All companies, large or small, have similar challenges -- both will always find themselves with limited resources to grow. Whether you are a local mom and pop store, or Google, you will run into the barrier of limited capital – financial, human, social and intellectual.
Financial capital is the ability to infuse money into growing your workforce, marketing, operations, equipment and supplies, etc. Human capital is the ability to deploy more people on a given project or outcome. Social capital considers all of the current readers, subscribers, online and offline traffic that consistently engage with your business. And intellectual capital reflects the new thoughts or ideas that are created as a result of collaboration amongst your teams.
So then how does one go about balancing the scales of need and ability?
There are many ways that you can approach growing your business, but what’s important is that you do it in a way that’s clearly defined, communicated, and measured. And these days, it’s not enough just to focus on the calculated growth of your business. Business owners are now tasked more than event to consider more things like their employee’s well being, their company culture and how their business works to solve local economic and environmental challenges.
My goal through this short blog is to quickly outline six ways for your to accelerate your performance, results and overall success. My suggestion is to read the blog to the end, then focus on one point a week for the next six weeks. Engage your teams, your family, your friends and the partners you do business with to really maximize your efforts.
Here goes – the first three steps to accelerate your business (and your life)!
1. What Problem Are You Solving?
Whether you own a business or want to, all starting places look similar. They start with a question – “what problem am I trying to solve?” Successful businesses celebrate success because they have identified a problem in the market that desperately needs solving. Once identified, these businesses work tirelessly to solve that problem through a product or service. But the work doesn’t stop there. Successful businesses are on a mission, and are able to clearly and quickly communicate that mission to their external market and internal stakeholders.
A well-crafted mission statement should state what your business does, what business it is truly in, and what problem it intends to solve for others.
For example, Google’s mission is to. Their mission is simple, it’s easy to read and understand, and I doubt there are many people who can argue that Google is doing an amazing job at fulfilling that mission.
2. Where Are You? No, I Mean Where Are You Really?
The second step of acceleration rests in gaining awareness around where you are. Some business or strategic planning outlines will list this as the current state. The current state is made of two parts, the environmental analysis and the SWOT analysis.
Your environmental analysis takes inventory of things that are happening in both the internal and external market – things like changes in trends, technology, customers, the economy, the workforce, etc. Taking a deeper look into these changes to understand how they are impacting your business or how the could in the future, will gain you an advantage of seeing more than you thought possible. This exercise really equips you with a new set of eyes.
Many business people have done SWOT analysis in the past, but for those who have not, the SWOT analysis allows you to understand your company or business' strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Take a minute to consider each. What are your company’s strengths? What are your current weaknesses that you may not be paying enough attention to? And how about your opportunities to invest in? And finally, take a minute to really think about the threats that leave your business vulnerable.
3. What Do You See?
The vision statement, part three of the six steps, is one of the most creative parts of the acceleration plan. Those who can see a brighter future, can have a brighter future.
Have you ever worked out with a personal trainer? One of the first things they teach you is the skill of visualization. Before approaching a weight machine, your trainer usually asks you to visualize the weight you are about to lift. He or she will ask you to visualize lifting more weight and for more reps than normal. And chances are, nine times out of ten, your attempts are beyond successful.
The same is true of creating your vision statements. These vision statements are a snapshot in time, a closer look at what goals, dreams, and aspirations you and your company are moving towards. The vision statements should be energizing and inspire passion in those who read them.