Whether large or small a business cannot grow if it is only in maintenance mode or shut. Maintenance activities may keep you in the game but will not make you a winner. Research done for the book Good to Great by Jim Collins showed that the Good to Great companies continually did things to make themselves better. Great people are not easily satisfied, they are in a constant state of continuous mental and personal improvement. This is what makes them different and successful.
Since the only constant thing in life is change, being involved in the change process, gives you the opportunity to influence what changes to your advantage. When you do not actively take steps and do something to grow your business daily, this does not mean things stay the same; you will be left behind. Retrogression does not work in your favour but against you. Worse, is when things are good; you are more likely to get satisfied and naturally tend not to make any effort. Good is the enemy of Success.
In the light of this, how should entrepreneurial leaders operate to ensure we do something daily to grow our business? Below are a some ways you can be sure you are doing something to grow your business daily.
1. Accept that things can never be perfect; having this at the back of your mind allows you to do a couple of things. First you are able to work on a project, idea or thing until it is good enough to serve a need now and move on, yet continually seeking ways to improve it. Some entrepreneurs waste time wanting to perfect a product or procedure before they can go to market. Understand that as long as a product serve a need at a fair price if here is a market it will be bought.This also helps you put a foot in the door with potential clients for a better product when it's ready.
A good example is in technology, take mobile phones, most people hardly use a third of the features on a phone before they move on to buy the next version. If you are the phone producer you do not lose clients with the first version of the phone yet you have good feedback to produce a better version and potential clients waiting for the next release. Apple figured this out.
2. Take time to think; When you take the time to work on growing your business daily, you build a broad perspective on areas of improvement and are able to zero in on specific areas of growth. You do this no by burying your head in the daily grind all the time but also taking the time to evaluate your progress in relation to your objectives. Most people do not take the time to think and, as a result, are reactive rather than proactive in business. Everyone needs time to think to be competitive in the marketplace and successful. Taking time to strategies helps you discover faster, more efficient ways to operate which is not something you are able to do otherwise.
3. Grow yourself to grow your business. You can never grow bigger than your challenges. If you are having a 50 dollar problem you have to grow yourself beyond 50 dollars to overcome your 50 dollar problem. If getting a million dollars is a problem then grow your mindset, your skills and your product or service so people can pay you the million dollars. As long as you don't grow to be worth that million dollars you are not likely to come up with ideas, services or products that will result in people paying you that amount of money.
Growing yourself also enables you to serve more people and that means more income. Giving an example in presentation skills, if you are good at only talking to or coaching one person to change a habit you only get income from that one person. However as you grow your skills and are able to train groups of 10 or 20 or have a public speaking session of a hundred, you income is multiplied 100 times over.
4. Grow your network; As a leader or business person you grow yourself in two ways; by improving your skills and abilities and secondly by bringing in a network of people around you who have the skills you seek. I do not know of a successful millionaire who has no network of people they can turn to for something they need to do business in their industry. The more industries they are involved in the larger and more diverse their network is You can do this by getting partners and collaborators through associations in your industry.
Some successful creative people have been found to be loaners. This often applies to scientist and artists due to the nature of their professions. However, around such a person there is likely to be another who can provide the right linkages whether it is an individual or an institution. Success is only possible when there is someone else to see the success. In conclusion, if you are poor in networking get a friend or hire a person who is, or, alternatively join an institution that allows you to show your abilities or skills in the most comfortable way you can. Whatever you do, get networked (wired) for success.
5. Involve your team; If you work with a team it is important that they too buy into the idea of doing something daily to grow the business. Your team interacts with clients daily and, therefore, are the first stop if clients have feedback that could grow your business or they see opportunities to grow the business. You can tap into your team by having an open door policy or providing suggestion boxes where both staff and clients can give suggestions, take time t go through them and discuss and implement what can be implemented.
6. Involve your clients; Clients know best how they perceive interactions with your organisation. If perchance this is negative, it could affect business growth. To avoid this provide means and ways for them to give feedback before it is too late and they are telling others they had a bad experience. Remember only a tenth of unhappy customers voices their experience to you without prompting. Most will just leave and never come back but tell six times more people of their bad experience than the good, According to marketing research.
These are just a few ways you can go beyond just doing something to maintain your business and grow your business. Depending on your business you will find that as you implement these, there will be other things you can do daily to grow your business. One item left out of this list is hiring the right people. The reason for this is that it is done occasionally not daily though it is important to note you are not likely to grow your business if you hire the wrong people.