Focus Brings Business Success

In the fast-paced business world, companies find themselves always looking to get ahead of the pack. This desire to outperform competitors can lead to disorganization among priorities and resources. Business success in a market has less to do with the ability to outperform the competition, and more to do with being extremely focused on your product or service. Management teams that throw ideas around to take out the competition are only adding to the disorganization and chaos among their employees. Business success is achieved through a leadership team with an intense focus on what really matters, their own product.

Such focus allows businesses to ensure that what they are sending out to the marketplace is the best product they can deliver. This goes against many theories that a company should saturate the market with its product to beat out the competitor. The opposite is much more successful, actually. Businesses that focus on perfecting the core group of products that they provide can outdo the competition solely by being the best at what they do. To gain this type of business success, the focus should land squarely on the five key areas below.

1. Focus on overall strategy. The key to keeping a business on top of the market is to know what the company is inherently good at. When deciding how to compete with other companies, leadership should always refer back to the strategic plan they have created. If the product that they want to produce doesn’t lead them to the goals outlined in their strategic plan, the product will only act as a detractor to business success. Focus efforts of the business on reaching the goals set forth by management and you won’t have to “re-strategize” every time there is a suggestion for a new product.

2. Focus on what the people want. It may sound all too easy to say that the people will tell you what they want. Unfortunately, there is no better way to understand where the market for your product is headed than to listen to the people buying it. There are many businesses out there that have been wildly successful because of their focus on the people who buy their products. If you can identify what makes your customers tick – know how they buy, why they buy, what makes them happy, etc. – and focus on how to provide those needs, success can be achieved. By distinctly focusing on what the customers want and how they want it, you will be able to provide them with the product they desire all while continuing to stay aligned to the bigger strategic goals.

3. Focus on your product. When first breaking into the marketplace, making sure that the product was successful was the only mission. As the company grows, it is crucial to continue focusing on the products you put into the market. Relate your products to the needs of the customer and only add products when there is a real demand for them. By focusing on the true needs of the customer, you can overcome the complexity that comes with throwing too many products into the marketplace. A business focused on the core products it provides will have an innate ability to identify consumer trends and react appropriately.

4. Focus on your organization. A business that does not focus on the structure and abilities of its organization will have trouble realizing its true potential. An acute focus on the organization's ability to efficiently make decisions is the first step to finding business success. There should be clearly defined levels within the organization that have their own responsibilities, all being important in the forward movement of a company. Leadership should focus internally on the business’s structure to ensure that the right people are in place to make decisions and show progress toward the company’s strategic goals.

5. Focus on your process. More often than not, a business is only as good as its process. The lack of focus on a company’s process can lead to troubles elsewhere in the company. Complexity within a process can cause waste that ultimately affects the bottom line. Simplifying such processes can eliminate wasteful practices and improve the products that are sold to the customer. By focusing on improving the business processes, less time will be spent fixing processes later on, and more time can be spent focusing on providing an outstanding product to the customer.

Businesses can lose their way quite easily if they aren’t focused on the right areas. The lack of focus from management can cause disruptions throughout the organization, ultimately affecting your ability to grow and achieve or maintain business success. Bringing a company’s focus to these five areas dramatically reduces the noise and confusion that most organizations experience. A focused business, either in one or all of these areas, is able to identify ways to improve, thus fine-tuning the company for success.

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About Michael Parker

Michael Parker is the founder and president of Lean Sigma Corporation, a leading Lean Six Sigma certification provider, and licensor of premium training content to universities and corporations world wide. Michael has over 25 years of experience leading and executing Lean Six Sigma programs and projects. As a Fortune 50 senior executive, Michael led oversight of project portfolios as large as 150 concurrent projects exceeding $100 million in annual capital expenditures. Michael has also managed multi-site operations with the accountability of over 250 quality assurance managers, analysts, and consultants. He is an economist by education, earning his Bachelor of Science degree from Radford University while also lettering four years as an NCAA Division I scholarship athlete. Michael earned his Six Sigma Master Black Belt certification from Bank of America and his Black Belt certification from R.R. Donnelley & Sons. He holds nine U.S. Copyrights for his "Learn Six Sigma" publications, and a U.S. Patent.