Owners, manage thyselves Featured

10:59am EDT July 31, 2002
Last month I discussed the three roles you must play as a business owner and how to tie what you accomplish to what you earn. As noble as this sounds, it's hard enough just to tie daily activities to your goals.

This month I'll discuss how to best spend your time to make the greatest impact.

As owner, leader and product No. 1, what can you do to make progress toward your goals every day? Regardless of whether you are running a service, manufacturing, retail or distribution business, you can distill all of your day-to-day efforts into three areas: selling, delivering and developing your business.

The big three

Selling starts and keeps your company rolling. Even if you know exactly what you want the customer to buy, the sales activity moves your product off the shelf or gets your people hired.

Therefore, the most important short-term activity is learning to sell what your company makes. By learning to uncover customer pain and prospect opportunity, you drive your company's business forward.

Deliver what you like making and have succeeded at producing to the satisfaction of others. Link this to exactly what you sell. To do this, determine your best and highest use and assure it meets your clients' needs. Hone it, codify it and make it distinctive.

Develop your company's long-term ability to perform at higher levels. Understand what it takes to develop prospects and build the top half of your sales funnel. Brand what you sell. As you do this, narrow your target market and pursue greater opportunities to resolve customer pain and lead them to greater opportunities to grow your customers business.

By focusing on selling, delivering and developing your company, you will be successfully spending every moment of your business life focusing on the right company goals.

Selling solves your short-term revenue needs. Delivering ensures you exchange value for money. Development means you continually build and fortify your growing brand.

But all three must be done together. If you sell and deliver, your business will always live no greater than hand-to-mouth. Sell and develop, and your poor value will drive customers away. Develop and deliver, and you'll go out of business because no customers will ever get sold.

While you are undoubtedly thinking about all the things you must get done every day, think first about the big three. If you are making equal and balanced progress in each area, you are helping your business thrive both in the short term and the long term.

In doing so, your daily activities can always stay on track and give you confidence your goals will be achieved. Andrew Birol (abirol@birolgrowthconsulting.com) is president of Birol Growth Consulting, a Solon-based firm that helps grow businesses by growing their best and highest uses. He can be reached at (440) 349-1970 or at www.birolgrowthconsulting.com.