Being a good company seems to be the goal of many small business owners. But why settle for good when you could be great?
Jim Collins, a business professor and author, wrote a book titled Good to Great that outlines many simple business concepts to take a company from good to great. Based on his research and adapting it to fit small businesses, I believe there are three core questions we must ask ourselves in order to grow: What are you deeply passionate about? What can you be the best in the world at? And what drives your economic engine?
The first question should be easy to answer: Do you have a true passion for what you’re doing? Self-analysis is essential. You can’t just decide to be passionate about what you do; the passion for what your business does must start from the top and trickle down to every single employee so it’s felt and ingrained in the company culture. Without this, employees and managers and even owners cannot move from good to great.
So, what can you be the best in the world at? What you can be the best in the world at may not be what you personally excel at, but maybe it’s a process or system you can perfect that is better than anyone else. Reflect on what your company can become the greatest at and don’t be afraid to take a large leap of faith to be the best!
The third and final idea is about driving your economic engine. A common misconception is that you must be in a strong industry to perform well, but this is just not true. Take Wells Fargo as an example of a company who faced much deregulation in the banking sector and still succeeded: One reason for their success was because they found the ratio that correctly measured the efficiency and profitability of their company: profit per employee. By choosing a ratio that is appropriate to your business you can gain profound insights into what drives your economic engine.
Reflection of the three key questions is a crucial first step in growing your business in the direction it should go. It lays a strong and immovable foundation to build a great company upon that without it, your company may never be able to maximize its potential.
Remember, as Jim Collins puts it so simply, “Good is the enemy of great.”