Work On Your Business, Not Just In It…
Staff issues, fickle customers, endless paperwork… the list of challenges a business operator faces is endless. So when someone suggests you focus on ‘the big picture’, it’s easy to respond ‘Nice idea, but I just don’t have time.’ Remember, if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got.
Toyota used kaizen, Japanese for ‘continuous improvement’, to become a globally dominant manufacturer. Use the same process. Ask for suggestions, test them and if they work, take the time to implement them properly. Encourage innovation, do things differently, challenge assumptions. Small changes can have a big impact.
Richard Koch described the characteristics of a ‘star business’ in his book ‘The Star Principle’. Very briefly, a star business is the market leader in its niche, is in a sector experiencing strong growth and has an easily identifiable brand. Examples include Filofax and, more recently, Michelle Bridge’s 12 Week Body Transformation. Take a look at your business and consider ways in which you could apply your expertise to exploit new opportunities or emerging megatrends. Health and wellbeing, online delivery and customisation/personalisation are all ‘hot topics’ right now. Can you create a product or service that will allow you to ‘ride the wave’?
Take a look at your competitors. Acknowledge what they do well, then focus on what you can do better. Then tell the world. Are they the cheapest? Then offer the best service. Are they slow? Offer an express option. Are they beige? Paint your store pink. You get the idea.
If you want more from your business – more profit, more freedom, more opportunities, then you must make time for business development.
Watch an interview with Richard Koch, author of 'The Star Principle'.