How to Run a Business

While the recipe for how to run a successful business can vary based on industry-specific nuances, one operational framework applies to all businesses and the individual teams within them. It’s a framework rooted in goals and objectives, and our customers rely on it to successfully run their businesses and manage their teams to projected outcomes. This article illustrates and outlines the process of applying the Business Success Cycle. This process of running a business is the core of the StatusPath system, but it also provides helpful guidance to any person looking to improve how they manage their team and run their business.

how to run a business

Running a Successful Business

Understand and set your business goals
This might sound like an obvious place to start, but surprisingly, most businesses fail to set clear business goals. In order to take this first step to running a business, spend time understanding the basics to business goals. You can find a clear description of business goals with our resource What are Business Goals. This will enable you to set your business goals and begin the process of execution.

There are proven benefits to establishing goals and communicating them to your team:

Increased Performance – Greater understanding of core goals leads to a more focused team, and thus an improvement on the performance metrics you care about most like profitability, revenue, and customer engagement.

Increased productivity – Employees get more done on the activities that really matter.

Increased employee well-being – Employees appreciate seeing how their efforts match up with business goals as they enjoy being part of the team.

Align employee performance objectives to your business goals
After you set your goals, the next step to running a business is getting the team aligned with the desired outcomes. This is accomplished by setting individual objectives designed to support the overarching goals. For example, a goal to increase revenue by 50 percent during a year needs to be clearly supported by revenue-related employee objectives (i.e. Achieve Sales Quota, Increase Client Renewal Rates, Release New Products, etc.). Without that accountability at the employee and team level, it’s unlikely the set goals will be achieved.

Align employee performance objectives with business goals

Track progress on objectives through status reports
It’s inefficient to set goals and objectives in one system, and then track progress and performance in another system or via another process (emails, team meetings, shared documents, spreadsheets, one-on-one meetings). You need to inject goals and objectives into the fabric of your daily and weekly conversations with the team. This concept represents the core of the Business Success Cycle and the philosophy behind the StatusPath experience: focus and report on what matters most. The rest is simply work, and not capable of advancing the business to your desired outcomes.

how to run a business

As status report experts, we have numerous Resources on status report best practices you can leverage, and our StatusPath application uniquely blends goals and objectives with daily, weekly, and monthly status report templates.

Studies reveal that the majority of employees don’t understand their company’s goals and strategy. You eliminate that problem by tying status reports to specific, measurable performance objectives. Since each objective rolls into a goal, every employee sees the direct impact their efforts have on the business and its strategy. This increased transparency results in a more engaged workforce, and that’s needed to successfully run your business.

track objectives with weekly status

Evaluate performance and re-calibrate as needed
You need to take the time to evaluate how successfully the team has been in its pursuit of their objectives and your collective business goals. Evaluation activities should be ongoing and part of the status report process. That’s why our default status report template supports an update on progress, key results, and upcoming plans related to an employee’s objectives. This level of insight enables managers and business owners to gauge performance and manage the team more concisely where needed.

evaluate objective results

Remember that goals and objectives are subject to change and revision. Market conditions, availability of funds, competitive pressures, talent acquisition, and a variety of other factors greatly influence the importance and likelihood of your strategy. As such, you need to explore your condition and the market landscape often enough to ensure you’re focusing the team’s resources in the most profitable direction.

Reward high performers
When members of your team successfully execute against their objectives, take the time to reward their performance in order to encourage behavior consistent and supportive of your goals. Too many businesses fail to step back from execution and take the time to recognize great work. And it’s such an important element of running a business, because happy employees are associated with lower turnover and greater productivity.

StatusPath is passionate about creating a modernized business goal, objective, and status report system that helps you run your business better. You can get started in just one minute.

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Quick Tips

Engaged employees are happy employees.

SMART goals can help you run a successful business, but they are just a start.

The same principles used to run a business apply to managing a team inside of a business.

Be incredibly transparent – employees perform better when they see their role and contribution more clearly.

Don’t just evaluate performance – use every status report interaction as an opportunity to manage the team to success.