The first quarter of the year always seems to have business owners dreaming a little bigger, reaching a little higher, and planning innovative ways to improve their organizations in the ensuing months. And well they should, as the key to business success is constant improvement. Those owners who remain locked in a “the way we’ve always done it” mentality are likely kneecapping both long-term success and market share for their organizations. Now more than ever, innovation drives success. This doesn’t only mean advancements in technology. Perhaps even more importantly, innovation can also refer to the ways we improve connection with our teams, find opportunities for improvement throughout our businesses, and just run a better, more forward thinking, and more profitable organization. It doesn’t require artificial intelligence to move that needle forward either. Just a savvy, proactive and hands-on strategy to business ownership and growth.
Instead of providing ways to outsmart, outhustle or outsell your competition, we are going to discuss strategies to make your business more resilient, more forward thinking and better positioned now and in the future.
The following are the top three high-impact implementations you can make in your business this year.
1. Launch a Leadership Development Program
Leadership development is almost an insurance policy for the long-term success of your business. A well-executed program helps identify and cultivate talent and ensures a strong pipeline of skilled individuals who are capable of great things now and in the future.
Leadership development also provides business owners with a sense of freedom, as they are no longer endlessly bound to the business thanks to the other capable leaders they have developed. Vacations and travel are not just a pipedream because there are adept members of your leadership team who will keep the business afloat while you are away. And when it is time to build your exit strategy, you can look within your company for qualified successors.
There are many leadership development programs available today, the most successful of those first identify your business challenges, then create powerful easy-to-follow plans that engage and motivate your leadership team. This should be a sustained effort that encompasses substantive workshops, clarity on vision and direction, and insights into behaviors and motivators of the team.
StratPro is a powerful leadership development program that is changing the lives of business leaders and their teams. StratPro includes planning, executing, and building alignment within your business. Click here to learn more about this transformative leadership development program from The Alternative Board (TAB).
2. Leverage a Board of Your Peers
Most business owners today never attended business school. In fact, according to a study by Guidant Financial, only about 17% of business owners have a college degree. And a very small fraction of that percentage actually majored in business. This means that most business owners are forced to recreate the wheel when it comes to operating their business. While they may be an expert in their field, knowing how to run and grow a company is another thing entirely. Challenges include operational expertise, hiring and HR, sales strategies and literally every aspect of their company.
In today’s fast-paced and competitive market, owners simply don’t have the luxury of building their business and operational expertise over time. They need strategies and solutions for challenges in real time.
More and more, business owners are turning to mastermind groups or peer advisory boards for the insight and expertise they need to run a stronger organization and be a better business leader.
Peer advisory boards are a confidential group of business owners who support each other in their roads to success. Board members listen to each other’s challenges and ask clarifying questions. Based on this information, they offer solutions that are often grounded in their own experience, then hold each other accountable for their ensuing commitments.
And the results are quantifiably powerful. The Small Business Administration recently reported that business owners with an advisory board grew their companies by 44% over a four-year study, while those without only increased by 25%.
Could your business benefit from a mastermind group and the expertise of other business owners? Click here to find out more about the transformative power of a TAB peer advisory board.
3. Commit to Running a Better Business
Perhaps the most potent driver of business success is an owner’s desire to be better and do better. A mindset of continuous improvement is a key trait in some of the most innovative and successful business leaders today. Think Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Sheryl Sandberg, and Tim Cook. Every one of those business titans consistently and purposely looks back to improve past mistakes and then looks forward to the opportunities that await their organizations.
As you move forward on your business ownership journey this year – and every year hereafter – your willingness and ability to be better and do better will forever be your key strategy for success.
Want to see how your team compares to those in other top-performing businesses? Take our free five-minute diagnostic. Once completed, you will be emailed a short but comprehensive report that compares your responses to top-performing businesses, along with some tips on how to improve your score. Click here to take the diagnostic.