Ever tried to fit a square peg into a round hole? Even if you manage to jam it in there after hours of fiddling and what can only be described as a Herculean effort, it isn’t pretty and let’s face it, it just doesn’t work the same.
Lots of things in business mirror the square peg in the round hole problem. Try fitting a square peg client into a round hole business and you get a lot of extra time spent servicing that customer, effort on modifying or adapting services and chances are that in the end, the customer isn’t that happy anyway.
What about the square peg service that you are seduced into offering because you think there’s a big demand? No matter how much you spin it, it just doesn’t make sense why an IT Services Company would offer bobcat services (true story). Do you really want to trust your data security to a company that digs holes? Probably not.
How Clarity Saves Both Time and Energy
Not only does clarity save you time and energy because you avoid the disastrous time bomb relationships cited above, it saves you time and energy even contemplating these types of decisions. Knowing exactly what ‘fits’ your business allows you to quickly rule out many potential square pegs that cross your path.
For example, clarity about the best fitting clients means you can design your sales funnel so ill fitting clients don’t even call you because you spell out exactly who you do (and don’t) work with on your web site and in your 30-second networking pitch.
It means you know upfront what strategic partnerships you are seeking so you avoid the countless internal discussions and meetings to decide which partnerships are the best fit. If the peg doesn’t fit your criteria, the conversation simply doesn’t happen.
Think of your round hole as a jig for measuring fit. Round pegs fit the round holes with the same ease and flow that ideal clients and partnerships bring to your business. Compare that to the awkward patched together solutions required by square pegs.
Key Business Decisions that Require ‘Round Hole’ Clarity
#1: Clients – Create a profile of your best clients and make that your round hole for measuring potential clients.
#2: Strategic Partners – Create a similar profile for potential strategic partners. Know what parts of your business are you looking to supplement with strategic relationships. Is it products? Is it sales distribution? Is it services that you offer your clients?
#3: Team Members – Get clear about the qualifications and personality fit you need from potential employees and contractors. If you need a go-getter who gets stuff done without much input from you, don’t hire the quiet wallflower.
#4: Products and Services – Profile the products and services you love to sell. For example, if you only really get excited about promoting eco-friendly products, don’t take on anything outside that category. Your lack of enthusiasm will show in a lack of sales.
#5: Opportunities – Know what types of opportunities you are looking for to expand your business. For example, if public speaking really isn’t your thing, get clear about it and avoid marketing opportunities that require public speaking.
Remember, the purpose of clarity is to avoid investing time and effort in directions and relationships that don’t fit and will only end in disaster. The rule is if it doesn’t fit the first try, it’s not worth the effort to make it fit! Period.