Tips for Creating a Great Business

Some 26 years ago, I started on a venture that has taken me around the world, up and down in the kitchen and bath industry, and to the stage as a motivational/inspirational speaker. Best of all, I became a legitimate trainer of sales, business development and personal success. During that time I've learned how you can succeed in creating a great business.'

There are three things that great business leaders do that average business people do not:

Focus People who get what they want focus only on what they want. Are you a great designer who can do anything with a space, yet long for a business that will support and promote you as such? It is not uncommon to meet great designers who are poor business people, and who suffer mentally and financially for it. Check out what you focus on. Every magazine on your desk and every program checked off on your "to be attended" list at the K/BIS is most likely on design. You get what you focus on!

Meaning Focus on those things that have meaning to your success. Change your focus and you will change your world. Begin attending business development success programs. Visualize yourself not as a great designer, but rather as a great business person whose product is design. Replace all of those design magazines with business development magazines. Attend local Chamber of Commerce, community college, K&BDN, NKBA and public seminars on meaningful business building education.'

Faith When you focus on the meaning of your life, the systems and processes to achieve them will come to you. Spiritual books put it this way: "Ask, and it will be given; Seek, and ye shall find; Knock, and the door will be opened."'

The fishermen say, "Today, we fish for tuna." Then they go where the tuna are, out to sea not to the mall.

When you seek answers, the opportunities to learn will present themselves. Focus on those things that are meaningful to you in order to create a great business.

It's said that faith can move mountains. If that's so, it certainly can move a designer from mediocrity to great success.

Six principles
Similar to designing a kitchen or bath, creating a powerful business is simply a matter of applying proven principles, process and creativity. Over the last 25 plus years, I've discovered six steps successful business people use daily. They follow these steps, as a matter of habit, to achieve what they want. Oddly enough, the steps are the same ones a designer uses to create a prize-winning, customer-satisfying, career-crowning project.

Step #1. Visualization Learn to see what you want. Just as when designing a project, you don't buy into the finished plan until you picture the completed project. You collect and surround yourself with pictures, concept photos, colors, the needs and wants survey sheet, and your education to create a plan. Do the same with the future plan of your business. Decide what you want, then visualize it as intensely as possible.

Step #2. Targets You get what you want by focusing on what's necessary to acquire it. When designing a kitchen, there are certain things you must do; these are targets. When you set the sink, it dictates the placement of the dishwasher and disposal. The sink center directs the positioning of the refrigerator and burners. These generate the serving, mix and preparation and clean-up spaces, as well as drawers, doors and traffic. The target, therefore, is simply "Where does the sink go?"'

To identify the key issues for your business, start with the image and income you personally want. This, like the sink, will dictate the elements that comprise it. Begin to focus on what it takes to create success in these areas. Just like in the design business, there are magazines and spec. books for designing and installing a great business.

Step #3. Planning Put the vision and targets into a plan. You are no doubt an expert in taking ideas (like a kitchen project) and turning them into reality. Creating a business is exactly the same thing. The plan must be in writing. It must be detailed, and it must be based on proven principles, elements and specifications. Do the same with your business dreams.

(Note: a really good software program to lead you through this is called BizPlanBuilder, by Jian.)'
Or, take a floor plan and change the words from sink to money, range to image, refrigerator to showroom, etc. Give it the same study, research and time you give to a kitchen. You will see your floor plan to success develop right before your eyes, just as a kitchen does. Have faith and go forth; you are an expert in designing plans that come about in the future.

Step #4. Role Models Find and study those who have created great businesses. You get what you focus on. Just as you study "everything" about design, start studying "everything and everyone" in the area of business development. You'll be amazed when you discover the number of self-made millionaires living around you. As my wonderful grandmother used to say, "You become your friends, so choose them carefully."

Step #5. Recognition and Reward Recognize success as it unfolds before you, and reward yourself every step of the way. When a kitchen arrives, celebrate getting it in, and getting another payment. As the job is installed, stop by to celebrate the good and adjust the bad. Each step of the way you are conscious of the domino effect how the parts fit together to make the whole. Do the same thing with your business plans.'

Step #6. Persistence Don't quit! I suspect the major reason people don't always enjoy the'
success they deserve is because when they get knocked down, they don't get right back up again. If a project falls down, you need to look at the problem, find a solution and go forward. You can't continually gnaw on the mistake time and again. Instead, do whatever it takes to satisfy the customer. In this case, recognize that you are your business development customer. Create a happy customer for life you!

Often, the best time to do all of this is when change happens. When "stuff" happens, such as when you lose a great account, or when your health falters, it's time to take advantage of the break in the normal routine, and change for the better. Use the wake up call to begin a new, focused, meaningful life.