“If that you don’t know where you’re going, how are you going to know you’ve arrived?” It’s a classic saying that’s still true in business. Knowing precisely what your business exists to accomplish is called business focus. If your business lacks clear focus you diminish your chance of success. Not enough focus creates many problems. Specifically, it causes it to 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 contributes to unclear and fuzzy performance standards. That contributes to sloppy systems. On and on it goes. You scratch your mind and worry why your staff seem struggling to “put their utmost foot forward “.
What Business Are You In?
Only you are able to answer that. But if you’re not sure, how on the planet can you expect your staff to know? “But Leon,” you could be saying, “we all know we’re retailers… Small Medium Business Help UK have been retailers for 65 years since granddad opened the initial store after World War II. We sell shoes in eight stores in three cities. And we’re good at it.”
Try answering these questions. Who can you sell to? What sort of shoes? In what budget range? Who’s your “ideal” customer? What’re your most profitable lines? That are your major competitors? Have you been a market leader nationally, regionally or locally? Who else, outside shoe retailers, competes for exactly the same consumer dollar as you do? What distinguishes your business from those of one’s competitors in the eyes of one’s prospects and clients?
Connection With Employees
You see, really successful businesses can answer all these questions precisely. When we see their staff in action we’re impressed. We wish we’d staff like them. What we don’t realize is that the degree 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 service is outstanding we must 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 environmental surroundings that allows good quality staff performance.
Focus And Consequences
The essential point I’m trying to create is that while poor employee performance is really a major issue, it’s more often than not a consequence of something else. Unless we fix the “another thing”, the performance problem will continue. And I’m suggesting that the “another thing” is often insufficient clear business focus.
Where To Look First
When you rush off to improve 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 answer the questions under “Who Says?” too.
Narrow Your Focus
You can’t be everything to any or all people. A slender focus beats a broad focus nearly every time. As the old saying goes, “Do only those things to that you simply bring an original perspective. Buy everything else across the corner.” It’s in an easier way to develop and manage a business with a slender focus then it’s to juggle the competing demands of a broad focus. A broad focus stretches and thins your resources. A slender focus is much easier to manage. It also lets you position your business clearly in the minds of staff, customers and prospects. That’s a huge business advantage.
Managing a small-medium business is demanding. I know. I’ve run such a business for over 30 years. Managing employee performance is really a major management responsibility. It’s much easier with a superior business focus.