We’re all in business to be successful. No one walks through life with the ambition to fail. A successful business has a business plan, strategy, aims, goals and targets. It is underpinned by values and has a culture that puts the customer first. This is all easy to say but in reality can be difficult to put into practice.
Having been a CEO now for 17 years this is what I have learnt along the way. I hope it’s helpful or if nothing else gets you thinking….
Never take anything for granted
It is too easy to sit back and admire what you have achieved, but by doing this you risk the chance of others overtaking you and stealing your position. You stay at number one by consistently striving forwards, using what you’ve learnt as your basis for the next big thing. To borrow a phrase – a rolling stone gathers no moss!
Winning awards is nice
Being recognised across the industry for the work you do is great feeling, but don’t be fooled by a flashy dinner and a smart logo – unless that award win resonates with your customers and clients, it becomes a vanity exercise. In today’s world, the consumer wants to know the company they chose values them as individuals and sees their business as essential. To win an award for your customer service is priceless.
Plan for the unexpected
We all thought Brexit wouldn’t happen, but it has and we now have to deal with the conditions it will bring. We have a robust plan in place where we can protect our core business by adapting our business model as needed. An element of flexibility in a business is essential during times of uncertainty.
It’s good to talk…
and listen . Being Irish I love nothing better than a good talking session – over a pint, in the canteen or just by walking around the building. You and your company are nothing without the people you have working for you. Their passion, dedication and loyalty will ensure your success. But remember to listen to them, act on their suggestions, pay well and treat fairly. Put yourself in their shoes, empathise and care. Karma is a funny thing, and if you want to be a success, lead by example and act accordingly.
Know when to quit and get the grit
If something is not working, there is no shame in walking away. Running a business means you are in it for the long-haul and there are times when you will need to pick your battles. Keep to your strategy, keep it simple and keep going. I watched a TED talk recently on why certain people succeed and others don’t. It has nothing to do with privilege or opportunity, but rather grit. If you have that quality and are surrounded by people who do, success will come.