THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS TO GET RIGHT IN YOUR BUSINESS
By Pieter Scholtz and Harry Welby-Cooke (ActionCOACH SA)
We live in a world with the luxury of easily accessible information. Let’s face it – as empowering as that is, it can at times feel overwhelming. To keep things simple, we thought we would share a few tried-and-tested behaviours that have proven themselves, repeatedly, to be the most vital elements to get ‘right’ in your business.
It’s easy to get caught up in the detail and feel as if you are literally chasing your tail! Defining your ‘critical action’ is vital. What is the MOST important thing you need to do, consistently, to take your business forward?
Areas to consider:
- Evaluate your goals and objectives.
- What are your limitations?
- Prioritise tasks that align with your goals and constraints.
- Look at the potential impact of each task. Which task has the most significant impact on your business’s success?
- Once you’ve identified your critical action, experiment with it to see its impact on your business and track your progress.
Operational Excellence, Customer Intimacy, Product Leadership
Operation Excellence focuses on costs, speed and/ or quantity of selection, whilst Customer Intimacy focuses on both the quality of the customer relationship and exceptional customer service. Product Leadership has a strong focus on innovation, functionality, features and the overall design and performance of the product. Whilst all important, one cannot be ‘all things to all people’. It is important to ‘pick one’ – and then organise your business to master the needed skillset and deliver on the promise.
Critical questions to ask yourself:
- Who is your target market?
- What is your promise to them?
- How is your promise different from your competitors?
- How is this communicated?
- How will I know if this promise is being successfully delivered?
- Where has your focus drifted from the CORE competitive advantage that you have defined?
- Is this core difference between the competition significant enough to cause potential customers to start using you?
- How does your target customer define success?
- Where are internal priorities and operational focus mis-aligned with the promise you made to your customers?
- Which internal priorities do you need to strengthen?
- Where are you internally prioritising for something that you have NOT promised.
Motivate your Team
Knowing what motivates people is a key component of business success. Motivated individuals are highly productive, it is about more than remuneration for them. How to achieve this? We’ve included a few ideas below:
- Pleasure and Pain: Being rewarded for good work, including non-monetary rewards, is a great motivator as people respond far better to ‘pleasure’. Whilst ‘punishment’ is, at times, necessary, use sparingly and only when essential.
- Growth and Autonomy: People want to be empowered and are often motivated when allowed to work autonomously. The same applies when providing employees with the opportunity to grow and master new skills.
- Purpose and Passion: Everyone wants to know they belong and are part of ‘something’.
Let’s not forget certain key fundamentals.
- Financial Management – an area where small businesses so often fail. Poor cash flow contributes to 82% of small business failures. In our experience, cash flow management and cash flow monitoring are a core factor.
- The Competition – knowing more about your competitors will help in how you communicate with your customers (current and potential).
- Your Culture – build the type of company culture that aligns with who you are in the world and what you are wanting to achieve.
- Change is Inevitable – keep abreast of changing market conditions.
- Evaluate and Revise – business strategies don’t always work out. Failure is an important part of business growth. Be open to recognising when this occurs.
A key part of business success is being able to plough through the veritable avalanche of available information and discern exactly which parts are relevant for you and your business. We hope these key elements are of value, as you continue to build and grow a generationally sustainable business.