“Your company is one viral moment away from a potential shutdown.”
Yes, you read that correctly.
Imagine your company is fortunate enough to appear for a few minutes on a national TV show with millions of viewers. You can hardly contain your excitement. All eyes are on you. There’s no turning back.
Your excitement soon turns to horror, however, when you realize your company isn’t ready for this type of attention. Suddenly, a surge in traffic to your company’s website causes it to crash. Team members quit from the stress of performing under pressure. Vendors threaten to sue you for late payments. Customers are angry because their orders are either incorrect or weren’t provided on-time.
What took you years to build has effectively been destroyed overnight.
How can a successful organization good enough to land a coveted spot on a TV show succumb so quickly? The answer lies in Marketing vs. Operations.
The Paradigm Shift from Not Enough Customers to Too Many
When an organization officially opens its doors for business, marketing-related activities tend to be the primary focus. And it makes sense. After all, if no one knows about your product or service, you won’t be in business long. Those activities can include sales strategies, P.R. and social media campaigns, and digital ads that catalyze advancement from the startup to the growth stage of business.
If Operations is critical for scaling, why don’t more companies focus on it?
The answer depends. When it comes to Operations, leaders of small businesses fall in one of more of three categories:
1. Unaware: They either don’t know about Operations or they’ve never been exposed to it.
2. Uninterested: They believe that Operations is “boring.”
Through personal conversations and informal surveys, I’ve learned that a shockingly high percentage of these event planners think, “Operations is boring.” I’ve also had many of them tell me that, “No one is interested.” And perhaps most egregiously that, gasp, “Operations is boring.” This type of thinking is dangerous and does a disservice to those seeking resources to scale to the next level.
3. Undiscovered: When they try to search for information to scale their organizations, they find the lion’s share is reserved for large enterprises or manufacturing companies.
Ignore Operations at Your Own Risk: Cautionary Tales
Perhaps Kyle Jepson, Senior Inbound Sales Professor at HubSpot, said it best: “Operational failures are dramatic and visible. Operational success is invisible.”
He’s right. There’s no shortage of examples of companies that, to their detriment, chose to ignore the due diligence and rigor required for sustainable Operations and continued to focus on the outward appearances that great Marketing afforded them.
Business is complicated. It requires a constant balancing of not just Marketing and Operations, but all aspects of business. Don’t silo or sacrifice one group for the other. Attracting a steady flow of customers is fruitless unless you can also guarantee customer satisfaction.
Join the quest to change the narrative about back-office activities. Operations is savvy, sophisticated, and smart. And there’s nothing boring about that!