Shiny Object Syndrome Can Harm Your Business

Shiny Object Syndrome

Its tip #52 in my book, 52 Tips To Turn Your Website Into A Sales Machine, but it probably should be moved to #1.
You need a video, you need social sharing and you must have animation. You need a spokesperson talking about your company since video is so hot now. Don’t forget your mobile users, remember to watch for long content and big photos.

What about sales flyers as PDFs or pages? Do you have a PDF attachment or does the information need to be a page.

You need a blog, everyone has a blog.  Now you have to make the blog rank for SEO. You need ever-changing content.  The list goes on.

It’s an Illness

As an entrepreneur juggling many different responsibilities, you’ll likely find that any illness will seriously set you back temporarily while you recover. But there’s one that may have powerful, lasting effects on your business — and extend far beyond a simple day or two of absence.

At its core, shiny object syndrome (SOS) is a disease of distraction, and it affects entrepreneurs specifically because of the qualities that make them unique. Entrepreneurs tend to be highly motivated. They crave new technology and new developments. And they aren’t afraid to start new projects and create new things.

Ordinarily, these are great characteristics, but when SOS sets in, it forces you to chase project after project, and change after change, never settling with one option.

It’s called shiny object syndrome because it’s the entrepreneurial equivalent of a small child chasing after shiny objects. Once they get there and see what the object is, they immediately lose interest and start chasing the next thing. For entrepreneurs, rather than literal shiny objects, SBOs may be business objectives, marketing strategies, clients or even other business ventures.

When SOS Is Bad

Wanting to keep your industrial business and webpage updated, and staying abreast of new possibilities, aren’t inherently bad goals. However, when SOS becomes rampant, entrepreneurs experience some or all of these serious drawbacks:

  • Inability to finish projects 

When you get excited about a new project before your first one is complete, you may jump ship before you can see any meaningful results. For example, if you invest in an SEO strategy for a month or two, then switch to a different strategy altogether, you’ll never get to see the long-term benefits of maintaining an SEO strategy properly.

  • Poorly planning your ideas and directives

People with SOS tend to focus on the novelty of pursuing a given strategy, or making a specific change, rather than the strategy or change itself. For example, they may love the idea of creating a new product and begin work on developing it, but with no long-term game plan on how to follow through on that idea. This leads to underdeveloped executions and unrealized potential.

  • Burning through cash

There are hundreds of technological tools for businesses that are impressive, effective and downright fun to use. Unfortunately, if you subscribe to all those services, or you jump from platform to platform, you’ll end up burning through so much cash that these tools become incredibly cost-inefficient.

  • Confusing your staff

You aren’t the only one affected by your decisions and constantly alternating momentum. If you change your business’s direction too frequently, your staffers won’t be able to keep up. They’ll see projects they’re working on suddenly become irrelevant when a new detail emerges, or see their goals shift almost unpredictably. Over time, this can cause serious disruptions in employee loyalty and productivity.

The Problem Is How You Think

Fortunately, Shiny Object Syndrome isn’t a diagnosable affliction. It’s a problem with how you think about your business, and how you choose to develop it. Once you realize you have these tendencies, you can start to correct and compensate for them.

The Cure

Instead of thinking about all the new things you should do and jumping from one to another,  focus on what your customers need to know in order for them to do business with you.  Many of those distractions and shiny objects will disappear when you focus on the customer. Ultimately you will forge a more consistent, reliable path for your business.


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