Are You Stuck In A Rut?
Does it work? I don’t know.
Can you measure it? Maybe. Maybe not. Doesn’t matter.
If you don’t know, why are you still doing it? No idea, someone else before me was doing this so I just keep on doing the same thing.
We often hear these answers when auditing clients’ capital raising infrastructure and processes.
The answers above are indicative of people who are “stuck in a rut”. People who are “in a rut” are those using the same old tools, same old tactics, and are comfortable with the same old results.
What’s the danger of getting stuck in a rut?
The risk of never getting out of it. 2 quick examples in recent history:
1. Blockbuster. Survived the transition from VHS to DVD just fine – but then failed to adapt to the next big change. Kept doing what it was doing and remained flat-footed when cable and phone companies started offering video-on-demand, and Redbox started renting videos for a buck a night through vending machines.
2. Sears. It’s still commonly referred to as the Sears Tower, as many outside of Chicago still don’t know that Chicago's tallest building is now officially the Willis Tower, named after a British insurance broker that is one of its main tenants. Sears moved out years ago—and also surrendered the spirit associated with such an architectural landmark. How did that happen? Guys like Wal-Mart and Amazon came in with new sales tactics and consumer engagement styles that chewed up Sears’ turf. It took seemingly forever before they advanced with a web strategy, but are still lagging behind as stores continue to vanish.
Unfortunately, sometimes the “same old results with the same old tools” turn into “no results” as others play with sharper, lighter, and yet sturdier tools.
Getting out of it
Companies that get stuck in a rut flounder, shrink, grow obsolete, or get acquired by rivals; but it’s not the end of the world if you’re one of those guys. There are plenty of companies that have dug themselves out of what they found themselves in. General Motors, Delta Airlines, and Old Spice are names that most will be familiar with.
Early detection is key to getting un-stuck. Sometimes, an easy switch in thinking and re-allocation of resources does the trick, and other times, large-scale changes are needed before one can claw his way back to the top.
A quick start to checking if you’re in the right place is to understand why you’re using the tools you’re using today. See if there’s any way you can measure the success rate and calculate your capital raising ROI.
Un-stuck yourself from the rut, and you’ll experience what real traction feels like.
By Alan Chu