Fix This Next
By Mike Michalowicz
Mike Michalowicz has written another fantastic book for business owners. He is a proven entrepreneur, starting and growing multiple businesses, and writes practical books to benefit other owners. In his latest book, Fix This Next, Michalowicz combines his experience into a new framework that addresses problems in any type of business. His perspective and ability to simplify concepts blend into a vault of valuable resources for business owners.
Fix This Next defines the needs a business has and puts them in ascending order called the Business Hierarchy of Needs. Michalowicz models this after Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, meaning that each level must be satisfied before focusing on the next. One of the best advantages of this approach is that his hierarchy isn’t dependent on the stage, type, or size of the company. The needs are reflected the same in a Fortune 500 company as they are for a local small business.
The first three needs are pretty straight-forward. Sales, Profit, and Order. Sales is the creation of cash and really defines being a business. If you don’t have sales then you just have a hobby! Profit entails having stability and actually making money. Order (one of my personal favorite topics in business) is the third tier and is focused on efficiency and redundancy. Order makes sure your business runs smoothly. These first three levels of business needs define the “Get” levels and have to be solid in order to give back sustainably to the world.
The final two levels of the Business Hierarchy of Needs are classified as the “Give” levels and are the focus of why so many people start a business: to make others’ lives better. The fourth level is “Impact.” Impact means, among other things, that your business provides mission for employees and transformation for customers. “Legacy” is the final level and focuses on your business making an impact after you are gone.
With the Business Hierarchy of Needs outlined, Michalowicz goes on to give the reader a checklist to find out what specific items inside each level must be addressed. The checklist breaks down each level into specific actionable and measurable questions. Using the checklist he walks through how to find your “Vital Need.” This defines the weakest link in your business. Finding and fixing this vital need using this method is the value Michalowicz brings in the book. It is practical and straightforward. The book then goes through some detail about how to address each level once these needs and checklist are defined. From this point, you don’t have to read the whole book. If you complete the checklist and find your vital need, then flip straight to that need, don’t worry about readying the whole thing. The author actually gives you permission not to read the rest of his book. Once you fix the current need, you can complete the checklist again and find your next vital need.
Beyond being practical and straightforward, Michalowicz conveys ideas and stories the reader can connect to. He shares personal stories about his struggles as a business owner as well as case studies from others who have successfully applied these tactics. The diverse network of businesses chronicled in the book shows that any company type and category can benefit from Fix This Next. Each section also includes a fictional business that Michalowicz uses to define measurements and goals used to correct a need at that level. His approach to correcting the need is to define an Objective, Measurement, Evaluation and how to Nurture (OMEN) or change the objective. This OMEN gives structure to how you can address each need.
Resolving problems in your business is not easy. Fix This Next won’t make it easy either. You’ve probably been in business long enough to know that there is not an “Easy” button. This book does give a simple framework to find and address the problems. If you have to do the hard work of improving your business then this book is a good guide to help you direct that work on the best focus point.
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About Phil Klutts
Phil is an Edmond native and has managed to keep his wife here instead of traveling the world, which they both enjoy. They have two boys who love the outdoors, adventures, and learning new things. Phil is a problem-solver at heart and enjoys connecting people to the resources they need.
Phil founded the CK Group LLC after working for large and small businesses in the Energy, Construction, and Fitness industries. He focuses on helping small businesses and entrepreneurs improve their systems and processes. CK Group LLC's mission is to eliminate chaos and create clarity for small business by connecting vision, strategy, and implementation.