Elements of Success

All sustainably-successful businesses share certain characteristics... they all tick certain boxes. While it's possible to achieve some growth without everything ticked, those that haven't are vulnerable to outside shocks and will find it difficult to progress to the next level. Explore the elements of success here...

Clear Purpose

This is your compelling 'Why'... the reason your business REALLY exists. Hint: it's not just to earn its owners a bunch of money... there IS a deeper purpose, a thing that motivated you to establish the business and that gets you out of bed each morning. If you can uncover that, and communicate it clearly, you will earn the support and motivated contribution of staff, and undying appreciation of customers. Have fun figuring it all out here...!

Clear Goal-Posts [What does 'success' look like?]

There are many ways to define 'success'. The LEAST effective of these are financial targets. Money should flow as an automatic result of achieving other things, rather than be the overriding objective itself. Explore your options here...

The Business Model
(coming soon!)

Before you dive into a traditional Business Plan, consider the BUSINESS CANVAS. This is a 1-sheet helicopter view of your current position, and a means to FIELD-TEST ideas for new Products, new Services, and new Markets...

'Know Thyself'
(coming soon!)

Be clear about the strengths and weaknesses of your organisation, the products/services you offer, and the capabilities of your people and systems.  This is your 'ground-zero'. You need to know all of this in order to craft pathways from where you are, to where you want to be...

The Value of 'Values'

Having strong and actionable values helps your business in so many ways. Most-critically, it gives everyone on your team the yardsticks against-which to measure actions and ideas, and to 'question' things they believe may be contrary to the 'agreed' way of doing things around here... in a productive and unthreatening way. Strong values, consistently applied, will elicit people's greatest contributions.

Culture Matters

Culture is the written - and unwritten - 'ways we do things around here'... It's how people at all levels understand what the business expects of them, and they can expect from their leaders. It's also what customers experience every time they interact with the business, i.e. your 'Brand'. Get this right and problems disappear. Get this wrong and everything seems to be a struggle.

Reorienting for Outcomes (not 'Tasks')
(coming soon!)

People do their best work when they're involved in determining the Outcomes they're responsible for, and given the autonomy to figure-out how they can best-deliver those outcomes. Yet we mostly organise the work-of-others as a series of (seemingly-disconnected) TASKS they have to tick-off. This is a massive missed-opportunity; you can explore some interesting alternatives here...

Roles & Recruiting
(coming soon!)

With clear Values, a positive and consistent Culture, and clarity on the Outcomes a role is responsible for, finding good people and evaluating candidates is a (relative) breeze! Here's what recruiting looks-like when you have those ducks in a row, and why it's so 'fraught' when you don't...

Helping your leaders 'Lead'
(coming soon!)

EVERYONE in your organisation is actually a Leader... from the receptionist (who 'leads' your efforts to make an exceptional first-impression) to the CEO and everyone in between.  There are universal things every leader requires to make their finest contributions... explore them here.

Identifying Your 'Best' Customers

Every business has its 'best' customers... that just seem easier to work with/for, and who never quibble over the bill. Established businesses can look at their data to identify those characteristics, and then market more to those particular potential clients. NEW business get to define their theoretical best-customer and then figure-out where they hang-out and what language they respond to... and focus their marketing efforts accordingly.

Understanding their needs [Today AND Tomorrow]

Often we start a business by creating a product or service, then go out and find customers who will buy it. This is an acceptable short-term strategy, but rarely underpins sustained growth and profitability. Periodically, it's worth doing a deep-dive to re-acquaint yourself with your best customers and what their real-and-ongoing needs are, so you're uniquely position to keep serving those customers.  It's challenging work, but the 'best' businesses don't shy away from it.  Explore more here...

Your 'Brand Promise' to Them

Whether you realise it or not, you're actually meeting an emotional need your customers have. When they engage with you, there's something they 'get', that they don't believe they can get from your competitors. What is that magic? How can you clarify and distil it? Deliver more of it? To more customers? Hint: it's not your product per-se... rather it's a customer's experience when they interact with any part of your business, as both potential customers and then as actual customers.

Offering what they Need

Products seem really important, however they're really the most ephemeral and changing part of your business. What you're really in the business of is being of service to a particular group of customers. Always be looking to hone and expand your products/services to stay relevant. Here are some ways you can ensure they're attractive, effective, and profitable.

Always Innovating [one eye on the future]
(coming soon!)

A set of ideas and tools to.help you 'scan' the horizon, and then position your business and its offerings to thrive as the world and your customers change.

How Marketing & Selling intersect
(coming soon!)

Start with this section of resources to understand what marketing is, how it relates to selling, and explore the things you should have already 'nailed' before you consider spending a minute or a dollar on marketing and sales. 

Targeting your 'Niche'

The most successful businesses are those known by a particular community of customers as the 'go-to- supplier-of-(X)'. They are the unequivocal leader in their market.  How did they achieve that? They found their 'niche', and worked the hell out of it until they dominated. THEN perhaps they expanded, but you can be sure they started with a Niche. What's yours? How will you dominate?.

Language that Works
(coming soon!)

Knowing customers in your Niche (I mean really knowing them) means you can speak their language. When you say something out there in the public domain, they're thinking "Wow, they're talking to ME! They understand ME and MY challenges!". How much easier is it then to introduce your products or services to them? Language-matters, people... explore it all here! 

Channels that Work
(coming soon!)

There are an almost infinite numbers of ways to get your message out there and your products to market. Here's what you need to know to figure out what might work for you...

Why Process Matters

Without agreed processes, things get done differently every time. Neither your customers nor your staff will appreciate this. Even when you have processes, if they're not written-down and consistently followed, you're screwed when a key player is absent for any reason (i.e. health, holiday, promotion, resignation). If your business is built on *star* individuals - rather than clear processes anyone can follow - then the business is vulnerable and its VALUE is lower. Lots of good reasons here to explore...

Delivering Consistent Results
(coming soon!)

A reputation for consistency makes it easier to attract great talent, and to market your products/services. Here's what it takes to truly deliver on your promises, consistently...

Processes Create 'Value' [What your business is Worth]
(coming soon!)

A business that relies on you (the owner) or key individual *star* players, is vulnerable. Vulnerability of this nature robs your business of its value. A potential buyer - or investor - wants to see that if the worst happened and your 3 best people got taken out of the picture somehow, that the business would still function... that others could step-into the breech and pick up seamlessly where their predecessors left-off. That means clear, effective, written-down processes. And THAT makes a business highly valuable.

Creating Processes that HELP, not Hinder
(coming soon!)

Processes should be there, should be written-down, should be applied consistently. But what stuff warrants all this work,and what can I let-slide? Who should DO the work? How do we keep it current?. All will be revealed...!
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