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Small Business: The quest for growth and success

Article written by Andrew Nicholenas (ERA Facilities Management Solutions)

In an extremely tough business world, it takes more than good fortune or luck to succeed as a small business entrepreneur today. If you find yourself in a position that you are decided and excited about launching a new small business, please take a few moments to read through these few paragraphs. It may well bring you down to earth in some ways but could also be a life saver in the long run.

Let me start by defining what Success is for the small business owner.

We all have dreams of Success and Growth for our businesses and often we
tend to ignore the pitfall whilst dreaming these wonderful dreams. My advice to the reader is to include the possible pitfall in the dreams to make your dreams a bit more tangible and not just cloud 9.

The success of a small business should include the following elements:

  • Profitability – No business is sustainable without being profitable and this is a main ingredient to your future success.
  • Integrity and Honesty – It is our duty as citizens of the world to ensure that we conduct our business in an honest way. Integrity is not negotiable if you plan to be a successful business owner.
  • Community – The world expects of its businesses to contribute to their communities, and it is not only an expectation but should form part of every business owner’s objective. This will keep the business environment healthy and the community supportive.
  • Quality of Life – Ensure that every aspect and area of business that you are engaged in is done in a way that will positively add to the Quality of Life of all affected. This is key to leaving a heart-warming footprint with your business.
  • Team – Always remember that as a business, we need to work as a
    team. One person will not be able to achieve the goals of the business. It only gets done as a team.

Now that you have looked at the definition of success, your focus should move to your Strategic Plan for your business. Any business without a strategy is like a ship without a rudder. Your business strategy is your master plan to achieve the business goals and is critically important to your
success.

  • Define your business goals for next year, 3 years and 5 years. Envision where you would like to take the business over time.
  • Involve your team in setting the objectives and to actively participate in the drafting of your Strategic Plan.


When drafting the Strategic Plan you need to be sure that the objectives that you set are:

SMART:

  • Specific– Objectives need to be focused and specific. All those tasked to achieve objectives need to know exactly what is expected.
  • Measurable– Objective need to be measurable.
  • Attainable – Objectives can be stretched but needs to be attainable to remain of value.
  • Relevant – Not only should objectives be relevant, but these also need to be realistic objectives. Do not set the bar too high as this will have a negative effect.
  • Time-oriented – Objectives need to be measured over specific time periods. This will also enable you and your team to ensure that you measure achievements at specific intervals.

It is extremely important to ensure that you and your team stay abreast of the business arena that you are participating within. Ensure that you and the team keep the focus on this important aspect.

Now that your Strategic Plan is defined, you and the team need to work towards the objectives and make it a reality.

Ensure that every participant is given specific responsibilities and tasks to work towards. Make use of your entire team and be sure to manage the process inclusively, engaging all those valuable human assets to the business.

Measure your progress. It is critical that you track the performance of the team against the set objectives. Be flexible during this phase as some of the original objectives may need to change.

Stay focused on your Mission. It is so easy to lose focus at times and it will be important for you as the leader to ensure that the team remains driven by the original Mission that you set out for the company. Keep your team motivated throughout the process. Acknowledge their achievements and efforts.

Success:

  • For some the measure of success in the business is the profitability, the cash flow, or
  • The position of the company within the industry that you compete in, or
  • The achievements of the company, or
  • Customer satisfaction and
  • Security of the employees and company. These are all good indicators for you and there are many more, however it is important that you define success for your company to work towards.

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