The health of a business has an immediate and direct impact on the success of that business. This month, we’re going to look into these ideas of business health and business development, and explore what an effective business looks like.
If someone were to ask you, “Is your business healthy?”, how would you answer? What hallmarks does a healthy business have that an unhealthy one lacks? How do you take the temperature of your business?
There are several distinct marks you’ll find in a healthy business. Perhaps the first and most obvious is effectiveness. Today, we’ll consider what it means to be an effective organization.
Being an effective business means utilizing all of the tools at your disposal to work toward the development of the business. These tools aid in planning and optimizing the organization, with the end result being a healthy business.
Let’s take a look at seven tools available for you to use to make your organization as effective as it can be.
The flow of information through your business is a true bellwether of your business’ health and effectiveness. How the various components of your organization interact with one another will greatly impact the way your business works.
Effective business communication doesn’t just happen, it is cultivated. Some of the steps you can take to cultivate effective communication in your business include:
Marketing, without a doubt, is essential to an organization’s effectiveness. Your marketing efforts help the company to identify when and where the right times for expansion might be, for example.
The marketing department, as well as other departments whose primary functions are client-facing, helps the organization be aware of the external environment. It tells you what your competitors are up to. It shows you the overall business climate in your industry. It allows a glimpse into policies other companies have implemented, both policies to be imitated and policies to be avoided.
We spent time in January going over the various meeting mindsets, and which sorts of mindsets are harmful or helpful to a business. Some mindsets are simply more conducive to effective business than others.
Running effective meetings contributes to the effectiveness of an organization in several ways:
Meetings embody our business’ presentation. They demonstrate how we present ourselves as individuals, and they reflect how our business culture presents to those on the outside.
Very few businesses succeed by accident. For those few that do, you can be sure of one thing: they were already operating in an effective fashion.
For most of us, growth and success as a business require planning. This planning involves two specific aspects: strategic planning and goals.
An effective organization will spend a serious amount of time and effort formulating and implementing a strategic plan. That strategic plan must be more than just a document that sits on a shelf; it must be a living, breathing process. Everything a business does should be viewed through the lenses of the strategic plan. Any given action the business takes should first ask the question, “How does this contribute to our strategic plan?”
Goals are an important part of planning. Measurable, quantifiable goals tell you where your business is headed, and how well it’s doing overall. The primary goal is, of course, profitability, although there may be other important metrics to consider beyond just profits.
Effective businesses make good use of networking. Networking, in the broad sense, refers to how we handle:
This networking happens at every level, from trade organizations to industry encounters and beyond.
We spent time in February talking about business culture and the three satisfactions: procedural, relational, and substantive. Procedural satisfaction also plays a role in the development of a business, and how effective that business will be.
The best strategic plan in the world is useless if it isn’t backed up by effective processes. Those processes must be tracked and measured. You choose to make yourself, your team, your employees, and your process accountable. When something isn’t measuring up, you choose to take action.
Management sets the tone for the entire organization, and management’s number one tool is integrity. When the rest of your company sees integrity in management, it inspires confidence and encourages integrity at every level of the organization.
You also must choose to bring mastery to the management team. Mastery involves a few concepts, including:
These tools are useful in several ways, most of which simply contribute to a business’ effectiveness. Choose to use these tools to take the temperature of your business, and to facilitate a course correction when it becomes necessary.