The Sweet Spot
As I took a stroll around the village last weekend, I got drawn to its centre, where you can find the local cricket, tennis, and bowls club. The cricket season had started in earnest, and it was the sound of leather on willow that I was finding so appealing. I sat for a while watching the teams battle it out, bowler versus batsman, trying to find some rhythm and hit their sweet spot as they probed for the next wicket or boundary. For the latter, and anyone who watches cricket knows there is a sound that signifies a majestic shot, such as a cover drive that leaves the fielders watching the ball thud into the ropes.
For golfers, there is that glorious sound as the ball leaves the tee, shooting like an arrow, down the centre of the fairway. Or for footballers, the feeling you get as the laces strike leather, and the ball fires its way towards ‘top bins’. Whatever the sport, there is that sweet spot, the nearest there is to perfection, and it got me thinking.
What is the sweet spot for business?
I have always held the belief there are three distinct areas in any business, regardless of size.
- Operations – ‘doing the doing’
- Marketing – ‘selling the doing’
- Support Teams – ‘providing insight on the doing’
When these functions and departments become aligned to a purpose, culture and the values of a business then a sweet spot is achieved, resulting in improved performance, engagement, and business growth.
How can you achieve the sweet spot regularly?
There are three straightforward behaviours or values you can introduce, that if used in the right way will aid consistent delivery of the sweet spot.
Why don’t you give them a try?
Step 1: Do The Right Thing
After a significant challenge from its employees, Google changed its motto from ‘don’t be evil’ to the more acceptable ‘do the right thing’. And by taking the time to consider every aspect of your business during decision making, you will appreciate all the challenges to be overcome to make it a ‘win-win’ situation. Therefore, taking Google’s approach to doing the right thing means achieving the sweet spot with increased regularity.
Step 2: Empower Risk Taking
Everyone has a comfort zone where they operate in the knowledge that any decision they take has a higher probability of success. Pushing the envelope by stretching spans of control and influence means you become empowered to accept calculated risk. Therefore, resulting in less overthinking and the subsequent procrastination it brings. This tweet from Steven Bartlett, back in September 2020, sums it up quite nicely.
This leads me onto:
Step 3: Embrace Failure
Nobody or business is perfect 100% of the time, not even the uber successes of recent years, such as Apple, Amazon, or Microsoft. So, the final step is to accept that perfection is unattainable and that embracing failure is as equally important as celebrating success. They are both parts of the same journey to achieving the sweet spot in your business.
What people think of you and your business is crucial to continued success. Are you collecting insight from customers, teams, and industry peers? This information is key to ascertaining whether you deliver all aspects of your retail offer, products, or services. If not, then how can check whether the purpose, culture, and values are consistently delivered.
Every successful entrepreneur, sole trader, or business leader will reference having engaged, inspired, and energised support as the biggest driver of success. By investing in people with the skills and the will to drive the business forward, you can achieve your strategic goals. It is even more crucial for sole traders or small business owners who may need reliable individuals to assist with finance, HR, or marketing. Investing in training, developing, and growing your people will ensure you remain accountable, with those key individuals having the empowerment, knowledge, and, most importantly, confidence to challenge.
Perhaps the least sexy part of business, but crucially the most important. Not having robust systems, policies, or processes in place can create undue pressure, taking people’s eyes off the ball, with successful outcomes and results not being achieved as regularly. All businesses should be spending time improving every process, every day, looking for even the smallest of opportunities to make themselves better. If this isn’t business as usual, then as technology advances, you are at risk of being left behind and making it more costly to catch up.
I finish this week’s Unleash The Power with one final question.
How can you and your business find the sweet spot?
Have a brilliant week!
Founder & CEO, Fuelled Fit and Fired Up Ltd
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