Home > The Monday Musings Column > What’s your business all about? Do your people know?

What’s your business all about? Do your people know?

Those who delve into the deeper corners f my social media output will be aware that recently I have been working on developing one of my various ventures into the retail arena. So why am I taking on a project like this?

For me the challenge is on being able to judge my market and deliver what the customers are looking for, and it will succeed or fail entirely on my own judgement; no-one else is making the calls. All of the decisions; strategy, tactics, marketing, buying, premises and everything else comes down to me and me alone.

It is only one of my business interests, and whilst in all of the others I am only as good as this weeks performance, they tend to be one off projects whereas in this one there is a much longer game to play and part of the attraction is the risk involved.

For much of the middle part of my working life I was making big decisions, strategic investment plans and the like. I got it right often enough to be successful, both personally and in terms of the businesses concerned, but it was always someone else’s money so the opportunity to be doing something where the financial risk is mine too is a good challenge and brings another dimension to the deals I make.

In almost every job that I have had there has been some direct involvement with customers, and from an early age I have been exposed to the reality of it being the customers who pay your wages and the level of skill and commitment that is involved in attracting and retaining customers (as well as in what it takes to get them to pay). It is an important lesson for anyone in an organisation; being aware of how what you do impacts on how the money comes in.

For me my latest venture helps me to keep my business focus sharp, and that flows through into the decisions that I make and the advice that I give when I am working for clients. So how do you keep your people’s business skills and acumen at the highest level you can? Training people in their specialism is important, but they also need to know how they fit into the bigger picture, and that applies to everyone. They can’t all make the big decisions, but they all have their part to play.

I’ve been lucky over the years to have been well trained, and am lucky now to be able to make my own decisions, and that is why I am so passionate about developing others. It’s also why I keep pushing myself and stretching my own boundaries. I may have entered my seventh decade, but I’ve still got things to learn and challenges to relish.

Keeping your people fresh and motivated, developing them to deliver the best that they can in support of what you need to make your organisation successful is as important as anything else that you do. Keeping people fired up and focused is what good leadership is about. How you do it is up to you, but remember that people are individuals and what works for one may well not work with another. Learn about what makes your people tick and inspire them to follow your dream.


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