Gallup says entrepreneurs with business focus emphasize profits, goals, and metrics and align employees with company goals.
Sam Zietz is not a go-with-the-flow kind of leader. "Everything we do is planned," says the founder and CEO of TouchSuite, a seller of POS technology in Boca Raton, Florida. Every employee participates in at least one 10- to 15-minute business meeting a day. But those meetings are "not distractions," says Zietz. Rather they are "meant to communicate with one another and make sure we are on track. If there are any issues, they are exposed early on in the process, so we can deal with them."
Many companies hold weekly or monthly executive team meetings to discuss metrics. At TouchSuite, every lunch hour is devoted to the numbers. New goals are set monthly and performance on the previous month's goals discussed. One or two new goals are chosen quarterly based on their ability to create maximum material impact. "This becomes the top priority for everyone, and all necessary resources are allocated towards it," says Zietz. The team reevaluates the three-to-five-year plan at an off-site meeting once a year.
"Everyone in the organization must be on the same page with one common objective," Zietz told the audience at a recent TedX talk. "No side objectives. This acts as a check and balance throughout the organization."
Zietz pays particular attention to the cost-versus-value calculation of acquiring customers and partners. In one instance, he was eager to form a strategic partnership with a distributor who had expressed interest in TouchSuite's products at a trade show. Frustrated when the distributor failed to return calls, Zietz wrote a letter that said, "I know your time is very valuable, so I would like to buy five minutes of it to discuss an opportunity that I believe will be mutually beneficial. I have enclosed $100 to cover the cost." He then Fed-Exed the note and enclosed a $100 bill. "Sure enough, the next day he called me," says Zietz.
But radio silence resumed after Zietz emailed the agreement. So Zietz asked his marketing team to collect the information necessary to complete the new partner's forms and filled them out himself. He Fed-Exed a copy of the documents, this time enclosing a $100 Montblanc pen. In the cover letter, he wrote, "Spam filters being what they are, you may not have received our agreements. So I took the liberty of printing them out and sending them to you already completed, along with a pen for your signature." Thus began a long and lucrative relationship.
"Total cost to acquire," says Zeitz, "about $200."