Success in the world of business is based on understanding. Understanding the market, understanding your competitors, understanding your customers are all vital, to help you make the decisions about you’re selling, for how much and when.
The most important thing you need to understand, the one thing there is no excuse for not knowing inside and out is your own business. You have to be an expert, not merely in what you’re selling, but the structures you’ve set up to do that: the teams working under you, the key relationships that keep the wheels turning, from people providing raw materials or products to the big clients you sell to. You also need to understand the brand you’ve built.
Nearly everything you do affects your brand. It’s not merely a logo or what appears on your advertising. Your brand is the picture created by every single interaction a member of the public has with your business, from seeing a poster in a train station to their experience of returning a faulty product.
You need to know how the public think about your brand to make sure you’re making the right decisions – you might need to raise prices to accommodate raised costs, but if that price raise erodes the brand you’ve built up you stand to lose much more!
A market research company is vital to finding out what consumers think of you. Click to find out more about working with one.
Your Own Team
It’s more than a matter of trusting the people who work for you. You need to know what they’re capable of day to day, how long you can expect them to get their heads down and go into crunch for, and who’s hiding talents that could make the difference for you.
The key to this is a robust reporting process, and an enthusiastic HR staff working on feedbacks and one to ones. The difficulty of breaking down the work people do can vary depending on what their responsibilities are. Manual, rote tasks on an assembly line are relatively easy to quantify. Calls with clients or meetings are less so. Eventually though, you should be able to at least estimate how many hours of work a task represents, and how many man hours you have available to you in a typical working week.
Try not to let the amount to do exceed the time to do it in too often: people will go into overtime occasionally, because they’re willing and committed, but if it happens to often you’ll use the loyalty that makes it possible.