7 Steps To Build Your Empire

Suppose for a moment, that we are all players of a new and exciting game called BUILD YOUR EMPIRE!!

The goal for each of us playing is, starting from scratch, to make the smartest moves in the building of a strong and successful organization.

If we make bad moves we encounter serious obstacles which will set us back or even destroy what we are trying to build.

If we take the wrong shortcuts, we will have setbacks of varying magnitude. Each player is competing in today’s environment, with a high rate of change, a global marketplace, a potential workforce driven by whatever drives today’s generations.

What should we do first? What is the surest road to success? I would posit that in order to achieve the highest likelihood of constructing a business with longevity you must:

1. Have a strategic plan: At minimum,

o Clearly enunciate the vision, values, mission and goals

o Create an action plan

o Create an organizational structure

o Do a S.W.O.T. analysis

2. Have a good reason to start a business in the first place
: Identify a need or a niche or a gap that exists in the market

o Determine that you can provide a product or service to meet that need at the right price

o Know who your potential customers are and what will drive them to buy what you are selling

3. Have clear values: Know what behaviors best represent those values, thus creating the company culture.

o The way the organization is structured, how it treats its employees and its vendors, should be a reflection of how the customers are treated.

o The values of the organization should extend in all directions and should be reflected in all relationships, resulting in happy employees and thus, happy customers.

4. Understand what competencies are required: Know which competencies are needed within the company to further its values and to enable employees to thrive in the organization.

o Hiring should be done based on these competencies as well as on technical skills.

o Leaders should be developed based on the competencies needed to fill their positions successfully.

5. Recognize that change is constant, and have a strong spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship through all levels of an organization.

6. Make sure that teamwork and collaboration is critical to success.

7. Be objective about our own skills and competencies and address shortcomings.

There are notable cases of individuals being successful by ignoring the above steps. Some who rush to market without research, without a plan and only a vision have done well. Some who hire for technical skills alone without looking at alignment of the employee’s goals and competencies with those needed in the organization can survive. And some who are unclear on their vision and values may be moderately successful.

Do Not Stop, Do Not Pass Go

But as a rule, those people who skip important steps encounter numerous obstacles which slow them down dramatically. So, the winner of this game would most likely be one following the above steps and not one trying shortcuts.

Starting a business and staying in business are difficult tasks, fraught with dangers. In a different time, when change didn’t occur at such a fast rate, a business leader could “rest” at various plateaus of growth, and maybe even run on “auto-pilot” for a while. Today, that is not possible.

No Get Out of Jail Free Card

Business leaders must engender entrepreneurship and innovation throughout their organization and must remain entrepreneurial even after becoming a second or third stage company. The traits utilized in bringing a company to life are continuously needed to keep it breathing, healthy and growing.

I used to believe that leading a mature company took different, separate competencies. But mature does not mean static. It means evolved, but only partially. Evolution is ongoing, and the need for continuous change requires an ongoing entrepreneurial spirit.

So, all of my recent themes are parts of a whole, pieces of a big picture. That picture is one of a business based on a living, fluid strategy, based in values, injected with entrepreneurship and innovation. Leadership must understand the external and internal constituencies of the business and must objectively look hard at all pieces of the big picture. This takes focus, diligence and passion.

For more leading edge tips for entrepreneurs, subscribe to David Sorin’s Mpowerment Matters ezine at [http://www.managementmpowerment.com/]http://www.managementmpowerment.com/. To learn more and comment on David’s blog, go to [http://www.entrepreneursmentor.net]www.entrepreneursmentor.net.

David Sorin is a leading entrepreneur, author, speaker, attorney and CEO of Management Mpowerment Associate, at [http://www.managementmpowerment.com]www.managementmpowerment.com, a firm that works closely with entrepreneurs to overcome business and personal obstacles to success.

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