucks for a dollar.
4. For exponential growth in your business follow Jay Abraham’s advice. Grow your business by only 10% each year in each of these three key areas: number of customers, number of transactions per year, size of transaction. This yields a 33% increase in revenues. What can you do to retain customers or clients? It is much easier to keep a customer than to recruit a new one.
The leader’s responsibility is to oversee the entire operation and ensure that all smaller systems are working effectively together. He or she hires competent and motivated people to handle the smaller parts. The simple, small strategies for success can originate in any part of an organization. In fact, they are in every part of an organization. Are you looking for them, communicating them, and building on them to take your organization to a higher level of success? Are you overlooking a success strategy because it’s too simple or too small?