“If you do not know where you’re going, how do you want to know you’ve arrived?” It’s an old saying that’s still true in business. Knowing precisely what your business exists to accomplish is named business focus. If your business lacks clear focus you diminish your possibility of success. Not enough focus creates many problems. In particular, it helps it be virtually impossible for the employees to execute well.
Importance of Focus
Without clear focus you can’t clearly determine your target market. Which means you can’t have clear, precise performance objectives. Not enough such objectives leads to unclear and fuzzy performance standards. That leads to sloppy systems. On and about it goes. You scratch your mind and worry why your staff seem struggling to “put their best foot forward “.
What Business Are You In?
Only you can answer that. But if you’re not sure, how on earth can you expect your staff to learn? “But Leon,” you could be saying, “we know we’re retailers… have already been retailers for 65 years since granddad opened the very first store after World War II. We sell shoes in eight stores in three cities. And we’re great at it.”
Try answering these questions. Who can you sell to? What kind of shoes? In what budget range? Who’s your “ideal” customer? What’re your most profitable lines? That are your major competitors? Are you currently a market leader nationally, regionally or locally? Who else, beyond shoe retailers, competes for the same consumer dollar as you do? What distinguishes your business from those of your competitors in the eyes of your prospects and clients?
Connection With Employees
You see, really successful businesses can answer each one of these questions precisely. Once we see their staff in action we’re impressed. We wish we had staff like them. SME News UK What we don’t realize is that the level of proficiency doesn’t start with outstanding training and development. It doesn’t start with excellent performance standards and simple, effective systems. It starts with clear business focus.
What Symptoms Tell Us
When training is poor, standards are fuzzy and systems are sloppy we claim that management has a problem. Exactly the same applies in reverse. Each time a company functions well and customer support is outstanding we ought to give management much of the credit. Employees may provide outstanding service and display excellent technical competence. They deserve credit for that. But it’s a clear sighted management that produces the surroundings that permits good quality staff performance.
Focus And Consequences
The basic point I’m trying to create is that while poor employee performance is just a major issue, it’s typically a consequence of something else. Unless we fix the “something else”, the performance problem will continue. And I’m suggesting that the “something else” is frequently not enough clear business focus.
Where To Look First
Before you rush off to enhance employee performance, expand your product line, streamline your systems or review your business plan, consider your business focus. Answer the question “What business are we in?” It will help to answer the questions under “Who Says?” too.
Narrow Your Focus
You can’t be things to any or all people. A slender focus beats a broad focus nearly every time. Since the old saying goes, “Do only those what to that you bring a unique perspective. Buy anything else across the corner.” It’s in an easier way to produce and manage a business with a narrow focus then it is to juggle the competing demands of a broad focus. A broad focus stretches and thins your resources. A slender focus is a lot better to manage. It also lets you position your business clearly in the minds of staff, customers and prospects. That is a huge business advantage.
Managing a small-medium business is demanding. I know. I’ve run this type of business for over 30 years. Managing employee performance is just a major management responsibility. It’s much easier with a magnificent business focus.