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Fix This Next

Make the Vital Change That Will Level Up Your Business

By Mike Michalowicz
15-minute read
Audio available
Fix This Next by Mike Michalowicz

Fix This Next (2020) provides business owners with a simple system to address the key issues preventing their companies from flourishing. Instead of trying to fix every issue at once, it reveals how different components of a business affect each other. It also provides a tool, the Business Hierarchy of Needs, that can help owners identify which issue to tackle first to ensure continual growth and profitability.

  • Entrepreneurs struggling to move their businesses forward
  • Managers trying to make a company profitable
  • Overworked business owners hoping to reduce stress

Mike Michalowicz is an entrepreneur, business specialist, and author of six books, including Profit First, Clockwork, The Pumpkin Plan, and The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. Through these books, his public speaking events, and his lecture series for collegiate entrepreneurial programs, Michalowicz teaches business owners how to optimize their companies.

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Fix This Next

Make the Vital Change That Will Level Up Your Business

By Mike Michalowicz
  • Read in 15 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 9 key ideas
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Fix This Next by Mike Michalowicz
Synopsis

Fix This Next (2020) provides business owners with a simple system to address the key issues preventing their companies from flourishing. Instead of trying to fix every issue at once, it reveals how different components of a business affect each other. It also provides a tool, the Business Hierarchy of Needs, that can help owners identify which issue to tackle first to ensure continual growth and profitability.

Key idea 1 of 9

To get out of crisis mode, stop listening to your gut and be more strategic.

One day, author Mike Michalowicz was in serious crisis mode. He was desperately trying to pull his business out of substantial debt by generating sales. But even though sales were increasing, his profits weren't. With every possible loan maxed out and $365,000 worth of personal debt, Michalowicz lived in a constant state of anxiety. And to make matters worse, his printer had just jammed.

Michalowicz pulled out every tray and opened every flap in the printer, getting more and more frustrated. There was no obvious reason why his printer had jammed, just like there was no obvious reason why his business was failing. Michalowicz continued to yank out trays, but with more force. After a fifth unsuccessful round of tray slamming, he made himself stop and take a breath. His current approach of instinctively opening and slamming doors simply wasn’t working. He needed to try something new.

The key message here is: To get out of crisis mode, stop listening to your gut and be more strategic.

After this realization, Michalowicz calmly examined the back of the printer. And there it was, a scrap of paper trapped in the feed. Within minutes, the machine was working again. Using more force hadn’t helped solve the problem at all.

This experience made Michalowicz question his business approach. His instincts had told him that boosting sales would pull him out of debt. But since sales growth wasn’t reducing company debt, sales weren’t the problem. His gut was wrong. The real issue at hand was profit. Instead of focusing on sales, Michalowicz had to find a way to increase profitability – that should start reducing debt.

You see, many business owners struggle to reach their goals, even if they have enough money, resources, and experience. This happens when – like Michalowicz – they’re not aware of what their biggest business problem actually is. They scramble to solve all their problems at the same time, rather than being strategic and prioritizing decisions around clear business needs.

This type of behavior is instinctual behavior – following your gut, in other words. But this approach to solving issues rarely moves a business forward. Instead, you get stuck in the Survival Trap, frantically putting out fires. 

The Fix This Next tool can help you overcome the Survival Trap by working systematically through your business needs. In the next blink, we’ll look at what these needs are and how they relate to each other.

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