Everyone is looking for the secret to success, that shortcut that can lead to earning millions of pounds from the comfort of your sofa. Well I’m about to tell you that secret. I’m going to give you everything you need to know to learn about the secret to success in business. Your elusive dream of knowing exactly what you need to do to become a millionaire overnight is about to be uncovered. Are you ready?
The secret is a myth told by people dreaming themselves of finding the secret to success and trying every dumb ploy to convince unwilling victims into believing the lies that they can spread effortlessly online.
Here’s a great video highlighting what overnight success really looks like:
Ok, so there is no super secret formula to success that will make you rich overnight. But there are two things that you can apply to all of your business ventures that will give you the edge over your competition.
- Hard work and dedication – sorry anyone who tells you that this isn’t the number one requirement is either lying or a failure themselves.
- T.A.C.T. – what’s this I hear you ask? (hopefully, otherwise this post is pretty pointless!) Well let me explain!
One of the key factors in business in today’s world is transparency. This is true of any type of business. Gone are the days of manipulative fear marketing. Consumers and business people alike are more educated than ever before. This may not even necessarily be due to direct knowledge that they possess. Everyone is, today, a genius in my view. With the power of the internet we can gain access to a wealth of knowledge on any topic and the click of a button. Further, knowledge about your company and it’s trading practices is readily available online to anyone with basic search engine knowledge. It is very hard to market based on fear and manipulation. Granted, in some cases this can still work. However, in the majority of cases if you are not 100% transparent with what you do and say you will be found out.
By manipulation and fear marketing I mean the ‘hard sell’. The ‘you need this in your life otherwise the world will end’ style of marketing. The sales person turning up at your door with a folder full of sales figures and glossy brochures attempting to a close a sale there and then based on how well they can sell their product or service. In fact, as a rule, if someone turns up with a nice ready made leather folder full of documents, calculators and sales sheets I’ll turn them away 99% of the time. What I want is honest, personal and transparent marketing. I want to know your flaws and the mistakes you’ve made and how you’ve then rectified them. I don’t expect anyone to be perfect, I’m not perfect. It is what you do when you make a mistake that matters to me.
Some companies have gone extremely far with their transparent approach. Take Buffer as an example. They publish details of every sales, cancellation and refund they issue for the social media software in a live dashboard that you can see figures for in real time. This is easily available online.
I’m not saying you HAVE to go this far but you should be willing to answer any questions that come your way as openly as possible. If you don’t someone else will and who would you rather work with? The company who was completely open and transparent about how they do things or the company who was guarded and too scared to let anyone in fear of what they might find?
This is another key factor for success which ties into transparency. You have to analyse yourself and your business in order to be transparent. If you are not aware of who you are along with your strengths and your weaknesses then you can’t share this with the world. Self- awareness is critical and it comes through self analysis.
You should analyse yourself, your team and your business on a regular basis. Know what you’re good at and where you are under performing. It is only then that you can strive to improve in these areas. Further, your analysis should focus not only on your work but also your people. You need the right team in order to be successful. You need a team that shares the same values.
This is a big part of the analysis phase. Figure out what your company and personal goals and values are. Share them with the team and decide on some core values that represent you as people that you can share with the outside world.
One big piece of advice that I can give you here is that if you have people who’s values don’t align then you should seriously reevaluate as to whether you belong on the same team together. Differing values will be a big stumbling block, maybe not tomorrow but someday it will come back to bite you.
This is the method by which you perform your analysis in order to create your transparency. You must analyse things in a critical manner. You need to take yourself ‘out of the moment’ and be objective with your approach.
It is all well and good me suggesting that you create some company values and adopt a transparent approach but if this is not done through an objective process of critical thinking then the results you come to will be skewed and irrelevant.
You need to not be afraid to venture into the unknown and ask yourself scary questions. The true goal of a transparent working process is for you to be able to have completely open and honest dialogue with yourself, your customers and your staff. If it feels like there are subjects that are taboo or places you cannot go then GO THERE. Dust off the cobwebs and venture out. Ask yourself and your team the scary questions in an open and honest environment. If you don’t address these issues they won’t just go away. You’ll end up with a company director leaving to start his own business, taking half your client base with you or your star employee leaving to join a rival firm on minimal notice.
We’ve applied all of these features to our business. When one of our company directors left it wasn’t a huge surprise to myself. To our clients and some of our staff it may have been but I’d had these conversations and I was prepared for what could come at some stage down the road.
The goal of this is not to know exactly what will happen and exactly when but more to have a good idea of the path you are walking down and to be prepared for the journey.
For your clients and customers this whole process, along with a direct and constant stream of communication will lead to you improving your relationships and thus sales no end.
No one wants to feel like they are being convinced to buy into something anymore. Clients need to be a part of the sales process and own their decisions. This can only be done if they have been given all of the facts and options in a completely transparent and honest way through a clear process of analysis using critical thinking. Your staff are exactly the same.
And guess what, so are you! If you are running your own business and you haven’t applied these principles to your own business then you don’t really know the company you own as well as you think you do.
If you want to talk more on these issues or hire us to consult on how you can improve your business management then drop us a line through the website and I’d be more than happy to talk it through.