5 Special Words to Run Your Business Successfully

During the past 30 years I have worked with more than 120 business owners, presidents, and CEOs. Each of them has found themselves in a bad situation that they were unable to fix on their own which is why I was there.I have heard the following statements made by owners more times than I can count:”I don’t know what to do!”
“The answer is beyond me!”
“Nothing I do works or makes it better!”
“I’m worn out and frustrated!”Perhaps you have said these same things or something similar. Statements like these indicate the business owner has lost confidence in being able to solve the problem(s) they find themselves facing.What is the business owner missing? Is the owner lacking some critical piece of business knowledge?From all of my years of helping people make their business successful, I have discovered that you need special 5 words to run your business successfully. If you use these 5 special words you will be able to:Create and execute a realistic master plan for your business.
Avoid many if not all of the problems that cause more than 50% of small business in the U.S. to fail within the first 4 years and more than 90% to fail within 10 years.
Stay ahead of your competition.
Maintain proper focus on the important things in your business.
Work “ON” your business instead of just “IN” your business.These 5 special words will help you no matter when you start using them. They will aid you in reducing the confusion that plagues many business owners. They will restore any confidence you are lacking in yourself as a business person and they will help you identify and gain any critical business knowledge you might be missing. There are two things you must do to make this come true. First you must be honest with yourself about yourself. Secondly you must learn to use the 5 special words in your business as suggested in this article.What are these 5 special words? What makes them so special? And, when and how should you use them? You will be amazed by their simplicity and ease of application in your business.The 1st Word is WHY.The definition of “why” is: for what cause, reason or purpose; with what intention, justification, or motive.”Why” is the first and most important of the five special business words. Use it first before any of the others. It is the first word that you should use when you start your business. The question you need to ask and answer for yourself is “Why am I starting this business?”If you already have a business and you didn’t ask and answer this question. Stop what you are doing and ask and answer the “WHY” question NOW!Your answer to the “Why” question gives you and the outside world the fundamental reason for your business to exist. The answer should not be complex to state or difficult to understand. The answer needs to be based on a true belief you possess and others of similar belief will be willing to support.There are two components to the “Why” answer. First you must specify why you personally are starting this business (i.e. your belief) and second you must specify “Why” this business of yours is needed in the world (i.e. the value it will bring to the world).Asking and answering “Why” provides you with the fundamental foundation for your business – its true purpose.Many new business owners have difficulty creating the master plan for their business. Sometimes this master plan is referred to as the business plan or strategic plan. No matter what term you use, this plan should be based upon the question “why” and the associated answer. Use “why” as the starting point of your business master plan.”Why” is not limited to just the time you start your business. It needs to be used by you any time you have a problem facing you in your business. Such as: “Why are sales declining?” or “Why are costs of production going above estimates?”Asking “why” allows you to probe and discover the underlying reason(s) for the problem of interest. Continue to ask “why” until you get beyond the symptoms of the problem and uncover the real underlying reason(s). This process is termed “peeling back the onion.” Don’t stop with just the first “Why”. Continue asking “Why” until you get to the root cause of the problem. For example the question of “why are sales declining?” may and probably does involve many reasons such as lack of effective sales efforts, poor customer service, low product or service quality, and increased competition. You need to get to the bottom or root cause(s) of the real problem in order to solve it. Asking “Why” will get you to the root cause. There is actually a problem solving technique developed by Toyota which is based upon asking a series of 5 whys to determine the real underlying problem so the problem can be solved once and for all.”Why” is the first word you need to use to run your business successfully and you must use it all of the time to stay focused on your business’s purpose.Asking “why” continually will also keep you innovative in the way your business operates. If you ask questions such as “Why do we do things this way?” You will always be able to improve the way your business is conducted.”Why” establishes your business’s purpose and helps you determine the underlying reasons for problems you and your business face. There are 4 more words that you must use to run your business successful. After all, a purpose is of no value without doing the things necessary to fulfill it.The 2nd Word is WHAT.”What” is the word you need to use immediately after asking and answering “Why”.The definition of “What” is an expression of inquiry as to the identity, nature, or value of an object or matter.In your business “what” should be used to drive you towards the proper course of action needed to fulfill the purpose established by “Why”. Use “what” to discover the change(s) that need to be made so the reason(s) associated with “Why” is resolved.When you ask “What” relate it to doing things differently and making changes. For example: Ask “What must change for our sales to be at the level we seek?” or “What must we do differently for our sales to increase?” Asking “What” in this way will make you identify the things actually needing to be done to improve. Answering “what” makes you create a course of action to correct the problem associated with “why”. Simply put: answering “what” will make define your strategy for achieving the “why”.An important thing to remember is to continue asking “What” until you have a complete course of action defined. Having a course of action that gets you only part way to your fulfilling your purpose or “Why” will leave you short of success.The 3rd Word is HOW.So far we have established “Why”- the purpose and “What”- the strategy needed to fulfill that purpose. Now we must determine the “How”. “How” is the word you will use to build the tactics needed to complete the actions specified by the “What.”The word “How” is defined as: in what manner or way; by what means; or to what extent or degree.In your business, asking and answering “How” provides you with the specific list of things needed so you can achieve the “What”. Defined within “How” is the “Where.” Here are a few “How” question examples:How will we recruit and train the new sales people we need?
How many new sales people do we need to recruit and train?
Where will we find these new sales people?
How will we produce the training materials we need?Asking and answering “How” establishes the tactics you will use to fulfill the “What.” Included in the “How” answer is specifying the resources you will require along with the methods you will use to employ those resources.Knowing “How” is all well and good but we are not done. We still need to identified “Who” will do the “What” and “How.”The 4th Word is WHO.Who is defined as: what or which person or persons.In our context, asking “Who” makes you decide the person or persons which may be an organization that will perform the actions associated with the “How”. Continuing with our earlier sales people example, here are two questions that demonstrate the proper use of “Who”:Who will perform the recruitment and training of the new sales people?
Who will prepare the training materials we need?You also need to use “Who” to determine the person or persons that will be the recipient or object of your “How” actions. An example of this is: Who do we select to be trained as our sales people? Just remember that there are two sides to “Who”. The recipient side of “Who” specifies the object(s) of the “How”. The second side or the “responsible for” side of “Who” specifies assignment for performance of the “How”.The 5th and Final Word is WHEN.”When” is defined as: a point in time and the circumstance under which something occurred.Prior to this you have defined who is assigned responsibility for performance and who is to be the recipient. Now all you need is to establish the point in time performance will be completed. There is only one question you need to ask using this “When”.”When will it be done or completed?”Success Is the Result You Get!If you use these 5 special words in your business the way described you will find you have the ability to address any issue facing your business with confidence. You will be forced into thinking about your business in a completely different and proactive manner. Creating the strategy and the tactics needed to resolve any and all issues you encounter will become an integral part of the way you conduct your business. You will be working “On” your business and not just “In” your business.There is only one more word you need beyond the five special words. And, that word is “Implement”. Once implementation is accomplished, success will be your result!