It all started when my nieces convinced me to download this app called Candy Crush*. You might ask what a grown man is doing playing something that sounds like a kids’ game. Well, you should probably also ask the other half billion (with a “b”) people that have downloaded Candy Crush*, as it’s the second most downloaded game in history. In any case, if you’re not one of the lucky half billion people, I’ll try to summarize the rules. You have a “board” filled with four different types of candies. If you move the candies to get three of the same kind in a row, they disappear (crushed) and the next row falls down to take their place. If you get four in a row, you get a special candy that crushes the entire row, and five in a row will crush all of a particular candy on the board. The bottom line is, to win the level, you have to get a several fours or fives in a row, which requires strategy and planning. That’s how I got sucked in to the game; I enjoyed the challenge of figuring out what moves to make to get the right candies in the right spot.
Then it happened! It all changed. At level 50, they introduced the chocolate squares, which expand and take over all of the candies around them. The chocolate will take over your entire board unless you are successful at “blowing up” the chocolate squares to get back to your regular candies. As a result, your strategy is thrown out the window, and the remainder of your turns are spent just trying to keep the chocolate from taking over. If the chocolate takes over, you lose.
The same is true in business. Strategizing and making long-term plans for our businesses is enjoyable. Then, everything changes. A problem creeps up…then another… and another. Before long, all of your energy is consumed with trying to prevent the chocolate from taking over your business.
So what can we do?
First, take a step back. When we’re right in the middle of a fire, we can’t clearly see a way out. Take a weekend to get away from the business and look at the big picture. Use the time to figure out how to control all of the pieces to get five in a row. Refocus on what your business strategy really is. Next, figure out how to eliminate the chocolate (fires) in the first place. Identify where the root of the problem is and solve it from the core. Many times, we rush around trying to put out fires instead of working to fireproof our businesses. If the problems emanate from a customer service problem, identify what is causing those repetitive complaints. Do your employees understand how to use the system correctly and are they familiar with your products? Pursue more training for your employees in these problematic areas. If it is from poor equipment, pay the money for a skilled mechanic to fix it correctly rather than trying to patch it up every week. Although putting out fires may seem to consume all of your resources, time and money is usually better utilized preventing them.
After taking steps to fireproof your business, you will find that once again you have time to strategize. You can enjoy planning and analyzing your “board” to figure out what moves to make next. Who knows, maybe you will even have time to play Candy Crush. Just tell yourself it can teach you a lot about managing your business!
– Wayne Harris
President and CEO of Point-of-Rental® Systems
*”Candy Crush Saga” and associated marks and logos are trademarks of King.com Ltd.
About Point-of-Rental® Systems, Inc.
Point-of-Rental® Systems, Inc. is listed by Inc. 5000 as one of America’s fastest private growing companies. Located in Grand Prairie, Texas, the company was founded in 1983 and provides award-winning rental and inventory management software to more than 1800 companies worldwide. To learn if Point-of-Rental’s Microsoft Windows® based or web-based software is right for your business, visit www.point-of-rental.com.