“Your firm is one viral moment away from being forced to close.”
That’s right, you read that accurately.
Assume your firm is lucky enough to be featured for a few minutes on a national television show with millions of viewers.
You can scarcely keep your enthusiasm in check.
Everyone is looking at you.
There is no going back.
However, your enthusiasm quickly turns to fear as you realize your firm not prepared for this kind of attention.
A rush of traffic to your company’s website leads it to crash unexpectedly.
Members of the team resigned due to the stress of performing under duress.
Vendors threaten to sue you if you do not pay on time.
Customers are irritated since their orders were either wrong or not delivered on time.
What you worked so hard to create has been essentially demolished in an instant.
How can a thriving business capable of landing
a coveted position on a TV show fails so quickly?
Marketing vs. Operations is the solution.
The Paradigm Shift from Not Enough Customers to Too Many
When a company formally opens its doors for business,
marketing-related activities are usually the main emphasis.
It also makes logic.
After all, if no one knows about your product or service, you won’t last long in the business.
These activities might include sales tactics,
public relations and social media campaigns,
and digital advertisements that stimulate business growth from the start-up to the growth stage.
If you have a quality product or service that people want, you will eventually
see a return on investment for your marketing efforts.
As a company progresses from the development stage to the emerging and
scaling stages of business, the requirement for Operations becomes critical.
The reason for this is that this shift is frequently followed by times of uncontrollable rapid development.
Consumer demand exceeds what your firm can offer.
At this phase, operations-related activities
such as assembling the proper teams, documenting and standardizing procedures,
and updating equipment and digital technologies take precedence.
If Operations is critical for scaling, why don’t more companies focus on it?
Let’s take a look at each of these in turn.
It’s no surprise that many entrepreneurs and CEOs are mostly uninformed of Operations.
What it is and how it pertains to their company (apart from business knowledge and technological aptitude).
Because consumers and cash are the lifeblood of every business,
extra attention is paid to customer-facing operations to assure their happiness.
This serves as a foundation for defining Operations.
Marketing, as depicted in the figure below, represents highly visible activities with
which customers often interact.
It entails providing a promise or assurance to clients who buy your goods or service.
Operations, on the other hand, like Marketing’s unnoticed cousin.
It denotes the actions that guarantee client orders completed on schedule,
under budget, and according to specifications.
Day-to-day Operations, as the beating heart of a business, are not often visible to consumers,
but they surely feel the effects.
Founders and CEOs are well-known for having big-picture, strategic visions.
Getting buried down in details isn’t usually their strong suit or interest.
It’s one of the reasons why Operations might often take a second seat to
the more visible efforts provided by the Marketing department.
However, there is another perpetrator: small company event planners.
Attend any small business seminar, webinar, or conference,
and the odds of an Operations issue got covered are minimal to none.
This absence creates a knowledge vacuum for small company executives and leads to indifference.
I’ve heard from personal discussions and informal polls
that a startlingly large number of these event planners believe “operations is dull.”
Many of them have also told me that “no one is interested.”
And, maybe most egregiously, “Operations is dull!”
So,This kind of thinking is hazardous and does a disservice to people
who are looking for tools to help them rise to the next level.
Consider the following statistics from the US Small Business Administration:
So,they could transition from sole proprietorships.
This results in employment generation, which benefits local communities and economies.
I also feel that if more firms had a sound Operations basis, they would be able to avoid failure.
A firm might fail for a variety of reasons.
However, the causes for failure in the first five years versus years five through 10 might differ substantially.
When small business executives seek resources to scale on their own,
they frequently discover that such resources not created or formulated with them in mind.
Furthermore, if they are fortunate enough to locate resources for small enterprises,
it is generally for those selling physical items.
Where can service-based firms turn for advice on how to grow without failing?
Learning about frameworks such as Lean and Six Sigma might be frightening and,
at times, too “corporate” for the demands of a small firm.
Fortunately, there is a rising group within
the Operations community that is working hard to make this information available to small firms.
Business is difficult.
It necessitates a continual balance of all elements of the company, not just marketing and operations.
Don’t compartmentalize or sacrifice one group for the sake of another.
Attracting a continuous stream of clients is pointless unless you can also ensure customer happiness.
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