Being Clear About Your Success Strategy

Clear StrategyI find myself speaking to clients and peers regularly about people and process. These, to me, are not only intertwined, but are the two key ingredients in setting yourself up for a successful business. I was talking with my friend, Dave Vedera, about this same topic recently, and we agreed that in order to be successful, one must be clear about what success means to them.

He said, “information without application often leads to frustration.”

How true! This simple sentence can be applied to so many aspects of our lives but it is the single and most frustrating factor he said he hears when talking with small business owners and leaders. Left to our own devices we end up focusing on too many small, and perhaps unrelated aspects of our business. Instead, he said that the key is identifying the critical two or three items we should be addressing that will make the largest impact.

When I pressed him further about this topic, he said that the easiest way to frustrate yourself and everyone around you is to:

  1. Try to implement everything on your own
  2. Try to implement too quickly for your work force to embrace the change.

Instead, focusing your attention on the “right” activities and clearly communicating this direction to your workforce can help you generate short-term measurable success. Over time these short-term successes will build on each other and when you look back the results will be more substantial than if you tried to address everything at the same time.

As we got a little deeper into how “people” and “process” figured into this formula for success, he provided some questions that business owners might want to ask themselves in order to get clear about their desired outcome. They include:

  • What is the problem or opportunity we are facing?
  • Why is it important to me and the business?
  • Why now? What is the trade-off?
  • Who is best person or team of people to work on the problem or opportunity?
  • What is the best way given the resources we have available to address the problem or opportunity?
  • What does success look like and how will we measure the success?

Once you’re clear about your desired outcome, you can focus your attention on the execution by first communicating it, then selecting the right people to implement it. Once those people are selected, you can further help the process by:

Clarifying the roles, accountabilities and deliverables of each person

  • Setting clear expectations with connected measurable goals
  • Providing the resources (time, money, tools, etc.) needed to ensure success
  • Empowering the individual(s) and monitoring their progress with immediate feedback

You can implement this recipe for success by first identifying the critical two or three items you should be addressing that will make the largest impact.

If one of those top items you need to pay more attention to is profit planning, you’re in luck! Over the next few weeks I’ll be talking about how you can begin to do your own profit planning – all the way from how it works at a high level to a detailed template that you can use to implement your plan. If you can’t wait to see how this unfolds, contact us and I’ll share it with you in person. Dave Vedera is the founder and president of BV Alan, Inc. and a trusted advisor to technology and manufacturing leaders helping them reduce or eliminate their operational and workforce challenges. Learn more at


Written by

Rick Arthur is a CFO whose expertise is built on Financial Intelligence and 35 years in senior financial roles. Coupled with a CEO’s perspective and the experience of building his own $20 million company, he brings a unique depth of insight into business from the top down. Wired to get to know people, Rick works hand-in-hand with business owners of intentional, growth-oriented companies, solidifying relationships as a trusted advisor and confidant to his clients. He leverages his experience to help business owners gain traction and stay laser-focused on the company’s vision, cash flow, and profitability – all while creating big picture solutions for strategic planning, growth and sustainable success.