The 7 Keys to Business Success
Do you run a business that seems to run you? It does not have to be this way. There are 7 keys that can improve your business results and help you achieve success with much less stress.
1 Take Charge
The first key is to realise that success will not just happen, it is up to you to make it happen. Successful people claim to be in control. They refuse to be victims. They accept responsibility for the results their business achieves and take the blame themselves if things go wrong. When we are in control we can choose what to do. We can't always control the situation but there are two things we can control - our attitude and our skills. We can get stronger, we can get smarter, we can get better at all the skills we need to run our business. We can take charge of ourselves and our business and change the results we are achieving.
2 Know Where You Are Going
Without having specific goals, business owners often find working in the business becomes an endless drudgery. If being in business is not exciting, enjoyable and rewarding, then why be in it? It is exciting and rewarding for the few who are really successful. The difference is that they have a clear idea of where they are going and each day they can see their business making progress towards their clearly defined goals.
If our goals are not clearly defined it is easy to become like the mouse on the treadmill. We can expend a lot of effort going nowhere. All we can do is react to the pressures the business creates. The second key is to decide where you are going. When you know where you want your business to go, you can determine what needs to be done to get there. Doing these things creates excitement and enjoyment. Instead of struggling on with meagre rewards, we can make progress towards success in a steadily growing and entirely planned way.
3 Spread The Word
You will never succeed by keeping your business a secret. You need to spread the word to let people know about your unique products or services. With many small businesses, there is a tendency to be reactive. If sales slow down, you decide to advertise to address the situation. When work picks up, advertising is stopped. The result of this approach is haphazard advertising which produces haphazard results. Rather than haphazard advertising, a planned advertising and promotion strategy can be applied to address specific goals.
Instead of one broad objective of "getting more sales", strategies can be developed in three areas. Firstly strategies should be developed to actively encourage word of mouth and a system for generating referred leads. Secondly, planned advertising approaches are needed to generate a steady flow of new enquiries. Thirdly, strategies can be developed to increase the value and frequency of purchases from existing customers. Marketing must not be left to chance. The third key is to spread the word, by developing planned, consistent and effective advertising and promotional systems and strategies.
4 Do What You Do So Well They'll Come Back And Bring Their Friends
The difference between the truly successful business and the average business is that successful business' leaders live, breathe and preach quality, where the average business' leader only pays lip service to it. There are many companies that have built their reputation on the quality of the service they provide as much as the product they sell. Even if we haven't been, I'm sure we all know the reputation Disneyland has for the quality of the experience of a visit there. The title of this key is a quote (paraphrased) from Walt Disney. This man lived and breathed this attitude and accepted nothing less from his employees. The outworking is that standards and procedures are established so that employees know what is expected of them in every situation, particularly in an interaction with a customer. Delighted customers come back with their friends.
5 Train Your People To Do It Better Than You
When we start a business based on our own unique skills, we have a difficult choice when we get too busy to cope with all the work our expertise has created. We need to spread the load by employing others to do some of the work. This is the critical point in the business' development. If the business owner gets this right, the future of the business is assured, but if it goes wrong, the business is doomed.
Many business owners wish they could clone themselves. They are unable to find anyone who can work as well as they do. Usually there has been some resistance to this move, but eventually the need becomes obvious. Business growth is always stifled by the owner hanging on to the work they enjoy. Having made the choice to grow, the key to unlocking this potential is to train the new people to be better than yourself.
6 Keep The Score
The greatest danger in a growing business is for the owner to lose control. This fear causes many to choose to stay small because they do not want the worries of growing too big.
WHAT YOU MEASURE YOU CAN IMPROVE!
A business' performance needs to be managed and controlled. So many business owners worry about getting the work done, but they don't measure results, they don't keep score. Keeping the score indicates how well the business is going towards achieving its goals. If performance is behind expectations, steps can be taken to improve. If the score was not kept, no one would ever know that performance was substandard, and the goals would quite likely never be reached.
7 Celebrate Your Victories
Regeneration of our physical and emotional resources comes when we celebrate victories. One of the problems we have in small business is that we think we are too busy to take time off to celebrate. Even if we just get away from the business and relax, we come back rejuvenated and are usually able to tackle our work with a renewed vigour. Imagine how inefficient it becomes, using a battery powered machine, if we keep on working harder and harder to get the work done and never stop to recharge the batteries. If we don't stop at times to recharge our batteries we keep working hard but become totally ineffective.
When we plan our future and set goals it is easy to determine when to celebrate. Without goals to achieve, we can keep on working until it becomes a drudgery. Celebrations put excitement into what we do.
Implementing the 7 keys to unlock the profit potential in your business could be what you need to end the frustration you feel from trying to build your business but seeming to take one step forward and two steps back. These are the keys to freedom from the daily grind of business pressure, the keys to gaining the rewards you deserve from the efforts you put in. It is up to you to take hold of the keys and unlock the hidden profit and excitement that is the potential your business holds.
© 2003 Greg Roworth, Progressive Business Solutions Limited.
Greg Roworth is a business consultant and author of "The 7 Keys to Unlock Your Business Profit Potential." With over 25 years practical experience in business ownership and management, Greg has, over the last 12 years, worked with hundreds of small and medium size enterprises, assisting the owners to grow their business profitably and at the same time reduce their stress levels. His successful business development program results in development of a business that works so well that the owner doesn't have to.
Buy "The 7 Keys" book online at www.progressivebusinesssolutions.co.nz">http://www.progressivebusinesssolutions.co.nz or check out the list of free resources and quality business building articles on our Free Resources page.
Labour deputy leader says party could face even bigger split after seven MPs quit
Tom Watson, the deputy Labour leader, has said his party faces an even more severe split if it denounces the seven MPs who quit as traitors instead of addressing the reasons for their departure.
In an emotional statement, Watson said he sometimes ‚Äúno longer recognises‚ÄĚ his own party, as he called on colleagues not to adopt the language of betrayal towards the seven who resigned on Monday. Continue reading...
Israeli foreign minister accuses Poles of hatred towards Jews in remarks described as ‚Äėracist‚Äô by Polish PM
Poland‚Äôs prime minister has accused Israel‚Äôs foreign minister of racism in an escalating diplomatic row over the Holocaust that resulted in the cancellation on Monday of an international summit in Jerusalem.
Mateusz Morawiecki withdrew his country‚Äôs involvement in the summit after Yisrael Katz, who was appointed acting Israeli foreign minister on Sunday, said Poles ‚Äúsuckle antisemitism with their mother‚Äôs milk‚ÄĚ and accused all Polish people of harbouring ‚Äúinnate‚ÄĚ antisemitism. Continue reading...
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer reprises role as cleaning lady during festivities in home state of Saarland
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the leader of Germany‚Äôs Christian Democrat party, returned to her home state of Saarland over the weekend to reprise her annual role as Putzfrau Gretel (Gretel the cleaning lady) during carnival celebrations.
Dressed in an apron and checkered headscarf, Kramp-Karrenbauer cracked jokes about December‚Äôs CDU leadership election, the fight banning diesel vehicles and political dysfunction in Berlin in front of a crowd of more than a thousand people. Continue reading...
Shamima Begum says she regrets innocent people died in attacks in both UK and Syria
The east London schoolgirl who left the UK to join Islamic State has compared the Manchester Arena bombing to airstrikes by the western allies that killed non-combatants in Isis-held areas.
Shamima Begum, 19, says she wants to return to Britain and is asking for ‚Äúforgiveness‚ÄĚ, having given birth to a son on Saturday while in a refugee camp in Syria. Continue reading...
Elin Ersson received a ¬£250 fine for refusing to take her seat on a plane in Sweden last year
A Swedish student who livestreamed her protest against the deportation of an Afghan asylum seeker last year has been found guilty of violating Sweden‚Äôs aviation laws and fined ¬£250.
Elin Ersson, 22, avoided a prison sentence at the Gothenburg district court, where she was sentenced to a fine of 3,000 Swedish krona. Continue reading...
Internet expert exposes unsecured database believed to be targeting Muslim minorities
A Chinese surveillance company has been tracking the movements of at least 2.5 million residents in a province where Muslim minorities have been the target of a far-reaching security clampdown, internet experts have found.
Victor Gevers, of the non-profit group GDI.Foundation, which supports an open internet, discovered an unsecured database online that contained the name, sex, ethnicity, ID number, birth date and employer of residents in China‚Äôs western province of Xinjiang. Continue reading...
European People‚Äôs party and Socialists & Democrats have run parliament for 40 years
The ‚Äúgrand coalition‚ÄĚ of centre-right and centre-left that has run the European parliament for 40 years is set to lose its majority for the first time following elections in May, according to the institution‚Äôs internal forecasts.
The centre-right European People‚Äôs party and centre-left Socialists & Democrats have long called the shots in the EU parliament, but polls suggest the two big groups will win only 45% of seats, down from 53%. Continue reading...
Minnesota investigators used genealogy website in case of Jeanne Ann Childs‚Äô 1993 death
A Minnesota businessman has been charged in a 25-year-old murder case, after investigators ran crime scene DNA evidence through a genealogy website then obtained the suspect‚Äôs DNA from a napkin thrown away at a hockey rink.
Jerry Westrom, 52, was charged with second-degree murder in the 1993 death of 35-year-old Jeanne Ann ‚ÄúJeanie‚ÄĚ Childs in Minneapolis, a case that had gone cold. Continue reading...
Two former military pilots, a customs officer and celebrity bodyguard among the accused
Sitting on the asphalt at Punta Cana international airport in the Dominican Republic, the private plane was about to take off for an overnight flight to Saint-Tropez in France when police swooped.
Inside the aircraft, a Dassault Falcon 50, officers found four Frenchmen ‚Äď two pilots and two passengers ‚Äď along with 680kg of cocaine, with an estimated street value of ‚ā¨20m (¬£17.5m), in 26 battered suitcases. Continue reading...
Hans Leo Maes captures the bridges and stairways that link up the hilly, population-dense city
Hong Kong is known for its flashing lights, neon signs and high-rise skylines. But the architect and photographer Hans Leo Maes documents an alternative side ‚Äď the city‚Äôs interconnecting staircases and bridges.
‚ÄúThe extreme population density in Hong Kong means [structures] are stacked and linked by stairs, often external and very visible,‚ÄĚ Maes says. Continue reading...
Romania‚Äôs capital has a buzzing nightlife with plenty of options for a romantic night out ‚Äď unless you‚Äôre LGBT Continue reading...
There‚Äôs a whole new craze in east Africa, fuelled by secondhand inline skates ‚Äď and a desire to unite
Photos and story by Duncan Moore
Nairobi‚Äôs traffic congestion is notorious. Minibuses known as matatus battle for space with cars, motorbikes and hand-drawn carts, causing excruciating gridlock.
Through this automotive battleground dart the daring members of the Kenyan city‚Äôs inline skating community, deftly weaving between moving vehicles, holding on to buses for speed and jumping over potholes. Continue reading...
Idea of topping municipal plant in Copenhagen with urban ski resort won accolades for Danish architecture firm
It might be the first waste incinerator the neighbours actually want next door. The shop at the foot of the Amager Bakke waste-to-energy project in Copenhagen is packed with families desperate to be among the first to try its unique selling point: the ski slope on the roof.
‚ÄúI live so close by that I could follow the development,‚ÄĚ says Ole Fredslund, who lives in neighbouring Amager, as he helped his sons Felix and Victor strap on their boots as the slope opened its lifts for the first time on Tuesday. ‚ÄúI guess 90% of the focus is on the fact that there‚Äôs a skiing hill coming, so in a way it‚Äôs very clever. Everybody talks about the ski hill to be, not the waste plant to be.‚ÄĚ Continue reading...
Russian agent allegedly in Bulgaria when Emilian Gebrev poisoned in 2015 and in UK when Skripals attacked
The first sign that something was wrong with Emilian Gebrev was an itchy, bloodshot eye after a dinner in April 2015. The next day he had strange visions of flashing lasers, followed by uncontrollable vomiting. As friends rushed him to hospital, everything went black and he slipped into a coma.
Related: Skripal poisoning: UK team looks into possible Bulgarian case link Continue reading...
Teenager accused of murder of six-year-old Googled ‚Äėhow do police find DNA‚Äô, court told
A phone belonging to a teenager accused of the abduction, rape and murder of a six-year-old girl was used to Google ‚Äúhow do police find DNA‚ÄĚ, a court has heard.
Peter Benson, the leader of a cybercrime team, told the Alesha MacPhail murder trial he helped compile a report of relevant information following a forensic investigation of the 16-year-old boy‚Äôs phone. Continue reading...
Swiss actor best known for his portrayal of Adolf Hitler in the 2004 film Downfall
The Swiss actor Bruno Ganz, who has died aged 77 from cancer, was a wise and contemplative presence, as familiar, consoling and crumpled as a favourite overcoat.
He came to prominence in three films by the director Wim Wenders. In The American Friend (1977), adapted from Patricia Highsmith‚Äôs novel Ripley‚Äôs Game, he was a shy picture-framer who is persuaded, under the misapprehension that he is dying, to become an assassin in order to provide for his family. Continue reading...
Communities clash over natural resources as arrivals from South Sudan and DRC plunder environment for fuel and construction
The cutting down of millions of trees has sparked angry clashes in parts of Uganda between local people and refugees who have been fleeing conflict in neighbouring South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The timber is being used for house construction, fuel and to make charcoal. In the north and west of the country, where an estimated 1.1 million refugees are living, massive deforestation is drawing protests by local communities. Continue reading...
Attempt to hustle Japan into a trade deal highlights the problems facing ‚Äėglobal Britain‚Äô
It takes a lot to anger the unfailingly polite, anglophile Japanese. But Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, and Jeremy Hunt, the foreign secretary, appear to have managed it with their ill-judged attempt to hustle Tokyo into a quick-fire Brexit trade deal.
The diplomatic fumble has highlighted rapidly escalating difficulties facing ‚Äúglobal Britain‚ÄĚ ‚Äď the government‚Äôs nebulous vision for life after the EU ‚Äď in forging new business and trade relationships around the world without an agreed post-Brexit strategy. Continue reading...
CFMMEU district president Stephen Smyth says union will back candidates who support workers‚Äô rights
The mining arm of the Queensland CFMMEU has said it will not back candidates in the federal election who do not support a future for central Queensland coal workers.
The district president of the CFMMEU Queensland mining and energy division, Stephen Smyth, confirmed to Guardian Australia the union ‚Äď whose membership lives mainly in the marginal seats of Dawson, Capricornia and Flynn ‚Äď would assess individual candidates and might not automatically endorse Labor. Continue reading...
Analysis of community where 73% of residents contracted Zika in 2015 offers new clues about epidemic
Scientists studying the 2015 Zika outbreak in Brazil have discovered that people previously exposed to dengue may have been protected from the virus.
Three-quarters of the inhabitants of a favela in the country‚Äôs north-east caught the mosquito-borne Zika virus during the epidemic. The outbreak left more than 3,000 babies across Brazil with microcephaly, a birth defect caused by mothers catching the virus during pregnancy. Continue reading...
We hear much about Yemen‚Äôs crisis, but far less about the hypocrisy of states fuelling the very conflict they condemn
During his historic recent visit to the United Arab Emirates, Pope Francis condemned the war in my home country, Yemen, as a terrible humanitarian crisis.
Addressing the world he said: ‚ÄúLet us pray strongly, because there are children who are hungry, who are thirsty ‚Äď they don‚Äôt have medicine and they are in danger of death‚ÄĚ. Continue reading...
Campaigners demand external investigation after human rights organisation dismisses their claims
Prominent Indian rights activists have withdrawn their support for Amnesty India amid allegations of caste discrimination and harassment within the organisation, the Guardian has learned.
The allegations include claims that staff were humiliated, ill-treated and discriminated against because of their caste, a system of social hierarchy among Hindus. Continue reading...
In the midst of Venezuela‚Äôs spiralling economic crisis, Natalia and fellow members of a Chavista collective have stepped in to take over production at a local bakery, La Minka. Authorities had suspended operations when the owners were accused of overpricing their loaves and hoarding flour. In March 2017, with the tacit support of the government, the collective began selling affordable bread. This is the story of their fight to safeguard the bakery‚Äôs future and keep the Chavista dream alive Continue reading...
I had to gain the confidence that always seemed to come naturally to my partner to release my inner handywoman
Last year my partner and I moved into a new house. The whole exercise was exhilarating ‚Äď finally, a place we owned ‚Äď but it also unearthed in me a desperation, a deep frustration. For a long time I‚Äôve wanted to be someone who fixes things, builds things, someone who is capable in practical day-to-day tasks. I own tools, I have ideas and I tinker with my surroundings, but I‚Äôve never felt completely at ease in the tasks that various men in my life seem to take on with no backward glance.
In our just-built house there were so many jobs to do with drills, hammers, caulking guns. My drive to learn by doing was offset by disorientation and self-doubt. I wanted to begin improving our house, but I didn‚Äôt know what sort of screws I needed for the curtain rod brackets, or whether I could just drill straight into the plasterboard. My partner, a man, didn‚Äôt have much more experience in these things than I did, but approached the situation with a confidence and bluster that only confused me more. Continue reading...
Cardinals around the world are joining the pope at a forum on tackling abuse. But only radical reform can solve the crisis
When the first meeting in the Vatican of cardinals from around the world to discuss clerical sexual abuse was announced, hopes were high among Catholics. Finally, it seemed, the courageous, mould-breaking Pope Francis was going to force through root-and-branch reforms to tackle the scandal that has done such damage to the reputation of the institution he leads.
Yet even before 180 cardinals assemble on Thursday in Rome for this unprecedented four-day summit, the chance of such prayers being answered is looking increasingly remote. The Vatican press office has been downplaying the event as simply an opportunity to remind senior clerics of the patchy efforts that global Catholicism has made this past quarter of a century to address the thousands upon thousands of cases of priests molesting, abusing and traumatising children in their care. Continue reading...
From Russia to Turkey and Iraq, the rout of the caliphate brings new political considerations and shifting alliances
The collapse of the Isis caliphate‚Äôs last stronghold in Syria is sending shockwaves across the region, changing the calculations of the major powers as they jockey for advantage. Triumphalism in Washington, Moscow and Damascus risks obscuring the human cost of a ‚Äúvictory‚ÄĚ that may quickly prove transitory.
Of immediate concern is the fate of civilians, mainly women and children, displaced from formerly Isis-controlled areas where many were held against their will. The independent International Rescue Committee says up to 4,000 people are fleeing towards the al-Hawl refugee camp in north-east Syria. Continue reading...
Four years ago, 24-year-old Hoda Muthana left her family in the US to travel to Syria and join Islamic State. Now, after being captured by Kurdish forces, she is pleading to return home to Alabama
* Hear the Guardian's Middle East correspondent, Martin Chulov, speak to Hoda Muthana about her life with Isis and eventual escape on tomorrow's Today in Focus
Since 1992, more than 11,500 Colombians have been killed or injured by landmines, a legacy of more than 50 years of internal conflict. Many impoverished amputees without access to the healthcare system have resorted to making homemade prosthetics from wood, leather, metal and plastic bottles Continue reading...
The US vice-president rebuked European powers over Iran and Venezuela on Saturday, in a renewed attack on traditional US allies, rejecting a call by Germany‚Äôs chancellor to include Russia in global cooperation efforts. Describing the results of Donald Trump‚Äôs presidency as 'remarkable' and 'extraordinary', Pence told senior European and Asian officials that the European Union should follow the US in quitting the Iran nuclear deal and recognising the head of Venezuela‚Äôs congress, Juan Guaid√≥, as president
Pence hails 'remarkable, extraordinary' Trump tenure in attack on US allies Continue reading...
Residents of a coalmining region in Siberia have been posting online videos showing entire streets and districts covered in toxic black snow that critics say highlight a man-made ecological catastrophe in which British industry is compliant. Continue reading...