“If you do not know where you’re going, how do you want to know you’ve arrived?” It’s a vintage saying that’s still true in business. Knowing precisely what your organization exists to achieve is known as business focus. If your organization lacks clear focus you diminish your possibility of success. Not enough focus creates many problems. Particularly, it helps it be virtually impossible for your employees to do well.
Importance of Focus
Without clear focus you can’t clearly determine your target market. Which means you can’t have clear, precise performance objectives. Not enough such objectives contributes to unclear and fuzzy performance standards. That contributes to sloppy systems. On and on it goes. You scratch your face and worry why your staff seem struggling to “put their finest foot forward “.
What Business Are You In?
Only you can answer that. But when you’re uncertain, how on earth can you anticipate your staff to know? “But Leon,” you could be saying, “we all know we’re retailers… have now been retailers for 65 years since granddad opened the very first store after World War II. We sell shoes in eight stores in three cities. And we’re good at it.”
Try answering these questions. Who do you sell to? What sort of shoes? In what price range? Who’s your “ideal” customer? What’re your most profitable lines? Who are your major competitors? Have you been a market leader nationally, regionally or locally? SME News UK Who else, beyond shoe retailers, competes for exactly the same consumer dollar as you do? What distinguishes your organization from those of one’s competitors in the eyes of one’s prospects and clients?
Connection With Employees
You see, really successful businesses can answer each one of these questions precisely. Whenever we see their staff doing his thing we’re impressed. We wish we had staff like them. What we don’t realize is that the level of proficiency doesn’t focus on outstanding training and development. It doesn’t focus on excellent performance standards and simple, effective systems. It starts with clear business focus.
What Symptoms Tell Us
When training is poor, standards are fuzzy and systems are sloppy we claim that management includes a problem. The exact same applies in reverse. Each time a company functions well and customer service is outstanding we must give management a lot of the credit. Employees may provide outstanding service and display excellent technical competence. They deserve credit for that. But it’s a clear sighted management that produces the environment that enables high quality staff performance.
Focus And Consequences
The basic point I’m trying to make is that while poor employee performance is just a major issue, it’s almost always a consequence of something else. Unless we fix the “something else”, the performance problem will continue. And I’m suggesting that the “something else” is frequently not enough clear business focus.
Where To Look First
Before you rush off to improve employee performance, expand your product line, streamline your systems or review your organization plan, consider your organization focus. Answer the question “What business are we in?” It will assist you to answer the questions under “Who Says?” too.
Narrow Your Focus
You can’t be all things to all or any people. A thin focus beats a broad focus virtually every time. While the old saying goes, “Do only those items to which you bring an original perspective. Buy everything else round the corner.” It’s in an easier way to produce and manage a small business with a thin focus then it’s to juggle the competing demands of a broad focus. A broad focus stretches and thins your resources. A thin focus is much simpler to manage. It also enables you to position your organization clearly in the minds of staff, customers and prospects. That is a huge business advantage.
Managing a small-medium business is demanding. I know. I’ve run such a business for over 30 years. Managing employee performance is just a major management responsibility. It’s a lot easier with a magnificent business focus.