I speak with business owners and executives on a weekly basis and I’ve found repeatedly that there are common characteristics that separate those who have a thriving business, from those who are merely surviving.
The key difference is in their ability to remain clear on the priorities that govern their focus, energy and time. The result of this focus is perpetual business growth.
Aside from dealing with unplanned challenges that can inevitably arise when running or managing a business, there are five areas that govern the focus of a successful business owner.
- Business development: A perpetual focus on attracting new “qualified” customers.
- Customer value: Identification and pursuit of ideas that add value to customers businesses and personal lives.
- Employee empowerment: Continuous identification, development and expansion of employees responsibilities.
- Business improvement: Pursuit of ideas, technology and equipment that support business improvement and profitability.
- Growth and expansion: Identification and introduction of means to grow organically, or through acquired means.
If you own or manage a business, consider how much time and energy you invest each of these five areas. How can you shift your focus for a more successful business? Here are five steps:
1. Take a few moments to note as many ideas as you have under each of these five areas.
2. Prioritize this list by action item (disregard category). For example if under “Business development” you noted that calling existing customers and asking for a referral is a top priority, then this would become focus area number one.
3. Block 30 minutes each day in your calendar to take action on your top three to five priorities, depending on how extensive or complex the priority is. For example, calling customers would be considerably less time consuming than looking for business acquisitions, hence the former might be scheduled Monday, whereas the later might be scheduled for 30 minutes on Tuesday and Thursday.
4. Commit to the time and consider it sacrosanct. The only way to take constant and meaningful action towards your priorities is to dedicate uninterrupted time. I’ve been “secretly” writing my book (more information on this to be available in the coming months), and I’ve found repeatedly that the only way to ensure I write consistently is to block the time and treat it as if it was time spent with a client.
5. Reassess your progress weekly. You need to take time periodically to reassess your priorities and your progress. I find that taking 15 minutes Friday afternoon to do this is the best way to ensure you can hit the ground running come Monday morning.
I’m a firm believer that virtually any business can be successful and thrive as long as the owner or president is clear on their priorities, and dedicates sufficient time to move them forward consistently.
© Shawn Casemore 2014. All rights reserved.