Your Retail Success

Business is a Rubik’s cube

Your Retail Success

by Rick Kroetsch

It’s estimated that one in seven people in the world have played with a Rubik’s cube, so I’m making the assumption everyone knows what this potentially frustrating cube is all about. Your business resembles this product, so let’s look at how we can use the cube strategy to solve our business problems.

Simple yet complex

Looking at a scrambled Rubik’s cube, it appears that there is no way all of the colours can be matched up and the cube can be perfect. Business can be complex if you allow it to be or simple if you focus on what needs to be done to solve the puzzle.

Six colours—six things you should focus on

Focus on the most important aspects of your business. The Rubik’s cube only has six colours—you should probably only be focusing on six areas of your business to ensure it is running correctly. For example, you could look at:

  • sales
  • gross margin
  • turnover
  • sales per square foot
  • accounts receivable
  • EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization)

This is a strong set of indicators for your business. Get each of them in order and looking like the same colour sides of the cube and your puzzle has been solved.

Based on the current needs of your business you can replace any of the examples above with your own. Try to keep it to six in order to stay focused on what really matters and what will have a positive impact.

It may look like a mess—but you know it can be solved

The scrambled cube can look unsolvable, but according to the Rubik’s cube official website, every legal permutation can be solved in 20 moves or fewer.

No matter what is going on in your business, it can probably also be solved in 20 moves or fewer. Reviewing all of the areas of your business will help you determine those 20 moves required to solve the scrambled environment.

What appears to be a big problem always has a solution. The Rubik’s cube CAN be solved every time with the right strategy, planning, and moves. So can your business.

When it all comes together after moving all the various pieces—it’s magic!

Once you’ve made all the necessary moves on the cube, once all of the colours line up, you’ll have a great sense of pride over your achievement.

Use that same thinking in your business. Once everything lines up and your six key points are working to plan, you have solved the challenge in front of you. It’s a great feeling, however …

The second you solve it, someone mixes it up—and you have to start over

You can’t get complacent. Someone or something will mix up your perfect colour sides and you’ll need to get them back in sync again.

Your business needs you to watch closely in order to see when the colours have gone out of sequence—and it needs your attention to get it back on track.

Solve your puzzle and have fun doing it!

Rick Kroetsch is the vice-president and associate publisher of Alive Publishing Group.