How do I build a winning business? Yes, this is a question that I get asked often when talking to business owners and entrepreneurs at networking events. The answer to that is just not so obvious and depends heavily, on the actions that you are prepared to take.
To begin, lets define what a winning business looks like. Is it a business that is profitable, has a great team and gives the owner some level of freedom? It might be a business that makes lots of money at any cost, or is it?
For the Small Business Owner I believe, winning talks about:
- Niche markets and profits
- The entrepreneurs own personal goals,
- His journey to get there and enjoying the ride
- Reaching that “destination” of choice.
So here are three key thoughts on building a winning business –
Playing in a Market Segment that is Profitable with Growing Demand
It must be easier to grow a business where the products or services that you offer can be sold for an above average gross margin. Business isn’t fun when there is no money to pay the bills and creditors at month end. So, one of the first steps in building a winning business must be the ability to run the business with a positive bank balance and monthly cash-flow.
A winning business understands their market place and financially successful entrepreneurs share an overriding desire to be good at what they do. Standing out from the crowd and being clear about their unique Customer Value Proposition (CVP) helps highlight the perceived level of uniqueness and value that the business is offering.
Winning businesses want to dominate the share of wallet or spend by their customers on their chosen niche market of products or services. They know that customers don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it!
Playing to win also demands a sales process that delivers the sales targets and converts the prospects in a predictable manner, to become loyal customers and raving fans. Having KPI’s and knowing the numbers is key to winning as you need to know what the score is.
Develop and Grow a Winning Team
It’s been said that winning teams don’t necessarily have the best players. What makes them different is that they have players who believe in and support one another. Employing the right team members is the job of the business owner. You need to employ people with passion for your team that you love working with. Having the right people in business is key to developing a winning business.
Zig Ziglar stated that “You don’t build a business. You build people, and people build the business.”
So, starting with a committed team that believe in the bigger vision of the business is essential. As Tom Ziglar puts it … “Who has the responsibility to build the person? The business owner? or the person?”
The answer is that they both have the responsibility and to become great, you need to invest in growing your team. If you don’t they will stop growing and they will hold your company back on the growth journey to becoming a winning business. Tom also states that “great people invest in developing themselves”!
The Owners Commitment and Mindset to building a Winning Business
In his book “The Levels: Can you Step up to the Growth Challenge” Ray Moore discusses the concept of the Levels Mindset and how the mindset of the business owner must change to grow and develop a winning business.
Typically, the owner of a start-up business is a worker doing the work and to grow the business he has to have a shift in mindset to start with marketing and sales activities. Once the business grows and the team expands the role of the manager becomes an important aspect and once again the owner must fulfill this role. Again, it is a mind shift!
At the manager level, the business owner must set and manage the priorities of others and ensuring that the team is delivering on what they must be doing. Ray Moore highlights the fact that “if no one is setting priorities, the team will do it for themselves”. This then accordingly becomes the breeding ground for “productive avoidance” and everybody starts to neglect the less appealing tasks that should be done, whilst doing the things they enjoy!
If no one understands the end-goal or main purpose of the business, there is a lack of focus and very small chance of reaching the outcomes set by the business owners. As the business grows the owner must become the leader of the business and should be doing less of the “real work”. The role changes to one that inspires and involves the team.
As Simon Sinek puts it … “A leader must be inspired by the people before a leader can inspire the people.”
Growing a winning business is no small feat and getting it right is hard work. Taking time out to reflect on what you are building in your business might just save you a lot of heart ache! Join us for our 90 day Business Review and Planning session on the 24th of May 2017 and refocus your plans to build a winning business!
See you at GrowthCLUB and have an awesome day!
Creating Inspirational Results!