I launched Succession Communications just two months ago and officially became an entrepreneur. I’m learning something every day about what it takes to run a business successfully and to accomplish my goal of delivering the best possible service to my clients.
In my experience, small and mid-sized companies raise a number of questions about enhancing their business: How do we attract new clients? How do we prove our value to our clients to retain them? What strategic investments are necessary to deliver products and services that the market demands?
For months, I’ve been studying these and other issues to help grow my own business and to counsel small and mid-sized companies on effective use of communications to achieve their growth goals.
A recent feature that inspired me was FORTUNE’s cover story on Business Person of the Year, Nike CEO Mark Parker, with sidebars dedicated to the magazine’s top 20 people in business. I distilled some of the best practices from this feature on how to run a successful enterprise.
- Ask questions. Empower your team to find the answers and act on them.
- Embody your mission. Know your mission and ensure every major decision you make advances it.
- Spend money on marketing*. “Consistently come up with new ideas, then market full-out.”
- Embrace diversity. Meet and connect with creative, artistic, slightly eccentric people to share points of view and create great work.
- Prove you can do more… Chinese smartphone company Xiaomi has invested in device companies and diversified to technologies like air purifiers, GoPro-like cameras and headphones.
- …But you can’t win them all. Ross Stores CEO Barbara Rentler adopted the strategy to “choose markets she can win and fill those in with Ross Stores, rather than dot the U.S. map with stores.”
- Disrupt. Chipotle is credited for its “natural” fast food restaurants, putting the likes of McDonald’s on their toes.
While most of the readers of this blog are likely more resource-constrained than those profiled on this list, you can adapt a number of these best practices to fit the needs of your own business. Ideally, this will help you move the needle in 2016, taking you one step closer to becoming “business person of the year”.
Have a healthy and prosperous New Year!
*This was not simply a self-serving suggestion, I assure you!