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The business world is complicated and difficult, and reading an article won’t make it easy or simple. That said, there are five major things to keep in mind while doing business that can significantly boost your chances of making your business successful — and keeping it that way.
Workplace culture is a critical part of what makes a company worth working for. Yes, salary and benefits matter, but it is common knowledge that employees who find themselves in a toxic work environment are far more likely to look for other jobs than employees who enjoy the environment they work in.
And the benefits of a healthy work culture don’t stop at having happy employees. If your company is a place people enjoy working, the word gets out, making it easier to find new talent. Once you have that talent, positive culture will help keep them there. It’s a commonly held belief that compensation is the prevailing factor in employees deciding whether to keep the job they have or move on, but the culture of their workplace has an immense role to play in that decision, too. A good place to work is worth a lot to employees.
At my own company, we were purposeful about building a positive working culture. The biggest part of building a positive culture for us has been to focus on our goals and find ways to make coming to work fun.
In business, focus is what gives you your cutting edge and hustle. It’s what makes the laundry list of tasks every week conquerable. Unless you have focus, you’ll have scattered resources and wasted time and energy. To encourage focus in your business, have a clear understanding of your priorities, needs and goals and communicate them effectively to your team.
A simple and effective way to encourage focus is to consider the urgent important matrix. This is a four-section square model divided into the following categories: plans (important but not urgent), crises (urgent and important), distractions (not urgent and not important) and interruptions (urgent but not important).
Tasks that fall under plans, like work that directly contributes toward goals or team building, or crises like client complaints or deadlines, should be prioritized first. Once you’ve identified the priorities for the day or week, communicate them with your team so everyone is on the same page about what needs to get done and by whom.
A business without goals is like a ship without a rudder. Goals are what drive you, your business and your team. They’ll help your business grow, achieve objectives and improve collaboration.
At TWT, we build our goals with the whole team. During our quarterly meetings, we discuss the direction in which we want to go. Naturally, our revenue goals are discussed, but just as important are our goals for client satisfaction. These goals are revisited and revised throughout the quarter as steps are taken and circumstances change.
4. Raving Fans
Every business should look to build a fanbase. If you need evidence for what fans can do for you, just look at any sports team or the most popular movies hitting theaters. Regardless of your industry, there’s room for people to become fans. This doesn’t mean getting people to collect cards of your staff members, but if people know who you are and come to like you more than your competition, you’ve made it.
What do you have to do to get yourself a fanbase? There are three major actions to take to get the ball rolling. The first and arguably most important is to offer an offline experience that people love. Depending on your business, this might mean offering a service people appreciate or selling high-quality merchandise. If you walk your talk, people will be much more likely to continue their relationship with your organization and recommend it to other people.
Listening to your clients and customers is also huge. If people are talking about your organization, on or offline, you have an opportunity to respond with helpful information or entertaining banter. Finally, coming across as a leader in your industry is a key factor of building a fanbase. This can come across in many different ways. Regularly publishing thought-leadership pieces relevant to your industry keeps you relevant, and it also positions you as an expert.
Strategy and goals are similar, but there is a distinct difference. Goals are the destination and strategy is the plan to get there. A business strategy is built by taking in as much knowledge as you can and considering the available opportunities, present risks, innovations required and long-term goals. Considering all these facets, you’ll be equipped to create your plan of attack, your strategy, for achieving your goals.
We’ve maintained a one-page strategy at TWT, in which we examine our values, mission and goals and how they all relate. Implementing your own business strategy requires communication and accountability. Communicate your plans to your team so that the work of your employees aligns with your objectives. In terms of accountability, it’s the leader’s job to illustrate how even the day-to-day work of every employee impacts the effectiveness of the strategy.
These five critical parts of business will be a direct reflection of how well you do, and it does take all five. If you have an awesome work culture but no focus, you have a carnival, not a workplace. If you have awesome goals but no strategy, you’re never going to achieve anything.
If you’ve mastered all five parts of a successful business, you can expect to see success. You’ll attract top-quality talent, churn out awesome work, accomplish your goals, foster brand loyalty and grow a dedicated group of people who love what you do.
May 29, 2019 at 09:05AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs