Business strategy and success might depend on “addition by subtraction.”
Check out this winning numbers formula for a strong business strategy: 316 Strategy Group’s Joe Kenney points out 10 thought processes to give up – yes, discard – for a better business year.
“All too often, we add more things to be successful. More meetings, more events, more technology, more hours worked — just more. Sometimes, though, to become a more successful business owner, you don’t need to add anything extra — you need a ‘business cleanse’ and to give a few things up,” said Kenney, president of 316 Strategy Group, which is recognized nationally for its bottom-line results.
Kenney prefaces his pointers by saying: “Review my list and get started as quickly as possible. You can give up some of these things as soon as today, while others may take longer.”
Give Up the Unhealthy Business Lifestyle
First business strategy, take care of your business’s financial health. Fiscal responsibility is underrated and often overlooked in the early stages of a business. Owners excuse bad spending habits. The bottom line is, the money you frivolously spend on your business today prevents massive future growth. Skip the fancy dinners, expensive hotels, and needless technology. Getting your finances in order is a great investment. Take this small step now, and your ‘future self’ will thank you.
Stop Looking at the Short Term
Successful businesses set long-term goals, and they know these aims are merely the result of short-term habits they must practice every day. Healthy business habits shouldn’t be something you do; they should be something you embody.
Don’t Do Things That Scale
This business strategy took me 20 years in business to understand. I was in a Skype session with a well-known speaker. As I looked over his shoulder, I saw a wall poster, which read, ‘Do Things That Don’t Scale.’ After I contemplated the meaning, it changed our business model forever. No longer were we going to ‘play small.’ We went where the market needed us, expanded into new territories, developed new services and took on massive clients. Finding new clients or bidding on projects that easily fit within what you can handle is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you bid on small projects, you will continue to operate a small organization. Take a few chances on the inconceivable, and you will see a growth of which you once dreamed. Don’t fear failure, because it is a pivot to a new strategy to achieve greatness.
Take a few chances on the inconceibable, and you will see growth of which you once dreamed. ~ Joseph Kenney
Stop Making Excuses
The best owners know they are responsible for their successes, no matter their starting point, weaknesses and past failures. Taking responsibility for what happens next in your business is both scary and exhilarating. Excuses limit and prevent owners from growing personally and professionally. Own your business; no one else will.
Give Up the Fixed Mind-Set and Diversify
Many owners believe their intelligence or talents cannot be stretched or changed altogether. They also believe talent alone leads to success — without hard work. But they’re dead wrong. Successful owners know they must develop a growth mindset and invest time daily to expand their abilities. They ask a lot of questions from other successful owners. They read, acquire knowledge and learn new skills so they can increase their businesses and personal lives. Owners must realize who they are today is not who they must be tomorrow. It’s a choice, and each owner can write his or her own stories. Owners should wake up every day and know they are getting better.
Avoid Unrealistic Expectations
To the outside world, some businesses appear to explode as instant successes. That is hardly the case. Successful owners know that making small continuous changes will be compounded over time and earn results that often impact bottom-line results. That’s why owners should plan ahead, but focus on the day that’s ahead of them and improve every day.
Don’t Strive to be Perfect
We work in a fast-paced society, and businesses must be nimble. Unless you are a brain surgeon, perfection is overrated. Owners who focus on perfection are wasting valuable time because nothing will ever be perfect. More than two years ago, we were contracted to create a website for a perfectionist owner who struggles daily with letting go of slight imperfections. Recently, as we finished his website, he praised the work but wondered if it was outdated already. We had to laugh. It’s important for owners to understand why they are chasing perfection. Is it the fear of failure or even success that is driving them in this direction? This mindset is preventing owners from acting and showing the world what they have to offer. Wait for everything to be right, and a business will lose to its most nimble competitor.
Stop Doing Two Things at Once; It’s Not Helping
Successful owners understand the illusion of multi-tasking. They know that owners are wasting time switching from one business task to the next. I always know the type of person with whom we are dealing when he or she walks into a meeting without displaying an electronic device. I know he or she means business and is truly focused on our meeting! Next time you’re at the gym, look around. Those who bounce from one machine to the next are typically out of shape. Find a guy who has been blasting his biceps for the last 30 minutes, and he looks like a Greek god. Successful owners choose one endeavor at a time.
Give Up Control
This is a crucial but necessary step for owners. It’s also one of the hardest to do. Successful owners know the value of giving up control. I recommend that owners detach from business activities they cannot control. It’s wasted energy that can otherwise be focused on what they can control. If owners seek total control over something, how about their attitudes toward all things business?
Stop Saying Yes
On business strategy consultations around the country, one of the first things I do is look at the owners’ calendars. It’s often full of events that have nothing to do with helping the owner reach his or her goals. Several years ago, I met with a struggling national online retailer who was on the brink of failure. When I asked to see her calendar, I found her days were filled with meetings, networking events, and presentations in her market. More than 70 percent of her work week was spent attending events that had little or no impact on her business. To accomplish their goals, successful owners decline certain invitations. Most invitations are from people who have little interest in seeing an owner become successful. Some owners waste time with those who refuse to take responsibility for their lives, always find excuses and blame others for their situations.
Perhaps there are other ways in which you can eliminate the superfluous to increase your chances for success. Ask Kenney. He has trained his 316 Strategy Group teams to view clients and their day-to-day operations from different vantage points. Kenney and 316 Strategy Group have been recognized for a strong track record of turning around businesses in a short time. With their wide range of experiences, the seasoned and successful business consultants know what to keep and what to discard.
Connect With 316 Strategy Group:
316 Strategy Group is headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, and has operations in Des Moines, Iowa, and Nashville, Tennessee.
Nebraska Phone: 402-881-2811
Iowa and Tennessee: 515-490-0251