As a business coach, I spend a lot of time working with people who want to improve different aspects of their business. Many times these aspects are merely symptoms of a more fundamental, underlying issue.
If you want your business to truly shine, then there are some basic principles that, if not present, can lead to sub standard performance in other areas. And here they are:
1. Crystal clear purpose
The most common reason companies run into trouble is losing sight of the customer and their needs. Having a crystal clear purpose helps keep the focus from becoming too internally fixated, instead articulating why the business exists from the customer’s perspective. A clear and inspiring purpose will also give your employees a reason to be connected with their hearts, not just their minds.
Sometimes this is an unpopular topic, but it is critical. Discipline means having a sharp and constant focus on your objectives, whether they be growth, profits or customer objectives. Successful businesses build continual monitoring into their processes, constantly aware of the gap between where they are and where they should be.
3. Goals that compel action
Most people are motivated to work for a cause of some sort. The business must continually paint a picture of what the future may hold. And it needs to be more compelling than ‘surviving’ or ‘selling lots more’. Goals that challenge without being unrealistic, and that inspire people to go above and beyond, will reinforce a culture of innovation, effort and excitement.
4. Prepare for several futures
Successful businesses are rarely taken by surprise. They spend time thinking about “what if” scenarios, and planning their responses. It’s a fact that most business owners don’t think beyond the next quarter or six month period. This can lead to sticking with products and services for too long and failing to identify shifts in the market – making change and innovation almost impossible.
The leader’s job is not only to inspire effort and provide direction. They also carry the task of meeting the psychological needs of their employees while they are at work. Leaders that are emotionally mature, energetic and future oriented are an absolute necessity, if the business is to thrive rather than plateau.
6. Excellence in everything
Companies will not survive long today if they are “just average”. What does it take to foster a culture of excellence? High standards, accountability, a willingness to learn and a continual focus on creating value for customers. If these things are in place, excellence becomes a by-product.
So how can you tell if your business lives these principles? See how you go at answering these questions:
- How do you measure performance of the organization as a whole?
- What is the purpose of your business?
- What is it to “go beyond yourself” and how is that important to the business?
- Can you articulate the differences between what you need personally and what the business needs?
- Assuming most companies reach an early plateau, what do you think successful companies do to avoid that?
- Far too many organizations are limited in their capacity to grow because of the skills, capabilities and attitudes of their people (including ourselves). How do you plan to address this
- potential problem in your business?
- How can you be sure that your employees tell you everything you need to know?
So how did you go? Any room for improvement? Aim to instill and live these principles in your business, and you will have laid truly solid foundations. From there, the sky’s the limit.
Are you ready to challenge your ideas about what gets results in business? complete potential is here to help you make more of your business. More profits, more income, more of what you want. Remove obstacles to growth and create new opportunities.