What is a successful business?
A successful business is commonly seen as a company that makes a consistently strong profit, generates a healthy cash flow, and provides its customers with an exceptional experience when using their products or services. Not only that, but a successful business should provide: its owners and leaders what they want from life, and its employees with a happy and fulfilling environment in which to work. Ultimately, from a business owner’s perspective, a successful business is one that can operate effectively without their constant input and attention.
Sounds great, right? So, if we want to run a successful and profitable business, how is it we’re going to get there?
You might be expecting us to only give you a rundown of all the different strategies for building a business. Say, a SWOT analysis, team-building exercises, or having really SMART business KPIs. Of course, all those things are important for entrepreneurs when considering the strategic direction of their business, but it’s not where business owners should start.
How can you achieve business success?
At The Alternative Board, we make a big deal about the business owner as a person. A successful business is not just about the bottom line, but how satisfied and fulfilled the business owner personally feels about the operations and growth of their business. More specifically, how is the business getting them what they want from life?
Let us put it another way.
Successful entrepreneurs need to approach their personal and business life like riding a bike.
Imagine yourself sitting on a bike where the front wheel represents your personal vision. This is what you want to do and achieve in life. It could be buying that Lamborghini, providing funds to support your family’s education, simply committing quality time to bringing up your children, or a combination of all three. Whatever it is – that’s your personal vision. Then, imagine that the back wheel of the bike represents your business – the success of which will help you achieve your personal vision.
Most business owners are very good at pedalling like mad to generate power in the back wheel – their business. However, the challenge comes with trying to maintain the direction of your front wheel (your personal vision).
Too often, we see business owners striving for their business success, having absolutely no work-life balance, and losing sight of what it was they wanted to achieve in the first place. If your front wheel is not aligned with the back wheel, then over a period of time, you’ll find it harder and longer to reach your business goals and your personal aspirations. To be honest, you might even end up head over the handlebars in a bush!
That’s why we believe small business owners need to put more focus on making sure their personal wheel is aligned with their business vision. This means their journey to long term business success is much smoother and more fulfilling.
Run a Successful Business with Business Owner Advisory Boards
Have you ever stepped out and sought support or advice from anyone else about your business opportunities and challenges? Many successful business owners have said support from others, like friends and family, has been a key influence towards their business success. However, imagine having access to the collective wisdom of other business owners like you.
That’s what we do at The Alternative Board. We bring together like-minded business owners, from various different industries, to help business owners and leaders to facilitate their business growth and get to the next level of success. These are business owner advisory boards.
To return to the bike analogy, a TAB advisory board can act as an entire cycling team.
Their collective support helps to reduce the drag so you get to your destination (that’s the success of your business according to your personal vision) quicker, more easily and with much less effort. For example, you might be having an issue with a particular employee. It’s affecting team morale and having a real impact on the progress and productivity of your business. Well, with a TAB Board, we can bet that there’s another business owner around the table who has dealt with the same, or similar issue.
Here’s an opinion of a TAB Board member:
“The TAB Board meetings are a great way to get quality advice from experienced business leaders, and to hear about the challenges they have faced and the solutions they developed to achieve success.” Susan Bell, Waterstons, TAB Member since 2016
The Right Strategic Business Tools
Finally, to run a successful business, you need to think about having some strategic tools and processes in place. Such as:
- KPIs – why are they important?
- Team Communication – can you develop this so that all team members participate fully and effectively in all business decisions?
- Developing your personal vision
- A SWOT Analysis
- A business diagnostic
- Developing company values and a strong company culture
Using strategic planning tools, participating in an advisory board and focussing on your personal vision, will help keep your business bike on the road and ensure that you build a foundation to a successful business.