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In Running, as in Business, Consistency Beats Cramming

The last few years I've become addicted to running. Trail running to be specific. I find it's a wonderful way to stay in shape, a sport I can likely do for a long, long time, and also an effective channel for brainstorming.

This month I started ramping my training for a race in October. As I'm planning my workouts and rest days, parallels starting popping up to running a business. For example, if my goal is to run 40-50 miles per week, it is healthier, easier, and smarter to break up the mileage over five or six days than over two to three. Sure it's more days of running but each run is more manageable so my risk for injury goes down and my "base" gets stronger.

I see the exact same parallels happening in small businesses. Every business, whatever the size, has limited resources. The more manageable way to grow is to consistently do little improvements to all areas of your business. For example, improve your product or service, build your marketing footprint, and grow your sales and customer service teams through consistent improvement to all areas.

Having worked with several small businesses, it seems that everyone agrees with this premise in theory, but in reality breaks up their work into fits and spurts. For example, direct resources to fight customer service fires for three days straight, and give up on product, sales, and marketing on those days.

While exceptions to this rule are allowed, if three out of four weeks you are fighting fires, it's time to check your discipline. By giving up key aspects of your business you are building "debt" into your model that will come back to bite you. In this example of customer service "fires," you can expect your sales funnel to thin out if you give up your consistent efforts there.

Hump day thoughts. Happy selling!

Photo credit: Jesse Ellis.

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