Navigating the Invisible Parts of your Business: A Recipe for Success
Here in Muskoka, we are on the cusp of another busy season…. It’s a great time for Fresh Ideas, New Energy, Renewed Hope, Refreshed Goals! After 10 years of writing monthly business columns, the most popular are those directed at making improvements and moving toward improved success in business. Here’s my short list of steps for sustained improvement for entrepreneurs:
1. Clarify Culture: WHO is your company? (not to be confused with what your company does or offers – What are the non-negotiable values in your business? What do believe in? What is unique about what happens behind the scenes – between staff and customers? This is about defining your Foundation – your Culture. A particularly crucial step to take if you’re having trouble attracting ‘right fit’ people – something you simply can’t do if you don’t have a clear definition of what ‘right fit‘ is!
2. Establish Strategic Focus: WHY does your business exist, and what are you ultimately trying to create by being in business? Where are is the company headed, when, and with which service/product offerings? By clarifying your Focus, you set thecontext for your business. This becomes the filter through which vast information you take in (i.e. online offerings or information) is either discarded or adopted. Context sets the rules for prioritising your efforts. Without an intentionally defined Strategic Focus, you may wind up wasting many valuable hours of desk time figuring out what’s relevant and what isn’t. Or worse, bounding off in directions that are later abandoned, or not profitable.
3. Create structure: This will support and drive your strategy, not the other way around: Strategy drives structure. Strategy determines what fits (including people and positions) and what doesn’t. Structure is the implementation plan for your Strategy. Be careful not to create business strategies around personalities, or the talents (or lack thereof) of various employees. Strategic focus should determine the ‘organizational chart’. A plan or corporate structure may also extend past human resources, to include facilities specifications, equipment complement, administrative planning etc
4. Align people. One of the most effective ways to increase productivity (and profit), is to reduce or eliminate unproductive friction. Use our workshop framework, to establish your Core Values, Company Purpose and Corporate Vision, your Strategy and its resulting Structure. It’s invaluable in helping you to seamlessly maintain and fuel alignment of people, purpose and to engage the highest potential of individual passion and talent.
5. Improve productivity. Clarity and alignment, combined accountability launches productivity to new heights. Clear targets, goals and benchmarks will improve collaboration, alignment, and productivity. When culture insists egos are checked at the door, the sky becomes the new limit. Productivity improves when culture supports accountability, and people know when to either step up or back, when to own their mistakes and victories.
6. Attract right fit business. When you use valuable resources in ‘wrong fit’ activities, you distract people and resources from profitable work and full potential. Define and focus on ‘right fit’ customers, employees, suppliers and market brand. Stop wasting effort and $$ on wrong fit endeavours.
By developing an intentional plan to move through these important 6 phases of business improvement you will gain solid momentum toward improved profit, and growth. For guidance getting started, email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to sign you up for our next session, and get you started (or re-started) on your road to improved business results.