The road to business success is a rough one.  Competition is at an all time high, and there seem to be new road blocks popping up no matter what industry you’re in.  Technology is evolving at top speed, and with these changes, businesses everywhere have to swerve and stop short more than ever…

So, what does it take to pull ahead of the competition and win today?  While this is a complicated question, because there are a lot of different ways to run a business (some better than others), my answer is this: Start looking at the people on bus.  Confused? Let me explain:

Jim Collins puts in best in his book, Good to Great (by the way, if you haven’t read it yet, grab a copy ASAP) when he shares his key to a thriving company: “Get the Right People on the Bus (and the wrong people off the bus).”  Translation: it takes having the right people in the right positions in your company in order to succeed. Without those two things, your organization is doomed to mediocrity at best and a total roadside breakdown at worst.  To put it simply, you can’t build a good company with bad employees.  The right people have to be in the right seats to keep your bus driving at full-speed toward success.

All puns aside, Collins’ strategy really works, and I write from firsthand experience. Over the past few years, we have more than doubled the number of employees at Perennial Software, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the team we’ve assembled.  Our growth is a direct result of the great people within our organization.  We have great people who dedicate 110% of their efforts to move the company forward, all because they’re in positions that play to their strengths—and we’re always looking to add more members who share that drive.

Like most businesses, the challenges we face today are greater than ever.  As a software company, we’re forced to maneuver through the information technology landscape—a field filled with potholes from new products and rapid changes.  Keeping up with the industry to provide our customers with top of the line solutions to their business needs feels like a never-ending drag race.  And it’s a race we can only win with a strong team—with the right people on the bus—and I’m proud to say we’re making great time.

After reading this, I hope you’ll ask yourself (and be honest), “Do we have the best employees to run a powerful business, and are those employees in the positions best suited for them?”  If you answer “yes,” your company is on track for success (and you’ve probably read Good to Great).  If you aren’t so sure, it’s time to make filling your bus with the best people in the best seats a top priority.  A thriving company is always just a few stops away.

– Michael Marks, Co-Founder Perennial Software