Is it time for a check-up?

by Kate on July 11, 2010

When was the last time your business had a health check? Perhaps you wonder about how it’s going but things seem to be fine (there’s cash in the bank and you’re busy enough) so it’s just not a priority for now. How much better might you feel if you knew what was really going on?

Last week I confronted my procrastination about getting a dental check-up. For years I’ve been diligent about 6 monthly visits, but moving to the USA and then back to Australia seemed to throw me off course.As the gap between visits got close to 12 months, brushing my teeth was accompanied by a voice in my head reminding me that I was dodging taking action.

After waking up to the pointlessness of trying to ignore the voice – and potential consequences of not acting – I headed off to the dentist on Saturday.

Thankfully, there were no fillings required and I left with peace of mind restored and curious why I’d allowed myself to put off the check-up for so long.

It seems crazy, but the more I procrastinated the more I remembered my dentist experience in the USA, which involved significant investment of time and money to restore several heavily filled teeth. Forgetting that the investment had fixed the problems, plus I was now in the habit of flossing (to protect the investment), I started to create all sorts of imagined horrors. It was this that caused me to put off my check-up.

Taking an honest look at the performance of a business can be a bit like my dentist procrastination, especially if there’s a question about whether things are quite the way we’d like. Nervousness – even fear – about what might be discovered often gets in the way of action.While taking a proper look at business results might reveal the need for investment, remedial work and some changes in habits to get things to where you want them to be, the alternative can result in severe consequences. Facing up to how things are might be confronting, but the price of not looking can be stress and even business failure.

On the plus side, even when we think things aren’t going so well, it’s frequently just our imagination, and the check-up delivers a pleasant surprise.

If you’ve been putting off a business health check, please consider taking action. Chances are all will be well, and if not you’ve taken that important step to identify where the issues are so you can create a plan of action.

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