Starting a business is one of the toughest things you can do in your life.
Often, you'll find that the key to starting a business is just getting a little momentum going. But how do you build that momentum? The key is consistency in business.
You might work hard, but do you stick with it? Here are a few pointers on how to achieve consistency in your business.
- Focus on what's important (as opposed to what's urgent).
A big problem managers face is focusing on putting out the urgent fires rather than on what's important to the business overall. Experts suggest that leaders plan only 65% of their day in detail, and use the other 35% to handle the unexpected things that come up. If you're reacting, you're not planning [for the future]. Extraordinary results can only be achieved when you're clear about what matters most.
- Have specific, measurable goals.
Saying you plan to increase gross sales by 1.2 million naira in one year is both overwhelming and vague. Instead you should break the numbers down to show their team how the goal is achievable. For example, if a restaurant wants to increase gross sales by 1,200,000 naira in one year, that means making 300,000 naira more a quarter, which is 100,000 more a month.
When you set a goal, like being more effective or hiring better employees, ask yourself this one question: From A to B by when? That is, what steps need to be taken? When (and how) will we get there? Having specific goals allows managers to make (and keep) employees accountable.
- Communicate goals to your entire team.
Everyone on the team has to know the business goals. Otherwise, you're bowling through a curtain, and you can't hit a target that you can't see. If employees don't know your plans for the business, they'll substitute with their own plan.
Leaders should regularly share how the team's progressing toward its goals, and make team members feel appreciated. At meetings, for example, give recognition and encouragement to those who deserve it. Reiterate the problem the team members're solving, describe how they're adding value, why their work matters, who they're helping, and how they're helping the business reach its goals.
- Make quality hiring a priority, and hold employees accountable.
Businesses go out of business because they often spent money on the wrong things. Hiring, training, and retaining quality employees are critical to a business' survival. It is also imperative that as a leader you get rid of the negative employees that bring everyone on the team down. If there's no accountability or discipline, there are no consequences for bad behavior and if you walk past a problem, you approve it.
Ultimately, if you go by the aforementioned points, you should be able to keep at doing exactly what will keep you in business; consistency achieved.