You should be asking that question when you reflect upon your business. This may seem like a very simple question – but it is often not posed – or fully debated. I find that most business owners routinely consider ideas to target and expand their customer base – but they often overlook other areas, such as “supporting” strategies that can also make a positive contribution to success. While these topics may not be discussed on a regular basis, they do offer the power to bolster engagement, increase clarity of purpose and ultimately enhance the bottom-line going forward.
Here are a few key areas to consider:
- Reinforcing vision. I know – you think that a vision statement is a bunch of bunk – but I firmly disagree. What defines your “energy” as an organization is an important concept, and striving toward that vision through words and actions makes solid business sense. So where are you headed? Most businesses seem to start with a vision – but rarely re-visit it. Get back in touch with your vision and define actions to support that inspiration.
- Getting the framework right. I realize that we are entering the age of the “unstructured” organization – but in most businesses – a strong framework still needs to be there. Think of this topic in a different way – not just as an organizational chart – but as an entire infrastructure to help get the work done effectively. This involves not only the right roles, but supporting procedures, software, customer policies and innovation initiatives. It all melds together to create strength for your business. Is everything in place to accomplish your goals?
- Celebrating successes. Life in a business can be harried. Often customer issues and problems can dominate your time. Remember to take a moment of pause to emphasize what has gone well in your workplace. Find the time to honor successes and simply say thanks. If you are a design firm – display photographs of completed projects. Has a team landed an important client? Gather and mark the occasion. A little fanfare never hurts – don’t be guilty of “Gratitude Deficit Disorder.”
- Never resting on your laurels. The external environment changes so very quickly. So don’t get caught off-guard, as another company moves in and wins a contract with one of your long-standing customers. Most likely that competitor has brought something new to the table for your customer – something you haven’t thought of. Have a high revenue client? You should be reviewing what you are doing for them on a regular basis. Don’t make it easy for the competition to move in – have a plan in place to retain your best customers in 2013.
What supporting strategies do you find are easily forgotten? How did you ensure they aren’t overlooked?