Critical success factors

What are your touchpoints for success? Do you have them? MARCIA GRIFFIN

Marcia Griffin

By Marcia Griffin

One of the very interesting ways to assess your business strength and strategy is to consider objectively and dispassionately the elements that are essential to success in your industry – the real needs as opposed to the wants of success – and to compare the strengths of your business against these factors.

Recently I attended a workshop with Bob Nordlinger of The Executive Connection on the subject of developing a business strategy, and while we covered many interesting issues as how to best prepare a strategic plan, the idea of standing back and doing the critical success factor (CSF) check was basic and definitive.

You may think for example that having a great office is important for your business, but if you examine this idea in the light of the critical factors for success in your industry you may be pleased to learn that a great office is an expense you can do without!

Equally if you are retailer, location will be a critical success factor. If you want to attract the Chapel or Oxford street customer, no point being in Toorak or Double Bay – even if you have great merchandise!

An example Bob mentioned was the fast food industry, where critical success factors are:

  • Location.
  • Menu selection.
  • Advertising.
  • Value.
  • Operating systems.

The next part of this assessment is to check that your key strengths match the CSFs of your industry, determine where those gaps are and put a plan in place to close them. And better still develop a plan to excel in those areas –if you were in fast food, find the very best locations, work on the most enticing menus etc etc.

To do this type of objective assessment it would be a great idea to involve customers and other stakeholders. Sometimes we get so close to what we do that we lose perspective about our competitive strengths and their real value to our business.

This way of looking at your business will help you identify and correct on the weaknesses.

I was also thinking after this presentation that the principle of looking at CSFs can apply across a number of other areas – for example the ideal candidate for a position. What would be the critical success factors for that role and where are the current gaps?

For my part I found the analysis a really simple framework for strategic questions and thinking.


To read more Marcia Griffin blogs, click here.

High Heeled Success is Marcia Griffin’s latest book, and is a frank account of building a business from a solitary sales person to a multi-million dollar business with 4700 sales consultants around Australia and New Zealand. It recounts successes and failures along the way and was written to inspire entrepreneurs-particularly women to triumph in business.

High Heeled Success (Kerr Publishing) is available directly from Marcia ([email protected]) or Domain Books



Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments