Three key elements for business success

Have you ever been to a store where it was clear the clerk didn’t like people? In our years working and consulting in the shooting sports industry, we have certainly met our fair share of retailers who don’t seem to like people or the work they do every day. We’ve also met our fair share of business owners who don’t have a business philosophy and have simply never thought about it, which usually means they don’t have a very good culture either.

Here are three key elements for business success that we built a business on and have taught to hundreds of other business owners through the years.

1. Embrace a spirit, philosophy, and culture

You have to have the right spirit to succeed in business. Do you have a servant’s heart to care for other people? If it’s all about the sale and the profit, you’ve lost sight of what matters. Every company that gets away from the spirit of their company is on a path to closing.

Your business philosophy is all about your goal. What is your actual goal? Our goal at H&H was to grow the shooting sports, not to just make money. We still made money, but our goal was to grow the shooting sports. Think about the bigger goal and the services you offer.

Culture is what you create every day inside the organization. Are your fellow team members happy? If not, why not? If they’re happy, chances are they’ll do a good job for the organization. At H&H, we tried to treat everyone like part of the family. We knew their names, knew what was happening in their lives, and showed that we cared. That was true when we had just five team members and when we sold we were at 105 total team members.

2. Be a teacher

If you’re in sales, you’re in teaching. If you own a business, you are a teacher. You have to teach the product to every guest that comes through the door. You’re important to the success of not only your store and your business, but also the industry. Teach other people what’s important about your product or service, and it will have an impact that reaches farther than your store or business.

The same goes for teaching team members or teaching other people in your industry. When we traveled and spoke at conferences or industry events, we talked about our industry, not our store. We wanted to empower other stores to be successful, and that required teaching them what we had learned. We’ve seen some fine companies go down the tube after the CEO dies, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Teach your team members and embrace the right culture, and your company can go on even after you move on to other ventures.

3. Seek out help when you need it

We’ve worked with a lot of businesses who needed help. Anyone who asked us to come consult with them knew they needed help. It can be really helpful to have someone from outside come in and spend time figuring out what you might be missing. It can also be really hard. It’s hard to have someone tell you that your baby is not only ugly, but your baby also smells bad. But once you get past that, it can make a huge difference in your business.

I’ve seen these three lessons make a dramatic difference in many businesses. What difference could they make in yours?

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