The Common Sense Way to Succeed in Business

/
/
/
/
/
/
The Common Sense Way to Succeed in Business

“Successful businesses do not have a manager – they have a leader” When countries move into recession, some businesses fail while others prosper. Success, in business is up to you. Successful businesses operate on the same principles. Many call it common sense, but this is, in fact, “rare sense”. If it were common sense then everyone in the world would be running a successful business. Here a few ideas that may help you run your business more successfully in 2009. Be Consistent Once you start to improve your business you need to be consistent. Staff take note of little things. I recently worked with a business where the boss would walk in one day and be the best of friends, saying ‘Good morning’ to everyone, next day he ignored his staff. They did not know what to expect, became unmotivated and the result was a lower-than-average sale per customer. Be consistent and, if you want to be successful, make sure you are positive. Focus on the Customer Everyone in business says the customer is king. Few, however, introduce policies to ensure this happens. A customer-focused organisational culture is not about slogans. It is about believing the customer is truly king. That means empowering people to make decisions. You need a written company policy and your staff need confidence that you will support them in all customer-related decisions. The customer judges your efforts by the behaviour of your team, by what they do and how they do it. This means a company structure in which the customer is at the top and the owner at the bottom. It means the person at the check-out is the most important paid person in the business because he/she sees every customer. It means that person makes the decisions without going to a supervisor. Get Results through People Staff often believe success and results are a result of the owner’s actions. Delegation is usually lacking in such businesses and the owner becomes more frustrated as time becomes more precious. Successful companies get results through their people, based on three important elements: a.  Involve staff in performance surveys concerning customer service by giving them the results and letting them come up with ideas for improving standards. b.  Involve them in new work programmes and changes in the business. Listen to their ideas and incorporate them into your plans. c.  Delegate authority and take on the role of coach rather than manager. Successful businesses are led, not managed. They do not have a manager, they have a leader. Leadership means influencing people’s attitudes and behaviour, creating a tone and atmosphere for the business. It means priorities are planned and communicated and a direction is given to the business. It means acting as a coach to individuals and to the team and getting results via the team rather than by you. Many businesses survive despite themselves. It was easier to manage a small business in the 1970’s than it was in the 1980’s or in the 1990’s and so on. And I would almost guarantee we will look back in 10 years time and say it was easier to run a business in 2009 than in 2019. To be successful you will need systems that are geared towards people-staff and customers. Don’t leave it too late, you will find it harder and harder to be successful. Eight Essentials If you want a successful business and you have not already started, I suggest you start doing the following eight things today: 1.  Produce a written company procedures policy and make it available to all staff. 2.  Produce a written company service policy. Make everyone aware it exists and make sure they understand it. 3.  Have a written customer-friendly guarantee policy. 4.  Have a written complaints policy that everyone knows and uses. 5.  Create a company structure with the customer at the top. 6.  Train all staff in positive customer service. 7.  Hold monthly staff meetings where positive ideas are shared. 8.  Train and delegate – it is your only option. John Stanley is an internationally recognised conference speaker and retail consultant. He has authored several successful marketing and retail books including the best seller Just About Everything a Retail Manager Needs to Know. John’s retail experience covers hands-on retailing in supermarkets, hardware stores, garden centres, farmers markets and drug stores. For more information on John Stanley and how he can help your business prosper and grow, visit his website www.johnstanley.cc