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5 Business Success Strategies You May Not Have Considered


5 Business Success Strategies You May Not Have Considered

You don’t know what you don’t know, and what you don’t know can hurt you.

Without even realizing it, you may be ignoring some great opportunities and committing many common small business mistakes.

I’ve seen these mistakes countless times, and the most damaging part of them is that businesses don’t even realize that they’re committing them.

Let’s run down what you can do to generate greater success.

1) Focus on Win-Win Instead of Lose-Lose

People frequently go out of their way to avoid losing something instead of trying to gain something. If you focus on what’s not working or what could go wrong, you’ll never get where you want to go.

Instead, focus on a few core concepts that drive success. Don’t be afraid to drop or ignore the losers. It has been proven numerous times that most people avoid risk and miss opportunities. As Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

One of my management principles has always been, “If you aren’t making mistakes, you aren’t trying hard enough.”

2) Have A Consistent Process For Making Decisions

When you’re making a decision, value both analytics and intuition. Larger businesses often ignore instincts and focus on data until it’s too late. Just look at large retailers ignoring the internet, television networks ignoring cable, and even taxi companies ignoring Uber. In particular, most data models are less effective when times change or there is little history.

Intuition is generally fast, experienced-based, and actually considers many factors that analysis often misses. However, companies get trapped thinking “we have always done it that way” and ignore new trends and ideas.

Make sure you’re taking into account both the available data and your intuition.

3) Make Sure Your Biases Are Understood In Your Decisions

Everyone is biased, and one of the bigger small business mistakes you can make is failing to realize this fact. The greatest detractor from effective management can be intentional, random, hidden, or even unknown bias.

For example, we and our customers frequently evaluate marketing, interview, or sales presentations in less than 20 seconds. Instead of objectively evaluating results, you look for signs to confirm what you already believe. That’s bias.

One of the variables we frequently worry about is the appropriateness of emotions like passion, confrontation, yelling, crying, etc. in interactions. For example, we frequently underestimate the power of passion and even hugging in being persuasive.

One way to test bias is to develop, review, and evaluate alternative approaches. Seek outside opinions, ask your team, look at results in a few different ways. The goal here is to get an accurate look at something that is as free from bias as humanly possible.

4) Be Transparent

Organizations need to welcome measurement and feedback. Start by observing, understanding, sharing financials, operations report, and sales reports. Not sharing information with staff simply limits their ability to be effective.

Adopt a management style of “walking around” and asking simply, “How am I doing? Is there anything you need? Thank you.” It’s priceless.

I am working with a teaching group who was afraid of measuring student progress until I communicated that the effort was designed to improve their effectiveness rather than provide incomplete student evaluations.

In measuring efforts, it is also critical to consider the role of variables like change, the environment, culture, and motivation in affecting results.

5) Embrace Collaboration

While committees have become a bad word, collaboration should not be. Surgery teams, emergency services, and tragedy responses have all proven that solutions require diverse, expert, and coordinated resources.

In particular, most efforts today require different resources. For example, many websites fail because the sites require content, technical skills, and creativity. Many projects only have one and fail to collaborate.

Collaboration also stimulates creativity. It can provide valid challenges to the status quo, new approaches and most important alternative solutions.

Now that you know some common small business opportunities, take a look at your own business. Are you doing any of these things without even realizing it? Well, now you know and can take steps to changing it.  

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