4 Assumptions We Make About Every Successful Business – Insight from my e-book, 12 Vital Signs of Organizational Health


There are plenty of books dealing with exemplar, successful, “great,” “excellent” companies. Some of those companies have already fallen from the list. For example, Jim Collins described Circuit City as one of the exemplar, “great” companies in his book Good to Great, not very long before Circuit City disappeared from our landscape. In other words, becoming “great” is difficult; maybe staying “great” is even more difficult.

12_vital_signs_to_organisational_health_2D_coverI have spent the last 17+ years reading business books carefully enough to present useful synopses of these books. And in my e-book, 12 Vital Signs of Organizational Health, I tried to give the core lessons I’ve learned over these years of careful reading. I begin the book with four key assumptions. Here they are:

Assumption #1 – Assuming that you have a product or service that others will pay for…

My primary collaborator on this project tells me I need to add a phrase:  “that others will pay for at a healthy profit to the company or organization.”

Here is the point:  if you are producing/offering a product or service that no one wants, or that no one will pay for (yes, at a profit to you), then you do not have a business.  It is a truism that is so old that I do not remember who first said it, but it goes like this:  “if people will not pay for it, you do not have a business, you have a hobby.”

Assumption #2 – Assuming that you have excellent business processes (such as:  logistics, accounting, billing, collecting…). 

In other words, you are good at doing the business of being in business.

Consider the experience of ordering from Amazon.  You place an order.  It starts here:  It is easy to place that order (they invented “one click ordering”).  Then, almost as if by magic, that product shows up at your doorstep  – within 2 days if you have Amazon Prime.  There is a lot of process excellence that goes into that 2-day delivery. They are good at:  taking the order; taking my money; packaging the order; getting the order shipped and delivered on time.  A lot of people do everything just right to get that done.

And, there is much more.  They have their goods ready to ship, easy to find within a perfectly designed system.  They have the right suppliers; they pay those suppliers on time…. The list goes on and on.  And a failure anywhere along the chain becomes a threat to the business itself. In other words, they are very good at executing on the processes of business.

We all have to match that kind of excellence…

Assumption #3 – Assuming that you excel at Marketing and Sales (Customer Acquisition)…

You have to acquire new customers.  There’s a pretty good chance that your existing customers cannot order enough to keep you in business.  So, however you do it, using whatever tools you can find, you’ve got to develop a steady stream of new customers.

Assumption #4 – Assuming that you excel at Customer Service – the Customer Experience (Customer Retention)…

As you add new customers, you also excel at keeping your current customers very happy.  Very happy!  They continue to use your product or service, and like it enough that they really would not consider going anywhere else.  In fact, they become your ally in acquiring additional new customers.

These 4 assumptions are what we might call the true basics.  Fail at any of these, and you might find yourself out of business. To say it differently, these aren’t just assumpitons, these are essentials.

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Here's a graphic - these four assumptions are on the left; the other signs of organizational health are on the right
Here’s a graphic – these four assumptions are on the left; the other signs of organizational health are on the right

Here are the four, all together.  You might consider printing them out, and discussing them at your next leadership team meeting.  Where are you excelling?  And where do you need to put in some work?

Assumption #1 – Assuming that you have a product or service that others will pay for…
Assumption #2 – Assuming that you have excellent business processes (such as:  logistics, accounting, billing, collecting…). 
Assumption #3 – Assuming that you excel at Marketing and Sales (Customer Acquisition)…
Assumption #4 – Assuming that you excel at Customer Service – the Customer Experience (Customer Retention)…

Get these right, and you have a better chance of staying in business, and growing your business. Get any of these wrong, and you end up in trouble pretty quickly.

——————–

My e-book, 12 Vital Signs of Organizational Health, is a quick read, but filled with useful content, and key reminders. You do want your organization to be healthy, don’t you? Click on over to Amazon and purchase 12 Vital Signs of Organizational Health.

And, you can purchase my synopsis of many, many business books at 15minutebusinessbooks.com. Each synopsis comes with the audio recording of my presentation (actually averaging about 17 minutes long), and my comprehensive, multi-page handouts.

 

 

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