By Gerard Burke, Founder and MD, Your Business Your Future

The UK economy seems to be in a period of very slow growth or possibly even stagnation. At the same time, the Government is repeatedly reminding us that smaller businesses will be the engines of growth and job creation in the recovery.

Fortunately for the government, and indeed for every one of us in this country, we have many thousands of heroic owner managers, who through their inventiveness and their vision, their strength and their courage, their gritty determination and their fierce resolve, build great businesses, create jobs which provide incomes for families, contribute hugely to their local communities and, ultimately, drive the whole UK economy. At Your Business Your Future, we're passionate about helping ambitious owner managers do precisely that.

And that’s why we’ve put together a one day event on The Seven Pillars of a Better Business in partnership with Cass Business School and Fresh Business Thinking. At Your Business Your Future, we’ve helped over 600 of the UK’s most successful business owners grow their businesses and create the future they want for their businesses and for themselves. From this, we’ve identified seven characteristics which seem to distinguish those businesses which consistently perform better than the average. We call them The Seven Pillars of a Better Business and they are:

1. It’s up to you! Your business looks and feels the way it does today, and has the opportunities and challenges it has today, because it’s yours. So, if you want a better business, become a better leader.

2. Know what you want. Ensuring that your business enables you to achieve what you want personally creates clarity, focus and energy.

3. Become a strategist. Working on your business, rather than in it all the time, is key to releasing its full potential.

4. Know where you’re going. If you have an inspiring vision of the future you want, and a plan of how to get there, you’re much more likely to achieve it.

5. Stick to the knitting, and stand out from the crowd. Remarkably, 88% of high growth businesses succeed by selling more of their existing products/services to their existing customers, and others just like them.

6. Master the (right) numbers. What gets measured, gets done. So, knowing your numbers and defining your key measures is vital to success.

7. Build a better team. It’s what your people do that defines what your business actually becomes. So, if you want a better business, build a better team.

If you can build more of these pillars, then it’s more likely that you will successfully build a better business. And, the rewards are great - more profit, a stronger business which is easier to manage, more personal fulfilment, and more fun!

Intriguingly, the Seven Pillars are easy to understand – indeed, some might argue that they’re “common sense”. At the same time, many of them are difficult to build because they challenge the owner manager themselves to change and develop. Many owner managers recognise that they need some help to achieve this change. It’s our passion and privilege to do that.

Gerard Burke is the founder and MD of Your Business Your Future, the UK’s leading provider of development programmes specifically designed for ambitious owner managers. He will be leading Fresh Business Thinking LIVE! at Cass Business School on 7th September. For more information and to book your tickets now, visit www.freshbusinessevents.com

Watch the video below featuring Gerard Burke of Your Business Your Future, discussing the 7 pillars of a better business.