Business Balance: Keep Your Plates Spinning

Jan 26, 2017, Written by Jim Miley

keep-your-business-balance-small-christian-business-owner-baton-rougeThere are a few universal mechanisms that support the health of your business; core requirements for strength common across industries, sizes, geographies, markets, etc.  I find beautiful art in a manager who works the mechanisms of commerce to build, grow and sustain a strong business.  That well-blended chemistry allowing everything to just work.

Like a good showman, you have put those plates high in the air, each spinning until lost momentum threatens the balance of each one.  The laws of physics are working against you.  Friction, gravity and imbalance will all work to slow each plate until they wobble to the ground unless you skillfully apply new energy.

The people that make up our business environments are not perfect beings; we are fallen in our nature bringing with us friction, imbalance and wobble to our work.

Just like physical forces on the plates, the world around you (and laws of business physics) are working against any business owner or manager.  Lack of focus, resource requirements, competition and imbalance will all make your team start to wobble.  You may make a great save in the service department only to see that sales are falling off; insert yourself for some sales heroics to learn that your equipment capability is falling behind the competition.  The laws of business physics are at work and “rust never sleeps.”  Add a dose of human factor to each area of your work plan and you may find it difficult to keep the show going.

 “Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord! I have fled to you for refuge.” Ps 149:9

Pray for strength and clarity and don’t let the enemies of good business beat you down.

Keep Your Business in Balance

What’s the trick?

Keep the plates spinning with a planned, consistent level of attention and energy.  

“But all things should be done decently and in order…”  1 Cor 14:40

First, identify and recognize those universal mechanisms in a healthy business… “the plates.”  The universal mechanisms or pillars supporting strong business go by different names but the principles aren’t very flexible.  At Crossroads, we call this the PATH to a successful business and the following names for the steps along the path work with our clients.  These are the plates that we keep spinning.

  1. Mission/Strategy
  2. Foundation/Team
  3. Sales/Service/Marketing
  4. Leadership/Planning

Now that you have identified the plates, you are past the first step of recognition and moving on to building consistency with your energy for all the key areas of your business.  The plate starts to wobble when it loses energy; it loses energy when you neglect it.

A consistent rhythm of cycling through each of the listed steps of the business PATH above assures that you don’t neglect any of the plates.  Environmental factors will force us to contribute more energy to one or two steps, or plates, at any given time, but we still remain within the rhythm of our cycle.

Spinning Plates: Be Proactive to Prevent a Fall

All too often our affinity is toward simply moving from plate to plate when we see them wobble, or worse.  This approach requires your undivided attention on every plate at all times.  A few problems with this approach:

A better solution is to be pro-active and prevent your plates from beginning to wobble in the first place.  Be realistic and know that you will need to provide some extra energy mid-cycle with varying conditions but the overall situation will be more manageable.  When one plate does wobble, you have maximized the probability that others are spinning well and you can quickly regain your rhythm.

“Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”  Heb 13:16

Put firm actions on your calendar for orderly review, analysis, and adjustment if necessary for each of the fundamental steps along your business PATH.  Keep those plates spinning and invest in your quality of life while you’re at it.


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Jim Miley

As a Business Coach, Jim brings a broad background of operational and sales management skills and expertise to help small business owners grow their business and reach their highest potential. He has 30 years of field-proven professional experience.

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