The conundrum of committedness – part 1

Posted by Heather Villa, CMA, MBA, MSM on January 19, 2009 in: Business - Plain & Simple, Business Marketing

One of the constant themes I see in the consulting I do is business-growth. Whether I’m working on helping a business get off the ground, or whether I’m implementing a new product into a company’s sales cycle, or whether I’m helping turn an idea into a product, it’s all about strengthening and improving the business.

But one of the challenges that businesses of all sizes face is something I call ‘committedness’. And as a business works to strengthen itself, the ‘conundrum of committedness’ increases and can cause all kinds of problems.

Let me use the example of a consultant for a moment to give you an example of what I mean:

A consultant has 24 hours in a day. Presumably, at least half of that time will be spent eating, sleeping, and in personal pursuits with the other half (or less) on the business. Now, if a consultant wants to get more business (client commitments), he or she needs to do more marketing. As the client commitments start to increase, the time available to market tends to decrease.

Now, if the consultant only had to market once in order to get client commitments, and then those clients stayed around and sustained the consultant’s income, that would be okay. But, clients come and go and if a consultant wants to stay committed, they need to market more to generate new commitments.

So the first part of the conundrum of committedness is: The more commitments you have now, the less time you have to generate new commitments. But the less time you spend on generating new commitments, the fewer you will soon have.

In other words, the consultant needs to find the balance between staying busy with current clients so that there is a healthy income being earned, but also to leave enough time to market in order to get more clients.

All businesses face a similar situation, not just consultants. A manufacturer, for example, doesn’t want to produce too many products so that their inventory is completely overloaded. But they don’t want to produce too few products so that they anger their customers and drive them away.

Whether your commitment is related to time-spent, like a consultant, or products-produced, like a manufacturer, your business may suffer from this first part of the conundrum.

But there’s a second part to this conundrum of committedness that I will talk about in my next blog tommorrow.

Best,

Heather Villa

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