June 19, 2016
Every startup begins with nothing more than an idea. But after that point, it’s all about the execution. Founders quickly learn that customers are only willing to spend money on solutions, not ideas. Investors no longer want to invest in ideas but only teams which deliver those promised solutions. Success requires you to move your passion from the idea phase to the implementation phase. Fast.
Good execution needs a proper plan and the correct people in order to ensure operational excellence and extraordinary customer value. Companies which do this are the ones which become market leaders. For example, even though Google wasn’t the first search engine, it was the first to actually monetize searches. This contributed substantially to their growth.
Here are a few principles that you should keep in mind to turn small business trends into successful solutions:
Track Performance and Make Improvements
You should always plan to make improvements based on the results. If you only make adjustments as a reaction to crisis, you aren’t going to be taking corrective actions fast enough and aren’t going to find fresh opportunities. Continuous improvement is something which applies to business models and products. Make use of metrics for tracking milestones and business goals.
Freedom and Teamwork
Let team members run the business like it was their own. Every team requires motivation, authority and proper training in order to make decisions with the need for approval or review. This means that milestones need to be documented and desired results should be rewarded. The entire team needs to work together to deliver a great experience to customers.
Two-way communication is essential at every level. People who do not know what they are expected to do cannot do their jobs effectively. Customers aren’t going to be happy if their expectations or feedback is ignored. A good leader will realize how important effective communication is and how much harder it gets as a business grows.
It is very difficult to improve results if they aren’t being measured. In a small business which operates effectively, results and productivity need to be measured at each step of the value chain and not only towards the end. Targets need to be benchmarked against the competitors and industry expert expectations and customer reviews. Just matching previous results can be considered equal to falling behind.
There should be a minimum of one worst case scenario and recovery plan on the table. Having a Plan B is the only way to make sure that potential challenges can be handled successfully. Having nothing more than a passionate commitment for ideas isn’t going to help carry a business over economic downturns, market evolution and changes in customer trends.
The latest in tools and technology are required in order to optimize the effort of the employees. With technology advancing at a rapid pace these days, having an open mind in order to leverage the best tools and architectures is important. This will include regular update sessions and team training as well as the inclusion of outside expertise.
The excellence of a small business is nothing more than the convergence of business elements and technology in order to maximize value for customers and company. This is more than a simple one-time effort. But one thing is for sure: The process will need to start with the entrepreneurs at the top.
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