What does it take to win in business? Legendary NCAA men’s basketball coach, Bob Knight said, “Everyone wants to win, but not everyone is willing to prepare to win.” I’m not sure if he was thinking about P/L’s and marketing campaigns when he said this, but it can be applied to winning in business too. Winning in business takes Intentionality, Accountability, and Strategy.
As a business owner, you alone should shape your life and your business (in that order). When a customer asks for varying terms of payment, or an alteration to a project mid-way through, it’s up to you to be intentional about your business. When a vendor tells you they can’t deliver their product by the promised deadline, it’s up to you to decide how to handle this. Be intentional about the people you hire, the customers you hire, and the vendors you hire. That’s right – you can, and should, think intentionally about the people you do business with.
The first step to accountability is a clearly defined goal. It’s hard to be accountable for attaining a goal that was never identified. I love Zig Ziglar’s quote, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” In business, if you don’t have metrics that you’re trying to attain (like monthly revenue, quarterly profit, or new customer acquisition), you will never know if you’re going to win.
What is your business’s strategy? How will it acquire new clients and deepen existing client relationships? How will you grow marketshare of your target market? A strategy is your holistic business plan as its applied to your situation. It should be revised and reviewed periodically. How do you make big decisions? Is your policy to take on every customer that is willing to pay for your services? When selecting vendors, is price always your main concern? A great strategy will have the foresight to see upcoming decisions or events and have already planned for the various outcomes.
In sports, winning means outscoring your opponent. Even John Madden knew this! He was given credit for this insightful quote, “Usually the team with the most points wins the game!” Winning in Business takes Intentionality, Accountability, and Strategy.