SBTM May 2015 Anthony Ford - Page 18

EDITORIAL FEATURE Business Strategy Points Compiled From Past 36 Articles By Hank Moore, Corporate Strategist™ L ast month, we celebrated the third anniversary of this magazine. My article was about the significance of anniversaries as important milestones. This is the second part of the anniversary celebration. It seems fitting to reprise key points from the last three years, as a digest to apply to ultimate business success. The biggest problem with business is, “People exhibit misplaced priorities and impatience while seeking profit and power. Oftentimes, they possess unrealistic views of purpose and are not fully willing to do the things necessary to sustain orderly growth and long-term success. What organizations and individuals started out to become and what they’ve evolved into being are decidedly different. The path toward progress takes many turns, expected and unexpected. How we evolve reflects the teachings, experiences, and instincts that are not part of formal education. Take ownership of program-planning rather than abdicating them to human resources or accounting people. If you try to predict the biggest crises that can beset your company, 85 percent of the time you’ll prevent them from occurring. Challenge yourself to succeed by taking a big picture look while others are still thinking and acting small-time. Your biggest resource is daring to visualize success. Try an institutional review of the activities that contribute to your organization’s success and well-being. This transcends a traditional audit and iden- tifies factors that already contribute well to the organization, rather than simply looking for ways to cut, curtail, or penalize. It is more than just trimming the fat and criticizing incorrect activities in the organizational structure, this review is the basis for most elements that will appear in a strategic plan and include the organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, actions, challenges, teamwork, change management, commitment, future trends, and external forces. Finely develop skills in every aspect of the organization beyond the scope of professional training. Amplify upon philosophies of others. Mentoring, creating, and leading have become the primary emphasis for your career. Never stop paying dues, learning, and growing professionally. Develop and share your philosophies. Niche consultants place emphasis in the areas where they have training, expertise, and staff support for implementation and will market their services accordingly. An accounting firm may suggest that an economic forecast is a full-scope business plan which it is not. A trainer may recommend courses for human behavior, believing that these constitute a visioning process of which they are a small part. Marketers might contend that the latest advertising campaign is equivalent to re-engineering the client company though the two concepts are light-years apart. Niche consultants believe these things to be true within their frames of reference. They sell what they need to sell rather than what the client really needs. Let the buyer beware. 16 SMALL BUSINESS TODAY MAGAZINE [ MAY 2015 ] No entity can operate without affecting or being affected by its communities. Business must behave like a guest in its community, never failing to give potlatch or return courtesies. Community acceptance for one project does not mean that the job of community relations has been completed. It is not insurance that can be bought overnight. It is tied to the bottom line and must be treated accordingly with the resources and expertise to do it effectively. It is a bond of trust that, if violated, will haunt the business. If steadily built, the trust can be exponentially parlayed into successful long-term business relationships. The hot new idea is to focus on depthand-substance not on flash-and-sizzle. Those who proclaim that hot ideas make good coaches are vendors selling flavors of the month not seasoned business advisors. If coaching is based only on hot ideas, it is nothing more than hucksterism. Coaching must be a thorough process of guiding the client through the levels of accomplishment. Customer focused management is a concept that goes far beyond just smiling, answering queries, and communicating with buyers. It transcends customer service training. In today’s highly competitive business environment, every dynamic of a successful organization must be toward ultimate customers. Companies must change their focus from products and processes toward the values wh