A Ten from Len: What Makes a Business Strong
I’m often asked:
“Martin, what makes a business strong?”.
Unlike most, my reply is NOT more Leads. NOT more Customers. And certainly NOT more Staff.
You see it is the BASICS that give a business its strength: the Rules, Processes and Systems.
It’s the regular monitoring or gradual improvement of the fundamental processes, which provide its efficiency and profitability.
Only when people know what the correct process looks like, and there is a way of tracking that this pattern is followed, can the business start to grow safely.
Only then can it truly start to realise its potential.
Let me provide some background (and how I discovered this)…
My first contact with rules and process started with ballroom dancing (long before it was strictly fashionable). It was 1975 and I was just seven years old.
I knew it was hard by the reaction of most of the other students in the class to the continual, repetitive nature of learning the steps, breaking down each movement and perfecting its intricacies, over and over and over again, but I found that it was highly addictive and easy.
I knew that I would only become the best through guidance, discipline, routine, and hard work.
At one of our local dances, Len Goodman visited the club as an adjudicator and mentioned to my dance teacher (Bill Phillips) that he could see some potential. He suggested getting me a permanent partner, an outfit, some better dance shoes and entering me into some competitions.
So, Martin and Julie (my new dance partner) became the next stage of my dance journey. It wasn’t too long after that, Bill set his sights on a pretty big target for us – to enter and win the most prestigious title available for our age group – the 8-to-10 Cha-Cha-Cha.
Fortunately, Julie shared my passion for following the system that we were being taught and the congruency of our work ethic was delivering the result that we, and Bill, desired.
The mirror became our best friend, and we learned not only how to dance better but to listen to our teacher’s corrections.
We practiced as they slowly pointed our technique towards perfection. Over and over and over again, going through the steps, converting expert tuition into muscle memory and what the plan dictated, into the reality that the mirror reflected.
At times I just wanted to move on to something else, but I knew that what I was doing would get me the result that I coveted more than anything else in the world at that time.
My passion had found the process to set it up for the end goal – and I had absolute clarity about the way that Julie and I would get there.
And that is how we won the 8-to-10 Cha-Cha-Cha in April 1977.
So, this week, have a think about your Rules, Processes and Systems to understand:
- What is working well
- Even better if
- And an action plan to close that gap
Investor | Business Mentor at Advocate | Author of I don’t work Fridays