Are you doing the right things?

patience  photo by looseends

Do the right things and be patient. That is easier said than done. As most of us are painfully aware following the Kansas City Royals has been one of the most challenging tests of perseverance and patience in the history of professional sports. The 2011 season is young, but it appears Dayton Moore’s plan of doing the right things (developing young talent through the Farm System; the foundation of the franchise) and patiently waiting for the results is starting to payoff…stay tuned and read on.

Approaching your business with the mind set of doing the right things and being patient is also easier said than done. If you are going to have sustainable long term success in your business you must build a strong foundation. Short cuts usually only yield short term results. And the process of building a strong foundation takes patience.

I recently heard someone say a “nanosecond” was the amount of time between a stop light turning from red to green and the car behind you honking the horn to go. Let’s face it, in this “now society”, results can never come fast enough. Don’t misunderstand, there is nothing wrong with having accelerated growth in business, but more often than not the companies that achieve this successfully have taken the time to put the tools in place to facilitate that growth, and that takes patience.

What steps have you taken to build a strong foundation in your business? If your business had an opportunity to grow 50% this year, is the infrastructure planned out to handle that growth? Not all growing pains can be prevented, but the pains can certainly be minimized when time is spent building a good foundation in a business. Your employees will know what their roles are and why each of their roles is important to the success of the business. The more employees understand the importance of their role, the more ownership they take in the business. Don’t under estimate the power of communicating this to your team. And most importantly, if you want it to stick, it needs to be written down.

How important is patience in business? That can be debated, but most companies that find success, do not find it over night. It takes time to build a customer base, a reputation, and a track record that speaks for your business even when you’re on vacation. It takes patience and commitment to keep doing the right things and letting time do its thing. What you can do, is be sure you are making decisions that close that time gap as much as possible.

2000 years ago, the Roman, Seneca said “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity“. So this idea isn’t a new 21st century revelation. True preparation can seem unimportant at the time, and it certainly takes patience because the result of it is often not immediately recognizable or measureable.

The recent hail storm that passed through Kansas City is a perfect example of Seneca’s famous quote in action. Although all the roofing companies in KC will have increased business due to this storm, the companies that have spent time developing detailed plans on how to respond to a hail storm will by far have the greatest success and financial windfall associated with it. For those select companies, the detailed plan is part of their foundation and I assure you the time spent preparing it seemed much more insignificant than having the plan in place when the hail storm hit. In the end, they didn’t get Lucky; they just introduced Preparation to Opportunity.

What are some of the right things you have done in your business to build a strong foundation? How do grow aggressively with patience? I would enjoy hearing your experiences.

Chris Steinlage   Kansas City Business Coach