Brian Tracy, Guest Author
Today, strategies and techniques for achieving success at every level of business, and in every activity of life, are more widely available and proliferating more rapidly than at any other time in human history. And we can all benefit from them by seizing them and applying them to our lives.
There is a system of proven principles, or “laws”, which have been discovered and rediscovered, practiced and implemented, by the most successful businesspeople everywhere, in every kind of organization, large and small, throughout the history of business enterprise. The practice of these laws will give you the winning edge.
When you know and understand these timeless truths, you will gain a tremendous advantage over those who do not. When you organize your life and business according to these universal laws and principles, you can start, build, manage, or turn around a business or department faster and easier than perhaps you ever thought possible.
The more you incorporate these principles into your daily thinking and decision making, the more effective you will become. You will attract and keep better people, produce and sell more and better products and services, control costs more intelligently, expand and grow more predictably, and increase your profits with greater consistency.
Some of these laws may sound unusual or even controversial when you first read them. Nonetheless, they are timeless truths. They have always existed. They have always worked. They are natural laws. They are embedded in the universe. In the long run, they are inviolable.
There are ten critical areas where your ability to think largely determines the success or failure of your business. The greater clarity you have in each of these areas, the better decisions you will make and better results you will achieve.
What is the purpose of a business? Many people think that the purpose of a business is to earn a profit, but they are wrong. The true purpose of a business is to create and keep a customer. Fully 50 percent of your time, efforts, and expenses should be focused on creating and keeping customers in some way. If a business is successful and it creates and keeps customers in a cost effective way, it will make a profit and will continue to survive and thrive. If for any reason, a business fails to attract a sufficient number of customers, it will experience losses.
The key measure of business success is customer satisfaction. Your ability to satisfy your customers to such a degree that they buy from you rather than from someone else, that they buy again, and that they bring their friends is the key determinant of growth and profitability.
Your job is to create and keep customers. It is to prospect, present and follow-up. It is to look at each customer and think about the sale after next. It is to plan and organize all of your activities so that you not only acquire customers but that you do everything that you possibly can to satisfy those customers better than anyone else could. Your job is to position yourself in the customers mind so that the customer views you as the very best person to help him with the things you sell. Your job is then to continually upgrade the quality of your services so that once you have won that customer, you have that customer for life. When you do this, your future in selling and your future in business is assured.
The key requirement for wealth building and business success is for you to add value in some way. All wealth comes from adding value. All business growth and profitability come from adding value. Every day, you must be looking for ways to add more and more value to the customer experience.
The most important person in the business is the customer. You must focus on the customer at all times. Customers are fickle, disloyal, changeable, impatient, and demanding—just like you. Nonetheless, the customer must be the central focus of everything you do in business.
The position that you hold in the customer’s mind determines all of his reactions and interactions with you. Your position determines whether or not your customer buys, whether he buys again and whether he refers others to you. Everything that you do with regard to your customer affects the way your customer thinks about you.
In life, work, and business, you will always be rewarded in direct proportion to the value of your contribution to others, as they see it. The focus on outward contribution, to your company, your customers, and your community, is the central requirement for you to become an ever more valuable person, in every area.
The most important question you ask, to solve any problem, overcome any obstacle, or achieve any business goal is “How?” Top people always ask the question “How?” and then act on the answers that come to them.
In a world of rapid change and continuing aggressive competition, you must practice continuous improvement in every area of your business and personal life. As Pat Riley, the basketball coach, said, “If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse.”
The heartbeat of your business is sales. Dun & Bradstreet analyzed thousands of companies that had gone broke over the years and concluded that the number-one reason for business failure was “low sales.” When they researched further, they found that the number-one reason for business success was “high sales.” And all else was commentary.
The most important number in business is cash flow. Cash flow is to the business as blood and oxygen are to the brain. You can have every activity working efficiently in your business, but if your cash flow is cut off for any reason, the business can die, sometimes overnight.
Every business must have a growth plan. Growth must be the goal of all your business activities. You should have a goal to grow 10 percent, 20 percent, or even 30 percent each year. Some companies grow 50 percent and 100 percent per year, and not by accident. The only real growth is profit growth. Profit growth is always measurable in what is called “free cash flow.” This is the actual amount of money that the business throws off each month, each quarter, and each year, above and beyond the total cost and expense of running a business.
You should have a growth plan for the number of new leads you attract and for the number of new customers you acquire from those leads. You should have a growth plan for sales, revenues, and profitability. If you do not deliberately plan for continuous growth, you will automatically stagnate and begin to fall behind. Growth is not an accident; so you must plan and map out your growth plan if you want your business to see a bright future.
Now, here are two things you can do immediately to start moving toward business success:
First, set a goal, make a plan and then launch your plan. Get started. Do something. Begin on a small scale with limited risk and investment but get going!
Second, resolve that, no matter what happens, you will never, never give up until you are successful. Before you accomplish anything worthwhile, you will have to pass the persistence test. And the test will come far sooner than you imagine.
Copyright © 2010 – Brian Tracy – Reprinted with permission. Brian Tracy is the most listened to audio author on personal and business success in the world today. His fast-moving talks and seminars on leadership, sales, managerial effectiveness and business strategy are loaded with powerful, proven ideas and strategies that people can immediately apply to get better results in every area. For more information, please go to: www.BrianTracy.com or check out, “Speak on Your Feet“.
Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”
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