UX Magazine

Defining and Informing the Complex Field of User Experience (UX)
Article No. 15 December 15, 2005

All Gas. No Brakes.

Two of my favorite sayings are “Big hat, big boots… No cattle” and the similar “All smoke. No roast.”

It occurs to me that too many businesses suffer from my own variation:

“All Gas. No brakes.”

In their hurry to reach what realistically should be their 5-7 year goal/vision in 2 years (or less) has, among other ills, caused business owners to let their sales and marketing initiatives get so far ahead of their operational capabilities that they drown under their own sales success.

As military history proves, the speed at which an army can sustain an effective advance is directly related to the speed at which supply/support forces can follow up behind them.

While you spend a lot of time driving your sales efforts, quotas and marketing efforts forward do you have a plan in place on how you are going to provide the exceptional service to the new clients that you expect to win this month, quarter or year? How much time, energy and money do you spend on that vs. your sales and marketing efforts?

Make sure your existing clients do not suffer from your growth.

Applying some brakes to your sales efforts to allow your business to take on new clients with care and attention will yield a superior first impression, promote consistently positive word of mouth and create a sales force that can sell with confidence knowing the company can efficiently deliver on their promises.

It also provides you with the time to hire at your own pace, train your team properly and make sure your existing clients do not suffer from your growth.

What’s more, slowing things down to a speed that can be managed with great control and care, ironically, creates steady acceleration that will allow you to enjoy the scenery along the way.


User Profile

Howard Mann is the founder of Brickyard Partners, a business strategy agency based in Portland, OR. Prior to founding Brickyard Partners in 2001, Mann owned a premier international logistics company with over 140 Million in revenue, six U.S. offices and a global network of over 40 agents worldwide.

As that business came under severe pressure from the previous economic downturn and industry consolidation, Howard lead the company out from those treacherous times by returning to the basics that make every business great and completing 6 acquisitions that re-imagined the business so it was highly attractive to buyers. Finding that “secret sauce” did not come easily but has fueled his purpose to help other business leaders to never have to go through what he endured. 

Through real world experience and those hard times in the “trenches” of business he has learned that it is not following the latest fad, copying competitors or adding complexity that makes a business truly great. His pragmatic approach and knowing what it feels like to sit in the CEO/Owner chair is what makes his work so different and effective.

In addition to his strategy, marketing and communications work, Mann coaches a select group of entrepreneurs, CEO's and business owners. His highly focused workshops and keynotes help executive teams take aggressive action to unlock the true potential of their organizations and build remarkable businesses that endure. In good times and bad. Online and off.

Howard is a sought after speaker both in the U.S. and around the world. He writes frequently on his blog about the importance of the basics and reconnecting to the passion that too often gets lost as businesses mature.

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This is a good point. Fortunately I had the foresight to halt our marketing efforts. We have tons of tshirts, fliers, and advertising rate lists on hold, waiting for our service to mature.

At the same time, you don’t want to wait so long that you miss the boat.

I guess the waiting too long and missing the boat would be; “all breaks and no gas”.

You have a point though. I’ve seen companies first hand with explosive growth who are having a hard time delivering quality customer care.

It is still a good problem to have.