The Comfort Of The March Business Rut

By this time in early March, all the “I-told-you-so” articles of lapsed gym memberships and forgotten New Year resolutions are already over. We enter every year with fresh hope that those aspects of our daily lives that are not our favorites can and will be changed this year. I like that about humanity. I like that hope springs eternal. But the reality is that it’s not uncommon for some of us to slip into the comfort of the March business rut.

Rut: Unpromising by definition

The rut. Even the sound of the word causes a negative sort of wince. A rut is defined as: “a habit or pattern of behavior that has become dull or unproductive but is hard to change.” How does being in a rut differ from maintaining a routine? Routines, we are taught, are positive and supporting. We develop routines for our kids, for example, because we know that the structure supports their development. In business, we develop routines in our jobs to project stability for our products, which in turn can enhance our appeal to the buying public. I’m not saying work routines are bad. The “business rut” has more to do with pursuing goals and staying motivated, or rather–in not pursuing goals and not staying motivated. It seems easy to start the slide. It’s the end of hard winter. Perhaps everyone is getting along well in the office. Business has been steady year to date. Possibly all that early ambition can rest for a moment?

Of course, early March 2020 is different

The rapid spread of Covid-19 has surprised us all. The stock market rollercoaster ride reminds us that all commerce is now global in scope, in one way or another. This completely unpredictable situation is what brought to my attention that I was, myself, sitting at the top of that slide back into a comfort zone. I realized that global disruptions in manufacturing and shipping can affect my own business and that of my customers. I looked again at my 2020 business goals, and at daily work schedules for the last couple of weeks and into the next two as well. For me, it’s a timely wake-up call to not lose sight of my New Year’s ambition, to not be complacent, to not be too comfortable.

If this was the year you had promised to get someone to assess your current IT setup, and especially if you budgeted to spend something on upgrades, don’t get stuck in the “why fix it if it may not be broke” mindset. Stick to the plan. Find out if things are “broke.” Find out what might be about to break, or what may soon be obsolete. Stick with your goal to keep growing and to be leading your competition. And do this knowing you have the right IT network and the right IT management company to support that goal.

Aptica offers free assessments. That’s step one. The phone call to schedule that is also free.

Jason Newburg, 260.243.5100, ext 2101, is the founder and owner of Aptica LLC. This IT management and support company has been serving small to medium-sized businesses for 19 years in the region that includes Angola, South Bend, and Fort Wayne, IN, Battle Creek, MI, and Toledo OH.

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