Have you ever heard of a Mint? It is this small little robot that can clean your floor, much like the Roomba. There are significant differences between the two machines though. One of them is the Mint’s Global Positioning System. Yes, you read that right. This cleaning robot runs with the guidance of a GPS.
It’s not what you think though. The Mint doesn’t use the satellite like the GPS in your car. Mint calls it an indoor GPS. It is a small cube that you turn on and place where it has a clear view of the center of your room. When you start the robot, it will secure a connection with this cube. Without the cube, it’ll still clean, just not as efficiently.
It’s actually quite fascinating to watch the robot clean. As I sat enjoying my morning coffee and a few minutes of me time, I watched it work and realized a couple of things that are surprisingly relevant to running our businesses.
We All Need A GPS
This is true for every aspect of your life. GPS’s keep us anchored and most importantly, they help us figure out the best route to our destination. In the case of the Mint robot, the GPS helps the robot create a map of the room in its memory so it can achieve it’s objectives (clean) better, knowing where the obstacles and boundaries are. Similarly, a GPS for your business should have the same effect.
Now to figure out, what or who can be the GPS for your business? I think the answer is fairly obvious. It is a good business coach or a group of like minded people like a mastermind group made up of people you can trust.
The other thing the Mint does every so often is pause. It’s little blue lights will begin to ‘run’, then it’ll correct itself and continue. This is the robot checking in with the GPS. Now, I don’t know what exactly goes on, but I have to think that is it trying to communicate with the GPS to figure out if it is still on the right track and/or to build the next portion of the room map.
Similarly, when you do get your business GPS, you have got to check in. Otherwise, you will eventually get off track, lose your way or feel stuck because you don’t know what the next portion of your map should be.
Know Your Scope
Between the living and the kitchen in my home, there is a very slight down step due to the change in flooring. Usually, it can detect this change and figure out not to go beyond. I like that because I prefer to clean in sections. This week, my little robot did something I didn’t expect. It went past that, into the kitchen. Thinking back I remembered on occasion, I’d use one of those folding baby gates to make sure the robot stayed in the space I wanted it to clean.
As for my robot, sure enough, I wasn’t pleased with the results of that cleaning because the damp cloth it uses to mop with, had dried out since the larger space meant more time was spent trying to clean.
Again, I just can’t help thinking about my business.
We can’t work on every part of our business all the time. There has to be scope.
This is of utmost importance if you outsource. You must set a scope for your helpers. Most people complain they have no luck with developers because they aren’t technical. I’ll bet that’s not true and real problem lies in the fact there was no project scope. The people you outsource to can do a lot or a little but it is not their place to tell you how much or how little.