The Habits of Business Growth

“Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good habits.”
–Benjamin Franklin

When my family ran Clear Lake Lodge back in the days when interest rates were 23% and there was no internet, we relied on repeat business and referrals.

We did that by taking care of our guests, offering a spotlessly clean facility, screening requests to send families with crying babies to our competition, and ensuring our high-pressure water heater the size of a Honda Civic would provide a memorable shower experience for any guest.

In other words, we had systems and processes that were converted into daily habits that helped us to grow our business. This was in the days before Trip Advisor or electronic credit card machines. Yes, it was a long time ago.

What habits did you have in place that helped you grow your business before Covid? Which of those habits are still helpful and which are holding you back?

Anywhere from 40% to 90% of our daily actions are due to our habits, according to the highly reliable internet.

Research by Phillipa Lally showed that it takes an average of 66 days to create a new personal habit.

The good news is that business habits can be developed, implemented, enhanced, or changed much more quickly. That’s because you can use systems, policies, procedures, and incentives.

Your business habits are under your control. Therefore, your business growth is under your control. It’s not based on the external economy, the government, lock downs, or many other external factors. There are companies setting record revenues and growing during these same external conditions.

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What habits can you develop to grow your business and build your business wealth? Here are several ideas:

  1. Analyze your leads and incoming requests for patterns and trends that identify current—and future—buyer preferences and behaviors. Your customers and prospects are already telling you what they need and want.
  2. Analyze what is and isn’t selling in terms of your inventory or service offerings. Adjust future investments accordingly. Don’t get tied into sunk costs. They’re sunk for a reason, let them go.
  3. Be innovative. Don’t just be a trend follower; lead by example. Using the above information, customize and offer unique solutions that are timely, relevant, and cost effective for your customers.
  4. Educate—and entertain—your customers and prospects. That’s what marketing is about. One of my coaching clients has generated paid projects and requests for more events by hosting free webinars. Another manufacturing client is using its expertise in air flow to broaden its offerings to existing clients and markets.
  5. Search key words that are relevant for your industry and ensure your marketing activities include these key words. This is very relevant for business to business as more buyers are highly educated and informed about their options and your competitors.
  6. Research your competitors at least quarterly. What are they offering? How do they compare to you in terms of speed, quality, accuracy, relevance, timeliness, total cost of ownership, implementation ease, friendly service, reduced risk, and return on investment? Where are your opportunities?
  7. Proactively contact—call, don’t email—your best customers and offer them your newest and best advice and solutions to help them be more successful.
  8. Keep sharing your Flash data with your executive team on at least a weekly basis and discuss trends and how to improve performance. This means sharing sales, production, and key financial metrics weekly. Don’t use a Flash report, see below*.
  9. Be flexible in delivering value to your best customers. A manufacturing client is very popular with their construction customers because they kit and label their products based on the construction plan so the product gets delivered exactly where it needs to: by floor or specific location, on a specific day according to the construction schedule.
  10. Strategy is organic. Review and, if necessary, update your strategy quarterly. This should take half a day or less and can keep you years ahead of your competition. Don’t update your strategy quarterly, see below**.

What growth habits do you need to develop and implement to accelerate your business growth in any economic conditions?

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