I did my Net Neutrality look back on Friday. Today, I look back at my practice and posts for this year. Many of my posts derive from things that I see happening at my customers. I want to leave you with 4 basic thoughts.
My first thought is Alignment. I find so many prospects and customers who do things contrary to their own vision. When I point this out to them they justify it over some past thinking or by being a great way to expand their business. Most of the time they don't have a real reason it ends up being a habit. Their customers and partners are confused by the outlying behavior. By being reflective on what you do and how you do it, you can add value to your business.
My second thought is Sales. So many people don't want to be in Sales or don't want to admit that they Sell. It can hurt their business because they don't have a basic structure for selling. This kind of behavior can direct potential customers that should buy from them to buy from someone else. Think about what your customer's real interest in the transaction is. The basics of Sales and a Selling Process are available to all and can easily transform your business from good to great.
My third thought is Leadership. As people grow their organizations, they reach the limit at which they can effectively Lead their organization. This most often occurs when they step up to a level of management. An example might be when they hire their 1st employee or their 10th employee and need a middle manager. These are points which many companies fail because your job changes each time one of these level changes happen. One really hard challenge for many is that they eventually run organizations that they do not have specific skills in. They have fallen back on their technical skill all the time. This is not what makes a great leader.
My fourth thought is Planning. I know so many small businesses without a Business Plan. I am not talking about something that is extraordinary. A detailed plan for a Small Business would take 1 day and would help organize and align the organization. While you are at your plan you can explore your numbers and see what they tell you about your business and what you need to improve and change.
What I hope for all of you is that you are successful next year. I do two things to help my clients win. First, the challenges above and the others that I have seen are not new nor are they unique. I help them implement standard solutions within their business. Second, I give them an objective perspective. I want them to win, but I am not inside the business. I give them a view of a dispassionate observer. Theoretically, people can implement systems on their own and I am simply a way to make it easier for that to happen. The perspective is very hard to get when you are inside the situation.
Have a great set of Holidays!
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