10 Rules for Growing Your Business
1. Develop a Strategic Plan
Many business owners measure their success by how hard they are working and whether there is enough money to cover payroll. In reality, “working hard” is not an accurate indicator or prediction of business growth. Businesses operate best with a strategic plan and a methodology for measuring and executing that plan.
2. Remain Flexible
A strategic plan should be a work in progress that evolves over time in accordance with long term goals. Flexibility is important, but it doesn’t mean that you should simply “make things up as you go.” Never forsake your strategic plan. Changes should always reflect goals and should not merely be a reaction to a current situation.
3. Become a Master Strategist
You are already a company expert, but now it is time to become a master strategist. Focus your efforts on preparing the business for future success. Create a leadership team and delegate duties. Your transformation to master strategist may require an extensive role change, but it will help you to obtain and maintain control over the success of your business.
4. Focus on Short-Term Growth
Key company goals should be monitored frequently (daily or weekly rather than monthly). Focusing on business growth in the short term will ensure that there are no long term surprises.
5. Develop Reporting Systems
Strategies cannot be implemented effectively without reporting systems, but all reporting systems are not created equal. Ensure that your reports are tracking critical numbers. If you need help determining and monitoring key performance indicators, it may be time to call in a professional (contact us). Review reports daily to measure performance and identify opportunities for improvement. Effective reporting will also help you to hold employees accountable for performance.
6. Hold a Daily Management Meeting
A daily meeting creates intensity and renews focus so that you will be better able to identify issues and solve problems before they get out of control. Ensure your meetings are productive by focusing on one key issue at a time. Prepare for the meeting by collecting pertinent information and/or creating an agenda.
7. Control Costs
You can control costs more accurately by budgeting with percentages and not on an absolute basis. Daily or weekly percentage increases and decreases indicate change, and those changes will help you to isolate where problematic inconsistencies may exist.
8. Offer Incentives
Offer incentives to key business drivers. Your employees are a valuable resource. They have the ability to drive or stall your business. Choose incentives that boost team morale and contribute to both the profitability and mission of the company. Fair incentives should be tied to a specific and measurable outcome that each employee has control over.
9. Create a New Management Modal
Empower the employees of your business to create positive change. You hired these people because they can do a job well. They may be capable of bringing even more to the table. Give them the opportunity by getting them involved in planning and implementation processes. Like your strategic plan, your management model should remain flexible and open to necessary change.
10. Play to Win
It is much easier (and far more enjoyable) to stay on track when a company aims high and maintains a positive outlook. A thriving business is the one that plans to innovate, remains flexible to change and plays to win.
We hope that these rules will serve you and your business well. Visit our Resources Page for more helpful information.