Insights into a successful business in a series of blogs in July by Roxanne

Posted by Roxanne Chugg

Here’s our second in a series of July blogs where Roxanne outlines what she believes are the traits of a successful business…. Happy reading!

The best of the best are capable and financially literate.  This means:

  • You don’t have to be an accountant or have the skills of a bookkeeper but you do need to know how to read and understand financial reports and use the information in them to make sound business decisions;
  • You need to understand profit and loss and have the discipline to stick to and measure performance against your budget;
  • You need to be capable of building a cash-flow plan to project and forecast your sales and business development goals and manage your expenses;
  • You need to be financially solid and be able to fund projected growth; and
  • You remember that cash is the fuel of a business;

The best of the best have systems and structures in place.  This means:

  • You know your business: your suppliers, what they input into your core processes, what your support processes are, what product or service (output) you provide to your customers, what your customers expect and want, the roles in your organisation that you rely on to deliver to your customers and understanding how satisfied your customers are;
  • Understanding that structure ensures efficiency, productivity, consistency and predictability. Systems produce predictable results. Lack of structure and the absence of systems all but ensure inconsistency in how work is done, conflicting agendas, dissension, stagnancy and, worst of all, uncertainty;
  • Knowing the skills you’ll need to meet your future goals;
  • Understanding your processes and engaging your staff in collaborating to continuously improving them and share better ways of doing things; and
  • Call it leadership, accountability, systems, standards of performance, or policies and procedures; it all refers to the structure that supports success. Anything less than a deliberate and structured approach to business infuses mediocrity into all activities. Mediocrity never wins in business.

The best of the best develop the skills of their people.  This means:

  • Enabling your people to develop their knowledge and mastering the skills to use that knowledge to the best of their ability;
  • A commitment to training and development is non-negotiable for both technical and non-technical skill development;
  • Skill development is an investment in your brand and quality assurance in delivering your product or service to your customers;
  • Understanding what makes your people tick and what you need to do to retain them;
  • Having leadership development and talent management in place;
  • Understanding the skills and competencies that your people have, what they need to do to develop and the skills that are critical to the business; and
  • Having succession planning in place and processes to tap into, capture and share the wonderful knowledge of your people.