This article below, written by Richard Mulvey, gives great advice for business in 2010. The funny thing is that I watched the movie called "City Slickers" with Billy Crystal in December where they say "what is your one thing?". The take out from the movie for me was build a focus on that one thing and make sure all other decisions take that one thing into account. This article echoes the thought, and Richard says you will be amazed what a difference that will make to the success of your year.
As business owners, business managers and business people we are faced with a wide range of challenges. Our main aim is to grow the business but, as the current world recession begins to wind itself down, I know of many companies who’s main aim over the last two years was just to stay in business. It’s been tough! I don’t have to remind you of that and many of us are still here by dramatically reducing our costs and some creative credit control.
Last year I overheard a senior CEO saying to his colleague “The light at the end of the tunnel just went out”. I am not sure I agree with his sentiment but I can certainly understand his point of view. For many of us there seemed to be no end in sight.
So what is in store for us in the future? Far cleverer people than me are still arguing over that vexing question but for me I am in a very positive frame of mind. I am lucky in my business as I speak to many different business people from many different industries and the feeling I get from these people is cautious optimism. Nobody wants to be too optimistic just yet, but the feeling is that the light has come on at the end of the tunnel and it is burning brightly.
There is also another bit of really good news. If you are still in business after nearly two years of recession it is because you have been able to adapt to a different set of rules. Your business is now leaner, more efficient and better controlled than it ever has been in the past so you are perfectly placed to take advantage of an upturn in the economy when it happens.
So where do we go from here? We have to continue to grow of course. If we are not moving ahead we are moving backwards. There is no standing still in business.
In my first sentence I said that we are faced with a wide range of challenges and there is a risk that we will divide our time equally amongst all these challenges in order to produced the desired growth. If we average out our effort in this way then our results will be….. average. I suggest that you take another look at where you will be spending your time this year.
Many years ago I was appointed as sales director for a major corporate company in a service industry. This company was the largest in its industry and had, quite frankly, become complacent. A few weeks after I was appointed a new CEO took over and got the senior team together to discuss the future. We spent all day looking at the various challenges we were facing and discussing potential goals we could go for. Each department had their own challenges of course and each department head argued the importance of their goals in the overall growth of the company. Eventually by mid afternoon we had narrowed the list of company goals to about 20 when the new CEO stepped in. He had been particularly quiet up until now, but when he did speak he certainly commanded authority.
He suggested that we couldn’t have 20 goals or even 3. We must choose just one goal for the year and everybody must focus their full attention on achieving that one goal. Each department would still have to do their work of course, but the “One Goal” must be taken into account for every decision that is taken.
The results of this approach were amazing. Not only did we achieve that “One Goal” but all the other things that we wanted to achieve came about as well. The company grew because we became well know for being dramatically better at that one thing (The Goal) than any of our competitors.
For me that was a very good lesson. It is very easy to be busy with general stuff. There are always business things to do and they can easily take up all the time in a working day/week/year. It is much better, however, to have one main aim for the year. Make it interesting, make it wild, make it fun, make sure it is something that will make a difference to your position in the market place.
I have recently launched a new, fairly complicated website offering a service to my customers. I have been toying with the project for 18 months but it was not until I became “Laser Focused” on the project that it was completed.
The truly great achievers in the world are not those people who are good at all things, rather they are so focused that they are exceptional at one thing at the expense of everything else. The same could be said of great companies.
As you begin to see the light at the end of your business tunnel consider what it is you want to be great at this year. Develop Laser Focus on that one thing and make sure all other decisions take that one thing into account. You will be amazed what a difference that will make to the success of your year.