From experience, 99% of all the misery we have in our business is our own damned fault, and much of it comes from willful neglect – NOT unforeseen problems we had zero control over. If you’ve got the stomach for it, here’s a Top 10 list of things you have to embrace if you’re going to have any hope of success.
1. Nobody needs you. Right now, in every business category, there are more than enough people selling what you sell. Like it or not, you are “just another” choice unless you design your business and services to deliver something profoundly different and valuable to the marketplace that people cannot live without.
2. Value is determined by the BUYER, not you the SELLER. Stop selling on what YOU value and start selling on what your customers value.
3. Your products, services, and business need to be SOLD. You can argue that everyone should spend more on IT, security, backups, etc., but people buy what they are actually SOLD on and where they see value for money, not what they should value.
4. If you build a commodity service, you’ll get commodity pricing. You’ll also have a tough time unseating an incumbent provider, which means you’ll be fighting over the marketplace “crumbs” with the other buzzards who have also designed another “me too” service offering and business.
5. Excellence and competence are expected. Being great at what you do is a basic, essential requirement of doing business. You SHOULD deliver value. You SHOULD do the right thing. That doesn’t entitle you to all the business to be had.
6. Excuses are still excuses, even if valid. Waiting for the right time, more money, permission, approval, confidence, etc., accomplishes NOTHING. The reason for non-implementation of anything produces the same zero results whether that reason is a valid one or total BS.
7. Every failure in your business is YOUR fault. Not your employees’, not your vendors’, not your competition’s, not the economy’s and who’s in office. YOURS.
8. You get what you tolerate. Poor performance, rude customers, bad employees, low to no profits, nonexistent growth, bad vendors, etc., etc., etc.
9. Busy and productive are NOT the same thing. There are a lot of busy broke people. There’s no award for business, no extra points.
10. Your #1 job as a CEO is to grow the company profitably. Everything else should support that goal. Hiring, managing, service delivery, customer support, operational excellence, financial controls. NONE of this matters UNTIL you get a customer to be willing to write you a check.
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