Most businesses are started or managed with the amazing idea or desire to be the best at what they do.  Usually during the start-up or after some success, the business leaders focus moves from their original idea or desire to be the best, to time, money and operational costs. When this happens and the core of any business, the customers is pushed back as a priority, the business begins to be average and making sales becomes the sales strategyby default or financial necessity.

Focus is the ability to do all that must be done to start, grow or run a business without losing sight of its core priority. Coach Wooden said, “Never mistake activity for achievement”, but in business it’s easy to get sidetracked by being busy.  Stay focused on the core of your business…people, customers and your success will be the result.

In business meetings in boardrooms all over the world, the discussion of how to increase business is missing its main voice…the customer.  The discussion focuses on operational efficiency and costs, marketing, advertising, finance and sales from the perspective of the business and not from the perspective of customers.  Businesses everywhere have forgotten or never focused on who they’re in business to serve. This business model has alienated consumers and is threatening many businesses today. Even when the economy bounces back, the relationship with customers needs to be healed to increase or grow your business.  Don’t get caught waiting for the economy and not be ready when it improves.

Businesses make decisions and take actions without focusing on the effects they will have on making customers.  Most business decisions today are reactions to results caused by attitudes and behavior that occurred months or even years earlier. If you aren’t careful, you begin to allow finance to lead your business with old data.  This will lead to inconsistency, mediocrity and eventually failure as we are seeing today in American business.

Finance should be counting what business is doing not leading the company. In a sports analogy, at this point, we have turned over leadership to the scorekeepers. The faster things around us move the shorter the vision, less conviction for our original plan and the less we pay attention to people. Most business leaders agree that it is people that make the difference in their business’s success while allowing people to slide down the priority list. So it really is about reprioritizing your business and putting people first that will insure its success.

Business needs to be flexible to keep up with technology and trends, but the one constant in business is people, and human nature doesn’t change.  That’s why leading people should be the number one priority in business.

Put people first in your business, both employees and consumers.  Decide to care about people and make them the number one priority in your business.  This won’t be another, “The customer is always right philosophy”, because if we choose to care about people as our priority we will do what’s best for them and not just what they want. Caring about people will enable you to hold both your employees and customers accountable and result in business growth by attracting the best people and creating loyalty from both groups.

By Mike Moore

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