in-Cumbria's Business Doctor Peter Fleming has advice for businesses looking to be more successful.

I have worked with and supported many Cumbrian business owners, from new start-ups to well establish successful businesses. However not every business engagement has become an outstanding success or achieved the growth expectations we set out at the start. As you may well have experienced, when you introduce change there is often a lot of issues arise due to growing pains. Therefore it is about continually learning from every experience and adapting your approach with your new knowledge and then continually engaging and following up with your employees, customers and suppliers. What stands out for me though, at least 20% of the companies I have worked alongside have achieved way beyond theirs and my own expectations and there is a few fundamental behaviours that I believe drive these fantastic results.

1. Goal setting - It is one thing visualising your goal, however you will be more successful if you analyse and then break down the overall objective into bite sized chunks over a realistic time frame. *research suggests 43% of purely visual goals can be achieved, however by going one step further and writing down your goals, creating an action plan and even giving your project a name, you will increase your success rate to well over 50%. I have met many business owners though who are too busy, they don’t have time to stop and always carry everything around in their head and therefore will be only 43% successful!

“The palest ink is better than the best memory” Chinese proverb

2. Communicating – being a business owner can be a lonely place! So share your plans and actions with a trusted friend, partner or business associate. This will increases your success rate even further, as bouncing ideas off each other just adds another dimension and also provides a safety net for when things get tough!

3. Share responsibility - Get your staff involved. Share your vision and plans, get their ideas and commitment to help you. This will improve your objectives success rate even further. Give staff ownership through delegating tasks, gaining you more time to be strategic. One of my client’s obtained 18% improvement in sales and 5% in gross margin in one department the first month after we held a staff communication session. The business owner was on holiday 3 weeks of that month too! Guess what he’s planning to do more of!

4.Continually learning, adapting and following up. Key success is achieved through embedding the right behaviors though. So ensure you regularly measure performance based on any agreed actions. Block off time, minimum 3 hours per week, to analyse, reflect, learn and adapt actions based on feedback. Then continually communicate these adjustments clearly to tackle new challenges or exploit opportunities. Please don’t just Stop, Give Up as you will go back to where you where! Drive, tenacity and momentum are the main drivers of change and will improve your success even further over time.

“Remember it’s a marathon and not a sprint”

The 5th and main differentiator to success!

The most successful business owners I have worked with do all of the above but also one more activity!

They don’t just review weekly, but send their own updated report on their own activities to me weekly and normally without being chased. Fundamentally they take accountability and responsibly for their own actions and therefore drive a change in their own behaviors!

Remember - It starts with you!

So find yourself a trusted friend, business associate, mentor or coach as research suggests you can achieve a 76% success rate* following these 5 principles.

Please note this isn’t a promotion for my services or to justify the added value of having a business coach or mentor. Please take some time to look into the reasons for success of some of the greatest business people around; Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Roger Dyson and Richard Branson for example all follow similar principles. It is certainly worth your time reading or listening to their stories.

So pick a life changing goal and announce it to the world! Then select and work with a group of like-minded people and you never know, your dreams may just come true!

* Refer to a study by DR Gail Mathews of Dominican University . She found three key element to successful goal setting, accountability, commitment and writing down ones goals!

If you are looking to review or grow your business even in these turbulent times, Business Doctors Cumbria offers an initial free business health check and, can help you to establish a clear vision, to start working on the steps to fulfil your aspirations.

For further information please contact Peter Fleming 0845 163 1490 or 07966 686112


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