Chutes & Ladders

September 27, 2018

ISSN# 1545-2646

Chutes & Ladders

The other day while meeting with a colleague we got into a discussion about the ups and downs of building a business.  As we spoke, the children’s game of Chutes and Ladders came to mind. If you are unfamiliar with the board game, the basic premise is climbing ladders advances you to higher level toward winning the game and chutes drop you down levels thus having to repeat steps or spaces on the game board to ascend to higher places and win the game. The game board is filled with various sized ladder and chutes.  In most cases, the rise or descend is only a space or level but in some cases, it can move you multiple levels from almost winning to almost losing.  In this game, the advancement on the game board is random via spinning a number wheel.

So what does this have to do with building or running a business?


Although your actions to run your business are not random, they can take on a similar effect if they are not guided by core values, strategic objectives, plans of action etc. During the course of building and operationalizing your business, you have experienced both chutes and ladders.  The ladder may come in the form of finding that special talent that when hired moves your business forward at an accelerated rate. It is not that you skip steps or spaces like in the game, but you enable your business to embrace this resource and allow the energy to flow into the achievement of objectives. Chutes come in the form of setbacks. These can be the loss of a sales opportunity, a change in vendors, cash flow challenges or not enough funding to move the business forward fast enough.

The good news is that just because you slide backward in the game or in building your business, you are not out of the game. You just need to gather yourself together, pick up the pieces and again move forward toward your objectives. In your business, as indicated earlier, your progress is not a random spin of the number wheel.  By applying yourself, understanding your market, the trends, the competition, your customer’s needs, staffing etc. you can put in place specific steps to follow which govern your ascent to greater results.

As we wrap up the end of September, we have 3 remaining months of the calendar year 2018.  It is time to assess where you are at, what else can you do to affect your bottom line and begin to strategize for 2019.  This week take some quiet time to reflect on the ladders you have climbed this year and the chutes you experienced.  How can you plan to use more ladders in the coming days, weeks, months and years while avoiding the chutes which drop you back and cause more time and money to be spent only to return you to a place previously achieved?

Maybe it is time to get a little out of your comfort zone and call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945.  We will bring our ladders truck and assist you in using them in building your business.

Questions or comments – email us at or call our Office at (313) 527-7945
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 Copyright – JKL Associates 2018

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