When it comes to running a business effectively, it might seem that you are standing at the bottom of the mountain, looking up at all of your rivals who are rapidly climbing their way up the simplest route – but the truth is that the most successful companies in any sector know what to focus on and what levers to pull.

For every single successful entrepreneur, the hub of their focus is knowing the numbers within their business and then understand how they can influence their business consistently and effectively by tweaking parts of their operation related to one or more of the numbers. But that is just the start…

A lot of business owners have the belief that they can service everyone and that everybody is a potential customer – and this is WRONG! I call this the “Dragon Heartburn SItuation” based on the fact that entrepreneurs who go onto the BBC show “Dragon’s Den” often talk about the success they could have if they “just capture 1% of the market.” Thinking that you can service everyone, without drilling down into your ideal customer is madness, both in terms of wasted time, and also wasted marketing investment.

Once numbers and dream customer are established, then it is delivering the best marketing strategy that your investment will allow, focusing in the areas that drive the greatest return, and knowing this by measuring everything that you do.

Finally, and arguably most importantly, you need to know what a “World Class Service” looks like in your industry and then you need to honestly match how far away from this you currently are. Do this honestly as you are only cheating yourself if you think you are already perfect. If you don’t know where to start, ask your customers what they think a “World Class Service” is – they’ll tell you and help you know where you are missing steps.

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