An Essential Prerequisite to Success is Clarity
A Business Owner Needs to Not Only Have a Clear Understanding of Where They Want Their Business to Be Tomorrow and Beyond, but Also Where Their Business Is Today.
This past spring, I decided to channel my inner Clark W. Griswold and took the family on an old-fashioned road trip. Over the course of two amazing weeks we drove to the Pacific Ocean and back, visiting some of the amazing national parks this country has to offer. We even stopped to say “Hi” to Mickey. What’s great about the decade we live in today, is you no longer need a huge road atlas to help you navigate. There’s now an app for that! Whether we decided to adjust the itinerary, or stick to the original plan for the day, all I had to do was pull out my trusty iPhone and it showed me the quickest way to get wherever I wanted to go. This also made it much easier to deal with the inconvenient “potty breaks” that popped up way too often!
Something a lot of people forget about when it comes to using a GPS application, is that it requires two inputs...the destination AND the starting point. Most of the time we’re solely focused on the destination. When taking any journey in life, be it personal or professional, it’s critical to not only understand where it is you want to go or what it is you want to accomplish, but to also have a very clear understanding of where you are today. Only then can you properly identify the obstacles and opportunities that lay before you on that journey. Building a successful business is no different.
To create a roadmap for success, I help the business owner clarify where their business is today and where it’s going. To do this, the business itself, the customer and the competition all require definition. Among other things, goals, actions and critical constraints need to be identified. Finally, benchmarks for measuring progress and unique selling propositions must be established. All of these things are components that must be clarified in order to develop a plan. For example, ask yourself these two questions:
What business are you really in? Most businesses define themselves by the product or service they offer. When asked, you get responses such as, “We’re in the insurance business,” or “We provide dental services.” Responses such as these are uninspiring and too often fail to connect with the potential customer. Take Amazon for example. They are very clear about who they are and the business they are in. This clarity not only acts as their guiding force in making billion-dollar business decisions (Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods), but also attracts the loyal customer following that has made them the iconic brand they are today. Be sure to define your business in terms of the effect or impact it has on the people it’s there to serve, both internally and externally.
What’s holding you back? In every journey or process, there are a series of steps between where you are today and the result you desire tomorrow. Invariably, within these steps is the constraint that determines the speed at which you achieve this goal. Fully 80% of the constraints holding us back are actually inside ourselves. Only 20% are on the outside. If you want to double your sales, why aren’t you selling twice as much now? If you want to improve the customer experience, why aren’t you doing it already? Often, forcing yourself to develop the answers to these types of questions will enable you to see the critical constraint that is holding you back.
Answering questions like these are a great first step. Although it may seem a little overwhelming, I can help. Taking the time to clearly define your starting point is often overlooked, but critical to ensuring a successful journey. As a Certified Business Coach, I can help you find the clarity that’s essential to your success. Let’s connect!
“It’s a lack of clarity that creates chaos and frustration. Those emotions are poison to any living goal.” - Steve Maraboli