So many people work harder not smarter in their business or at their job. How do you focus on what is really important? You first must determine WHAT is important to you and then what is important to managing your business. Aligning your personal motives with the profit motives of your business is critical to your success.

1. Clearly design and define the two to three key measures of success and failure in your business. Can’t hit a target you can’t see. What does it look like when you are successful? By defining success in your terms you will really know when you actually hit it.

2. Develop and review daily and weekly reports that bring you meaningful information (the measurables). These ACCURATE reports will keep your progress in focus by giving you early warning of trends in progress – both those that you need to correct and those that you will use to a greater advantage. A leader is a visionary. See the big picture and how these measurables really affect your business. Do not use these reports as “hammers” for your people. Use them as tools to detect trends, both positive and negative. React like a leader!

3. Spend one hour a week with your best customers — listening, collaborating, suggesting, and understanding. You will learn exactly what your customers are thinking and this will be a powerful and pleasant way to build customer loyalty. Think of this from the internal customer perspective as well. When was the last time you sat with one of your employees and observed what they did?

4. Spend two hours periodically (a week, a month, etc.) answering the phones — from customers, prospective customers, the public, etc. Imagine using what you learn from these calls as a way to increase customer loyalty. You are hearing first hand what they think and need.

5. Have regular (monthly- quarterly) meetings with your competitors and a mastermind group, discussing the trends within your industry/profession and ways to cooperate. Look for new opportunities to expand into and get your name into the community in a positive way.

6. Have at least a dozen people in every aspect of your business who will tell you the truth. Listen to them carefully and with an open mind to improve.

7. Ask people (employees, customers, suppliers, etc.) for their opinions, i.e. what are the things hampering the way we do business, what do they like, how can it be better, are you providing what people need. Keeping an open mind will bring unprecedented results to those who listen actively.

8. Develop action plans with dates and people for the major areas and major functions within your business. Distribute it to your key people. Review it regularly to keep your business on track to reach your goals on time.

These ideas not only come from me but from Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Leonard, Dale Carnegie, Andrew Carnegie and other very successful people. Many business owners have implemented them into the daily routines of their companies and have reported great success.

Here are some quick questions for you to think about:

Are you using tools like this now?  If yes, how can you improve them? If no, why not start today?

How will you use these ideas to grow your business profitably while having more fun?

To your continued success,
Coach Nancy