Do You Have the Drive to Win? How to Gear Up for the RACE for Business Growth

Posted by on Mar 10, 2012 in blog, news | Comments Off on Do You Have the Drive to Win? How to Gear Up for the RACE for Business Growth

Whether you’re a business owner, an executive, or a manager, you’re always faced with the challenging task of finding new ideas and strategies that will drive business growth. If you drive smart, your result can be well worth the long trip to increased sales, higher commissions, advanced levels of customer retention, improved productivity, and increased profitability.To maximize your driving power, you need an accurate road map to show you the best route. To get one, you need to tap into the greatest asset your company has—the combined brainpower of your people. Within them lie answers to your questions, solutions to your problems, ideas to rev up your company’s growth, and methods to keep you from breaking down. Without their help, you can’t move forward.

Imagine for a moment that you’re a professional race car driver (oh, come on—it will be fun.) To win the race, you’ll need a state-of-the art race car and proficiency at the wheel. With daredevil and risk taking, you can slant the odds of winning in your favor. But without a highly efficient and cohesive pit crew, you will never win the race.

Just as speed is a critical factor in racing, it’s the same in business. You must be fast to respond to needs of your customers, fast to respond to changing markets, fast to bring new products/services to customers and fast to find cutting-edge solutions to problems that may exist. For right now, though, you need to slow down before you can speed up. Slow down and work with your people to create your strategy.

Get together with your race team. If your company is too large to involve everyone, be sure to include groups of people representing all levels and from every department. Don’t exclude that new recruit. He or she may have valuable ideas they learned from their former employer but have yet to come forward with them because they have been busy trying to “fit-in.”

Take them to an environment where there are no distractions.

Before you begin, create ground rules such as. . .

    • We will leave our titles at the door.
    • We will do our best to completely open and honest.
    • We will show respect for each other’s opinions.
    • We will all participate, and not sit silent.
    • We will be understanding of each other’s pressures and concerns.
    • We will strive to see things not only through our own eyes.

Now, direct them to take a good, hard look at your company-and as uncomfortable as it can be, hold nothing back. Ask them to answer all of the questions on the High Performance Road Map you’ll see below.

Keep in mind: This may be easier for them to do, than for you to hear some things they say, but the truth is the starting line. You and your people will get results if you make a concentrated effort to take the same approach an outside consultant would take. Detach yourself emotionally and look at your company as if you didn’t work there. View it through the eyes of an outsider. If you are concerned some people may hold back, have them write their answers anonymously on 3 X 5 cards. Collect them and read them back one at a time. Then, take a consensus of opinions and draw conclusions.

Once this brainstorming is done, you’ll be in a better position to see things more clearly, make decisions and create your race strategy. This can be hard work, but your biggest challenge will be to implement necessary changes* and sustain the momentum of the drive. Expect the road to get a little bumpy in places, and keep the following in mind.

Follow your race strategy. Once you have completed the road map stage, you will have your own customized new business strategy. Follow it as closely as you can in order to stay on course.

Always drive with a clear focus on the customer. The key to sustaining the momentum is dynamic leadership and consummate driving skill. Encourage everyone in your company to listen to the voice of the customer and to drive with an obsession for delivering their best performance to every customer, every day.

Employee Involvement is the key to your success. People tend to promote what they help to create. Their continued involvement is crucial. Seek to obtain their commitment to “buy” into the goal of winning the race and working together as an efficient, cohesive group—just like a great pit crew.

Keep everything in perspective. Business growth is crucial to the success of your company, but both you and your people need to enjoy the view while you drive. Celebrate small successes. Laugh a little along the way too. Laughter will recharge your entire being. Working in an atmosphere that is fun encourages ideas, stimulates creativity and helps lighten the driving pressure.

Are you ready to get your map and drive in the race for business growth? If you are, you must understand and accept that the road will be much more challenging for you than for any racecar driver. Here’s why: For them, there’s a finish line to cross. For you and other business leaders who are striving to move forward in these tough times. . .

The race for business growth has no finish line.

Drive as smart and as safely as you can. You just have to drive faster than your competitors.

HIGH PERFORMANCE ROAD MAP

Follow these directions, and you will be on your way to the road to business success.

    • Where are we now?
    • Where are our strengths?
    • What needs improvement?
    • Where do we need to be?
    • What, in your opinion, does management need to do to help the company move forward?
    • Where are there opportunities to expand our services?
    • Where else can we offer our services?
    • Are we calling on every potential piece of business out there?
    • Are we using the Web to learn what other markets we can tap?
    • What can we do to sway our competitor’s customers over to us?
    • Are there other ways we can offer a service or product that will complement our business?
    • Does our company operate consistently like a well-oiled machine?
    • Can we depend on each other, so we can focus on the most important person to our business—the CUSTOMER?
    • Do we consistently strive to improve operations?
    • Do we need a new approach to business development?
    • Are our advertising, sales, and marketing strategies working?
    • Are we getting enough referrals from our existing customers?
    • Do we need to conduct more marketing research? How can we do better?
    • What have we done to differentiate our company from the competition?
    • How would our customers answer the question,”What’s different about working with our company?”
    • Do customers know why we are better?
    • Do we know how to articulate why we are better?
    • Do we now how to articulate the value of our product? How can we do better?
    • Are we consistently working to improve our service?
    • Since what we offer is not any different from what our competition is offering, are we far better in the level of service we provide?
    • How much effort do we put into soliciting feedback from them to discover what they want and need from us?
    • How quickly do we respond to calls?
    • Is it easy to do business with us?
    • Does everyone in our company know they are expected to bring forth ideas to improve customer service and do they regularly contribute their ideas?
    • Are we listening to the voice of the customer?
    • Do we have an effective CRM system? How can we do better?
    • How’s our reputation?
    • How are we perceived in the eyes of our customers, the industry and our community?
    • Do we operate with ethics and integrity?
    • How about service? Fair pricing? How can we do better?
    • Do we consistently strive to be a better company?
    • Do we consistently work toward being better than our competition?
    • Do we make an effort to be better than our competition in every aspect of the customer experience?
    • Do we strive to under-promise and do everything we can to over-deliver? How can we do better?

Doesn’t it feel great to have good directions? Now the rest of the race is up to you!

Business Growth Strategy
By Christine Corelli