Success Is Not An Accident

Written by: Joe Veltri, CEO - Socius Business Advisors

In the current economic climate, business owners understand that under-performing is not an option. Not if they want to survive, that is. They constantly face situations that call for skills or experience they may not possess on their own. Add to this the fact that small business owners often wear far too many hats and face a unique set of pressures that only they can fully appreciate.

Business owner/operators endure a constant balancing act: strategic vs. tactical. They don't have to go looking for stress or pressure. It finds them. Pressures come from sources like: time shortages, cash flow management, sales and business development, HR/Personnel and working long hours despite exhaustion. The small business owner experiences the gamut of stress.

Unfortunately, in the meantime, there is a daily toll being taken on the business as a consequence of the non-strategic thinking and the ensuing chaos it brings. Just consider the many decisions made in a single day that occur without a strategic compass to serve as a guide. If the business decisions are "wrong" or suboptimal, the business is likely wasting time and money. Of course, the overwhelmed business owner may not even realize that a poor decision was made until much later. The truth is, it is impossible in most cases to truly know the cost of a poor decision at the time it is made. Some choices could be putting the business at financial or legal risk, while others might cost a hard earned customer.

Here are Joe's headlines of the top qualities found in successful small companies:

  • Don't Think Like a Small Business - small business owner possess the same ability to organize, plan and leverage the assets within their organizations.
  • Successful small businesses focus their planning, with no more than five strategic goals as a rule-of-thumb.
  • Know the industry and competition - Even if you believe you have industry information at your fingertips we suggest you hire a SWOT AND PEST (aka STEP) analysis done every two years. You will be surprised at what you don't know and how it is hurting your success.
  • Pursue strategically-aligned initiatives and avoid knee-jerk projects that squander precious human capital and financial resources. Higher profitability will result and the small business can also enjoy increased productivity as a bonus.
  • Improved cost management follows, as operational budgets will be attenuated to the accomplishment of strategic goals and profit-minded managers will scrutinize unwarranted or misaligned ventures.
  • Empower employees and share the company's vision and strategy. This will result in better staff retention and satisfaction levels.
  • The leaders of successful small companies base their decisions in reality, not on opinions, guesses, or desires. Running a business is hard work…Don’t go through it alone. (Approximately 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies use executive coaches, according to the Hay Group. Small business leaders who are members of a Peer Advisory Group, or retain a Business Coach typically improve their business by an average of 15% in the first year.

In the end, Success is not an Accident. It is a series of decisions executed over time. Remember 53% of Fortune 500 companies have Business Coaches. Small businesses should too… Just like the "big guys" do.

NewsCourtney Healy