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In working with clients I find that some of the challenges we are discussing in the business coaching and mentoring sessions have been in their businesses for a long while. It is easy to avoid areas in your business that you do not understand, that are difficult to deal with or that you think will eventually go away. What are you avoiding in your business?
Here are some of the areas you may be avoiding:
Taking important decisions. There are many different types of decisions that need to be made at all levels of a business ranging from short term operational decisions to longer term strategic decisions. Delaying, deferring or avoiding decision making can have a big negative impact on your business. What decisions have you been avoiding taking?
Taking action. Taking action to achieve the business strategy and goals is critical to your business. However many things can get in the way of taking action like procrastination, poor time management, endless meetings and crisis management. What action is not being taken in your business?
Clarifying your business vision and strategy. Developing a vision and longer term business strategy involves understanding where your business is now, deciding where you want your business to be in the future and looking at what you need to do to get there. A vision and strategy will give your business clarity, focus, direction, drive and impetus. Do you have a vision, strategy and plan for your business?
Market, customer and other trends. Understanding what is happening in the outside world, including market trends, customer trends, economic changes, competitor activity and the areas that may impact your business enables you to make sure your business is at the forefront of developments and does not get left behind. Do you fully understand the current business environment that your business is operating in?
Actively managing staff and dealing with performance issues. Actively managing staff through team meetings, one to ones, performance reviews, setting clear objectives, providing feedback and managing poor performance is a bed rock to maximising the performance of the business. Are you actively managing your staff and managing poor performance?
Communication. Effective communication at all levels of the business is critical to the success of your business. This may include anything from communicating the vision and strategy, business plans and business performance to all the company employees to having a great working relationship with each of your management team. How is communication in your business?
Working 'on' the business. If you want your business to grow and prosper you need to step back from the day to day and work 'on' your business, including working on business goals, strategy, business development, planning, sales and marketing and managing the business and the financial side. How much time are you spending working 'on' your business?
Areas you do not understand or aren't experienced in. The easiest areas to avoid in your business are those that you know little about, don't understand or have little experience in. This may be the financial side of the business, sales and marketing or a specialist area such as IT. However if you ignore these areas there may be negative consequences for your business. Are you avoiding areas in your business that you do not understand or aren't experienced in?
Customer complaints. When the business receives customer complaints or has dissatisfied customers it is easy to blame the customer and push the problem under the carpet. It is important to use customer feedback to understand what is really going on in your business. What customer feedback are you ignoring?
Investing in the business. Under investment in the business can lead to poor productivity, inefficiencies, low levels of customer service and can negatively impact business performance. Where do you need to invest in your business (this could be any area including training, new technology, additional staff, office space, signage etc.)?
Understanding the business performance. It is critical to understand the performance of all aspects of your business whether this be through management reports, key performance indicators or staff meetings. What information do you need to effectively manage your business?
Risks. Part of running a successful business is to minimise risks to the business whether this be through insurance, contracts, not being over dependent on an individual member of staff, client or supplier, an overdraft facility or other risk prevention measures. What risks do you need to minimise in your company?
Hopefully the above tips and ideas will help you in dealing with uncertainty.
Author: Liz Makin
Published: September 2016
Makin It Happen has a range of personal development online courses to purchase, created by Liz Makin, including anxiety management, communication, resilience, soft skills, stress management, time management and coaching. Liz Makin also provides personalised business coaching, business mentoring and stress management services to business owners, directors, managers and professionals. .
Please email Liz@makinithappen.co.uk to arrange a FREE consultation session to discuss our business coaching, business mentoring and stress management services for business owners, directors, managers and professionals.