Business is about balance. Like a three-legged stool, we balance marketing (I include sales in with marketing) with operations and with finance.
When marketing is strong, operations and finance work hard to deliver. When operations are strong, marketing and finance work hard to deliver. And when finance is strong, marketing and operations work hard to deliver.
It takes all three — marketing, operations and finance — to make a business run. Though seldom are all three working together. One usually gets more attention than the other two until, inevitably, the business starts to wobble.
Mostly Off Course
Much like driving a car or rowing a boat, a business is off course more than 90% of the time. While driving a car, small (almost imperceptible) off-course corrections are made to keep the correct speed and direction of your vehicle. And, like driving a car, the final destination is out of sight most of the time.
This all works, most of the time. The longer you drive, the better driver you become. You get to where you are going most of the time. Occasionally, you may have an accident. Overall you have faith in your ability to get to where you want to go with no more than an occasional mishap.
Why do so many business leaders feel like they are walking a tightrope to keep their business in balance?
A tightrope walker has three directions of travel — forward, backward, and down. Downward is catastrophic if the tight rope is high enough. Most of us move forward on the tight rope of business until we feel comfortable. Then we stop.
Tightrope walkers cannot stop and maintain their balance. Try it.
Are you walking a tightrope or driving a car?