Ready, Fire, Aim. Today speed is as important as anything. Striving for a perfect service, product, or introduction may have worked thirty years ago, but you will be lost in the dust today. That doesn’t mean that one should be careless, but it is more about adapting and recovering, and realizing that the business landscape is constantly and quickly changing, and the best laid plans can be obsolete by the time they are perfected. Unfortunately, today even the bigger companies don’t have the luxury of having all the facts before they make decisions so surely the small operator must sometimes make crucial decisions with limited information.
Forget the time clock. Successful entrepreneurs value time all the time. That doesn’t mean that you should be a workaholic and not take escapes from your work. Rather focus is an important aspect of any activity and the enthusiasm and energy that you bring to doing “the right things right all the time” will affect your success.
Steal ideas from everyone. Observe and copy what works. Get outside your industry and observe in your readings, travels, and conversations what works for other industries and consider what might work for yours. You may even hire an “outsider” to import successes from other lines of work.
Respect what your competition does well. Successful operators like athletes are always aware of their competitors and observing what they do well so that can also incorporate that into their game or business and thus improve.
Make your employees or associates the keystones. Your work associates are your delivery system at every turn. If they are well-trained, motivated, and provided the appropriate resources, they will in turn make your customers happy, which will make your shareholders pleased. Never take any shortcuts with this group if you hope to stay in business.
Under-promise and over-deliver. Delighting the customer and keeping your word with integrity is nothing new, and it will continue to be even more important as communications travel instantly now among your customers via the Internet. The manner in which you keep your commitments will be key to attracting and keeping your customers.