Do you suffer from S.O.S.?

You’re trundling along, working away and feel like you know well enough where your business is headed. But is S.O.S. derailing you?

Maybe you’ve got a team and they’re each busy doing the do.  Despite constantly being busy you just know there must be a better way to ‘get there’.  Always being on the look-out for the next big thing in your organisation is in the DNA of business owners and directors.  But without the right controls in place it can end up leading you astray.  When you catch wind of a new trend/product/business idea and you think  “Maybe I should look into that?  It could be the game-changer I’ve been looking for!” beware!


We call this Shiny Object Syndrome – S.O.S. – and it can derail you faster than you can say ‘Out of control freight train’.


Why is it a problem?

Making S.O.S.-based decisions impacts every area of your business.  Flitting between ideas, constantly changing up your offering, expanding services randomly, chasing the latest trend simply because it’s a trend… These are all examples of S.O.S. at play and there are a few key reasons why it can be a problem:

It can cost you time and money

Not a bad thing in itself, unless that cost is one you haven’t predicted and budgeted for, don’t have adequate resources to deliver well, can’t afford, or which doesn’t have a projected ROI to validate the investment.

It can represent an opportunity cost

Spending time and money on your S.O.S. activity may mean you have less to spend on other activities – and that can diddle you out of revenue and profit in the longer term.

It can jeopardise your team

People tend to like to know what’s expected of them and to have a reasonable expectation of what to expect from their employer and role.  Not everyone likes change and constant change can cost you your team.

It can distract you from your knitting

You’ve heard the expression about sticking to your knitting?  Simply, know what you do and do it well.  Don’t try to be all things to all people.  A shiny object can distract you from your core business.

A confused mind says ‘no’

Unless your offering is super clear, your potential customers/members may not be able to figure out exactly what you can do for them.  What problem are you solving for them?  How do you do what you do for them?  How can they buy it from you?  If these things aren’t clear to your target market, they’re likely to be confused.  And nothing kills an enthusiastic buyer faster than confusion.


But shouldn’t we continually evolve?

Yes.  Innovation is important for all businesses, don’t get me wrong.  As owners and directors, we all need to keep abreast of what’s new, what the market is looking for, where our competition is coming from, and we should critically assess how we show up in that environment.   There is, however, a difference between heading off down an S.O.S. path on a whim and deliberately deciding the direction and next steps for your business.



I’ve got S.O.S.  Help!

S.O.S. can be avoided.  And if you’re already down that path, there is a way back.  The simple answer is planning.  By this I don’t just mean you should write down a few ideas and go forth.  I mean, you need to engage with the full planning lifecycle (see figure below).  And you should:

  • Understand your market and its issues
  • Know your skills (a SWOT analysis is always a good idea)
  • Have clear goals for the short and mid-term
  • Be super clear on what you want to be known for
  • Know your numbers
  • AND set a plan (which you then must re-visit in a perpetual cycle)

Sounds daunting?

onsomble can help. We specialise in supporting associations and small businesses to set clear strategies and develop workable, trackable, achievable plans.  Book an initial call with us to learn more about how we can help you.


Keep thinking big,


The better way to business:
onsomble’s innovative business solutions give you the power of a big team without the extra overheads. We allow you to stick to what you do best and not waste your valuable time on areas of your business that are not your expertise. Say goodbye Jack of all trades, and hello freedom.

Find out how we can help your organisation grow and thrive.

Schedule a call today.

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