There are many points on the circle of business life. They're all important, and their individual successes depend entirely on the quality of a few simple concepts - purpose, values, trust, leadership, and communication.Purpose: The reason any business exists must be clearly articulated and supported by the employees. Mission and vision are certainly important but, an understanding of why the business exists and how it benefits its customers has to be a core motivator for the employees as they do their work.Values: These are the standards, principles and practices that the organization will not compromise while conducting business. The employees should willingly buy in to the values and be comfortable practicing them daily.Trust: A high level of trust in any organization speeds processes and projects, reduces costs, increases employee morale and reduces lost time. Trust must be established and expanded up and down throughout the organization.Leadership: Leaders are responsible for being daily examples of the purpose and values that define the business, and for establishing and expanding trust throughout the business. The end result is an organization full of trusting and trustworthy people who want to contribute to its success.Communication: Clear, accurate, timely and appropriate communication is what drives the successful outcomes regarding purpose, values, trust and leadership - communication through words and especially communication through actions.The marketing point on the circle of business life is the place that generates and shares the messages about what the business stands for, how it conducts business, the benefits its products and services provide for its customers, and how it cares about and treats its customers. There could be other messages about how the business contributes to the community and worthwhile causes, how it positively impacts the environment, and more.Marketing is about getting the right message in front of the right decision makers at the right time. There are many ways to deliver marketing messages. Deciding on the right methods for your business is one of the recommendations the marketing person, department or consultant needs to make. I have my favorite methods for my business. It's up to you to decide what's most effective for your business.Selling follows marketing. Even though purchases of some products and services are made as a direct result of a great marketing message most products and services require a selling step before a decision is made. Effective selling requires the ability to ask the right questions in the right way at the right time to learn what's most important for the decision makers when considering how your product or service will meet or exceed their criteria.
As part of the selling process decision makers usually want know about the business behind the product and how they'll be treated after the purchase. A strong belief in the concepts mentioned at the beginning of this article will make this part of the selling process easy.Production and fulfillment come next. This is a big category that varies greatly from business type to business type. Some products can be pulled out of inventory and delivered immediately. Other products require processes like determining a scope of work, design, production, and testing before delivery.Some services can be scheduled and fulfilled in a short time frame. Others may have to consider compatibility with the customer's current equipment, hardware, software, etc. before being implemented.Regardless of the complexity of this process each and every step involves people in one way or another. The more strongly connected these people are to the core concepts that drive the business, the better the results produced.Follow up and customer service are next. Checking in with your customers seven to ten days after they've received their products or used your services is a great habit to develop. Feedback of all kinds is invaluable. It helps you learn what's perceived as good or bad about what you sell. It helps you change false perceptions. It helps you learn about potential new products or services. It helps you learn about your reputation and credibility.Feedback is a gift. Be thankful when you receive it, ask for it when you don't.Monitor, evaluate and plan. These are ongoing processes that should be applied to every aspect of a business. These three simple steps create a focus on continuous improvement. A high level of trust promotes honesty in these processes which produces quality results.This brings us back to marketing again and the circle of business life keeps on rotating.One last thought - everything mentioned above is driven by people. None of these things work correctly without the right people. Hire carefully. Train thoroughly. Manage effectively. Grow your people to become successful as individuals and your business will reach levels of success beyond your expectations.