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How to win in business

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How do you win in business?

You have to back yourself in all your endeavours and of course in business. People like Michael Gerber, who wrote just about the best-selling business book of all time in The E-Myth Revisited and Jack Welch, regarded as the greatest CEO of the 20th century qualify as some of the best business minds of all time.

What’s the most important thing to do?

Building a successful business starts with focus. You have to be like Ian Thorpe, our great Aussie swimmer and Jonny Wilkinson, who ‘stole’ the Rugby World Cup from Australia in 2003. His match-winning goal was a product of his focus and his drive to be the best.

Wilkinson kicks goals every day – even Christmas Day – because he knows that this is his competitive advantage. To be successful, he needs to kick goals under pressure, in the mud, in powerful winds and even when he is feeling crook from being belted by 120-kilogram opponents. And he has to do so even if he is being mentally challenged.

Great business happens under similar stress and you have to be focused and well-trained to kick business goals.

Where do I find inspiration?

Look at the playing fields of the world. There are park players everywhere, many enjoy themselves playing at a chosen level. However, there are those who are bitter that they never rose to the heady heights they either wanted or should have risen to in their life.

Now look around your local shopping centres and see the park players and the ones who are in the first-grade. While luck can play its role in some of the success here’s an observation made famous by the golfer Gary Player, who said: “The more I practised, the luckier I got.”

Is it good to have a mentor?

Some of the most unlikely successful business men and women credit great mentors and securing a business coach as lying at the heart of why they built unbelievably great businesses.

While business coaches come with different quality tags, the point is that we all need experts to help us lift our games. Better coaches bring better results, but they also need better players.

Struggling teams such as the NRL’s South Sydney Rabbitohs have a ‘cattle’ problem – they haven’t at the moment got mature enough and professional enough players to win a competition. But it could happen.

Players can be more focused, more committed and they can lift their game and maybe a couple of new players could push them over the winning edge. It could even be a coaching issue, though history has shown that the current coach has the runs on the board – to mix sporting metaphors.

What’s the real clue to success?

The unchallengeable message with all businesses is that you must have a plan to build your business. You must have revenue and profit targets monitored regularly.

You have to have a dynamic and flexible marketing plan to make your profit plans happen. You have to research and know your market better than your rivals and then use your edge to market better than your rivals.

Once you have this market edge and your winning customers, you have to seek customer feedback to ensure you become the best at customer service.

These two areas – marketing and customer service – are critical to success, but they must rest on a sound financial foundation. Many successful business owners use experts to make these crucial requirements to winning operations happen.

Are systems important?

Overriding all of this, the business owner must attack all business frustrations by writing down systems to beat mistakes, inefficiencies and good old stuff ups.

It creates a manual of how you do things and it is used by your staff to make sure they know what you want and they then can make sure it turns up.

You must employ the best you can and you have to encourage their skills to make them better ‘players.’

Once this in place you are set to be a coach to your team. Give a vision or a goal and show them that you are working every day to better yourself and therefore your team to take the competition, the flag, the shield or the fantastic profit.

But wait, there’s more.

How can I stay motivated?

Once you have fixed your business, fix yourself, analyse your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This is the big message that makes a massive difference – build up your strengths, exploit your opportunities, eliminate your threats and strengthen your weaknesses.

You are the biggest threat to your success.

Any tips?

•    Keep focused on the goals you want to achieve, it will help you perform under pressure
•    A good business coach or mentor can not only help improve business, they can help get you the best staff
•    Plan. If you don’t know where you’re going, how are you going to get there?
•    Systems are crucial to ensuring stuff-ups don’t happen – or only happen once
•    Examine your own strengths and weaknesses, and work on them.

Work on your business, not in it. To learn how, book a complimentary business assessment today with a Switzer Business Coach.

Important information: This content has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular individual. It does not constitute formal advice. For this reason, any individual should, before acting, consider the appropriateness of the information, having regard to the individual’s objectives, financial situation and needs and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.

Published on: Monday, January 11, 2010

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