“If that you do not know where you’re going, how will you know you’ve arrived?” It’s a vintage saying that’s still true in business. Knowing precisely what your organization exists to achieve is known as business focus. If your organization lacks clear focus you diminish your potential for success. Not enough focus creates many problems. Particularly, it helps it be virtually impossible for the employees to perform well.
Significance of Focus
Without clear focus you can’t clearly determine your target market. That means you can’t have clear, precise performance objectives. Not enough such objectives results in unclear and fuzzy performance standards. That results in sloppy systems. On and onto it goes. You scratch your face and worry why your staff seem struggling to “put their finest foot forward “.
What Business Are You In?
Only you can answer that. But when you’re uncertain, how in the world can you anticipate your staff to understand? “But Leon,” you might be saying, “we know we’re retailers… have now been retailers for 65 years since granddad opened the first 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 type of shoes? In what budget range? Who’s your “ideal” customer? What’re your most profitable lines? Who are your major competitors? Have you been a market leader nationally, regionally or locally? Who else, beyond shoe retailers, competes for exactly the same consumer dollar as you do? What distinguishes your organization from those of your competitors in the eyes of your prospects and clients?
Connection With Employees
You see, really successful businesses can answer every one of these questions precisely. Whenever we see their staff in action we’re impressed. We wish we had staff like them. SME advice UK 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 includes a problem. The exact same applies in reverse. Each time a company functions well and customer service is outstanding we ought to give management much 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 environmental surroundings that permits high quality staff performance.
Focus And Consequences
The basic point I’m trying to make is that while poor employee performance is really a major issue, it’s typically a consequence of something else. Unless we fix the “something different”, the performance problem will continue. And I’m suggesting that the “something different” is often lack of clear business focus.
Where To Look First
When 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 all things to all or any people. A slender focus beats a broad focus virtually every time. Because the old saying goes, “Do only those things to which you bring a distinctive perspective. Buy everything else round the corner.” It’s far easier to produce and manage a business with a narrow focus then it is to juggle the competing demands of a broad focus. A broad focus stretches and thins your resources. A slender focus is much better to manage. Additionally, it lets you position your organization clearly in the minds of staff, customers and prospects. That is clearly a huge business advantage.
Managing a small-medium business is demanding. I know. I’ve run such a business for over 30 years. Managing employee performance is really a major management responsibility. It’s easier with a superior business focus.