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The Top Ten Principles of Full Spectrum Business Development
Principle #1: The customer must be paramount.Of all the people interested in your business, by far the most important are customers. You might be tempted to think of yourself or your investors or your employees as the most important. They and you are all secondary. In truth they might actually be primary, yet unless you serve your customers and fully satisfy their needs, no one elseís needs get served. So, even if you donít really believe your customers are more important than yourself or your investors, treat them like theyíre the only important people in the world. If you donít satisfy your customers, itís all a waste of time. Your business wonít survive, and nobody gets satisfied. The customer is everything for a business. Donít ever forget it Ė not for a moment.
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Principle #2: Systemize the business.A business is a system of systems within systems. That may sound like gobbledygook, but itís not. Systems are the foundation of business excellence and the best way to make simplicity out of complexity.
Systemizing your business is the surest way to getting the reliable, consistent, high quality, and cost-effective results that are necessary for success. Youíll hear a lot about systems in the Full Spectrum Program because systems are the primary tool for building a business that delivers value for everyone. Speaking of valueÖ
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Principle #3: Deliver full spectrum value.Value is one of those words that means what you think it means, depending on your point of view. In business, value is anything you provide that someone wants. If you provide it and they donít want it, itís valueless. If they want it and donít get it, itís valueless. If they want it and get all of it, thatís full spectrum value.
To the owner, value is wealth, profits, satisfaction, making a contribution, status Ö and much more. To customers, value is a good price for the products and services they buy, a good experience of the product and the provider they get it from, status, emotional satisfaction Ö and much more. To an employee, value is a paycheck, job satisfaction, a good working environment, respectful treatment Ö and much more. To the community, value is a business that pays its taxes, provides jobs for its citizens, contributes to the positive energy and the economics of the community Ö and much more. Thereís a basic mistake many business people make about value. They think mainly in economic terms Ė value means money or anything that can be measured by money. Thatís wrong. Well, itís not really wrong Ė itís just narrow and shortsighted. Economic value is extremely important Ė essential, actually Ė yet thereís much more to it. Think of value this way: Thereís economic value Ė measured by money Ė and thereís "full spectrum" value, which means anything that satisfies needs, including money. For instance, people buy automobiles for transportation, status, a fun experience, self-image, emotional impulses, and, yes, also for economic reasons. People buy candy bars for flavor, to ease hunger, for emotional comfort, or maybe for other reasons.
A full spectrum business provides a full spectrum of value to its customers. And value is in the eye of the beholder. Value is what they say it is, not what you say it is. You may think you offer the best products and services since sliced bread, but if nobody is buying, those great products and services are worthless. The bottom line is this: Value is whatever satisfies the needs of anyone having anything to do with the business.
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The other business development principlesThe first three basic principles are inherent in our definition of a business and thatís not all there is to it. There are many more principles that make the Full Spectrum approach so much more effective than other business development methods. There are dozens, maybe even hundreds, of principles for developing effective businesses Ė too many to list here. Principle #4, below, is the 80/20 rule, which suggests that we focus on the small number of resources that produce the greatest results, so weíll follow our own principles and select a "Top Ten" list of the most important principles that should guide you as you build your business. Here are the rest of the Top Ten.
Principle #4: The 80/20 rule Ė leverage yourself and your resourcesEffective people know to focus their attention and their resources on the small number of tasks that get the greatest results. Itís called the eighty-twenty rule Ė eighty percent of the results produced by a person or a business are produced by twenty percent of the work. Thereís nothing magic about the "eighty percent" number. Just remember that smart people know to leverage themselves and their impact by putting their attention and their resources where theyíll get the greatest results.
The trick is in knowing which work and resources will get the results they want. What are the driving forces in the business? Thatís where you put your attention. What elements of value drive the customerís purchase decision? Thatís where you put your attention. What systems in the business are the ones that get the most important results? Thatís where you put your attention. What are the highest priorities for work to be done? Thatís whereÖwell, you know.
Full Spectrum Principle #4 asks you to figure out what "drives" your business, what "drives" your customers, what "drives" your employees, and to focus your attention on those drivers.
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Principle #5: Apply principles not formulasWhen we say "formula" we include rules, templates, best practices, and other "cookie cutter" methods, which are simply attempts to transplant methods that worked in one business into other businesses. Formulas make sense, donít they? If a rule works for one business wonít it work for any business, or at least any similar business? If a template succeeds in one business, shouldnít it work for another business? If a best practice is proven, shouldnít you use it?
The problem with formulas is not that they donít work. Formulas are popular because they do work. Theyíre relatively easy. You donít have to think much about formulas, you just have to use them to imitate what others have done. And that seems to make sense. Why shouldnít you imitate a formula that works?
The problem arises because your business isnít the same as any other business, not even other businesses offering the same products and services to the same markets. And youíre not like other leaders. You have your own strengths and weaknesses, and theyíre not like anyone elseís strengths and weaknesses. And your specific situation isnít exactly like the situation for any other business. So, if you use a formula approach to developing your business, it might help you make progress, yet it wonít be ideal for you and your business. You may even get good results, but you wonít get great results. Formulas can help you make progress, and if you donít know thereís a better way, youíll be satisfied. There is a better way Ė apply principles not formulas.
A business principle is an underlying business reality. A business principle is deeper, more fundamental than a formula. A formula is a generalized attempt to solve a general business problem. But your problems Ė and opportunities Ė arenít general. Theyíre specific. Specific to your business. Specific to your ways of managing. Specific to your markets. Specific to your products. And specific to your financial situation. At best, a formula will "sort of" fit your business, and at worst, it will be counterproductive. What you need are specific solutions to your specific problems and opportunities. You donít want "approximately" or "good enough." You want "exactly right" for your business, and "outstanding" for your customers, investors, employees, and others. So when you learn about a formula that worked for some other business, or one you find in a textbook, donít use the formula Ė find the underlying business realities on which the formula is based, and apply those to your business. Weíll help you do that.
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Principle #6: Think with your whole mindHuman beings come fully equipped with both logical and intuitive thinking abilities, and somehow, over the years, most of us learn to rely on one more than the other. Neither is better than the other and neither is more reliable. People who intuitively "trust my gut" are just as likely to be right or wrong as people who "figure it out" logically. The people who learn to use logical and intuitive thinking get the best results. Itís as if they had two brains, and everyone knows "two heads are better than one."
If you trust your intuition and bypass logical thinking youíre only using half your brain power. The same is true if you trust logic and ignore your intuition. If you tend to be a logical thinker, wouldnít it be better if you could double-check your logic with your intuition? If you tend to be intuitive, wouldnít it be better if you could build a logical case for what your intuition tells you? Of course, the answer to both questions is yes.
Logical thinking seems obvious and easy. Itís the way they teach us to think in school, and weíve done it for so long, it seems inborn, but itís not. We had to learn it.
Because intuitive thinking is mostly unconscious, and works in ways that are invisible to us, itís easy to dismiss intuition as "merely a feeling." Just because we donít know how intuition works, doesnít mean we should ignore it. Do you know how your computer works? Do you know how aspirin works? Do you know how your liver works? You donít know how they work, yet you use them all, donít you? Your intuition already works, and it works just fine, yet you might not know how to listen to it, and therefore might not be allowing yourself to benefit from this wonderful, invisible, thinking process. This principle of using your whole-mind will make your decision making and business management far more effective than relying primarily on one thinking mode or the other.
An understanding of the importance of conscious and unconscious thinking and logical and intuitive decision making will make you a better judge of people, markets, systems, financial management, communications, relationships, and more. That understanding alone will dramatically increase your effectiveness as a business person and leader. Itís a theme that runs throughout the Full Spectrum Business Development Program.
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Principle #7: Define SuccessItís only after the fact, after youíve accomplished something, that you can call it a success. Before the fact itís a hope, or if you do it right, a goal. Setting goals is actually defining success before it happens. Goals give you something to aim for, something to direct your efforts, something to motivate you, and something to keep you on course. The first point about defining success is the simple act of doing it. The mere fact that you define success before leaping into an activity goes a long way toward insuring that you will, in fact, be successful. So look ahead and consciously decide what success means to you and to your business. And yes, you need to consider two kinds of success Ė success for your business, and success for yourself.
What is success for you?
Success is what you say it is.
Well, itís not quite that simple. Yes, you should define success in a way thatís meaningful for you, but be careful. Most of us define success in conventional terms Ė wealth, possessions, status, acceptance from others, health, inching the other guy out across the finish line, going to the moon, getting an A in algebra, curing cancer, learning to play the guitar Ė anything you accomplish can be defined as a success. Stripped to the essentials, success is nothing more than setting a goal and achieving it.
What if the goal isnít right for you? Is it still success? Most people would say yes. If your goal is to make a million dollars by the age of thirty, and you do it, would anyone deny your success? If your mother and father want you to be a doctor, and you do, isnít that a success? Yes, of course, these are examples of successÖbut maybe not. Thereís a deeper experience of success. Each of us has an inner drive that motivates us. Itís something that was shaped in our earliest days mainly by our relationships with our parents and our earliest experiences. Itís something thatís so basic to us it seems inborn, an innate part of our characters. Itís also something that operates mostly at an unconscious level, and it needs to become a part of our conscious awareness so we can factor it into our decision making, and use it to tap into our passion and motivation. We call it "Core Purpose" because it is core to your personality and it shapes your sense of purpose in your life. Itís not mysterious, most of us need a bit of thought in order to get a clear, conscious understanding of it. The main point about Core Purpose is that the goals you set for yourself and your business canít conflict with your Core Purpose or youíre setting yourself up for failure or an unfulfilling life and career. We deal with Core Purpose in depth in the Full Spectrum Business Development Program, so we wonít explore it any further here. What is success for your business?
Again, success is what you say it is.
And again, itís not quite that simple. Defining success for your business should be done in a way that actually launches you toward that success. Goal-setting is an important part of that, so are setting a vision and mission for the future of the business and deciding on how it will operate and how the people in the business should behave. In the Full Spectrum program, we ask you to define something called "Strategic Intent." As the name implies, Strategic Intent is a clear statement of what the business will become in the future when it is successful. Strategic Intent sets the stage for success and puts your business on the right path to succeed.
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Principle #8: Focus on ResultsEverything done by you or your business has an outcome, a result. The very purpose of a business is to produce results in the form of value for anyone with an interest in the business, especially customers.
The mistake business people make is to focus on the work, not the results. The purpose of work is to produce a result. If you focus on the work, you get what you get. If you focus on the result, it will direct the work toward the outcome you want, and youíll get what you want to get. Itís actually a chain of purpose:
Goal -> Work -> Results -> Success .Itís a simple principle: set goals to achieve the results you want and keep your eye on those results as you work toward them.
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Principle #9: Use your"double vision"A common challenge for business people is to keep the long term interests of the business in mind while immersed in the minute-to-minute pressures of the business. It takes a kind of "double vision" to keep both in mind at the same time. The best business managers and entrepreneurs are able to keep their double vision focused sharply in both directions. Every little operational decision is made with an eye to its impact on the long term, and every long term decision is informed by knowledge of the day-to-day operation of the business. Itís not just a useful skill Ė itís essential for the development of the business if itís going to achieve its Strategic Intent. Itís hard to think about draining the swamp when the alligators are snapping at you. Itís hard to change the tire when the car is speeding along at sixty miles per hour. But if the swamp needs draining or the tire needs changing, youíve got to get the job done regardless of the alligators or the speed. Double vision keeps your focus where it needs to be, even when it needs to be in two different places.
Long-term and short-term arenít the only kinds of double vision you need to develop.
Thereís also the double vision of the strategic, big picture direction of the business and the operational details of the business Ė you have to keep the strategy in mind even as you make the hundreds of little decisions demanded of you. When youíre dealing with employees, the double vision is that employees are both human beings who need understanding and compassion, and at the same time theyíre productive assets that need to be deployed in the business where they can be most effective. When youíre marketing your products and services, you have to keep the customerís point of view in mind while at the same time balance the needs of your business. And when youíre working in your business, you also need to keep the rest of your life in mind to maintain a healthy balance. Which leads us to the last but not least of our Top Ten Principles:
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Principle #10: Keep a healthy perspectiveThis is as much a life principle as it is a business principle. The relationship between your business and the rest of your life Ė your family, friends, service activities, leisure time, and even sleep time Ė needs to be kept in balance. For many (most?) business people, the business commands the lionís share of their time, attention, and even passion. No one but you can say what the right balance is, but the chances are almost 100 to 1 that youíre not in balance right now. You might be the rare exception, but you probably arenít.
Your business should contribute your life, not dominate it. It should bring you quality and fulfillment, not drag you down and wear you out.
Part of building a Full Spectrum business is also building a Full Spectrum life.
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Did you know...A recent survey revealed 30% of business owners struggle with time management and have almost zero personal time. Another 30% complained of constant stress, and finally, 15% lamented over their financial problems, sporadic income, and thin profit margins. One business owner complained, "I get paid just in time to pay past due bills."
STOP Procrastination!Being decisive is one of the most important success principles.
Most successful people in the world make decisions QUICKLY and definitely...and very rarely change their minds. The opposite of DECISION is procrastination. Procrastination has kept more people from creating WEALTH and HAPPINESS than just about anything else known to mankind.
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