After observing the best of the best, we offer these seven habits to guide your actions:
1. Have a client-first mentality. Don’t let small financial considerations block your exceptional service mindset. Respond to customer requests with a complete understanding of what they are asking you to do. Treat every client service opportunity like it’s you being served. Treat your employees well, too – they will in turn serve clients better.
2. Get the numbers right. Be committed to counting right and using the numbers to drive actions. Plan. Measure. Review. Act.
3. Have a strategic Plan. Get your vision on paper and review it quarterly. Make sure everyone in the business shares it and drives to it. Monitor the values that direct it and assure everyone lives those values.
4. Have an organizational plan. Don’t just react to resignations or terminations – ID the adds and changes that will be needed as you grow. Continuously prune the organization; keeping the very best by hiring slowly and firing quickly.
5. Help your people manage. Give your best people the opportunity to run the business, conduct meetings, and make decisions. Get out of the middle of everything. Trust and hold them accountable.
6. Get Outside help. You don’t need to go it alone. Get professional outside help to mentor and improve. It allows you to step away from the tree.
7. Manage CASH proactively. Understand the cash dynamics in the business and be ahead of it at all times. Know what net cash is and strive to accumulate it.
Feel free to score yourself on the 7 habits above using a 1 to 4 scale where 1 is best. A “7” would be perfect and we want to meet you. Solid operators should score better than 14. Below that and you have some areas to work on. Hope this helps to aim your priorities.