In business, surviving is not good enough. Keeping your head above water so to speak suggests your business is a disaster waiting to happen so you’ve got to change what you’re doing so your business gets a different result.
Clearly if you have started the year believing your business is in ‘survival mode’ right now, it’s most likely behind the curve and you’ve lost control of its destiny, so it’s time to do things differently so you gain back the control.
What Does Staying Ahead of The Curve Mean?
Ahead of the curve or phased another way ‘ahead of the pack’ is an idiom or set phrase.
A more detailed definition of an idiom is, it is a group of words that have a figurative meaning as opposed to a literal definition.
Essentially ‘ahead of the curve or pack have the figurative meaning: you’re out in front, i.e. leading. Relating to business, the products, services etc are better than competitor offerings.
Clearly this is the perfect position for your business to be in. You’ve got something that’s better than the competition however this doesn’t mean your business automatically succeeds.
Having the world’s best products or service is the perfect starting point, but if at the same time they’re the world’s best kept secret, your business is not likely to succeed and thrive.
Operating a business requires a plan, systems, processes, strategies and great people.
Stepping into the leadership role and driving the business in the right direction falls on your shoulders as the business owner/operator.
If being a leader is not for you, don’t persevere in the role, hire someone more suited to taking calculated risks, and asserting control of the operation.
The creator of leading edge products may start the business however they can only take it so far. Their skillset usually doesn’t extend to executive leadership and failure to let go of the operations is why so many small businesses fail with the first few years.
When a business is stagnating, change is needed. Continuing to take the same actions and getting the same results will likely drown the business if not immediately it will happen, so there’s a chance you’ll be in denial for while, and even feel optimistic that it’s turned the corner. However without an injection of inspiration and change, the end is nigh. Therefore fight any resistance to change starting with your mindset.
Adopting a ‘growth mindset’ that motivates productivity is key and it’s likely injecting the business with external resources is also required. The saying: you can’t teach an old dog new tricks is likely to apply to you, with the right professional input, you’ll break those hard and fast habits for the business.
In this article these areas of change promote the right mindset to focus on putting your best foot forward so your business does an about turn and eventually gets ahead of the curve and thus it’s main competitors.
Be Extraordinary, not Ordinary
Fight the desire to follow everyone else. Focus on where you want your business to be i.e. leading, not following. Set your one standards and live by them and them alone. To do so effectively you’ll need to set up some key measurements in place so you know you’re on the right track.
Start with defining the key objectives of the business. Use the four Ws and one H i.e. what, where, why, when and how. To leave nothing to chance, remember to aim BIG.
If your objectives are to achieve the same as your competitors your business won’t be ahead of the curve, so that’s not good enough. You reap what you sow so go for it and surprise yourself with your new ‘take over the world’ attitude.
Do everything better
To do better you need to analyse what’s been happening in the business up to now. There will be some parts that are working well and they will need just tweak or two to improve their performance. That’s the easy part. 🙂
There will be major change required in the poor performing areas and this is where you need to use your external resources i.e. consultants, or mentors who are not emotionally tied to the business.
Implement the changes and deal with the resulting initial fallout with the help of your new operations leader or leadership team (internal and external stakeholders).
Now Own It
Now is the time to ‘own it’. Dominate the market and keep going. Remember to review your progress and keep refining your processes and systems. Good luck and let us know how you’re doing in our comments area.