1 Take Charge
The first key is to realise 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 meagre 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 What You Do 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 vigour. 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.
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. His successful business development program results in development of a business that works so well that the owner doesn"t have to.
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.
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