Good to Great: What Jim Collins Can Teach Us About Business

Are you sick of your business not being quite as successful as you want it to be? Want to know how to make your business grow?

Every business has the potential to achieve greatness but, like all things, you need to work at it. There are methods you need to stick to, practices that need to be put in place and exercises used to get the most out of the business.

Jim Collins, the author of the management book, Good to Great has a lot to teach you about how to make your business grow. If you have the time then it is highly recommended to read the book, but in short this is what you can learn:

The Right People in the Key Places

This goes without saying: your company is run by your staff so it is only logical to ensure that you have the best people in key positions. Collins describes building a company like driving a bus; you need a good driver but you also need the right people in all the key seats.

Figure out just how many key places you need and then make sure that you can fill these with the best people as quickly as possible. This is an essential step that helps to cover all areas of your business and ensure you’re well equipped to handle the future.

Level Leadership

Not only do you need the right people in the right places, you need to ensure that you have effective leaders: People who look for solutions instead of placing blame; and leaders who are willing to muck in and get involved rather than constantly focusing on an end goal.

Good leaders don’t just focus on their team and their achievements, they look at ways that they can contribute to the future of the company and strive for even greater success. If you find a leader like this then make sure you nurture and look after them, as they’ll be the driving force behind your business.

Face Facts

As a business you need to be able to face problems head on and challenge conventions in order to make necessary changes. Great businesses don’t shy away from raw data or customer opinions, they embrace them and adapt their businesses to meet these changes.

Every quarter you should have a meeting that focuses solely on facts, not strategies or opinions, just facts. Look at what your customers want, what aspects of your business are working, which aspects aren’t and what you need to do to change this.

Go Big, But Practice First

At least once every three years your business should take a big bet, but not without due caution and research first. Take a couple of small chances to get a better idea of the market and what you should be looking to hit, once you’ve done these and you have a better understanding then you need to go big!

Collins put this as firing several bullets to calibrate your aiming before firing the cannon when you have a better idea about what you’re going to hit. This method helps to reduce the amount of waste in areas with limited resources and means that gambles come through more often.

Focus Your Business

If you really want to be great, then you want to focus all your attention on one task. Collins refers to this as foxes and hedgehogs; the fox chases too many opportunities and becomes unfocused, while the hedgehog does one thing perfectly.


Find what your focus is and stick at it. Stay disciplined, build a frame work and stop doing things that don’t have an immediate impact on your goal.

Build to Last

Probably the most important thing you need to do to achieve success is create a company that is designed to last, regardless of whether leadership changes or not. If you’re not sure how to set business goals and objectives then here’s what you should be looking at:

• Tackling seemingly unachievable goals
• Planning your company’s future for 15-20 years
• Putting together objectives you wish to achieve
• Actions to adjust your business to customer needs

By doing this you are preparing your business to succeed in ways that you aren’t currently prepared for, thus tailoring the development of your company towards greatness. This can be a costly process, so it is imperative that you get the right type of funding for your needs.
At Pure Commercial Finance we have a wealth of experience in delivering a wide range of finances designed to help grow your business; talk to us today to find out more.

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