Building recipes for business success

Building good recipes and processes improves outcomes

Get the recipe right, and you will have plenty to celebrate.

If you want to bake a cake, you need to be building recipes which work. It also holds when building a successful business or non-profit. Despite there being good conventional rules for success, too few follow them.

If you hate what you do, no amount of power or money will make up for that. It can be tempting to feel that the end will more than justify the means.  

Personal success means different things to different people. It has much less to do with finding the best career or business in other peoples’ eyes, but creating a great business and achieving what matters to you.

Many people find this out too late. You don’t have to be one of them if you start today to write down your recipe for personal success. Perhaps the most important benefit of developing a recipe for your business is that it will reduce stress and you will sleep much better.

Define the primary purpose of your business before you start creating your recipe. And having established the method, remember straying from the simplest of recipes creates results that range from mediocre to disastrous.

Some foundation stones for building recipes for success

The following are some key recipes for building better outcomes.

  • Provide exceptional customer experiences. Respond quickly to customers; without them, you have no business. If you don’t take care of your customers, someone else will. Happy customers are your evangelists and make the best marketing advocates for future business.
  • Don’t chase money, power or status choose good relationships. If it’s going to happen, let luck take its course. Focus your time and energy on family, friends and lifestyle which is are the pillars of a successful life and business. Where ever possible avoid negative people they are vexatious to your spirit and will only hold you back.
  • Do whatever it takes to discover what matters to you most. You could achieve all the money, power and status while still feeling you have fallen short of what you wanted. Don’t let that happen to you.
  • Work on the business, not in it. Many companies fail because the owner remains a technician well after it is up and running. Ideally, at that point, you should be working ‘on the business’ versus ‘in the business’.
  • Always eat well, exercise well and sleep well. Your body needs looking after. It requires the right high ‘octane fuel’, and it needs to be exercised and to have plenty of sleep. Garbage in equals garbage out. It’s different for everyone, depending on what works for you and your body to achieve a healthy lifestyle.  
  • Choose partnerships carefully for building recipes. Partnerships are like marriages; you have to work on them. In an ideal collaboration, priorities, objectives, rules and responsibilities are clear before the start. Hire a legal person to draft a partnership agreement and clearly, spell out all exit scenarios in case it fails.
  • Networking should be an essential part of building recipe. It’s vital to use networking as an activity that produces results for your enterprise, rather than an activity that causes a distraction. Your current relationships reflect your future, so expand your existing network with people who make you excited even though they may make you feel uncomfortable at times. It can be hard networking with the best prospects.
  • Never base your choices on what other’s might think of you. We all want to please those we care about, so it’s natural to try to do what makes them happy. Even the most loving family or friends can’t always see what is going to make you jump for joy. Listen to others, value their input and their support, but go your own way. That means always doing what truly matters to you and is part of who you are.
Old content is like an old fence, it needs mending.

Be authentic in everything you do. All things being equal, people will do business with and refer business to, those people they know, like, and trust. Don’t say one thing and does another, be true to your core values. Deep down you know what matters. Always try to work with those who have similar values.

Learning should be high on your priority list. You can never learn too much or overfill your mind with new ideas and opportunities. Nothing is more useful in life than a good knowledge of business; in fact, it should be an essential subject in schools. However, you don’t need to have a university education to be able to run a good business. Just utilise the practical experience and common sense. 

Failures and roadblocks deliver opportunities. You are sure to fail sometimes, and the higher your aspirations, the more frequent and significant failure will appear to be. People who don’t strive for anything worthwhile rarely fail; they are risk-averse and never aim beyond what is easily attainable. Failure can be a friend, pointing out what isn’t right yet and showing you the way to do better and the more proficient you become at accepting the lessons of failure, the quicker you will succeed.

Engage mentors and coaches to help you in building recipes. Every business needs to engage people who can help them; there is too much to know in modern business. You may need several to cover the critical bases (planning, technology, social media, content). Know what you want as you don’t want to waste their time, or your money, be very specific. We all need good sounding boards, encouragement and quality feedback. The input you don’t like hearing about might change you the most. Spend your time with successful people who can help you and time working on what it is you can do to keep them excited in assisting you.

Avoid putting things off. Later is the easiest way to relieve the tension that accompanies what you are doing now. Later rarely leads to the actions needed to make the changes you need to make. As Richard Branson says “You don’t learn to walk by following the rules. You learn by doing and by falling over”. Sometimes it is better to say no, as you need a patient heart that listens and then has the time to act.

Make the right decision for the right reasons. It is more important to be respected than liked. Sometimes you have to make difficult and unpopular decisions. Always try to take the emotion out of your choices and ask yourself:  “What is the right business decision that is best for all concerned”?

Avoid making the same mistakes over and over when building recipes. This shows that you haven’t learned, you haven’t created the right recipe and practised. On the other hand, making new mistakes proves you’re trying something different. The loser is someone who makes the same mistakes over and over again, never managing to learn anything in the process and continuing to expect better outcomes.

Quotable Quotes

“I do not know anyone who has got to the top without hard work. That is the recipe. It will not always get you to the top, but should get you pretty near”. Margaret Thatcher

“A recipe is a story that ends with a good meal”. Pat Conroy

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