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Business Unplugged™
This blog features Carol Roth's tough love on business and entrepreneurship, as well as insights from Carol's community of contributors.

Where Is Your Business Going?

Written By: Ben Baker | Comments Off on Where Is Your Business Going?

It is not enough for you to understand where your business is going. It is critical that everyone you wish to influence understands where you are headed, and realizes how their self-interests can be achieved while enabling you to attain your goals.

It starts with having a clear understanding of where you want your business to be within a period of time. Where do you want to be a year from now? Five years? Ten years?

What does success look like at each of these benchmarks? What types of clients do you want to serve? What types of problems do you want to solve? How do you want to be perceived when you are not in the room?

From there, you need to be honest with yourself. Where are you today? What are you doing right and what can you improve upon? Do you have the right people doing the right things? Are your employees motivated by the right things and do they have the skills they will require to enable you to achieve your goals?

The next steps are to fill in the gaps. What is it going to take to be successful on your terms? Do you need to hire more people or better people? Do the people you currently employ need to be taught new skills to allow them to succeed in the new paradigm?

Do you have the right technology, and if yes, are you using it to the fullest? Are your people proficient at using the technology you currently deploy? Do you have the right supply partners? Do you have the right clients? Are the policies and procedures you currently utilize helping you or hindering you?

Do you and your leadership team have the skills necessary to motivate, coach, and inspire your people so that goals can be met?  Do you have the communication skills and plan that keeps everyone on track and moving forward together?

Of all the questions I ask, the one that brings everything together is the last one. Effective communication is the linchpin that holds everything together.

It states in Inc. Magazine:

According to a Holmes (a voice of the global PR industry) report, the cost of poor communication has hit an overwhelming $37 billion. Also, 400 surveyed corporations (with 100,000 plus employees in the U.S. and U.K.) estimated that communication barriers cost the average organization $62.4 million per year in lost productivity. 

On the flip side, this same report found that companies with leaders who possess effective communication skills produced a 47 percent higher return to shareholders over a five-year period.

No matter how you slice it, effective communication is key to team and organizational success.

Operating with the assumption that what you know and believe to be true is understood and internalized by others is a recipe for disaster. You need to know that your teams understand your goals and what is expected of them.

Too many business owners walk around believing that their hopes, wants, needs, desires, and goals are not only understood by customers, vendors, and clients – but are shared. Unfortunately, in many cases, this could not be further from the truth.

Shared values and vision take ongoing and concerted effort and communication, both inside and outside the company. Ideas need to be discussed ongoing, encompassing multiple viewpoints, and utilizing various mediums.

We do not learn the same way. Some of us are auditory learners, other people are visual, while others do best with hands-on learning. Providing information in one format and assuming that everyone understands it the same way, and acts in unison, is wishful thinking.

To achieve your company’s goals, you need to make sure everyone is on the same page. The only way to do that is to communicate with them effectively. You need to speak to people clearly and effectively and listen as they reply. You need to have them explain things back to you, and to others, so you can verify they understand what is expected of them. You need to enable them to ask questions without judgment, and acknowledge that just because what you said seemed clear and concise to you, it may not be to others.

Having vision, goals, and aspirations is important. Building out systems and processes to get you there is vital. However, without those you wish to influence understanding your goals and believing they are part of the solution, they will not join you on that journey, and no technology can overcome that.

Wishing you success.

Connect with Ben HERE to discuss how to provide your people with the skills and mindset they need to communicate effectively into the new normal.

Article written by
Ben Baker is a communications strategist, the storyteller of your brand and the author of “Powerful Personal Brands.” He believes that every brand needs to stop acting like a commodity and instead be a brand worth loving. You can contact him at www.yourbrandmarketing.com.