We all know a great business when we see one. We also know when we encounter a mediocre business – it’s the company you interact with once and never return to.
But what are the great businesses doing that the not-so-great aren’t? This post will shed the light on the small business habits that make a surprisingly big difference – below are some hints:

• The most important goal for leaders is to paint a compelling picture of the future that people will follow. Any compelling vision must answer three simple questions:

 What is my vision?
 Why am I so passionate about it?
 How to make my vision a reality?

• Set a clear strategy. Having a clear goal and strategy to attain a business’ desired result to grow is something that every company should have. Strategy, in the business context, deals with a set of choices and subsequent selection of an execution path, based on the expectation that the selected path will lead to a desirable outcome (profitability, market share, etc.). Strategy answers the question “What shall we do next?” And that’s no small question. A firm’s strategy should provide informed direction to the firm and enable the firm to measure its progress against its objectives.

• Harness high potential retain high performers. Retaining top talent is becoming more of an issue on CEO agendas. Employee engagement is a key challenge. Traditionally, the human resource function has been too busy with day-to-day transactions to deliver the kind of strategic insights now required. Globalisation, demographic changes and cultural shifts arising in the wake of generational succession are shaping demand and supply of talent.

• Recognise employees and celebrate successes. Recognition isn’t just about implementing employee programs or distributing expensive gifts, it’s about bringing out the best in people and improving your company’s bottom line. Increasingly so, employees expect their workplace to deliver a productive, engaging, enjoyable experience.

• High performing organisations look after their employees. When everything is going smoothly, it’s easy to say that you care about your employees. But when your relationship with your staff is under pressure, the truth usually comes out. All too often, organisations don’t think they have an obligation to care about their employees’ well-being. After all, it doesn’t say anything in the typical employment contract about having to show compassion for your employees. But most employees believe that their companies have an obligation toward them.

• Your core customers will also be your loyal customers. To create sustainable brand loyalty, it is important for brands to appeal to the consumers on an emotional level. Building customer loyalty gives you a high return on the time, effort and money you invest in providing good customer service. Loyal customers buy more, more regularly, and the cost of selling to them is low. And they will frequently recommend your business to others.

• Invest in your IT infrastructure – it drives high performance. Actively investing in your IT environment will increase your staff’s productivity, enhance the security of your data and expand your storage capacity. All of these elements will naturally contribute to higher revenue and profits as your business becomes more efficient and streamlined.

In conclusion:
The key to successful leadership is to establish positive habits of mind and practice those habits daily. Be strong enough to withstand setbacks and learn from them and be flexible enough to respond to opportunities as they present themselves.