10 Lessons in Business from School

As the schools closed down for the summer, I got to thinking how many similarities there are between a well-run school, and a well-run business.

In fact, I thought of 10 ways right here.

(And before you get the wrong end of the analogy, I’m not suggesting you close your business for 6 weeks…)

1: Curriculum – This is your business plan, something you set out in writing at least annually. It should contain specific, time-sensitive goals and measurable targets.

2: Timetable – The only way a school can function is by everyone knowing what they are doing, and when. Plan your work schedules in advance, and start and leave consistently at pre-arranged times to keep your work-life balance on track.

3: Exams – Test your business progress regularly against your targets. Did you sell enough? Did you meet cash-flow and profitability projections? Equally, are there literally exams or courses you or your team should be taking to improve your knowledge and industry competitiveness?

4: Terms (Semesters to you Americans) – Punctuate your business year into easily measurable units. There is nothing like an end-of month target to get your sales department fired up.

5: Awards – Recognise personal as well as personnel achievements. Bonuses, promotion and team-building events can reap far more than they cost.

6: Uniform – Issue all client-facing staff with company work-wear. Whether matching ties, jackets or full outfits, it projects an image of an organisation committed to its brand values. When I implemented this at a financial services business I ran, employees also commented they appreciated not having to agonise over daily clothing choice!

7: Hierarchy – Appointing managers with the right combination of experience, knowledge, wisdom and gravitas will ensure a happy and productive classroom. Sorry, workforce.

8: Playtime – Know when to relax and spend time away from your work. No-one functions effectively after more than an hour sitting at a computer screen. Take a 5-minute break walking, talking, or meditating.

9: Eat! – Lunch is not for wimps; it’s essential. Your afternoons will be only half as useful as your mornings if you’re hungry.

10: Learn and teach – Nobody knows everything, or nothing. Be prepared to pass on your knowledge to colleagues, and listen to constructive suggestions from others.

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So…if you’d like a little more schooling yourself, or you just need someone to run some ideas by, I’m offering a free half-hour of power to my loyal readers.

If you send me an email telling me how you’d benefit from a half-hour’s business mentoring by me, I’ll do it FREE, wherever you are in the world, via Skype or ‘phone at a time to suit us both. jon@jupiterdawn.com

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