Businesses are constantly working to grow, change, and improve.  Strategic planning meetings pop up often to brainstorm and plan out the company’s direction and goals for the next few years.  The problem is, at times, you don’t actually know where you are headed in the next 12 months –let alone the next 5 years.  Sometimes, when an organization is searching for the “next big idea”, they should instead be considering bringing it back to basics.

What does bringing it back to basics mean exactly?  It means taking a look at your core business model and being sure that you are doing that really well. What kind of company are you? What is your business vision? Are you fulfilling that? Maybe you’ve forgotten about your foundation or maybe there is room for improvement there. When you’re working as a consultant, often times companies are bringing you in for a fresh perspective.  This fresh perspective doesn’t always mean you have to push them in a million different directions. Encouraging a company to get back to, and really nurture, their roots can be valuable advice as well.

Think of it as a sports team with a new coach.  When the new coach comes in and takes over the team, the first thing that they do is to get the team back to basics. This is because you have to be able to execute the basics well if you have any chance of winning the game. If everyone can’t do basic blocking and tackling, even with a star quarterback, then you are going to lose the game.

That same analogy applies to business.  You may be riding along thinking that your company is doing a great job, so you’re constantly looking for the next bigger and better thing.  When was the last time you sat back and considered what can you do better within your own organization?  What parts need improvement? If you would just get back to basics and excel at them, you would have success right there. Doing the fundamentals, and doing it the best in your industry, will set you apart from your competition. We live in a fast paced world and sometimes it seems like having 18 new flashy features and products is going to get you all of the customers. Often times though, this leaves businesses spread far too thin without excelling at any one thing.  How about focusing on being the best in your industry, with the service or product that you offer?

As a consultant, it can sometimes be difficult to help a mature organization not lose sight of its original vision.  I’m not saying change is never good or necessary.  But it is important to take a step back and help the organization to consider why they became a business in the first place. It’s worth considering a trip back to basics in order to excel.

Do you think that businesses should be constantly pushing to get ahead in the game? Is it more important to keep up with the competition or to be the best at what you do? What are your thoughts? Comment below!