It is the so-called ‘dull, boring stuff’ that makes a business above average, in the long run.
Great businesses do great work but they are also great at figuring out a winning strategy and compelling marketing as well as getting their teams to do all the nitty gritty.
SO, WHAT IS THIS DULL, BORING STUFF?
The four areas are:
Your structure needs to be appropriate to your size and scale of operations. As the business grows, your shape constantly morphs as you try to respond to outside pressures.
You need a board or senior management team, the brain of the business. While the functions work in the business on a day-to-day basis, the board should be working on the business.
You need to meet, ideally monthly, to look at the big picture, to monitor and evaluate progress on your master plan (you do have one?).
As the business grows there is a clear trade-off between the owner’s ability to execute and his/her ability to delegate. Some people can cross the chasm to the other side, from working IN to working ON the business. Others cannot.
Effective managers exhibit certain key traits that can be summed up as follows:
“Start with the end in mind”.
Prioritise (“first things first”).
Think Win-Win (or no deal).
Communicate (“seek first to understand”).
Stay fit (“sharpen the saw”).
[Covey: 7 Habits of Effective People]
You need to take ownership and control. Easier said than done. Be clear about the difference between:
what is important (planning, organisation, structure), and
what is urgent (what needs to be done now).
Operational efficiency is useless if the client is not happy and we need to remember that customers pay the bills.
The reality is that low effort service (making it easy to buy and do business with you) equals high customer loyalty. Especially in the online world we now live in.
“People are a nightmare” – it is true.
We can do all the clever background stuff but delivery is dependent on your people doing their part and that is where the nightmare comes in.
So, that is the challenge. Run a great business that delivers. And do it by gathering together the power and force of the people inside and outside the business to help you achieve your goals.
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