Benchmark Business Group

Are You Duct-Taping Your Problems?

June 25, 2024

It doesn't matter what industry you're in or even the size of your business, there's one thing all businesses have in common. There is something in your business that you've fixed temporarily.

The duct-tape fix: A problem that has been solved for today, but it's noticeable. It's something that you've moved on from, because it is working right now, but it's there looming in the background.

It's not silent. It's not forgotten. Just like when you use duct tape, it's visible in the business. You see it. Your employees see it. And even your clients may see it.

Sometimes, the fix looks okay. After all duct tape comes in all sizes and prints. The problem is, duct tape won't hold forever. As your business grows, the duct-tape fix will be put under even more strain. Or one day, the duct tape just isn't going to be able to hold it all together.

Everyone knows a permanent solution is needed, but as always, time is an issue. It's working today. Yes, everyone sees it, but is it a priority? Many times, the duct-tape fix becomes so commonplace, that even though you know it's there, you also stop worrying about it. You'll handle it later. When the time comes.

Yet, when the time comes, chances are you'll have a bigger problem, a bigger mess, and there may not be enough duct tape to fix it this time. The time to replace the duct-tape fixes is now, before they become a bigger problem.

We challenge your business to hold a duct-tape meeting:

  • Invite your team, or at the very least key employees.
  • Give everyone three pieces of duct tape and a permanent marker. Feel free to make a joke about the duct tape being temporary and the marker permanent.
  • Challenge your team to write down three situations where your business has duct-tape fixes. What problems have temporary solutions that are just waiting to become bigger issues?
  • Allow everyone to discuss the three situations they see as duct tape fixes.
  • Select the top three duct tape fixes based on the impact they have to the business and clients.
  • Take time to brainstorm solutions and make a commitment to put in place permanent solutions.

Don't be ashamed of duct-tape fixes, every business has areas that need to be improved, temporary fixes that are put together in the rush of all the other business functions that have to happen. Take the time to reflect on why the fix was temporary, celebrate the fact that it's kept something from totally breaking down, and commit to putting the permanent fix in place!

Duct-tape fixes are part of all businesses. The difference is that successful businesses that grow without major issues are able to identify and put permanent solutions in place, before the duct-tape fix finally gives way to larger issues.

Design yearly duct-tape meetings into your business. And be open and honest about what temporary solutions need attention, even if they're not causing pain right now.

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