What’s the most important thing I’ve learnt in ten years in business?

On September 12, MedRecruit turns ten. As we leave August with a record sales month I have been reflecting on what has made us successful, on what has created an organisation that continues to grow and continues to improve.

And what’s the most important thing that I’ve learned?

A business is a reflection of the leader.

To grow your business, grow yourself.

And here are a few more…

Act swiftly if things aren’t right.

Act now on good ideas, don’t wait until they are perfect or become business critical.

Don’t hope a problem will go away – get proactive and take definitive action.

The little things matter – excellence is absolute.

Find the root problem – get clear optics – you can’t fix the symptom, you must fix the cause.

Question the status quo – just because we’ve done it this way for a long time doesn’t mean it’s right.

Success is a bad teacher.

Don’t be afraid to admit a mistake and cut your losses.

When you see a mistake you must act to correct it.

Make progress in parallel when things hinge on outcomes – ensure progress on any rate-limiting step.

Complacency breeds failure.

Keep it simple and focus on things that move you towards your business goals.

A focus on the pennies is critical to creating a great business and making dollars.

Know where we are at, where we need to be at all times.  Don’t guess. Monitor our numbers.  Know our profit margins.

Always work to a budget for time and money.

Take time to think.

Don’t be afraid to speak up, to stand out, to ask questions and to stand up for what you believe in. Who are we not to be our best or strive for personal excellence?

Simplify, cut to the chase, reduce the noise.

If you don’t have hard numbers it’s better to estimate than guess.

The same behaviour gets the same results, you need to do something different to see changes. 

Be clear and keep communicating. If you stop giving clear, consistent communication the message will become diluted.

Keep it simple. Make it easy to get things done and easy to do business with us.

There’s always a single number that needs your focus in the business.

Beware who you trust for advice – always consider if they have personal interests.

Plan for the exit at the start.

Beware who you become reliant on.

When it comes to attitude, people put their best foot forward at the start – it generally doesn’t get better magically.

Trust and verify – don’t assume.

When hiring people; interview first, workplace suitability testing second, do references, then re-interview.

We do not tolerate a bad egg or mediocrity, move quickly when there is an issue with performance.

Don’t tolerate slipshod performance because it’s the easy option.

Even if the business is not in a position to pay more, reviews should occur. If the business is in a position to improve pay then this should be done primarily on performance, which might take into account longevity.

Hire for the job – get the right people in the right seats.

Consult with the experts in the organisation; use their knowledge and idea’s. Don’t assume you know everything.

Hire primarily on cultural fit and behaviour – skills can be taught, attitude can’t.

Is not created by putting things on walls, we need our staff committed to excellence.  Value our staff as much as we value our clients and doctors. 

The team has great ideas, seek to understand them first and get their ideas before making changes because then the changes will be better and the team will be engaged.

Always get multiple tenders – you get a better rate and people put their best foot forward when they know they’re in competition.

When core business functions are affected, act swiftly to resolve and escalate early.

Don’t take shortcuts in business critical functions.

Double the time estimated to create anything related to IT.

Find out what the market wants directly from the market, don’t guess.