Great companies are made by design, not by accident. You're not going to see a movie made without a great script, and you're not going to see a great business built without a strong growth strategy in place, it's that simple. Most people are more familiar with the term, "life design," than, "business design," so I'm going to bring light to the business design side of things, in the hopes that you'll grab hold of some of the strategies I share so that you can make your company great by design.
Like with everything in life, "once you know better, you do better." But how do you know what to do? You can work at a company that's great by design, you can get involved in peer-group discussions with leaders at great companies, or you can do it by trial and error. Whatever way works best for you is fine.
To make things easier for you, as I always do, I've listed some of the top, most important, and most prevalent, actions that you can take to make your company great by design. I've made it easy for you, so don't take this information for granted and do nothing with it. Study this information and implement the strategies that you learn at your company to have the best results.
Hire the Best
Doing this makes total sense, but it's harder to do sometimes because you may not have the resources to find the right person, or the money needed to pay them. Don't let this get you down. What you need to do is go with what you have and do the best you can to get the best people in place. Employment is not forever, and as your business grows, people are going to change, you're going to change, so look to get the best you can, with what the resources and money you have today.
If there's one area that I see more companies making big mistakes in, it's in the technology purchasing segment. There's a lot of flash in technology, and it looks great, and you may think it's going to solve all your business problems, but chances are, it's not. To have the most success, any technology that you implement at your business needs to be dead simple. It's easy to get caught up in the next greatest thing or next trend, only to find out that you're paying for a service that doesn't work well in your environment. The installation needs to be simple, making tweaks needs to be simple, making connections needs to be simple, and minor customizations need to be simple, and they need to not cost a fortune. I think you get the point by now.
Provide Excellent Communication
In today's business marketplace, excellent communication is vital, both internally and externally. It's safe to say that the better you communicate, the more successful your business will be. Customers want to know what's going on when they want. Be sure to sync any technology that you implement so that anyone can have access to the information they need at any time of the day or night.
Being able to communicate well from a verbal standpoint is critical. Put your best verbal communicators, in positions where they can succeed, and put your best, written communicators, where they can best manage.
Create a Winning Culture
Top talent is going to stay where there's the best culture. Create a brand and work environment that embodies a positive and enriching culture, and watch how top talent flocks to your company. Winning culture drives revenue growth, winning culture encourages innovation, and winning culture drives crazy loyal brand advocates. As college graduates continue to enter the workforce, they're going to be more inclined to go to a company that's created a winning culture for their employees. If you want to continue to succeed in business, get on board, and start taking care of the people that take care of you.
Be Out in Front of Trends
Let me say it this way, "If you're not out in front of business trends, you're going to flat out get smoked by the brands that are fast, agile, and quick to adapt." It sounds harsh, but it's the truth, and if you want to be successful, you're going to need multiple people in your life that are telling you the truth. Sitting back and relaxing, thinking that what you do today is going to still work in the future may not be the best option. Always commit to being way out in front of trends, testing out new products and services, and being open to new revenue streams of income.
No one likes the same old blah-blah-blah in business, so to make a difference and stand out, you need to be unique, and offer a value that no one else is offering in the marketplace. Add a little variety to your products and services to directly solve the biggest problems that your current customers or largest prospective clients have. The idea is to take down big chunks of business with key accounts by beating your competition in what they do best. Having a diverse product lineup protects your customer base because if you're the only one that offers something, it's pretty tough for someone to come in and beat you on price.
The best companies have explosive amounts of innovation. You need to eat, sleep, and dream innovation. The thing with innovation in business is that it comes from an organizational commitment to not settle for anything but the absolute best. It also helps to hire great people, which I mention above, and utilize technology, which I mention above, to assist in your innovativeness. Be intelligent about what products and services you plan to bring to the market. If it's not the best that you're able to produce, then don't bring it to market. You're better off waiting until something that's really going to make a big hit shows up in your organization and comes to fruition.
Give Back to Employees
People want to work at companies where they feel fulfilled, and where they feel like they're doing something that's truly making a difference. Never be afraid to incentivize your employees with opportunities to expand in their own ventures, while you support and fund them. The idea is to give back to employees so that they work at their maximum creativity and productivity levels, providing you with excellent results and a strong return on investment. One thing I'll say about employees is that it needs to be a two-way street. If they're regularly taking, and you're always giving, that's not a functional equation. Don't be afraid to walk away from an employment relationship if it's too unbalanced in any one direction. It needs to be two parties working together to achieve a common goal at all times.
Flexibility is an absolute must. The way we work today is so different from what it used to be years ago. There's no need for employees to drive an hour to work each day to sit in an office, only to achieve what they may have done sitting at home. Be smart with your flexibility. Use it to empower employees to work smarter and harder. How long an employee works is not the idea; how much they get done when they do work matters the most. It's about productivity here, not wasting hours upon hours sitting around doing useless stuff.
Create a Brand Story
I saved one of the most important ones for last, "creating a brand story," is vital for long-term business success. With social media and the way people engage with short-form content online, you need to have a brand story that resonates with your current customers, while attracting prospective new customers. Creative brands are always filling their sales funnels with new prospects, and subsequently, they're able to grow revenues faster than ever before in the history of our business landscape.
Talk about your brand as a human being, give insider tours, let people know what you're all about, what your employees are passionate about, what you stand for, and invite people to participate in creating your brand story.
There's more than enough information in this article to blow your mind, but as the saying goes, "just because you've bought the book, doesn't mean you're going to read it." Now in this instance, it's more like, "just because you've read this information doesn't mean you're going to implement it in your business strategy," and that's a big mistake.
When you have an opportunity to learn, and you're lucky enough to receive some real gems of helpful information provided to you, it's without a doubt, essential to take action on what you learn. It's like paying thousands of dollars at a massive industry conference to have a booth: spending a few days collecting a bunch of qualified leads; then doing nothing with them. It makes no sense, and it's a total waste of time and money. Don't be that person, be the leader that makes your company great by design, and you'll reap the fantastic rewards for years to come.