It is no fluke in becoming a successful long-term business. It takes smart as well as hard work. It takes a sense of pride and determination to just do things right. Here is a list of 12 attributes that makes sense for sustainable business success.
1. They are focused on the customer and gather feedback and input from the customer on a regular and consistent basis. In other words – they listen! The more you listen, the more you get the desired results. Listening may be the #1 skill of any business owner and certainly it should be for all sales people.
2. They understand the concept of relationship development, both internally and externally and they work hard at forming new relationships and strengthening old ones. Using a CRM tool that your sales people want to use will help. A big factor in customer retention is your ability to manage their needs and relationships. Managing relationships within your internal team is also mission critical.
3. They are externally-driven (customer) rather than internally- driven (operations). Being customer centric is always a good thing, but ensure that your internal processes will deliver the results you need in order to keep your clients satisfied. You simply need to deliver on your promises. While there is the saying that the customer is always right, remember you also have the right to fire customers who drain your resources without a reasonable return.
4. They have a high percentage of talented and high performing employees. Hiring the right people for the right job and motivating them to stay and build your business success is no easy task. Sometimes it is best to get some expert support to help you hire the right people for the right job. Mistakes in wrong hiring are very costly in more ways than you may realize. Always a great idea to constantly challenge and educate your staff to keep them motivated. When in doubt, money is always a good motivator.
5. They understand how to apply their resources in a manner that maximizes their opportunity for success. Your resources are limited so use where you get the most productivity and results. That said, you do need the right amount of resources to optimize your business. Stretching your resources too thin may cause new problems to pop up.
6. They have a high level of morale and teamwork and foster that kind of environment. Proper management and leadership is a must to get the most benefits from your staff. A happy workplace is a good thing. It is one of the key factors in generating good moral and teamwork.
7. They do not constantly shift and change priorities. Think things through carefully, focus and then act decisively. Bouncing around is a sure way to frustrate your team and cause meltdowns. If you made a mistake then acknowledge and move on to the next, but review and share where you went wrong. This will help prevent similar mistakes from happening in the future. Remember, mistakes are usually better than regrets.
8. They have well defined and simple, efficient processes. Everything you do in business has a process. There is one power tool from VAR Office Suite that you can use to help you to develop and manage all of your procedures. With proper procedures, you will get the most productivity from your team. Automatically this will save you time and money while increasing your customer satisfaction levels. Proper procedures matter a lot, especially when margins are thin.
9. They have a long-term mentality. If you only think short-term then you may not be able to succeed long term. What do you want to do in 5 years? 10 Years? Is what you are doing today getting you on the right path towards your long-term goals? Are you spending enough time brainstorming about your long-term goals? What is your exit plan? Get your team involved!
10. They have a long-range plan with goals that all employees understand. If only you know the plan then how will your staff follow? How will they know their role in the journey? Getting your plan clear, written, shared and understood by your employees is simply mission critical to success. Actually, this may be one of the most important attributes of long-term success.
11. They spend money wisely and are not afraid to spend money to the benefit of the organization. Invest in the right things to build your company. Handling money with an iron fist is not alway the right thing to do. Demonstrating that you are willing to invest wisely in the future of your business and team is a good thing. It shows strong commitment and leadership.
12. They have strong and effective communication taking place consistently and regularly. Top managers and leaders are good communicators. You will need to sell your vision and motivate your team to get the job done. If you struggle with getting your message understood in an effective and exciting manner, then seek some professional help in speaking and presenting. It is really not that difficult and it will be one of the best investments you can make in yourself. From the time we are born, we are all sales people in some way. Exploit your natural born talent!
I am sure that there are other attributes that you can add, but if you start exploiting just these twelve, you will be well on your way to long-term success. Regardless of what you do, do not wait. Do it now, one step at a time! Procrastination is the root of most failures in business.