Over the years I have had the privilege of meeting with numerous business owners. Some clients started early on with an idea and others started later in life after working in the corporate world.
The most successful clients have been those who have taken everything in and are willing to listen to advice and make the necessary changes. On the other side of the coin are business owners who want to do everything their way and listen, but aren’t open to make any necessary changes. One business owner I met mentioned “the phones are ringing and we are making $$$ hand over fist”. We had long discussions and I told him that within 3 years his business would go bankrupt if he didn’t change his methodologies for running this company. Almost to the day 3 years later he filed for BK.
Shifts in thinking are always necessary to serve the customer. The consumer now with the Internet has numerous choices and customer service really needs to be a top priority. Latest trends and threats always need to be studied with regularity.
A company’s biggest assets are its employees. Paying the employee their worth is extremely valuable. Hiring employees who see the big picture is a must. One owner chose to pay his employees on the low scale but during Christmas would have a Christmas party and buy each employee little inexpensive gifts as a way to make it up. Most employees whom I interviewed felt he was a cheapskate and wanted to have hirer wages instead of cheap gifts. Employee’s also want to feel valued. It is a natural human tendency to feel wanted and appreciated for a job well done. Employees want to be held accountable. Employees want to feel appreciated but also to strive higher in job performance.
Data is something the business owner should have constant access to with the right to ask:
What does the data show?
How can we improve on existing processes?
Where are our strengths and weaknesses?
Weekly reports should be a must with all managers. Getting a feel on how they are responding to customer needs and so on.
The best companies fire on all cylinders as much as possible and are willing to be flexible as times change.