How often do you take time out to think about where your life or your business is at? You might personally do a New Year’s resolution and within a couple of weeks you’ve forgotten about it. Various university studies show less than 20% of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolution. Many businesses are like this too – the business plan sits in the bottom drawer gathering dust…
Why do few succeed when we all think we have the answers and rate ourselves, right up there, as a fantastic performer?
Based on talking with many like-minded business people, sportsmen and coaches, plus the many years of real-life experience at some interesting and successful businesses, I think there are 7 main areas a business (and you as an individual) need to focus on, master and conquer to be successful…
1. PLAN TO SUCCEED AND HAVE A LIVING PLAN.
Pretty obvious that one! Do you take time out to smell the roses? How many plans are set but without any follow up and accountability for realising the plan? You need to refer to your plan at least once a month, but preferably weekly! Be open to advice from others too.
2. CASH IS KING.
Ouch it hurts when you cannot pay your bills… Most businesses (and most of us personally!) do not plan out how the next several months of cash-flow is looking… Ok it might show bad news but hey, wouldn’t you rather know now so you can do whatever you can about it rather than just curl up and die when you are hit in the face with tough times?
3. MEASURE YOUR PROGRESS.
It is amazing how many businesses have little idea of where they are sitting today and what will happen tomorrow… They have a bit of an idea of how they went yesterday thanks to monthly accounts, but that is like trying to drive your car forward whilst only looking in the rear vision mirror – a challenge! There is more info in your business (or your life!) you can learn from– you just need to take the time to look for it.
4. WALK THE TALK.
I wonder what % of people are hypocrites? Is there much worse than your boss not doing what they want you to do?! Or your partner or even you, yourself! Enough said… Another related tip is “management by walking around” – be it your own business, or you as a team leader, you should get away from your desk and talk, observe, learn, put improvements in place…
Perhaps there is no bigger thing in life and business! Do you blame others or your environment? It is up to you, full stop. Stop looking for excuses… The only way you can be accountable is to measure yourself, your team, your business real time. Do you have transparent KPIs (key performance indicators)in place. When you or your team know what they are accountable for, watch job satisfaction fly! Think hard, are there any grey areas? Two people cannot be accountable for something, it has to be one. I highly recommend Accme.co for personal accountability in business – as well as asking you five thinking questions each week that will help you focus on the right areas of your business to grow profits, it also gets you to write a to-do list to ensure you stay on track and do what matters, not just fire-fighting stuff.
6. CUSTOMER SERVICE AND DIFFERENTIATION.
We all know that without customers, we do not earn money! How few companies are truly customer-centric? I would love to hear any stories you have of good or not so good service. Did you know that most companies do not ask their customers what they could improve on. They are too scared. That is just plain stupid. Do you actually put on the other hat regularly and look at your business or your own job performance from how a customer (external or internal) might see it? If you do not, I suggest you do… Why should a customer choose you over anybody else – do you really know??
7. BE A GOOD WORKPLACE.
It is scientifically proven that if you create a great place to work you will have better productivity, happier staff and better customer service, all ultimately leading to more sales and higher profitability. This totally applies to how you run your team. Is your work culture written down? Is it “motivating”? Is it followed? Are you passionate and enthusiastic about something?
If you need help in any of these 7 areas, even if you’re doing it well but want to be doing it world class, get in touch for some business coaching or business strategy and planning: email@example.com