One of the many things successful business owners have in common is their ability to envision what their success will look like tomorrow. For another, they understand the importance of motivating yourself and pushing hard to take your business to the next level.
According to a Billionaire Dallas Maverick’s owner, Mark Cuban, “There are no shortcuts in business. In order to be successful there are some things that you must know.” In an article dated August 2014, he goes on to say: “Lots of people come up with ways of doing things that they think are great/amazing…Selling is never about convincing. It is always about helping…What they fail to ask is whether it will make anyone else’s life better or easier. The simple test of imagineering a process or situation is simple. Is this the path of (least) resistance to a better place for the user? Yes, or No.”
Identifying that path takes some strategizing– it requires constant monitoring and flexibility to respond to change. Motivating yourself and pushing your business to the next level takes commitment and hard work.
Which path is best for you depends on many factors – the simple answer is: whichever one will get you where you want to be in the least amount of time and provides you the best results.
How to push your business to the next level:
1. Push boundaries & continuous goal-setting
In a recent conference I spoke to a successful entrepreneur Sam Miranda, CEO of BinaryRobot365, a binary auto trading firm, he said, “My company operates in one of the toughest digital niches, but strictly defining KPIs and targets gets the best out of my staff. If it’s paid media, I set a budget and the necessary ROI. If its sales, I set call targets, and a lead to sale percentage requirement. And, as crude as it sounds, I want staff that are motivated by money and bettering the financial performance of the company.”
Short-term goals are what matter most when it comes to productivity. Knowing where you’re going and how to get there is the foundation of good time management—small steps will get you there quicker as you will encounter less resistance with each success.
While it’s important to envision the end-result, break down your long-term goals into more manageable ones—monthly, weekly, daily. Establishing daily goals helps you set a target and enables you to measure your progress. In addition, goals add clarity, focus and can help you spot opportunities that will allow you to push the boundaries of your comfort zone to take calculated risks.
2. Find your peak performance time
Identifying your productivity zone is also important—by understanding your peak performance time, you can help yourself reduce the amount of time it takes you to complete tasks and boost your productivity. Additionally, by minimizing interruptions and distractions during this time, you will remain focused and on task.
Your Peak Performance time may be during early morning, when your mind is fresh and everything is quiet. Or maybe, you prefer to jump into your work at midday when your drive is full-throttle. You may be a night owl, preferring to leave the most essential work for the end of the day, after your thoughts and ideas have had time to come into focus.
Let’s take a look at Tom Ford, successful fashion designer and Hollywood film producer. Ford has a keen eye and knows how to deliver what the customer wants.
The transformation from architecture student to fashion designer literally happened overnight according to Ford: “I just woke up one morning and thought, ‘What am I doing?’ Architecture was just way too … serious.
I mean, every architectural project I ever did, I worked a dress into it somehow. So I realized that fashion was the right balance between art and commerce, and that was it.” Tom Ford had a vision and passion – he was determined and focused, two major factors needed to stay motivated to push your business to the next level.
Retaining desirable clients is paramount for a business’ continuing success. As the Creative Director for Gucci, Ford’s stealthy direction successfully revamped the Gucci brand and grew the business to $3B. He realized his talents and resigned in 2005 to start his own brand.
Tom Ford realized he had a steady clientele and was giving them what they wanted. His foray into filmmaking and directing also garnered him a Golden Globe Award for Best Director in 2016 due to his vision, focus and determination.
Being customer-centric means providing your clients with an extraordinary product and top-shelf customer service, thereby encouraging repeat business. This means addressing complaints and issues quickly, asking for and acting on feedback, and being reliably accessible and accountable.
4. Plan your day & track your time
There’s an old saying: Every minute spent in planning saves 10 minutes in execution.
Getting into the habit of making a list, planning your day and staying on track is vital to your business’ success. Prioritizing the list will help clarify your thinking and your goals and force you to think on a higher level.
Additionally, tracking your time, all of it, will help increase productivity in two ways—it keeps you focused on task and provides you a clear picture of exactly where your time is being spent over the long term. The valuable insights this provides are priceless: how you actually spend your time, how you want to spend it, and what changes you need to think about in order to shift the balance.
Remember to schedule your most important tasks for when you are most productive. The more effective you become at completing the daily tasks, the greater the potential for pushing your business to the next level.
5. Delegate, delegate, delegate
Learning to delegate effectually can mean the difference between burning out or achieving new heights. Don’t be afraid to assign the tasks that don’t necessarily need to be done by you (or want to do) to someone else. Identify what they are, delegate, train and move on.
It may take you a little time to find and develop the right employees –a team that you can trust and respect. Once you do, and can delegate efficiently, your productivity will take off. You will gain the time you need to devote to what you do best – take your business to the next level.
6. Stay current with technology, and learn continuously
No matter how successful you may be, there is always more to be learned and applied for even greater success. There are a number of ways you can advance your knowledge: through reading, self-paced programs, online training, mentoring, and collaborative opportunities.
Learning how to apply new and changing technology is a type of learning that can save you time, money and resources, and help you make better decisions.
7. Don’t forget about workplace environment
One of the areas businesses tend to overlook is the workplace culture, specifically, the actual environment. Regardless of whether you have an office in the city center or set up your office in the home, it got to be designed in a way that you and your employees should feel good about coming to work. Studies show that if a work environment is bright, and the décor is pleasing to the eye, employees are more likely to perform better.
Allow plenty of natural light into the work spaces and furnishings should be comfortable and attractive. Employees coming in to worn out desks and torn up chairs aren’t likely to be in a good mood and productivity declines. No matter how great the actual workplace culture may be, old, dated, unattractive furnishing can have an impact on morale.
Reimagining work stations doesn’t have to be costly. By keeping thing light and airy, your employees will feel energized and ready to take on the day, helping you push your business to the next level.
This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.