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Defining a great company………………………….

Every small business owners’ dream is to become a “Great Company”.  I often ask the question, “How do you define a great company”? Yes, I get a lot of different answers, but there are a few common threads that best define what a great company should look like.

Survivorship:  a great company has the staying power to remain in business for decades. It’s one in which the operational systems have been so refined that new management can continue running the company long after the original founders have left. It focuses on innovation as a key growth component.

Reputation:  A great company is known and respected within its own industry as well as with its customer base. Its employees find it a great place to work and believe in the vision that the company has adopted. It is also looked on by the community at large as a caring and involved company.

Difference maker: A great company, regardless of its size, is in a leadership role in shaping its industry.

Profitability: A great company generates enough cash flow to be self-sustaining. It will have its ups and downs, but it always recovers and regains its profitability. It has a solid track record of meeting its objectives and re-evaluating its business plan to best serve current opportunities.

Each of these four items can be developed into a long planning session.  They should serve as the goals for a business and should be a part of all active (working) business plans.

These four pillars will become a reality, but only if there exists a strong leadership style on the part of the owner(s).  An effective leadership style requires the following characteristics: decisiveness, focus, personal touch, communications and innovation.

In my blog yesterday, I shared the importance of having a value assessment. The values that the owner(s) represent are the foundation for successfully growing a great company. Take your list of values and add these four pillars and leadership characteristics and you have an outline of what makes a great company.

Greatness is fueled by desire and perseverance.                Nick J. Petra CFP

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