One of the biggest things that stifles promising Businesses from optimal performance is Mediocrity.

What is mediocrity in business?

It is when a comp has the potential for so much more but is under-performing.

A mediocre company is one that is being less than it can be. It is being average at best or at the bottom of the pyramid at worse.

Let’s face it — Mediocrity can be crafty. It creeps in and you give it a little room. By the time you realise it, it has dug so far and so deep that it becomes hard to get out.

This crux of this message is for two categories: The Business which was founded to provide a service or product, without much thought for being exceptional and has not embraced a mindset of continuous improvement that can move them into their next level; and the Business that was once high performing but has over time fallen into mediocrity due to a number of external and internal factors.

In the true sense, most companies don’t plot to be on the path of mediocrity, but somewhere down the line when a structure for ambition and accountability is skeletal or non-existent, mediocrity is sure to set in.

Here are 5 signs that your Business might continue to remain mediocre in 2020:

1. There’s a Culture Problem: Today’s business environment is fast-paced and changing at break-neck speed. As a result, it has become pertinent that firms operating in today’s marketplace must foster a high performance culture within them.

While the world is changing, however, there are many Businesses that are still running, well, traditionally. They still operate and deliver service in the exact same way they’ve always done, fostering a culture of mediocrity among employees.

Mediocre Businesses hardly ever are able to increase their revenue and profit. That’s because mediocrity will stall the progress of the Business and cause employees to be less productive, less innovative and to strive for less.

Is the current culture in your firm driving the right values and producing the desired results?

2. No Processes: There is an myth that processes and checks within a business don’t add value and are too bureaucratic. As a result of buying into that myth, many firms today are running without an active or relevant business and/or quality management system to govern the business.

Thankfully, this myth is not true and a lack of process is one of the reasons many companies remain average.

In such firms, if anyone was to ask what their process is around a certain area, chances are that there would be varying answers.

As Businesses grow, they gradually become more complex as more people get involved in its day-to-day operations. Creating and documenting processes serve as a blueprint for running the business optimally, showcasing employee engagement, product and service quality, and even how clients and customers are served. Doing this also helps spot where gaps exist and makes it easier for improvements to be made.

3. Weak Customer Experience: I’ll touch a bit on competition. The expectations of today’s more savvy, always-on customers and clients is changing and continues to change. Scratch that! Your entire market and industry has transformed and will continue to do so.

That’s why it is important to understand that you have far more competition than only those within your category and within your industry. If you’re still only identifying those in direct competition with you, you’re looking in the wrong direction.

If the customer was king before, in today’s modern market he has a much bigger crown. Customer experience is the new competitive advantage.

Even the most traditional industries are shifting toward customer-centric philosophies. From evolving customer touch points to personalised experiences to engagement, they all make up the experience that anyone has with your brand and builds a tribe of fans and loyalists.

The question then is, is your Business actively building a tribe or is it the average Joe?

4. Pushing Products that don’t drive Meaning: When it comes to products, mediocre businesses usually have the mentality of “If it a’int broke, don’t fix it.” Well, until the dwindling numbers show that something is definitely amiss.

It’s not only about the quality of your products; it’s about if and how the product is delivered still fits into the changing lifestyle of your targets.

It’s not only about if you’re creating new products (service businesses I’m also talking to you), it’s also about how those products are packaged and sold.

Is the focus only on functional benefits with true meaning not being properly defined?

Mediocre businesses have stifled creativity about their products, losing out on the chance to leverage opportunities that very openly exist.

5. Staying Stuck in Strategic Planning: Mediocre Businesses are faced with either of two things; having no strategic plan or not implementing one that exists.

Strategic plans are created so Businesses are able to leverage current and future opportunities.

If you’re trying to get your business away from average, then this just might be the time.

Where a strategic plan does not exist, it’s time to create one.

Where one does exist and is not being implemented, it’s time to review challenges around the implementation, tweak where required, and coach the team towards measurable actions and outcomes.