“If you don’t know where you’re going, how do you want to know you’ve arrived?” It’s a classic saying that’s still true in business. Knowing precisely what your company exists to attain is called business focus. If your company lacks clear focus you diminish your chance of success. Lack of focus creates many problems. In particular, it causes it to be virtually impossible for the employees to perform 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. Lack of such objectives contributes to unclear and fuzzy performance standards. That contributes to sloppy systems. On and about it goes. You scratch your head and worry why your staff seem struggling to “put their utmost foot forward “.
What Business Are You In?
Only you can answer that. But if you’re uncertain, how on earth can you anticipate your staff to know? “But Leon,” you may be saying, “we all know we’re retailers… have now 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 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 are 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 exact same consumer dollar as you do? What distinguishes your company 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 doing his thing we’re impressed. We wish we had staff like them. Small Medium Business UK What we don’t realize is that the level of proficiency doesn’t focus on outstanding training and development. It doesn’t focus on 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 includes a problem. Exactly the same applies in reverse. When a company functions well and customer support is outstanding we ought to give management a lot of the credit. Employees may provide outstanding service and display excellent technical competence. They deserve credit for that. But it is a clear sighted management that produces the surroundings that enables top quality staff performance.
Focus And Consequences
The fundamental point I’m trying to make is that while poor employee performance is just a major issue, it’s almost always 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 not enough clear business focus.
Where To Look First
When you rush off to enhance employee performance, expand your product line, streamline your systems or review your company plan, consider your company focus. Answer the question “What business are we in?” It will assist you to answer the questions under “Who Says?” too.
Narrow Your Focus
You can’t be all things to all or any people. A thin focus beats a broad focus nearly every time. Whilst the old saying goes, “Do only those things to which you bring a distinctive perspective. Buy everything else round the corner.” It’s far easier to develop and manage a business with a narrow focus then it’s to juggle the competing demands of a broad focus. A wide focus stretches and thins your resources. A thin focus is significantly better to manage. In addition, it enables you to position your company clearly in the minds of staff, customers and prospects. That is clearly 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 just a major management responsibility. It’s a lot easier with a superior business focus.