People, Products, and Processes. These are the things it takes to run a successful business. Whether you're a ma and pa or a fortune 500.
We've all heard we need to hire great people, but what does a great person look like? Simply put a great person or hire will make your life easier. You'll spend less time training, less time supervising, and more time working in other areas of your business. Good people are self-motivated and self-disciplined. They're problem solvers and tend to have good people skills. They're able to prioritize tasks and follow them through to completion. Let's face it, these people are not easy to come by and that's why so many employers say it's hard to find good people.
One of the best ways to find good people is to pluck them from existing jobs. Never underestimate the fact the most valuable people tend to already be employed. The chances of you hiring someone who is truly valuable who's been out of work is slim. If they're not in the workforce and contributing they better have a good way to explain the gaps on their resume.
Savvy employers are always on the lookout for quality people. Sometimes they're easy to spot because there job is in the public eye like at a restaurant or store. Other times you might have to look harder. Think of when you have a great experience with a company you do business with and whether that person could be trained to transition to your team, that could become someone to pursue.
Having a great product that everyone wants or feel like they need sounds simple enough but are difficult to produce. First of all you need to create a product people actually want. This part is fairly easy to determine yet so many people are derailed right there. I think people have the tendancy to think a great product needs to be based on a new idea or invention. Truthfully the best products are small improvements to things people already feel like they need or just a higher quality version of an existing product at a better price point.
Creating products people want and need that can deliver on their promise is paramound to business success. Coming up with a better idea tends to be the easy part. It's the implementation of products that are difficult. For example if you're creating a better version of a product people already use and therefore understand, you'll need to create a manufacturing process that delivers on the promise of that product and that's not so easy.
Tip: Sometimes it's what your product doesn't have or what it won't do that makes it the best choice on the market. Products with fewer features and a more narrow target audience will be better poised to exceed expectations.
If you are creating a new invention or a new way of doing something you're going to face several additional hurdles. If you're product isn't already something people use in their daily life you're going to need to educate them to the point where they understand what the product is, does, and why they need it. If you can clear those hurdles you'll still need to show them the value of the product.
Tip: If you're not sure there's a market for your product try selling one before you go to manufacturing or development. If you can get a real person to hand you money for the product you'll find another person willing to do the same. If you can't you better be prepared to tweak things.
Processes are the systems you put in place so your business can be scaled. A lot of the time great processes have more to do with your what you don't offer than what you do. You can't make everyone happy and need to be willing to let some people fall through the cracks to please the audience you're appealing to.
Processes are all about the workflows in your business. Think of them as a series of "if this, then that" statements. For example if someone receives a damaged product from you then what is the process for returning it. Or if someone places an order on your website then who is responsible for getting it shipped.
Keeping a running list of all the "if this then that" problems and solutions in your business will help you create better processes. By keeping track of scenarios you'll be able to regularly review them, know how often certain one's occur, the total cost of not having the process in place, and then you'll be able to prioritize the one's that are most important.