13 Apr

Let’s get back to business basics

To stand out and be seen in today’s business world, sometimes we can feel pressured to spend a lot of time, money and energy on marketing, brand awareness and trying to shout louder than all our competitors. We focus a lot of time on trying to paint a picture of being bigger or better than everyone else.  Don’t get me wrong, marketing and brand awareness initiatives are very beneficial and obviously a very important component of any business. However, it is not the only component of a business. Unfortunately, too many businesses fall into this trap and lose sight of this. They lose sight of the basics. When last did you look at the foundations of your business?
So what are the basics or the foundations of a business? Besides confirming what your business stands for, it’s purpose, mission and values, a huge component of your business’s foundations would be it’s people. This is not just the team in your business, but it includes you the business owner/operator as well.
 When last did you buy into a fabulous offer to be terribly disappointed at the end result? This all comes down to the team and business owner of that specific business. They are the ones who need to ensure that the business is delivering on the promises, which have been made in the latest marketing campaign. Sadly, there are too many occasions where there is a gap between the promises businesses make and the outcomes that the customers receive.
So here are a few questions you can ask yourself before you spend hundreds of man-hours promoting your business.
1) Are you and your team trained correctly? This might be a simple question, but actually if you had to answer honestly, would you be ticking off all the boxes and deeming all players 100% competent?
If the answer is no then what would be required to get your team or yourself up to speed? Have you built that timeline into your marketing strategy?
2) Are you and your team aware of the importance of customer service? Does excellent customer service feature as one of your core business values? If everyone is aware of good customer service, are you seeing evidence of this taking place in your business?
It’s all good to have the knowledge, but is there evidence of good service practises, and are they part of the business culture?
3) Lastly and probably the most important question of all. Are you and your team motivated enough to continuously deliver on the business promise? People can be 100% competent to carry out the job, but do they have the will and motivation?
Be the business who sets itself up for success. Be the business who under-promises and over-delivers. If you really want to stand out and be seen above the crowd, invest the time and energy into building the basics. Build a strong team that can deliver. That is how you get noticed, that is what makes you different.
23 Jun

Are you delivering on your promises?

“When the gap between what you say and what you do gets big enough, people stop listening”. Sobering words from Seth Godin.

As a business owner or manager you may have a set of company values somewhere in your working environment. Perhaps they are mounted in a frame on the wall for all to see, or perhaps they are hidden away in a filing cabinet, only to be whipped out and dusted off  at the next yearly strategy session. Irrespective of where your values are, if you don’t practise them everyday, they are meaningless.

Values can be seen as your companies culture building blocks or foundation. Everything that makes up your companies culture is built on your values, or lack of them.

When everything is going according to plan, we are all very quick to stand on our soap boxes and preach on how things need to be done or handled. However, when push comes to shove if what you instinctively say and do are not aligned to the reality of the situation, you will over time lose your team and your customers.

To get a true and realistic understanding of what happens in your organisation when the paw-paw hits the fan, try and recall the three most challenging situations your organisation and team have had to face in the last few years. How did you and your team response to these situations? What was your behaviour like when you are feeling the heat?

Does your initial reaction and behaviour within those situations align themselves to the framed values you have mounted on the wall or are you completely off?

If you are able to answer with honesty that your response was spot on, then you are on the right track. However, if you were off, what do you believe is the action plan within your business to get yourselves back on track? What changes need to be made in your business to close the gap between what you say and what you do and to increase employee and customer retention?

Need some assistance? Contact me. nicole@tikumu.co.nz for professional business coaching.