More often than not with these articles, I’m talking about my approach to doing business, and what I’ve implemented that has worked - and failed - at Best Practice. Today, however, we’re going to be doing a bit of analysis on a piece published on Entrepreneur, from Rob Finklestein, author of “Fourteen Ways to a Successful Company.” If you’ve kept an eye on our blog, you would have noticed that we’ve covered the majority of these pillars of business in long-length articles which I encourage you to check out. I think it’s important to take the views and insights from other business figures into account when we’re tossing up what works in business, so, for now, let’s jump into Finklestein’s list and talk about how and why these are at the core of every successful organisation’s results.
This is part two of our exploration of the habits of highly effective organisations, and you can read the first part here.
The author notes that one of the most essential pieces in assembling this puzzle is the optimising of business processes, calling it ‘creating predictability,’ which is invaluable in business. “Business processes are how things are done within a business. Every company has some processes; some are clearly defined, others are implicit. The intention here is to increase productivity and reduce costs while generating the same (or better) outcomes. If you’re getting a little bit stuck in regard to this point, check out some of my pieces on affirmative inquiry, which helps your organisation double-down on what you’re doing well to improve your customer’s experience and identify new ways to innovate and optimise processes in your organisation.
In much the same light as risk, some organisations are better than others when it comes to implementing new information technology strategies. The speed in which the business world is operating, and your organisation needs to be aware of this. It doesn’t mean you need to radically change overnight, but it does mean you’ve got a new set of customer expectations to juggle as your organisation moves into the future. Keep an eye out on new software that helps optimise processes and might free up painful hours that were previously spent updating out-of-date systems. That way, you can redirect those resources into something more productive and fruitful for the organisation.
This is one of the biggest challenges that I see organisations having to face in the marketplace, these days. You might have a superior product or service, but if you’re not talking to the right clientele, your organisation is likely to suffer. Finklestein notes that “having a good understanding of the pains your clients are experiencing and how your product and services stop that pain can help you understand just how to market to your customers-- and that’s critical to business success.” My biggest tip in this context is to promote, promote, promote... and when you're done promoting- do some more.
On a similar note, your sales team is arguably the most important aspect in pulling all of this together. A high-level sales team will sell according to the organisation’s vision, business plan and the marketing strategy. “Successful owners know that the concept of selling is a process that can be measured and improved, like all business processes,” Finklestein explains. “They talk about the importance of having a consistent, measurable and repeatable sales process, and they engage professional sales trainers (with flexibility to customize training to their selling environment) to help create consistency within their selling process.”
Just last week I published an article titled “the best investment your organisation can make today” (https://www.bestpracticecertification.com.au/post/the-best-investment-your-organisation-can-make-today), and surprise, surprise, it was all about investing in the training of your staff. We’ve mentioned a couple of times now that the environment in which you operate is always changing, and in acknowledgement of that, there needs to be a promise from the leadership team to continue to invest in the staff that make an organisation operate. “For training to be successful, however,” Finklestein explains, “there must be a direct link back to the business plan and an understanding of how training supports the successful implementation of the business strategy,” he says. Organisations that remain committed to making this investment are significantly more likely to have a vibrant company culture and retain their best staff members for a long period of time when compared to those that don’t.
Team of Advisors
“Without exception, every successful business owner I’ve worked with has talked about how having trusted advisors is necessary for success. They know they can’t know everything and they searched out advisors they could trust,” Finklestein says. It’s impossible to deny this is an essential part of doing business, and it’s also easier to do than ever before. There’s more online resources being made available every day, with online courses and easy to consume videos to get insight from influential figures in this space.
Finally, putting this all together and somehow managing a healthy work-life balance is essential to ensure that you and the team remain sane throughout this process. “Successful business owners understand that every person has just 1,440 minutes in any given day and how they spend this time directly impacts how effective they’ll be in growing their business.” I’ve talked previously about the Best Practice High Five, which is our amalgamation of aspects that build up the professional side of an individual, but also the spiritual needs of the human being. Remember, you can crack the whip all you like - on yourself or on those around you - but this isn’t sustainable unless they’ve got a healthy work-life balance. It's more sustainable if you can keep a healthy balance, which means you can maintain a high level of performance or a longer period of time if you keep this in mind.