Today is the launch day of Mike Michalowicz’s  next best-selling book Fix This Next.

I’m so excited for people to start reading Fix This Next.

Last year he shared with me the core concept of the book – the Entrepreneurial Hierarchy of Needs.

Mike modeled Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to develop the Entrepreneurial Hierarchy of Needs.

There are Five Vital Needs of every business owner

Sales – The creation of cash.

Profit – The creation of stability.

Order – The creation of Efficiency.

Impact – The creation of Transformation.

Legacy – The creation of Permanence.

As a business evolves over time, the business has different needs.

By identifying the current vital need of the business, the business owner can attack the most important Vital Need first and solve the issues surrounding that Vital Need.

Think of this as triage for business owners.

In the medical world, health care works evaluate a patient to determine which patient gets served first.

If two patients come into the Emergency Room and there is only one doctor on duty, the doctor has to serve the patient who has the most severe health problem first.

Let’s say one patient has a heart attack, and the other person broke their arm.

The doctor would work first with the heart attack patient because the person has a more severe problem then the person with the broken arm.

If the doctor worked first with the broken arm patient, the patient with the heart attack might die before the doctor mends the broken arm.

Through medical triage, the doctor determines which patient needs attention first.

We must take the same approach with our businesses.

When we apply triage to our businesses, we identify what we should be working on first.

As a business owner, you know how quickly time slips through your fingers.

Time is the elusive asset we spend that we can never get more time.

Ben Franklin said, “The way to wealth is as plain as the way to market. It depends chiefly on two words, industry and frugality: that is, waste neither time nor money, but make the best use of both. Without industry and frugality nothing will do, and with them everything.”

Just think about how many times you get caught up in urgent items that completely unimportant.

You know just as well as I do that there is never enough time to do everything.

However, there is always enough time to do what is important.

One of the greatest struggles we face in life is when we get caught up in misidentifying what is important with that which is unimportant.

Unimportant things are NOT important.

Quit doing unimportant things.

With the Entrepreneurial Hierarchy of Needs, we can determine what is most important in our business right now.

This process enables us to focus on the most important in our business first.

Let me ask you a question.

What is more important than the most important thing?

Nothing is more important than the most important thing!

If you find yourself trapped between stagnating sales, staff turnover, and unhappy customers, what do you do first?

Let’s look at a typical business.

Right now, they are facing a dip in sales because there is a downturn in the economy.

The business owner, like most business owners, has five million items on his plate, and every minute 500 new items are being added to his/her plate.

Often, overwhelm sets in, and the business owner starts working on the item that screams the loudest.

Rarely is this the most important item. Most of the time, this is a critical item that is urgent now.

What the business owner needs to do is pause and use the triage method in Fix This Next to determine what to work on first.

Step one is to identify the company’s unsatisfied core needs with the Business Hierarchy of Needs.

Once you’ve identified the core need, it is time to move on to step two.

Step two is to identify the Vital Need and resolve it with the OMEN process.

O – Objective.  What is the result you want to achieve?

M – Measure. What is the clearest way to measure your progress toward your outcome?

E – Evaluation – How often will you analyze your measurement?

N – Nurture – If need, how will you tweak the objective and/or measurements?

  1. Objective: What outcome do you want to achieve for your Vital Need? Where is its current status (the baseline)? Identify the requirements for your goal to be considered successful and how you are going to move from your baseline to your objective.
  2. Measurement: This includes the metric(s) for your outcome within a specific time frame. What is the simplest way to effectively track your progress toward the objective? The fewer metrics, the better. Minimize the number of metrics to avoid distraction and confusion. Have enough to give you an adequate reading of your progress.
  3. Evaluation: Determine the frequency with which you will check your metrics and set interim goals on your way to the intended outcome.
  4. Nurture: As you progress, you may notice that your objective isn’t quite right, or you aren’t measuring it effectively. Make the objective and measurements highly visible/accessible to the relevant people. Then give you and your team permission to change the settings (objective, measurements, and/or evaluation frequency) to improve the progress toward the objective.

Once you’ve resolved that Vital need, it is time to identify your next Vital Need so you can establish permanent healthy growth.

There is a natural principle that when things are healthy, they naturally grow.

When something is stagnating in your business, this is a clear indication that something is unhealthy.

Use the three steps from Fix This Next above to bring health back to your business.

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