Wouldn’t it be nice if the path to a better business had signs along the way, like our streets:
• Rough Road
• One Way
• Do Not Enter
• No U-Turn
• No Passing
• Dead End
Often the signs we have in business are more like the ones mentioned above. But, here’s the good news. You have control of your company’s success. Let me repeat that: You have control of your company’s success. The key is mapping out a plan and creating signs that direct your business to your ultimate goal: Freedom. (Isn’t that what success is all about? Being free to have:
• More money?
• The Team of your Dreams?
• More time?
As you revisit your business plan, mission statement and vision statement (and if you are swallowing hard because they both are currently MIA, don’t sweat. That’s what business coaches are for. To help you get these and other necessary pieces to your business puzzle in place).
Here are 8 true signs of business that you’ll want associated with your company:
Reliability is a two-way street. It’s in the forefront of your potential customers’ minds, and it’s a key support beam to your business. Reliability, on the business side, is having processes and systems in place that will ensure everything runs smoothly.
Imagine coming up to a traffic light and having all lights turn green at the same time. What a mess.
The same is true in business. Business owners often think that cutting corners now will save them later, or maybe even fabricating numbers “just a little” to try to make things look better than they are won’t hurt anything. But, without trust, without integrity, without reliability, a business will suffer in more ways than a guilty conscience. Loss of credibility is an icy road that’s hard to recover from. The company will start sliding down, and grips will loosen.
Losing grip reminds me of another pending disaster: Flood Warning.
Plan B Next Exit
Have you ever been in a flash flood, hit a river of water and found that the trusted traction of your tires is useless as you float, with no control of your car-turned-boat? Not only is your car (business) getting destroyed, but you are now in a position of causing more disasters, including crashes. Deeper water. Sinkage. Drowning.
To a drought-ridden region, water is king, just as a cascade of cash, to a debt-laden business is an answer to a prayer, but cash flooding into your business is only a good thing IF it is handled properly. You’ve heard of people winning the lottery and a year later they’re broke, right?
Let’s go back to that flash flood. Generally roads are designed with drainage grids to give the excess water a place to go, much like the drain in a tub of water. Drain too slowly and the water (cash) will get trickled away. Drain too fast and you risk running out too soon. It’s all about balance.
You look up and the sign says you’re in a no passing zone. No way to pass the competition ahead of you. Do you fume, rev your engines, tailgate, or make gestures at them? The challenge is no longer about speed, and getting your product or service out there first. Now it’s about perception (knowing the customer), focus (knowing your business), and marketing (knowing how to sell).
So, instead of fuming, study them. What are they doing right? What are they not handling well? How can you do what they do, only do it smarter? How can you detour from their course and find a better way?
Slow – Pedestrian Crossing
You’re looking at them. Potential customers, crossing your path, either physically or via social media. How are you going to attract them? Beeping at them will quickly get their attention, but who wants annoyed customers? Instead of panicking because they are all moving away from you, study them.
Try to picture what they might want. Are they plodding along, looking overwhelmed and tired? Are they moving at a fast clip, eager to get somewhere fast? Are they on their mobile devices? Where are they shopping? What are they reading? How can what you are offering help them? What’s the best way to get word to them so they know how to find just what they need?
Warning, Rough Road Ahead
Unless you’re a fortune teller, chances are some things will be left to uncertainty. For some business owners, the % of worry over uncertainties is higher because they do not have good systems and processes in place.
Make an appointment with yourself free of distractions, and look at the current systems you have in place. Are they working? Are they non-existent? Make a list of areas in your business that processes and systems can be improved. Today, you and everyone else is bombarded with predictions of the world ending, impending disasters, failures, etc. etc. Turn the negative noise off. Concentrate on building your business and shut out what you can’t control.
Low Visibility next 5 miles
Building a business involves building a healthy, productive team that is clear on your company’s mission and vision. Do you have both your mission and vision statements clearly visible to your team? Often challenges with the team result from their not being clear on your goals and vision for the company.
When conflicts arise, it’s important to attack the problem, not the person. Document everything. Set goals for individuals as well as your team, and develop healthy problem-solving skills and training. Become proactive so that challenges can be anticipated and you aren’t spending precious time chasing solutions. Building your dream team starts with you.
Do you have the tools in place that can help ensure that your team will feel valuable and appreciated? These tools might include employee handbooks, job descriptions, system charts that track projects and services from start to finish, incentive programs, classes, etc.
Satisfaction Starts Here
Did you plan? Did you take action? Does your product or service matter? If so, your “Satisfaction Starts Here” sign might be the very magnet to attracting the customers you need to help you zoom pass your competition. Go ahead, look in that rear view mirror to see who’s now tailgating you, but then look forward. Keep your eyes on the road ahead.
Success, Next Right.
Ah! I see you found a business coach. Welcome.