Your business culture or philosophy is the ultimate key to your productivity and success. It will either enable or disable everything else you do.
When working with clients we soon discovered that if the culture of an organisation was wrong, the impact of even the best business growth techniques would be severely limited or crippled.
Too many organisations only pay lipservice to these factors and as a result they constantly struggle to make real progress.
Develop the right business culture is key to your success as everything you do hinges around this fundamental aspect of your business.
1. Understand your higher business purpose
Contrary to popular belief, people don’t buy products or services. Instead they buy outcomes; results, solutions, benefits, answers, value, advantages, improvements, time saving, avoidance of pain, protection, pleasure, fulfilment, enjoyment, prestige etc. Your higher purpose for being in business should be to turn those positive outcomes into reality by promoting, selling and delivering the specific outcomes your customer is actually buying. When you start to look at what you do in terms of the positive outcomes you can deliver to your clients, you can feel justifiably proud of the contribution you’re making to your client, whatever your business. And when you do that consistently you profit handsomely.
2. Operate with integrity
Taking an ethical approach to your business, performing as promised, and operating in a sound manner. Your philosophy and policies toward your employees and your customers must be based on fairness and a sincere belief that your customers deserve to be well served at all times. It’s having the attitude that if it’s good for the customer it’s good for the company, and vice versa. It’s putting the customer’s interests ahead of your own.
No longer being content to accept lesser results than you’re entitled to for your efforts. Instead you demand and accept nothing less than the highest and best outcome for every action you ever take and every activity you ever engage in. You do this by integrating and leveraging all your successful marketing approaches to achieve the optimum outcome and getting the greatest return for the least expenditure of time, effort, manpower and money, at the lowest possible risk to you while reducing stress, freeing you up, and providing for consistent control and total predictability.
4. Genuinely appreciate your team
Some of the most profitable companies in the world owe a large part of their success to having a happy contented workforce, because those people KNOW they are sincerely appreciated. This will save you money in many ways. Your staff turnover will go down. You’ll save a fortune on training and recruitment. You’ll suffer less abseteeism. It’s less likely that things will “go missing”. And having an experienced workforce that isn’t always leaving and having to be retrained — one that really cares about your company and about looking after your customers — will result in fewer customer complaints, more satisfaction and customers who spend more money with you more often and stay with you longer.
5. Genuinely appreciate your clients
Viewing your clients as long term friends. Redefining your business from the customer’s perspective as the basis of your philosophy, so that you protect and benefit them at the highest level possible.
6. Become passionate about your customers
Passion and enthusiasm are contagious … and all too rare. People are more inspired to do business with you if you display conviction and enthusiasm for what you do and the way that you do it than any other factor. If you genuinely burn with an overwhelming desire to enrich the lives of everyone you do business with, people will be attracted to you like metal filings to a magnet.
7. Build a balanced team
Recruitment is often seen almost exclusively as a search for individuals with the right qualifications, experience, and achievement. Yet they’re rarely found because of the requirement for more conflicting characteristics than can normally exist in any one person. But if no individual can combine all these qualities, a team of individuals can contain all the conflicting requirements that cannot be found in a single individual. In a perfectly balanced team there is always someone who can deal naturally and effectively with any set of responsibilities. Each person just slots naturally into playing their part in growing and developing the business.
8. Empower your staff
When companies consistently refuse to deviate from policy, they say to customers, in effect, “Our policy is more important than doing business with you.” Empowerment is the process of moving the decision-making process to the customer interface. Giving your team at the customer interface the power to do whatever it reasonably takes to delight the customer. Truly empowered employees invariably recognise and appreciate the authority they have been given and are more likely to use their initiative and good judgment to come up with better and less expensive solutions to a problem than that dictated by rigid policy manuals.
9. Adopt proven success practices
The moment you start adapting and applying success practices that have already been tested and refined by other industries you save yourself a massive learning curve. If you can take advantage of £ millions or £ tens of millions or £ hundreds of millions worth of success-proven, profit-certain business practices that other industries have already validated, you’ve given yourself and your business an incredible edge over all your competitors and your level of success can’t help but increase.
10. Have fun in the workplace
Some of the world’s most successful companies attribute a large part of their success to the use of laughter, fun and play in the workplace to build morale, participation, and involvement. Recognition and appreciation can play a vital role in boosting morale and productivity among hard-worked employees. You can easily implement a step-by-step plan for building an enthusiastic, high-performance team using hundreds of tried-and-tested techniques for enhancing employee satisfaction and personal pride, improving employee morale, heightening productivity, creating a more people-centered corporate culture, and, ultimately, increasing your profitability.
11. Growth through perpetual training
The growth of your business is the aggregate of the growth of your individual team members. By constantly training everyone in your business to perform at higher levels than your competitors, you’re investing in the future, while improving your business today. The better your training, the better everything works in your business. It radically improves your team’s understanding of your objectives; helps set standards of performance; produces predictable results; leads to consistent answers to each question or problem; results in customers being treated in a similar manner no matter who they deal with … and makes a big difference to how everything functions.
12. Recruit the right people
Most of us choose our life partner and raise our children with care, nurturing and compassionate attention. Yet we tend to select the people who will join our company on the basis of an interview or two, and once they’ve joined, they often discover they must fend for themselves. This contrast illustrates the disparity between the family and work environments. But since around 75% of our adult waking time is devoted to work related activities, it makes sense to take as much care in recruiting the right people—people who care and who want to be the best. If you look for genuinely pleasant people who have the right attitude and human values, the rest will usually fall into place. You can’t teach people to be nice. Caring must be inherent in people’s natures—they have to feel it in their hearts. And if they do, their colleagues and clients will feel it too, and you’ll achieve more success with less hassle and hard work.
13. Run a suggestion scheme
A good suggestion scheme is like having an oil well in your back garden. There is no more important tool for management. Suggestion schemes can be made to work extraordinarily well in any business and can be the cornerstone of constant and never ending improvement. If you and your team ask yourselves relentlessly each day, “How can we do this better?” or “What more can we do to …”, you’re bound to find ways to improve. Whether large or small, these improvements can lead to regular discoveries that can transform your business.
14. Measure staff motivation
How do you know if your staff are well motivated? This is where most businesses are amazingly primitive. Their skills in measuring motivation are under-developed or non-existent. Methods of measuring motivation include: 1) Staff turnover, 2) Absenteeism, 3) Theft, 4) Customer Service, 5) Attitude surveys. Motivation does not have to be left to chance. Every business can introduce systems for motivating its employees better. The benefits are enormous, and once you start measuring the payback on your investment in the workforce, you will see real results.
Other Business Optimisation Strategies Include:
- Articulating your core values
- Coaching for performance
- Doing everything with passion
- Doing whatever it takes to serve or add value to your clients
- Systematise every aspect of your business
By mid-2009 Marketing Wizdom’s knowledgebase contained around 2.4 million words in 2,065 documents relating to 19 individual business optimisation strategies. That’s equivalent to nearly 8,500 pages, or 34 full sized books.
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