Post Tagged with: "Bottom Line"
Every small business leader has been exposed to a variety of “theories” about how to make a business successful. Although many of these theories are prone to be invalid, some proponents continue to base key business decisions on them. The following are the most pervasive, but invalid, “myths” about small business growth and what enlightened small business executives have done to overcome them. Myth 1: Our customers’ only concern is getting their own needs met. Fact: Successful companies are passionate about openly sharing needs, wants and expectations with their external and internal (employee) customer. Research confirms that Customer and Employee Satisfaction are highly correlated. Rapid growth is the result of highly satisfying company, customer and employee partnerships i.e., joining forces and responding to the following questions: What will it take to satisfy mutual needs? What are our mutual problems/challenges? Who and what mutual resources are required? How do we become mutually “proactive” to adapt to changing market conditions? The Myth 1 Bottom Line: Our experience indicates that businesses are more effective when they treat customers and employees as partners. Myth 2: All companies should be solely profit driven. Fact: Recent research throughout all industries suggests that highly profitable companies are value driven, not solely profit driven. Studies of customer satisfaction confirm that customers seek the best value, not necessarily the lowest price. Cost containment that lowers customer service and satisfaction is shortsighted and inevitably a profit drain. The most successful companies live by a consistent set of values, ethics, and business practices. These are critical cornerstones in the foundation for business growth. The Myth 2 Bottom Line: Profitability is only one dimension of a business growth strategy. Applied corporate values are equally important. Core standards of behavior and business practices need to be defined, communicated and rewarded. For example, the most successful high growth companies make following a “Customers Bill of Rights” and “Employee Code of Customer Conduct” a key part of each employee’s performance evaluation. Myth 3: Charismatic leaders with creative new ideas drive the most successful companies. Fact: Our experience clearly supports that the most successful companies are driven effective operating systems and procedures as well as by leadership. Some entrepreneurs shy away from systems and procedures for fear of being too “bureaucratic.” Consistent and focused change planning, however, allows the business to grow and flourish without being dependent on charismatic behavior. The most effective companies integrate creativity and systematic controls. Self Test for Small Business Success 1. Would your key customers and employees consider you a business partner? __ Yes __ No 2. Do you use cost containment mainly to increase short-term profit? __ Yes __ No 3. Has your company defined and communicated to all employees its expected values, ethics, and business practices? __ Yes __ No 4. Does your business depend on charismatic leadership behaviors to insure work gets done? __ Yes __ No 5. Are your supervisors aware of and responsive to the unique needs and expectations of their subordinates? __ Yes __ No […]