Have you ever asked yourself why one business owner takes their business and grows it to be a £10m+ turnover successful business generating £1m of profit whilst another struggles to hit £100K and barely makes a living and earns £30K?
We have, and the truth is there are many factors to building a successful business. However there are a few good indicators which you can see really early on in the career of a business owner that signal whether they will build a successful business.
Firstly it isn’t just about hard work.
It’s a fact that I have never met a successful business owner who wasn’t prepared to put the hours in (if you want to know how many hours I think working hard is check out my recent blog: How much time should I spend building my business?). Lots of business owners work extremely hard but make fundamental mistakes as shown in the examples below:
- Have you ever contacted a local business, left a phone message or filled in a webform and then sat there waiting for a reply? You wait and wait and wait. Eventually you go elsewhere or maybe pick up the phone and try them again but to no avail. Why is that? Why would a business owner go to the expense of advertising their business and setting up pages on websites to capture leads and not at least give that person a call?
- Have you ever had a likeable tradesman who has done a good job but hasn’t done a great job? The redeeming quality maybe was that they were cheap! But what if they were expensive and did an adequate job. The probability is you felt ripped off.
- Have you ever met a business owner who does the work and then invoices you weeks later? At the time of the work you were so pleased and would have gladly paid for the work immediately. Now 6 or 7 weeks later you have forgotten about the work you needed done and have plans to use the monies you have for something else. Is it any wonder that customers question late produced invoices more than promptly delivered invoices.
- Have you ever met a business owner and thought what a fantastic person? They are exactly who I need until they send around lazy muppets to do the work who disrespect your house and their work is not up to the standard you were expecting or promised?
Why is this?
Simply put it comes down to mindset. Does the business owner really care about replying promptly to enquiries and queries, producing a high-quality service or product, keeping you informed of what is going on, billing promptly and engaging a great team?
Who’s to blame?
The final example is interesting as too often business owners are quick to blame their team member for poor work. However the bottom line is that the customer doesn’t care! The business owner is 100% to blame and the plain facts are that the employee was chosen (either directly or indirectly) by the business owner, was trained by the business owner (directly or indirectly) and worked to the standards set by the business owner (directly or indirectly).
If the business owner disrespects their customers and moans about them behind their backs rather than treating them as the most important element of the business then their employees will do the same. This is basic observational learning and is prevalent in every business. What you stand for as a business owner will be the core values you instil into your team. A can-do attitude of the business owner which is repeatedly reinforced in the business will impact on employees. A work slow, do the bare minimum and knock off early attitude will similarly seep through the organisation.
Back to basics
So the first thing a business owner has to be is honest with themselves.
What do you stand for?
What is important to you?
Now reflect on what is important to your customers, what would you expect from your business if you were in their shoes? Speak to the people closest to you or customers who will give you an honest answer. Find the faults and get them sorted from the outset. If you’re useless at returning calls either get someone to do this for you and stress to them the importance of doing so, or set in place a better system. If you’re bad at invoicing again either get someone to do this for you or put in place a system to ensure this happens. Producing poor quality work? Get back to the drawing board, as with this attitude your business will never be successful!
Get your mindset right, plug holes where you can and work on the areas you know you need to improve on. Like everything the more you do the right things the more they become a positive habit and part of you and your organization.
This is the first step and probably the most foundational. Consider who you are and what you stand for. This will seep into every corner of your business over time so why not take a hard look at yourself and identify your qualities and faults from the start. If you can get the simple things right, then when it comes to the next steps on growing a successful business things will be easier to implement.
If you would like to find out more, please contact Mark Friend by email or on 01634 731390.
If you would like to find out more about some of our services that might help you please take a look at our related pages:
Building a business
Take a look at our other blogs on the topic of business improvement:
11 Positive Actions to take in your business in 2023
Inspiration is all around us
The content in this blog is correct as at 12th January 2023 See terms and conditions.