Good can sometimes be the enemy of great. Good can also be deceptive. Unless you are self-motivated and deeply committed to the principle of continuous improvement, good can often lead to complacency rather than greatness.
As a corporation, agency or small business, how to take your business from good to great should be a key consideration. Here are some strategies to help you.
8 ways to go from good to great
- Make creativity a priority
You will have no greater partner in your business than creativity. Creativity is a mountain mover and a problem solver.
Creativity will help you bring originality to your business and find new paths and new solutions. Creativity, applied well, can be a tremendous competitive advantage.
Make creativity a priority. Encourage yourself and everyone who works with you to explore, challenge the status quo and find better ways of doing things. Remember, creativity is a mindset.
- Put value ahead of money
This concept is hard for many business owners to grasp. It’s so easy to focus on short-term gains and maximum profits in the shortest possible time.
What can you give for free? How can you make your clients feel they are getting a lot more value than they are paying for? If you do, your business will go from good to great.
Have you noticed how some companies reduce the size of their products through clever packaging or scripting, and still sell them at the same price? Have you seen how the size of Gala has shrunk over the years? There are many other similar examples in the market.
Consumers are a lot more perceptive than you think. They can smell true value from afar, and they will reward- or punish you eventually. Remember, you should never start a business to make money, start it to make a difference.
- Be curious
Curiosity keeps you moving forward. It keeps you exploring, opening new doors and doing new things. Curiosity is about finding answers. It will also help you take your business from good to great.
Passionate curiosity is what makes you see things that others don’t get to. Albert Einstein once said, “I’m neither especially clever nor especially gifted. I am only very, very curious.”
- Don’t be a statue
In our new fast paced world, you must rethink as much as you think. Look ahead more than you look behind. And you need to reinvent and improve the things you just invented.
Great businesses are part of the changing landscape, not trying to catch up to it, and that requires regularly thinking fresh. That said, one way or another, you must challenge yourself and your thinking.
- Know the difference between bravery and stupidity
There’s a difference between a brave idea and a risky one. Brave ideas move mountains and change fortunes. They take the status quo and politely show it the door. Brave ideas may still be uncertain, but they exist in a foundation of knowledge and understanding that gives them an element of preparedness.
Risky or stupid ideas, on the other hand, are wild unconnected ideas that keeps your close associates muttering, “Please, please, please.”
Every day you must know the rules in order to break them. You must push past the safe and run at the brave. It takes courage to build a business; that’s different than stupidity.
- Keep pushing
Be aware that obstacles are everywhere. Sometimes they’re in the form of people. Sometimes they’re in the form of stupidity. They’re all hard to accept, and they can kill motivation.
True entrepreneurs have learnt to just keep pushing.
- Find your internal champions
Look for your internal champions.
They stand ready and willing to dedicate their creativity, intelligence, energy and entrepreneurial skills to move the company forward. You must rally these people, regardless of their hierarchical place or role in the organization. They are the ones that will help take your business from good to great.
Such people looking to contribute are usually hungry to do so. Your mission as the leader is to identify them and nurture them. While not everyone will answer your call, the champions who do often lead by example and set the tone for kickstarting change and greatness.
- The end of the world is not near
Apathy. Negativity. Cynicism. They don’t have a place in great businesses. The people who build great businesses are characterized by optimism and unbridled enthusiasm. They constantly fall in love with the idea of doing something great.
The potential for greatness sits on a tray of half-filled glasses, and success comes from believing you can fill them the rest of the way to the top.
Enthusiasm is infectious — spread it. Optimism is contagious — catch it.