In the world of a business environment, the winds of change are always blowing, aren’t they? Sometimes you see the effects, sometimes you choose to ignore them. Not the best approach if you want to provide for business growth and become a winning business.
When the winds of change are blowing, you can either build a shelter or a windmill.
Check out our thoughts on team leverage.
What would be your answer if you were asked to name the most important business success factors for your business? Would it be the most creative marketing … the best knowledge of your market … your knowledge of your market?
Of course those answers are important. But let’s expand the list. Here are the top 10 most important business success factors to a winning business that we use most often with our clients:
Business growth … best customer understanding
The one who best understands the customer, his needs and priorities. One of the most common barriers to being intelligent about customer experience is lack of customer knowledge or understanding. When we talk about segments based on this, we’re looking through two primary lenses:
Needs: What your customers actually want, need and expect from you.
Value: What your customers are (or may be) worth to your firm.
When most companies talk about segmenting customers, they mean segmenting by value. They divide customers into segments based on actual or potential sales. They strive to understand how much revenue they could get from a given group of customers.
Value segmentation is important from the company’s perspective; it helps your company know which customers it makes sense to focus efforts and resources. It also points toward groups who might be better served with a lower-touch, lower-cost digital strategy.
It’s an important first step. But most companies stop here. You cannot afford to. Why? Value segmentation doesn’t help you understand what one customer needs versus another. The bottom line is that if you don’t segment customers by their individual needs, it will be incredibly difficult to deliver exceptional customer experience, much less remain competitive.
Awesome customer relationships
The one who can best build relationships with both new and existing customers. Business is a people activity, people like to do business with people they know, like, and trust. Ones with whom they have relationships are at the top of the desirable business option list. The stronger the relationships with your customers, the greater will be their trust and loyalty in your business. So it is very logical for businesses to build customer relationships.
Studies show time and again, loyal customers are the most apt to tell their friends about your business, creating strong word of mouth marketing. And word of mouth marketing is the most important element of any marketing campaign.
Stick to your knitting
There is an expression that holds a lot of wisdom for me, “Stick to your knitting.” It means stick to what you know and what you are good at. How often have we disconnected from our true purpose to pursue some hare-brained scheme or taken on some project because it seems to offer an easy path to success.
I have nothing against becoming rich nor do I have a problem with things that are easy. It’s just that to be really successful we have to be centered in who we are and stick to those things (our knitting) that allow is to express our gifts and strengths.
Types of business growth … success starts with your people
One of the most important parts of a brand is the people in the business. They’re living the brand every day. Your people need to know the brand thinking and where your brand is heading.
It doesn’t matter if they are customer facing, or making the products your customers buy, they need an understanding of your brand vision to help deliver it. Remember, just putting them in a company uniform doesn’t mean they will be on brand!
Whether it’s your customers, team, community, vendors or even your competition, every individual around you is uniquely important. They all have hopes and dreams. They all have fears and struggles. They are humans, not units of production. Every single one deserves to be treated with respect, dignity and a caring heart. Doing that well makes all your other tasks much easier.
As a team leader , be consumed with the needs of your team. Are you constantly doing what’s best for them? Treat your team like family, and they will act like family. You’ll be paid back in full with faithfulness, dependability and profits.
When it comes to your team, having the right people in the right positions allows you to do your best work. Take plenty of time when filling positions. Pray for God to bring the right people in—and keep the crazy people out!
Concept of business growth … bias for action
The first step in creating a successful culture of execution is creating a bias toward action. People who make things happen need to be praised and rewarded. People who don’t should be coached to change, or weeded out. Failure cannot be unduly punished. Unless people feel free to make mistakes, they will not feel free to take bold actions.
In their book “In Search of Excellence,” Tom Peters and Robert Waterman list a “bias for action” as the first of eight attributes that distinguish excellent and innovative companies. Many of the companies they studied were very “analytical in their approach to decision making, but they are not paralyzed by that fact (as so many others seem to be.)
Motivated, talented team
The one with the best motivated and talented team. My choice of the more important of these two? The best motivated is my choice every time.
Keeping team skills refreshed
The one who keeps the knowledge and skills of his team highly refreshed and honed. Many organizations are becoming increasingly aware that they need to maximize the skills of their work force, in order to compete and grow.
Related post: 10 Lessons for Successful Entrepreneurs You Need to Know
Essential skills help people perform the tasks required by their occupation, provide people with a foundation for learning other skills, and enhance people’s ability to innovate and adapt to workplace change. Most essential skills for us include: writing, oral communication, collaboration, computer use, and continuous learning.
Best adapts to change
The one who closely observes the changes in the environment and best adapts to those changes and trends. At the early beginning of the trend. No waiting.
Winning businesses have a common trait … a unique and different point of view. A unique personality. Winning business requires you to pick your spots that is to do the special things for special customers.
Do you have the winning equation for the success of your business?
What are some of your experiences with the success factors of your business?
Need some help in finding ways to grow your customers? Such as creative ideas to help the differentiation with potential customers? Or perhaps finding ways to work with other businesses?
Call today for a FREE consultation or a FREE quote. Learn about some options to scope your job.
Call Mike at 607-725-8240.
All you get is what you bring to the fight. And that fight gets better every day you learn and apply new ideas.
When things are not what you want them to be, what’s most important is your next step. Call today.
Test. Learn. Improve. Repeat.
Are you devoting enough energy continually improving your business learning?
Do you have a lesson about making your learning better you can share with this community? Have any questions or comments to add in the section below?
Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he blogs on topics that relate to improving the performance of your business. Find them on G+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Digital Spark Marketing will stretch your thinking and your ability to adapt to change. We also provide some fun and inspiration along the way. Call us for a free quote today. You will be amazed how reasonable we will be.
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