In this edition of “Ask the Board,” we’re pleased to feature Michael Browning, CEO of Unleashed Brands, a platform company that houses franchise brands to help kids learn, play, and grow. These brands include Urban Air Adventure Park, Snapology, The Little Gym, Sylvan Learning, Class 101, XP League, and Premier Martial Arts. Michael shares his tips on how you can identify if you’re too comfortable in your business.

As an entrepreneur or small business owner, it’s important to step out of your comfort zone. After all, doing so can lead to unparalleled success and growth. Here’s how you know you’re too comfortable in your business and it’s time to make a change.

You’re too comfortable with your team

If you’ve stopped investing in training, implementing daily huddles, providing feedback in real time, and/or organizing team building events, you’re too comfortable with your team. The same holds true if you’re hiring anyone who can fog a mirror instead of taking the time to find the right person that meets the job requirements and culture of your organization. What are your core values? Hire and fire them. Don’t let toxic staff stay on the team when you know you should really let them go.

You’re too comfortable with customer service levels

If you’re not pushing your team to be the best and deliver the best experiences for your guests, it’s time to re-evaluate. Teach your team to embrace that you are on the constant pursuit of perfection to which you will never achieve. Also, don’t ignore reviews and simply blow them off as “keyboard warriors.”

Sales nirvana is achieved when you have an innovative product that is priced in a way that makes it affordable to the masses.

Michael Browning, CEO of Unleashed Brands

As a business owner, you don’t want to fall behind or become obsolete in a rapidly changing world. Your direct line into what your customers want is their feedback in the form of Net Promoter Scores and qualitative customer surveys. Push your team to greatness and encourage them to exceed customer expectations by never getting too comfortable with the service you provide guests.

You’re too comfortable with revenue or profits

It’s a major plus when you’re able to efficiently and effectively operate your business with success. However, you should strive to grow revenue year-over-year by consistently improving and innovating for growth.

If you find yourself saying things like, “If I am down this year that’s okay since I had an amazing year last year,” you are not investing in the future of your business. You must do so through marketing and innovation. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, yet expecting a different outcome. If you want to grow your business, get out of your comfort zone and try something new.

 A headshot of Michael Browning, the CEO of Unleashed Brands, against a dark gray background. Michael is a white man with dark blond hair and green eyes, and he is smiling.
Michael Browning, CEO of Unleashed Brands, warns against getting too comfortable with your team, your customer service performance, or the state of your revenue. — Unleashed Brands

You’re comfortable with innovation

Speed and innovation will always win in the business world. You must have a unique product that can achieve mass market adoption quickly in order to beat the competition. The goal is to create a product or service complex enough to create barriers to entry yet simple enough for the guest to understand.

Don’t be another shade of lipstick. Sales nirvana is achieved when you have an innovative product that is priced in a way that makes it affordable to the masses. Too many people have too much emotion tied to their product and overpriced it to the point that it can never really be a success.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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