Moving into my 6th year as business owner, I can honestly say we are becoming a better organization every day. Don’t get me wrong – we are by no means perfect; but, there are several reasons we are moving the needle in the right direction. Some of our methods are more small-business specific, while others can be applied to the association industry as well. Regardless, I believe there are some take-aways here for anybody reading this blog.
First, as a company, we are totally transparent about our numbers with our employees. My guess is that anyone who works for a small business wonders from time to time how the company is really doing – Is the organization struggling? Is there money in the bank? I learned a long time ago, sharing the health of the company and showing them the numbers is hugely beneficial and instills loyalty. I tell people exactly how we’re doing and why we’re making decisions. It gives the team clarity and confidence in your leadership because they know where they are headed and why.
Another approach we use is to set very clear goals and expectations. There are probably a number of folks out there who don’t have clear objectives outlined for personal achievement in 2016. Not only should you have personal goals within your company, but make sure to set the external goals with your members or clients. In terms of our business, we are setting goals and expectations of each relationship we have with our clients. Success comes more easily if everyone at the table is on the same page.
Something I’m hyper-focused on this year is filling a knowledge-gap. Our goal is to know more about association sales and how to do it better than any other company in the non-profit space. Associations and small businesses need to fill a gap better than anybody else in the world, and the organizations that are doing so – are the most successful. So, ask yourself –“What is your knowledge gap for the year? What void can you exclusively fill better than anyone?” That should be your focus.
Lastly, you need to find your, “Why?” What keeps you going in your business? What is your “Why” as an individual? What is your “Why” as a company? The answers to these questions will motivate and inspire you and your staff. My “Why” didn’t click for me until I asked my team to share what’s important to them about their job. As the discussion progressed, a light came on for me and the outcome was transformational.
Based on their feedback, I’d found my “Why.” I want to run the kind of business where people feel valued, where they can grow professionally, attain personal success, and have balance between work and family. And, I want to do that for as many people as possible. That means much more than making money.
These are just a few nuggets enabling our company to move forward in the right direction. I challenge you to give them a try. You may be pleasantly surprised by the outcome.
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