Thursday, March 31, 2011
The 7 Habits of Business Success
From Darrell Zahorsky, former About.com Guide
The elusive dream of business success captures the imagination of aspiring and existing business owners everywhere. A vision of flowing profits, industry respect, thrilled customers, and a balanced life. This vision is only possible by developing habits that drive business success. Take the time to learn the 7 habits of business success.
Habit 1. Cultivate Inner Networks: Entrepreneurs practicing the art of business success know the power of networks. They take the time to identify and build relationships with key peers, mentors, and advisors. This inner network provides support, direction, and an increased number of people to assist. Having an inner network of five people who have a network of five more, grows the network exponentially.
Habit 2. Customer Centric: Business success requires an unwavering commitment to the customer. This commitment encompasses a mindset of understanding the customers' world. Understanding the customers wants and needs provides the business with a greater opportunity to earn a loyal customer base. Focus away from business and profits, and toward what you can do to improve the life of your customers.
Habit 3. Humble Honesty: Business success requires the ability to know your strengths and weaknesses. Being open and honest about yourself and your business creates growth as an individual and as a company. Don't spend time developing weaknesses. Find help for weak areas, enabling you to focus on strengths. In the book, "Now, Discover Your Strengths", Gallup Organization reveals that building our strengths instead of fixing our weakness is the path to mastery and success. Take the time to know yourself and business.
Habit 4. Adaptability: Business success requires the ability to adapt to changing situations. Nothing ever goes as planned. The world of business is full of surprises and unforeseen events. Using the habit of adaptability allows business owners to respond to circumstances with the ability to change course and act without complete information. Being flexible allows us to respond to changes without being paralyzed with fear and uncertainty.
Habit 5. Opportunity Focused: Problems are a regular part of business life. Staff issues, customer misunderstandings, cash crunches- the list is endless. To achieve business success, look at both sides of the coin. Every problem has an opportunity. Being opportunity focused makes the game of business fun and energizing.
Habit 6. Finding A Better Way: Productivity is the cornerstone of business success. Formulate the habit of finding a better way to make your business more productive. This will create more time to focus on the critical issues that drive sales and profit. Productivity can be enhanced by technology, automation, outsourcing, and improving business processes.
Habit 7. Balanced Lifestyle Management: A business can consume an owner's time and energy. It's easy to allow the business to take control of your life. Business success requires the habit of balancing all aspects of your life. Separating time for daily business tasks, profit driven tasks, and free time is a habit that will make your business and life more enjoyable. Take the time to plan each week.
Learning and instilling new habits in your daily business life can have a dramatic effect on your level of success. Review each of the 7 habits.
Choose one habit to focus on for a month or until you achieve mastery. Gradually incorporate each of the 7 habits of business success into your life and attain your business dreams.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
The 7 keys to unlock your business success. Discover how to break through the growth barriers and develop a business that provides unlimited potential, wealth and freedom from day to day pressures. You should not go back to work until you discover the 7 keys for yourself.
Do you run a business that seems to run you? It does not have to be this way. There are 7 keys that can improve your business results and help you achieve success with much less stress.
1 Take Charge
The first key is to realize that success will not just happen, it is up to you to make it happen. Successful people claim to be in control. They refuse to be victims. They accept responsibility for the results their business achieves and take the blame themselves if things go wrong. When we are in control we can choose what to do. We can’t always control the situation but there are two things we can control – our attitude and our skills. We can get stronger, we can get smarter, we can get better at all the skills we need to run our business. We can take charge of ourselves and our business and change the results we are achieving.
2 Know Where You Are Going
Without having specific goals, business owners often find working in the business becomes an endless drudgery. If being in business is not exciting, enjoyable and rewarding, then why be in it? It is exciting and rewarding for the few who are really successful. The difference is that they have a clear idea of where they are going and each day they can see their business making progress towards their clearly defined goals.
If our goals are not clearly defined it is easy to become like the mouse on the treadmill. We can expend a lot of effort going nowhere. All we can do is react to the pressures the business creates. The second key is to decide where you are going. When you know where you want your business to go, you can determine what needs to be done to get there. Doing these things creates excitement and enjoyment. Instead of struggling on with meager rewards, we can make progress towards success in a steadily growing and entirely planned way.
3 Spread The Word
You will never succeed by keeping your business a secret. You need to spread the word to let people know about your unique products or services. With many small businesses, there is a tendency to be reactive. If sales slow down, you decide to advertise to address the situation. When work picks up, advertising is stopped. The result of this approach is haphazard advertising which produces haphazard results. Rather than haphazard advertising, a planned advertising and promotion strategy can be applied to address specific goals.
Instead of one broad objective of "getting more sales", strategies can be developed in three areas. Firstly strategies should be developed to actively encourage word of mouth and a system for generating referred leads. Secondly, planned advertising approaches are needed to generate a steady flow of new enquiries. Thirdly, strategies can be developed to increase the value and frequency of purchases from existing customers. Marketing must not be left to chance. The third key is to spread the word, by developing planned, consistent and effective advertising and promotional systems and strategies.
4 Do It So Well They’ll Come Back And Bring Their Friends
The difference between the truly successful business and the average business is that successful business’ leaders live, breathe and preach quality, where the average business’ leader only pays lip service to it. There are many companies that have built their reputation on the quality of the service they provide as much as the product they sell. Even if we haven’t been, I’m sure we all know the reputation Disneyland has for the quality of the experience of a visit there. The title of this key is a quote (paraphrased) from Walt Disney. This man lived and breathed this attitude and accepted nothing less from his employees. The outworking is that standards and procedures are established so that employees know what is expected of them in every situation, particularly in an interaction with a customer. Delighted customers come back with their friends.
5 Train Your People To Do It Better Than You
When we start a business based on our own unique skills, we have a difficult choice when we get too busy to cope with all the work our expertise has created. We need to spread the load by employing others to do some of the work. This is the critical point in the business’ development. If the business owner gets this right, the future of the business is assured, but if it goes wrong, the business is doomed.
Many business owners wish they could clone themselves. They are unable to find anyone who can work as well as they do. Usually there has been some resistance to this move, but eventually the need becomes obvious. Business growth is always stifled by the owner hanging on to the work they enjoy. Having made the choice to grow, the key to unlocking this potential is to train the new people to be better than yourself.
6 Keep The Score
The greatest danger in a growing business is for the owner to lose control. This fear causes many to choose to stay small because they do not want the worries of growing too big.
WHAT YOU MEASURE YOU CAN IMPROVE!
A business’ performance needs to be managed and controlled. So many business owners worry about getting the work done, but they don’t measure results, they don’t keep score. Keeping the score indicates how well the business is going towards achieving its goals. If performance is behind expectations, steps can be taken to improve. If the score was not kept, no one would ever know that performance was substandard, and the goals would quite likely never be reached.
7 Celebrate Your Victories
Regeneration of our physical and emotional resources comes when we celebrate victories. One of the problems we have in small business is that we think we are too busy to take time off to celebrate. Even if we just get away from the business and relax, we come back rejuvenated and are usually able to tackle our work with a renewed vigor. Imagine how inefficient it becomes, using a battery powered machine, if we keep on working harder and harder to get the work done and never stop to recharge the batteries. If we don’t stop at times to recharge our batteries we keep working hard but become totally ineffective.
When we plan our future and set goals it is easy to determine when to celebrate. Without goals to achieve, we can keep on working until it becomes a drudgery. Celebrations put excitement into what we do.
Implementing the 7 keys to unlock the profit potential in your business could be what you need to end the frustration you feel from trying to build your business but seeming to take one step forward and two steps back. These are the keys to freedom from the daily grind of business pressure, the keys to gaining the rewards you deserve from the efforts you put in. It is up to you to take hold of the keys and unlock the hidden profit and excitement that is the potential your business holds.
© 2003 Greg Roworth, Progressive Business Solutions Limited.
Buy "The 7 Keys" book online at http://www.progressivebusinesssolutions.co.nz or check out the list of free resources and quality business building articles on our Free Resources page.
Greg Roworth is a business consultant and author of "The 7 Keys to Unlock Your Business Profit Potential." With over 25 years practical experience in business ownership and management, Greg has, over the last 12 years, worked with hundreds of small and medium size enterprises, assisting the owners to grow their business profitably and at the same time reduce their stress levels.