“If that you don’t know where you’re going, how are you going to know you’ve arrived?” It’s an old saying that’s still true in business. Knowing precisely what your organization exists to reach is known as business focus. If your organization lacks clear focus you diminish your potential for success. Insufficient focus creates many problems. Particularly, it causes it to be virtually impossible for your employees to execute well.
Significance of Focus
Without clear focus you can’t clearly determine your target market. Which means you can’t have clear, precise performance objectives. Insufficient such objectives results in unclear and fuzzy performance standards. That results in sloppy systems. On and onto it goes. You scratch your mind and worry why your staff seem unable to “put their best foot forward “.
What Business Are You In?
Only you can answer that. But if you’re uncertain, how in the world can you anticipate your staff to understand? “But Leon,” you may be saying, “we know we’re retailers… have already been retailers for 65 years since granddad opened the initial store after World War II. We sell shoes in eight stores in three cities. And we’re proficient at it.”
Try answering these questions. Who do you sell to? What kind of shoes? In what budget range? Who’s your “ideal” customer? What’re your most profitable lines? SME advice UK Who’re your major competitors? Have you been a market leader nationally, regionally or locally? Who else, beyond shoe retailers, competes for the exact 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 every one of these questions precisely. When 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 amount of proficiency doesn’t start with outstanding training and development. It doesn’t start with 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 has a problem. The same applies in reverse. When 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 is a clear sighted management that produces the environment that permits top quality staff performance.
Focus And Consequences
The essential point I’m trying to make is that while poor employee performance is really 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 usually insufficient clear business focus.
Where To Look First
Before you rush off to enhance 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 help to answer the questions under “Who Says?” too.
Narrow Your Focus
You can’t be everything to any or all people. A slender focus beats a wide focus virtually every time. Because the old saying goes, “Do only those items to which you bring an original perspective. Buy the rest round the corner.” It’s in an easier way to produce and manage a business with a slender focus then it’s to juggle the competing demands of a wide focus. A wide focus stretches and thins your resources. A slender focus is much simpler to manage. In addition it enables you to position your organization clearly in the minds of staff, customers and prospects. That’s a huge business advantage.
Managing a small-medium business is demanding. I know. I’ve run this kind of business for over 30 years. Managing employee performance is really a major management responsibility. It’s easier with a magnificent business focus.