Do you always strive to be the best? Do you strive to be the best in your field of business? Being the best is always something you should be striving for each and every day—especially in business.
Let’s think about it like this—who determines the ultimate fate of your business? Who makes or breaks your success?
In any field of business, three main groups determine the fate of your business…
- Your employees and contractors/vendors
- Your competitors or colleagues
- Your clients
If you continually strive to be the best by doing your best, you don’t have to leave anything to chance. And you, too, can impact your own fate. You can control your business’ ultimate success.
Now, let’s take a look at each of these groups to see just how much influence they have on the success of your business. By doing so, we can identify some ways to make sure these groups help you keep your business moving forward and on to that next level.
Your Employees and Contractors/Vendors
Your employees are a direct reflection on you. In fact, any person who is involved with your company at any level, whether it is an employee or a contractor, is a direct reflection on you. This includes full-time employees, part-time employees, your contract and fee workers, vendors, and even your joint venture partners.
Therefore, it stands to reason that if they screw up, you screw up. It’s that simple and straight forward.
So if you are striving to do and be your best, it behooves you to beyond the experience and skill set that someone presents to you on his or her resume. Look a bit further and focus on the person’s core characteristics. Such characteristics include integrity, urgency, loyalty, perseverance and the ability to strive for extraordinary results. You can’t really read these things on a resume. But, you can definitely find employees, contractors and/or vendors who have exactly what you are looking for if you take a little extra time to do some forethought and planning.
Most people who are looking to make some hires start by reading a candidate’s resume. However, the first step you should take if you are in the process of hiring is to stop and think good and hard about the job description you write, or the needs you have for that position. Then you need to provide an accurate description of the type of person you are looking for, in addition to the list duties and responsibilities, that person needs to execute and accomplish.
Let’s take the founder of the popular and successful retail website Zappos, Tony Hsieh as an example. When Zappos is hiring, they make sure the job descriptions contain the caveat that anyone applying for a position with Zappos must possess a little bit of “weirdness.” By stating this right at the start, Tony Hsieh and Zappos are able to immediately weed out anyone who may be offended by it.
Next time you sit down to write a job posting for a new position, think about what your question might be. Or if you can’t think of one of your own, try answering the Zappos question… “What is your little bit of weirdness?” Do this, and you are much more likely to find employees or vendors who are in tune with your personality—and your business. Employees with the characteristics you’re looking for are the ones who best “fit” into your business. These employees are going to represent you best. This is a huge step forward toward your business’s continued success and movement toward that next level.
Your Competitors or Colleagues
You might be sort of surprised to hear that your competitors have some ability to determine your business fate.
You see, your competitors should be your best source of intelligence when it comes to everything from marketing to product development to customer acquisition and more. And when you work in cooperation with your competitors, they can help you grow your business faster than you can imagine.
Consider taking a competitor out to lunch. Share what might be working for you in your business as well as what’s not working. Don’t fear competitors. And don’t be afraid someone might copy you. No one can ever fully copy your story, or your originality. It’s yours and it can’t really work for someone else. Sure, competitors could duplicate your strategies and tactics, just like you can imitate theirs. That’s pretty common because much of those same kinds of things can be found and read about in books or online, and can definitely be learn by attending industry conferences and events. You have the opportunity to dig deeper into the how’s and why’s of your competitor’s business choices.
Don’t forget, your lunch date will want the opportunity to dig a little deeper with you too. And, you can benefit from sharing your experiences because you can earn a reputation as a giver—someone others will want to do business with. This in itself is more than just valuable – it can be the key to your business survival!
It is ideal that your competitor feels that you have a balanced, give-and-take sort of relationship… that you are honest and trustworthy… and that you are dedicated to making every situation a win-win. Inevitably, there will come a time that you need your competitor for something. If you have this type of positive relationship, they are very likely to help you out.
I’m sure you’ve heard that ubiquitous saying, “The customer is always right.” Well, it’s really true—the customer is in charge. And, your entire team must understand and remember this. If you and your whole team can keep this in mind along with your mission and values; and as long as your team understands the needs, desires, and challenges of your clients, they are very likely to remain loyal to you and your business.
It’s simple—treat your clients exactly the way you would like to be treated.
Trust and respect are the two key elements of any relationship, especially the relationship between you and your clients (and investors!).
Remain transparent, authentic, and honest and you will find you and your business at the front of the pack and in the forefront of the marketplace.
Always strive to be and do your best. Insist that those who represent you in your business do the same. Your employees and contractors/vendors, your competitors or colleagues and your clients and investors ultimately determine the fate of your business. But it’s you have the power to ensure you make or break your business success.