Previously posted on The WealthBuilders Podcast by Karen Conrad.
There is a big difference between wanting to grow and planning to grow. If you are a business owner or a leader in the marketplace, you probably know that it takes months to position your organization for the profit and growth you want to see in the future. So, it’s best to start early! Check out the following 3 keys for business profit and growth, and be sure to tune in to the corresponding podcast episode.
1. Make a Commitment to Growth
Any time that you want different results, you need to make a change. As Henry Ford said, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” So, here’s the question: are you ready to grow? If your answer is yes, here’s a follow up question: are you ready to make changes in your organization that will position you to go to the next level?
You may be tempted to answer “yes” to both questions because it seems like the right answer, but I encourage you to take a moment to consider the implications. In Matthew 14:28-30, Jesus says “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish – lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’” The point is that there’s a big difference between wanting to grow and planning to grow. James 1:5-8 is another great scripture to hold us accountable:
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
After you commit to growth, don’t waver. It’s much easier to steer a moving ship than one that’s stagnant in the water. You may not know everything to begin with, but if you have committed to something God has called you to, take the risk and try.
So, how do you commit?
Commitment is simple, but it’s not easy. Consider the actions, activities, and behaviors that are necessary to achieve your desired goal. Then, do them! For example, if your goal is to live a healthier lifestyle, you’ll need to commit to exercise and clean food choices. There will be moments when cookies call out to you from the cupboard, but you must ask yourself—am I committed to health, or am I committed to cookies? When your alarm goes off for that 5:00 am workout, you might be tempted to hit snooze and go back to bed. Then, you must ask yourself—am I committed to sleep, or am I committed to building muscle? We can’t make decisions that counter the results we want to see. That’s the definition of being double-minded. On the flip side, it is empowering to intentionally choose to do the actions and activities that align with your goals!
If you are a leader that has a team, create a culture of change. Reward team members who engage in the activities needed for growth and make those incentives (and what it takes to receive them) clear. Commit to growth, communicate that commitment, and carry it deep into the organization. That way, you and your team members will complete the necessary actions and activities with confidence and excitement.
2. Check Your Vision
Look at your company’s current vision statement. Does it align with where you want your business to go? Does achieving that vision statement help get to the next level? I love The Walt Disney Company’s old vision statement: Make people happy. It was simple, sweet, and straight to the point! Your vision statement should reflect your company’s reason for existing and their number one priority.
As you position your company for profit and growth, it’s important to pull out your vision statement and consider if the vision reflects where you want to be in the next 1-5 years. Define your current intentions and goals and write everything down clearly. Habakkuk 2: 2 says, “And the Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.” Clearly communicated vision will equip your team to run towards growth. Here are four questions to ask yourself when checking your vision:
1. What is your current vision?
2. What is the most important aspect of your vision?
3. Does your vision line up with your desired growth?
4. If needed, how will you make the necessary judgements to your vision? (Make any adjustments to your vision as soon as possible. This gives you and your team room to adapt…it could take some time!)
3. Check Your Leadership
Sometimes leadership adjustments must be made to better align with your goals. This could involve changing current employee’s positions, hiring new people, and letting some go. For instance, some leaders may have the aptitude to make the adjustments necessary for profit and growth, but they may not want to make the changes. When that happens to be the case, those individuals may no longer be a fit for your organization. In the process of checking your leadership, ask yourself and trusted colleagues these three questions?
1. What do you reward employees for? People will focus on the tasks they get rewarded (or even acknowledged) for.
2. When you do performance reviews, what items do you list in measuring performance? For example, the growth areas you encourage daily should be the ones that are targeted on performance reviews. Every employee has a potential to contribute towards profit and growth, or to diminish it.
3. Do we measure items that are consistent with the growth we want to see? Find a way to track relevant key performance indicators and monitor their progress on a weekly basis.