If you are in your first 3 years of a new business there are a lot of things yet to be discovered. Do you know what things you should learn first? Do you know what is important to build a solid foundation for long term sustainability and growth?
We hope the information in this course will help you build a solid company that can weather the vicissitudes of the market place, technology changes and employee turnover. As you have probably heard about goals and how important they are, we will start with a simple, but important example, of the power of properly defining goals.
For example the question: How can I improve my business knowledge? Is not a bad question, but on the other hand, a better question might be:
How can I achieve success for my company?
The reason the second question is better is that it directly addresses the desired end result you want, a better company. While this may seem like a subtle distinction, it is a very important distinction. One question is about a primary goal, a thriving company,
the other question is about something in support of the primary goal – or a means to an end.
Do you see the difference?
There may be an even more important question to ask, such as why are you in business at all?
You may think this line of thought is a waste of time, you may want to get down to business. But, in fact, this may be one of the most important questions to be completely clear about. Why are you doing this at all, what are you actually trying to achieve? Are you trying to achieve happiness, money, power, fame, security? Are you trying to pay the mortgage and raise a family or do you want to become fabulously wealthy? These different motivations would lead to very different priorities and tactics in defining a business.
Your motivation, what is driving you, is probably the most important factor effecting if you will succeed or fail at almost anything. Particularly for people new to business who are going to experience a lot of challenges, setbacks, sidetracks and hardships, what is motivating you will likely determine if you keep going or give up when the going gets tough. And it will.
Do you really know why you left the security of a job and a steady paycheck to jump into the shark tank?
The is a big difference between if you are trying to get away from something (like a bad job), or if you are trying to create or achieve something (like a successful business). The difference is actually gigantic.
Nothing new here!
In this course, we hope to cover all the important aspects of what is important in ever deciding to start a business or not, and for the first few years of a new enterprise. While this course is directed to the more junior entrepreneur, the information and principles contained here are timeless and probably worth the time of many seasoned businesspeople. The information contained here was gained through over 40 years of starting and actually running companies as well as countless hours of courses, study and training under some of the best people in the world of management training and consulting.
We will touch on most of the essential ingredients of success in business. We promise there is nothing new here. None of this is new and revolutionary, but rather what we will present is time-tested and proven. Some of what we will cover is this:
- The three essential elements of any business
- Why What and How – Motivation, Goals and Methods
- Know the real reason you are doing what you are doing
- Effective techniques for establishing attainable goals
- The quickest way to get from here to there – from where you are now to where you want to be
- Why honesty is still the best policy even in the 21st Century
- Sales and Marketing – What they really are, how they work and why they work
- The psychology of the sales process, or why people buy –
- The 5 steps of the sale
- repeat business
- Marketing in the digital world: Same song, but faster music
- Websites, Facebook, Twitter etcetera. – What each does and does not do for you
- The psychology of the sales process, or why people buy –
- Management – vision plans, delegation, teams and projects
- The short term and the long term
- Structural Thinking
- The 80 / 20 rule
- Strategy and Tactics – Planning, measurements, timing, and some of the timeless wisdom of Sun Tzu
- You don’t have competitors
- Tools, software, automation and people
- Capital, funding and ownership,
- Housekeeping: Insurance, the use of professionals and consultants
- Operational efficiency – Delivering your product or service in a profitable way
- The Journey is the Goal – Don’t worry, Be happy
Why, What and How
Do you really know what you want to achieve? Are you clear about your goals and when you want to achieve them? This is an area where particularly people new to business often stumble, not having clearly defined goals or that your goals often drift all over the place.
I am sure this is not the first time you have heard about the importance of clearly defined goals, but maybe even more important is your motivation. Why you want What you want.
The ‘Why‘ is the motivation that drives the whole thing. This burning desire is why you get up early in the morning and why you will work late into the evening. If the motivation behind the goal is not of sufficient substance, you may vacillate, drift or quit when the going gets tough. Without a strong desire not based on whim or passing fancy, it is very likely you won’t go the distance. We will spend more time with each of these, goal setting and motivation a bit later. But for now, give it some thought. Why exactly are you in business? What are the ultimate end results of your efforts and Why do you want those results?
This is true for the big picture as well as for all the smaller steps that bring you from where you are now, to where you want to be. Whatever your goal is.
Okay but I still want to improve my business knowledge so I can achieve success, so don’t I need to know specific things?
We have talked about What you want and Why you want it and hopefully, you have been thinking about this. Once you are clear on the goals and motivation only then does it makes sense to look at the processes, steps, techniques, tools and methods you should use to achieve your goals, or we might say the ‘How’ you will do it. So now we have 3 simple, but very powerful words to apply to whatever you may be setting out to do. Why What and finally How. I encourage you not to undervalue this simple concept. As confusing these three aspects of the process of creating something out of nothing is a major reason people fail or exert more time and energy than is necessary to go from here to there. Here being where you are frith now, and there being where you want to be at some future time, your goal.
As mentioned, nothing we are presenting here is new, revolutionary or original. Some of this perspective comes from the work of Robert Fritz and his Structural Thinking methodology and some of has it’s roots long ago in the ancient Chinese teachings of “Heaven, Earth and Man” or “Heaven Earth and Human” if you prefer. In the simplest terms “Heaven” is where you want to go. Earth is where you are now. Man or Human is the active or energetic principle that joins heaven and earth. We should be clear, we are not talking about any kind of religious idea when we are speaking of “heaven” here. A key aspect of this approach is that the way we join heaven and earth is to raise earth up to heaven, so to speak.
Using the language of Robert Fritz, Heaven is a desired end result and Earth is the current reality.
There are many factors involved in success of any kind, in the workplace or in other areas of your life. There are many things you can do to improve specific knowledge. You can take an online course, read books, watch videos or you can hire a consultant to help you improve your knowledge and know-how. You can get a job in the industry you are interested in or possibly take courses at a university (possibly the least effective). But a lot depends on your current circumstances, your current reality.
Succeeding in business or in any endeavour is simple in principle, but as has been said, the devil is in the details.
How can I improve my business knowledge?
This has just been an overview of some important principles or concepts. We have not gone into much detail but we will in later sections of this course. What has been covered here:
- This material is targeted to the person thinking about starting a business or in the early years of running a company.
- The importance of not only having a clear picture of what you want but also knowing why you want it.
- That figuring out how to get from here to there or how you are going to achieve the results you want is best done only after you are clear on why and what.
- See all objectives in three parts, heaven earth and human or end result, current reality and action steps.
- what you want
- where you are now, in relationship to what you want
- the steps or actions required to go from here to there
- Why you want what you want, or your motivation is probably more important than you thought.
People have spent lifetimes over the course of history to find out what works and what does not work as well. There are ways to do things that work better than other ways. There are direct paths and circuitous paths.
See some more things worth learning about in the early years of business Here
This has been How to improve my business knowledge.
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