People are looking for more than a nine-to-five job. They want meaningful work that speaks to their purpose. There was a time when salaries and benefits were enough to attract and retain the best and brightest, but money doesn’t wield the power it once did. Priorities have shifted, and as a result, many are choosing family and calling over careers and status.
Success has taken on a decidedly holistic flavour, and business owners need to understand the changing desires of the workforce. People are refusing to sacrifice their families at the altar of career or wealth. The revolution is here, and as with all revolutions, some things will never be the same again.
If business owners can embrace the shift, they’ll reap the benefits of putting people first. If not, they risk becoming irrelevant in the new economy.
Putting people first
Flexibility is key
Top 5 tips for business owners in the new hybrid normal
1. Creating added value
Your products or services must genuinely add value to your clients or customers if you’re to remain in the market for any length of time. But there’s a delicate balance between making the right margin and creating significant value for customers.
So before launching at prospective customers, stand back and make sure your value proposition is powerful enough for you to make a name for yourself in your chosen market. Once you’ve done that, before anything else, you need to ensure your ongoing margins are sustainable and represent value for you and your customers.
2. Building leverage
Building on the foundation of sustainable margins allows you to accelerate your business growth. But money isn’t the only resource we need to learn how to leverage. Money lost in a business can be returned over time, but the one resource we can’t replace is time itself.
Learning to leverage this precious commodity will make all the difference for you, your staff, and the success of your business.
Learn to leverage time
So, what do I mean by leveraging time? Ask yourself this question. Can I accept someone doing a job worse than me while being personally responsible and accountable for the outcome?
If your answer is no, you’re limiting the hours your business can operate. If every decision has to be made by you, you’ve already hit your ceiling.
But if your answer is yes, then your leverage is unlimited, and you’ll be able to grow your business far beyond the hours you alone can contribute.
With a mindset of creating leverage, you can move from doing everything yourself to ensuring things get done. Extending this mindset creates opportunities to trust people, increasing the leverage of the whole business.
3. Succeeding commercially
Whether or not you succeed commercially relies heavily on the information you use to make decisions. The numbers tell the story of your business, and they’re the only sure way to understand where you’re heading commercially.
But what numbers do you rely on? Should you look to your past business performance, or can you forecast accurately, making commercial decisions based on future information?
Think of it this way. You wouldn’t drive a car looking only into the rear vision mirror, would you? But that’s what you’re effectively doing if you only refer to previous financial quarters to predict the future.
Sales and Revenue
Most business owners know their sales and revenue numbers. This historical information is an essential piece of the puzzle but doesn’t give a forward view of revenue. Forecasting sales looks to the future, but what should you base it on?
Commercial success is all about forward momentum and revenue growth, and being able to forecast sales is fundamental to the development of your business. A sound pipeline management and forecasting method will ensure you can make the most of your business’s future revenue.
4. Invest in people
You’re only as good as the people you have with you. So take time to invest in the culture of your team. Gone are the days of bosses demanding the world from their employees and using the stick-and-carrot approach to keep them in line.
In the new business environment, workers have options beyond the traditional nine-to-five. People want meaningful work, and small business gives the perfect opportunity for connectedness if you let it.
If you develop and foster an authentic, creative culture that encourages and supports innovation, you’ll not only attract the best and brightest; you’ll keep them.
5. Find a new balance
You’re a person with a business, not a business owner with a personal life. Do you believe it? But even if you agree with the statement, reality can be a far cry from the dream.
It’s time to reimagine success in business that considers every other part of life. And at the top of the list is family. So what’s important to you? What’s good for you and your family? Is it more money, or do you need to leverage time to give you time together?
And the truth is that your value for balance in life will become part of the culture of your business. The new hybrid normal includes a value for time with family and friends, pursuing a passion, and investing in the bigger picture.
Embrace the future
Change is uncomfortable, but the tension doesn’t mean it’s wrong. We can embrace the uncertainty, take advantage of the shift, and create new business success for us, our employees, and our families. Or we can ignore the evidence and keep doing the same thing, but at what price?