Strictly Business

Monday, Nov 04 2013 04:00 PM

RUSS ALLRED: The 'good enough' business philosophy

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    Russ Allred, business consultant and author at Sunbelt Business Brokers & Advisors.

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BY RUSS ALLRED Contributing columnist

Business growth is a series of good-enough steps. Early mobile phones required a vehicle to move them around. The hand devices were big enough, but they required a car battery and a hefty antenna to operate. If the manufacturers had waited until the power supplies and wireless technology were developed, we would not have the miniature mobile computers that we enjoy today. The developers operated on the principle of "Good-Enough."

Connoisseurs appreciate perfection, but craftsmanship comes with a big price tag. The single payoff for a work of art is seldom as lucrative as a mass produced necessity.

To avoid liability, many products like drugs and car seats have a long lead time to market. The mandated testing can require years for approval.

Even in this litigious society, there is room for a Good-Enough mentality. The business accounting system can be good enough to support the new product. The chain of distribution can be good enough to reach a good-enough sized market. The logo and advertising can be good enough to begin a brand. Even the marginal management skills of an enterprising entrepreneur can be good enough to get the business off the ground.

Good enough is the solution to perfection paralysis. Many entrepreneurs are stifled by the desire to be perfect. Perfection is attainable in many pursuits, but may require many years. You might have 100 percent on-time delivery or perhaps you answer the phone by the third ring 100 percent of the time. You can be perfect in some things, but you must be satisfied by good enough status to move forward. Ask yourself, "Are we good enough to make money today?" and move on.

The status quo is just as stifling as the pursuit of perfection. Business is dynamic and markets are always on the move. Every entrepreneur must admit that what is good enough today may not be that way tomorrow. Each business owner should concede that no matter how good they are, in the future it will not be good enough.

-- Russ Allred, MBA, is a business consultant and author with Sunbelt Business Brokers & Advisors. These are his opinions, not necessarily those of The Californian.

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