No matter how successful your business may be, every now and then, you should pause, step away and check whether you are focusing on the basic laws that underpin the success of any business.
Active Knowledge Question:
Do you have a go-to list of the most critical actions you must get right in your business to ensure it’s successful?
Getting Lost In The Day
Anyone who is a leader in business understands how easy it is to get lost in the activity of a day, each and every day. There are so many things happening in the business, so many unexpected demands that can arise, that often you can go for months without finding the opportunity to step away, think and act.
It’s easy to say that effective leaders must be able to manage their time well and not get caught working in the business so they can work on the business, but making that happen is another matter. This is possibly more true of privately-owned businesses where leaders are often hands-on in the business, but CEOs in publicly-listed business can also be easily side-tracked.
I find having a very clear list of key activities that underpin the performance and success of your business can help overcome this. These are the actions you know make your business competitive and effective in its markets.
With this list in hand and clearly in your mind, you can readily monitor and guide this key activity to ensure the business doesn’t lose momentum.
The Eight Laws
These eight laws are the basic requirements for any business to be successful. They are the things that you need to get right. The more ‘right’ you get them, the more competitive and successful your business will be.
- Customer Needs Are At The Core Of The Business.
All actions and decisions taken in the business are made only when considering the impact on the value delivered to customers. We compete around customer value delivered, with value always being measured by the customer against the need they are seeking to fulfil. This is the core focus of the business and if we always put the customers’ needs first, we will always be on the right track.
- Always Think Strategically.
We think strategically, which means we are always seeking to understand the implications of what we may do to the competitiveness of our business. It’s never about short-term gain. It is always about compounding on the efforts of the past and meeting our purpose as a business.
- Be Easy To Buy.
We strive to make our products easy to find and buy. It’s about location, accessibility, visibility, ambience, process, information, knowledge, attitude and more. It’s about the complete buyer experience across all channels. We charge this with world-class marketing to cut through the noise, as they can’t buy it if they don’t know about it.
- The Story of Numbers.
While we are not in business to profiteer, we understand the importance of profit in meeting future customer needs. Our numbers and data tell a story of what is happening in our business. We must know this story to ensure the right data gets to the right people at the right time.
- It’s All About Your Performance.
High performance comes through alignment and we seek to ensure everything we do across our business is aligned – goals, structure and operations, metrics, allocation of resources, processes, values, culture and rewards. Everything must work in unison to support customer value.
- Continual Growth.
Change is constant; therefore, we must always be in a mode of continuous improvement. We must always be challenging the ways things have traditionally been done to achieve new levels of performance. Our mantra is ‘better every day’.
- Learn Globally.
We operate in a connected world and we must listen and learn from what everyone else is doing in and out of our markets. Patterns, trends, reactions and change – we must always be considering impacts and opportunities.
- Build Enduring Value.
All of our actions are about building the capital value of our business. That capital value lies in our ability and certainty to earn an enduring income, which, in turn, rests with building a more competitively fit business.
When we think about the future of our business and its ability to succeed, the answer lies in how well we do these basic actions. Therefore, they are my litmus test to future success, and the constant focus of my attention.
An entirely new level of performance.
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All the best in the success of your business,