When I mentioned this at a workshop recently one of the business owners said “You mean there are only 3 keys to success? Where have I been going wrong all these years?”
I may tend to oversimplify – simply for the sake of directness. There are more than 3 keys to successful business growth – I am simply mentioning 3 of the more significant ones that I work with clients on. Add to the list: products and services of value to your customers, motivated and talented workers, a fantastic marketing strategy, a superb sales process, raving fans… For our purposes I will present 3: an actionable business plan, a focused coaching program, and a management training program.
I believe these 3 address several identified trends in a number of businesses. So let’s begin.
An Actionable Business Plan
It’s hard enough to think of a business mission, much less its vision, objectives, strategies, and action process. The key here is to think in terms of MVP – that is, what is your business Mission, Vision, and Purpose. Once you have identified these put a time frame on them. I often refer to the Mission as timeless and the Vision as big – from 3 to 5 years.
When I work with clients on their Objectives, I look at them as little – they can be accomplished in 1 year. It helps when you are forming objectives to use a balanced scorecard as the base – identify objectives that service financial, customer, process, and learning/growth.
I have found from experience that Strategies are big also – from 3 to 5 years. Strategies also benefit from a balanced scorecard approach. Strategies are intended to serve as a guide to the annual forming of objectives.
The action plan is little – actions that are necessary in 1 year to accomplish the stated objectives.
Several questions I’m curious about:
- How did you prepare your company for 2018?
- How successful has your company been in cascading goals, strategies, and vision from the top to the bottom of your company?
- How many of your direct reports really understand your business?
A Focused Coaching Program
As an executive and management coach perhaps, this key may seem self-serving. Certainly there are business owners who excel without assistance. My focus here is to provide owners with a coaching process to assist them to achieve their plan. Most owners I work with are not trained to be owners, leaders, or managers – yet they become that by virtue of their idea, their skill and expertise in a particular field. Owners who are expert in their field may not understand how to use their talents, motivators, and behaviors to excel as an owner.
A focused coaching program helps them to understand what their talents are, how they can use them, what their non-talents are, and how to deemphasize the use of these. Coaching, from my perspective is very much a process of increasing someone’s authenticity and their level of self-awareness.
A Management Training Program
Over the years I’ve worked with many owners, executives, and managers – some truly have the intuitive ability to manage employees well – others need to learn how their perspective in life (a coaching insight) can help them to shape how they can learn how to manage their employees to greater engagement and alignment.
Effective management training, in my book, helps the manager/owner/executive understand how their talents, motivators, and behaviors can be utilized to understand their employees’ talents, motivators, and behaviors; and, subsequently understand better how to build effective teams, motivate employees, problem solve, develop continuous change environments, establish a highly effective hiring process – to name a few.
Combine all these into a program that enables owners to share case studies with each other – and we have the makings of a very effective peer advisory group – but that is a topic for another day. For now, I hope this brief description of 3 keys to business growth has helped you understand better how to grow your business – more effectively.