Earn More, Work Less, Live Life!
Good news! Now is the best time you’ll ever have to take a hard look at how your company does business. Why wait? When you start a company, you’re happy getting some work and making a little money. Then it grows into the company it is today by doing what it does relatively well for the few customers it has acquired. As an expert on entrepreneurial companies, I can tell you this is not the right way to design and build a great company that maximizes its’ potential market share, resources, people, and bottom-line profits.
When studying market-leading companies, you’ll find they have eight traits that make them stand out and stay at the top of their field. Make a list of top companies who are leaders in their marketplace. Your list might include: Apple, Caterpillar, Wal-Mart, Microsoft, McDonalds, Ritz Carlton, BMW, FedEx, Forbes, Star-Bucks, or Google. What sets them apart from the rest of their competitors and allows them to continually maintain market share, growth, and profitability?
Owning a company that offers the same basic services or products as most of your direct competitors will keep you busy during good economic times. But as the economy struggles or shrinks, business becomes more difficult, harder to grow, and make a profit. Especially when you offer almost exactly the same thing as most every other company you compete against. In order for your company to become the leader in your marketplace, you have to offer something unique or different than your competitors do. You also have to be passionate about your vision and where your company to go. You need organized systems and a professional management team that consistently delivers the same results for your customers every time. And you must be clearly focused on hitting your targets, goals and financial numbers. With these characteristics, your company will make an above average profit margin and have extra funds leftover to invest in wealth building opportunities.
IS YOUR COMPANY GREAT?
Take this True / False Test to determine if your company has the eight traits of great companies.
1. Our company has a written passionate vision that is prominently displayed for all of our customers and employees to see. Every manager and employee knows exactly what the company stands for, its’ values, and where it’s going.
2. Our company has written targets and goals for the overall operations, each department, and every project. These goals are tracked every month so adjustments can be made quickly.
3. Our company has a structured organizational chart clearly describing the accountabilities and responsibilities for each position in the company. Every employee knows exactly what they’re responsible to do and is fully accountable to make it happen.
4. Our company owners and managers are focused on achieving the numbers required for the company to hit its’ financial targets and goals. Our company makes a very large profit compared to the industry average and our competitors.
5. Our company has a unique or different delivery system, product, or service that attracts customers who will pay more to buy from our company than our competitors.
6. Our company has an ongoing, systemized, and pro-active sales and marketing program to find, contact, attract, retain, and service our customers. Our sales and marketing system has allowed our company to grow at least fifteen to twenty percent, or more per year.
7. Our company has written operational systems and procedures for all employees to follow that insure all workflow is completed in a similar standardized manner by all employees without exception.
8. Our company’s bottom-line delivers significant excess profits that allow us to seek investments and find opportunities to grow and build our equity and wealth.
Did you score more than four?
Great companies have at least seven of the eight traits. Companies that are less than great tend to only possess four traits or less. As entrepreneurs grow from one employee to five or twenty, they are often too busy to stop and write down their vision, goals, organizational chart, job descriptions, employee accountabilities, operational systems, or sales and marketing implementation plans. They get too busy doing everything themselves and don’t have enough time to focus on their numbers or seeking investments. And because their service, product, or delivery system originally was entirely dependent on themselves to produce the work, they never developed a unique or differentiating factor that set them apart from their competition.
Over time, most average companies eventually outgrow the entrepreneur’s ability to hold it all together without written goals, plans, and systems in place. And they really don’t provide something different than their competition does except their personal attention to detail, which is not enough as their company grows.
Next week will begin reviewing those 8 traits that makes a company great.