October 5, 2022

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5 Steps to Better Business Solutions

Every company wants to be a leader in its industry. The problem is that not every company knows where it’s going. At the most basic level, business solutions are all about growth and profitability, but they’re actually also about finding your way as you grow — mapping out an internal road map that will lead you to the destination of your dreams. Here are five steps you can take towards better business solutions.

1. Define Your Purpose

Your company’s purpose — or C.O.R.E., as many companies call it — is the one and only thing that will keep you from veering off track, from becoming a do-it-yourself developer, from hiring someone who’ll be just like you, or from getting carried away with all the latest trends in technology. In fact, it’s your only job.

Your company’s purpose is the one and only thing that will keep you from veering off track, from becoming a do-it-yourself developer, from hiring someone who’ll be just like you, or from getting carried away with all the latest trends in technology. In fact, it’s your only job.

Many business owners write down their company’s purpose and then leave it in a desk drawer. If that describes you, take the next step and don’t be afraid to show it to your team. (If you don’t want to share it with your team, there’s just one more step to go!)

2. Develop a Roadmap

Everybody has great ideas for their business… but not everybody has a plan for turning those ideas into reality. If you’re new to planning or need some help getting started, here are the basics:

Know what success looks like — No business plan is complete without clear goals, so give yours some thought before moving forward. Start with a high-level idea of what you want your business to look like five years from now, and work down from there. Think about customer segments, geographic locations and overall objectives.

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No business plan is complete without clear goals, so give yours some thought before moving forward. Start with a high-level idea of what you want your business to look like five years from now, and work down from there. Think about customer segments, geographic locations and overall objectives. Map out the process — Once you have an idea of what success looks like, write it down on paper (or in a spreadsheet) so it can be reviewed when times get tough or new ideas are presented. Keep in mind that things change, and your road map should change with them.

Once you have an idea of what success looks like, write it down on paper (or in a spreadsheet) so it can be reviewed when times get tough or new ideas are presented. Keep in mind that things change, and your road map should change with them. Figure out what to do next — You may not know how to get from point A to point B, but you need a plan for moving forward. Here’s where you set annual goals for things like revenue growth and asset acquisition. Identify tactical milestones along the way, such as hiring new executives or adding locations.

You may not know how to get from point A to point B, but you need a plan for moving forward. Here’s where you set annual goals for things like revenue growth and asset acquisition. Identify tactical milestones along the way, such as hiring new executives or adding locations. Communicate your plan — Whether it’s a simple internal memo or a formal presentation, don’t expect people to figure out where you’re headed without telling them.

3. Develop A Performance Evaluation Plan

How do you keep your employees accountable for their performance? Do you have an evaluation plan? If not, it’s time to start one. Here are the basic steps:

Set goals — Make sure your performance standards are clearly defined and that they align with your company’s mission and values. (Remember: Core objectives often change as part of a road map.)

Make sure your performance standards are clearly defined and that they align with your company’s mission and values. (Remember: Core objectives often change as part of a road map.) Define success measure — How will you know if everyone is reaching the goals? Clearly define how accomplishments will be measured. (Remember: Not every accomplishment is measurable. Some may be qualitative or subjective, but they are still part of the evaluation process.)

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How will you know if everyone is reaching the goals? Clearly define how accomplishments will be measured. (Remember: Not every accomplishment is measurable. Some may be qualitative or subjective, but they are still part of the evaluation process.) Assign responsibilities — Create a performance planning guide that outlines each job and its associated objectives.

Create a performance planning guide that outlines each job and its associated objectives. Set aside time for evaluation — Performance evaluations should take place periodically to ensure accuracy, fairness and progress against goals. Don’t forget to schedule enough time for employee feedback and development plans to ensure continual improvement.

4. Create a Learning Culture

A learning culture is about more than training your staff. It’s about creating a workplace where your employees can grow, learn and improve — where they feel comfortable sharing their ideas, implementing those ideas and asking questions to get unstuck. Sure, the best learning environments are informal, but if you’re not intentional about creating one in your business, it can be easy to miss that distinction. Here are three steps you can take towards developing a learning culture:

Assign mentors — Start by setting aside time during the first week of training so new hires can meet with their managers and department heads. This will create relationships that will last long after formal training has ended.

Start by setting aside time during the first week of training so new hires can meet with their managers and department heads. This will create relationships that will last long after formal training has ended. Create a culture of curiosity — Encourage your team to think like teachers, not just learners. Make sure to provide opportunities for them to teach proactive lessons in their areas of expertise. And heed the teaching moment: Don’t be afraid to give people advice if they seek it out — and always be prepared with the right answer!

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Encourage your team to think like teachers, not just learners. Make sure to provide opportunities for them to teach proactive lessons in their areas of expertise. And heed the teaching moment: Don’t be afraid to give people advice if they seek it out — and always be prepared with the right answer! Celebrate success — Recognize contributions that push the company forward as a team effort. Use specific examples to illustrate how people are making a difference, not just the person who took credit for something in your last meeting.

5. Set Up Compliance Protocols

Compliance from an administrative perspective isn’t always fun, but it’s necessary work. Ensuring that your business follows established guidelines can reduce your risk and help you develop internal best practices that make sense within your industry. Here are five steps you can take to stay on track:

Educate team members — Get everyone on board with a thorough and clear explanation of procedures, policies and regulations. You’ll want to make sure they understand that these policies are not up for debate.

Get everyone on board with a thorough and clear explanation of procedures, policies and regulations. You’ll want to make sure they understand that these policies are not up for debate. Set up meetings — Schedule meetings with key stakeholders to go over rules, regulations and other compliance issues. Choose those who will play a role in making decisions about how the business operates, not just those who can report back to you after the fact.

Conclusion

You don’t have to be an expert in every aspect of your business. But it’s important to know where you are headed and how you want to get there. To that end, it’s important to adopt a vision and plan that will help your team and customers see where you’re going and why.