As a business owner, I’m never “off.” The mind of an entrepreneur is always working on opportunities, challenges and next steps. Of all the many thoughts that go through my mind on any given time, there are 4 areas of business that I’m constantly monitoring because I have learned that if they begin to deteriorate, so does my business.
The Brand. That’s the promise every company makes to those it serves. Whether you sell widgets, services or an experience, your brand promise needs to be monitored. The A Group is a high-end marketing, technology and branding firm. Everything we do is based on strategy and best practices. I’m always monitoring the output of both products as well as services. Are we delivering on our promises?
The Model. Is the current business structure a sustainable one? You’d be surprised by the number of busy businesses that end up failing. I remember talking with an young entrepreneur who was not charging enough per hour to cover his overhead even with a full schedule. Make sure you have a good grasp on the real costs of doing business. If you’re not on top of expenses, income and cash flow, you won’t make it. Make sure you are always asking the question: “is this a sustainable model?” If your answer is no. Change it fast.
The Team. Do you have the right people on the bus and on the right seats? While to some this is a nice take away from Collins‘ Good to Great, to me, monitoring the Team gauge means life or death. I cannot, cannot emphasize how critical having the right people working together is. I wrote about our hiring processes here, but beyond managing output, monitoring morale is even more important. You cannot achieve greatness with the wrong team. I’m convinced of that.
The Credit. I must confess I had to grow past my own insecurities on this one. I used to think I had to be the smartest person in my business and get the credit for its success. Wrong. Unless you can get past it, your business will never reach its potential. I work with some of the brightest, most capable people I know. Their skill set compliment mine and I’m glad I don’t have to do their jobs, because, frankly, I cannot. Credit comes in the form of praise, promotions, bonuses and opportunities. I have learned that the more I give away, the more I get back. It’s true both on a personal as well as business level.
In your business or work, which area do you see the greatest need?