Most of us are familiar with triage in a medical setting. It’s the proven process to prioritize the patients who need attention more urgently than others. T he US Army’s version of Battlefield First Aid is the perfect framework to use if your business is struggling and you need to determine the most urgent priorities.
The concept behind triage is that someone experiencing symptoms of a heart attack will get greater priority than someone with symptoms of the common cold, for example.
It follows a simple three step sequence that you can apply in many ways to your business challenges.
1. Stop the Bleeding
This is the top priority because if this issue isn’t solved, it’s game over.
The Army teaches that when a soldier has lost a limb, for example, the first inclination of an untrained attendant is to address that issue, e.g., to preserve the limb for future reattachment.
But, that’s entirely the wrong response.
If you don’t stop the bleeding, the wounded soldier won’t live to have surgery. You must ignore everything else ends and stop the bleeding first.
In your business, that means get to Cash Flow Positive or Cash Break Even as quickly as possible so you can survive. Do that first and then deal with the other issues that are challenging your business.
2. Clear the Airway
Once you have stopped the bleeding and the immediate danger passes, you need to Clear the AirWay to create some stability.
Your company needs to “keep breathing” so there’s an opportunity to solve other problems. You may be on life support, but as long as you’re alive, you have a chance to fix the remaining issues.
3. Treat the Wound
At this point, with the bleeding stopped and the patient breathing, you can start to address the uses that need fixing and which will have the greatest impact.
Now, you can concentrate on the damage, the lost limb or whatever other business problems exist. Most importantly, you’ve set yourself up to have a chance to solve these. Otherwise, you may never get to them.
In battle, hemorrhaging blood is the principal cause of death.
In business, cash flow is the lifeblood and demands the same urgent attention.
If you get in a jam, or want to tackle head-on the reasons why your business isn’t prospering as you expect, use this a proven approach to overcome those wounds and emerge victorious.
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