This is the line I hear over and over when I start a consulting engagement with a private business. I’m sure your business is different. I’m also sure that many issues you have are similar to millions of other businesses.
Right now I’m working with businesses in six different industries. They all have told me that their problems are unique and with all six I’m working on the same strategic opportunities. The technical issues of running their business are different but the strategic issues of what will make their business great are the same.
Strategy from one business to another is very similar. The principles of how to make your business better are probably similar to every other business in the world. You think your business is unique and you think your industry is unique. The reality is that most businesses have underlying issues that are the same.
Anyone who owns a business and reads this post should be able to take some of the questions and apply it to their own business. This is because the principals of running a great business are the same from business to business.
I never believe I can manage day-to-day operations in any business I run into. I do believe and have proven that I can make any business better by applying strategic rigor to their thinking processes.
How you think about your business should be the same as every great business. Do you ask why every time you start a project? Do you have a deep understanding of what you need to do strategically and why these things are important?
I think owners and senior management should think in a similar manner about their business. They should start with asking why a particular project or idea is a good one. They should look at strategic issues that all businesses have in common. Those owners who look at some of the following strategic value drivers will make their businesses more sustainable.
- Do you have a strategic process for hiring the right people for your company?
- Do you have a strategic process for understanding who your best customers are?
- Do you have a rigorous process for understanding what niche you serve?
- Do you have a process for developing new niches to serve?
- Do you have your business process under statistical control?
- Do you have a process for examining systems when things go wrong?
- Do you blame the person or do you look at your systems when mistakes happen?
- Do you have drivers for everyone that support one or two KPI’s in your company?
All of these will help make your company better and all exist in every company. Understanding both the specifics that make your company run and generalities that make every company run are both important. As an owner what have you done to make yourself knowledgeable in both areas?
We’ve put together a Periodic Table of Business Elements. This table has 56 different strategies you can pursue as a business owner. If you’re interested in getting our Periodic Table, click on the button below.