Are you thinking about what’s next for your business, or just want to sense check your current plans?
With cash flow the immediate challenge for business owners and leaders during an economic downturn, the need to reshape operating models, rebuild financial plans and renew the focus of teams working virtually, will be a priority to ensure the business remains in great shape and ready to take off, when consumer confidence grows.
Here are our 10 practical steps to help structure your planning and bring greater focus to the teams activity, adapted from Nicky Macfarlane’s blog: https://www.nickymacconsulting.co.uk/10-steps-to-reshape-your-business-and-prepare-to-takeoff/
1. Business Plans
Business plans are not just for start ups. Being clear on your purpose and documenting the plan of how you are going to move forward is a good place to start when operating in a period of change. Once you are clear on your purpose this will become the road map for your team to follow and deliver success with you.
2. Customer Focus
We are nothing without our customers! What do you truly know about who they are and what motivates them to buy from you? Businesses with in depth customer insight are able to adapt in times of change quicker. How you are solving your customers problems and what new ways are there to develop your connection with them.
3. Value Innovation
We all consciously or unconsciously as consumers, will look to get the best value from products or services we buy. Value innovation in business gives a focus on discovering new ways to balance lowering your costs, whilst adding more value for customers in order to make your competition irrelevant and growth profitable. Enlisting the expert of an independent pair of eyes at this stage of your planning can open up new opportunities for your business you may not see.
4. Product Differentiation
- How does your product stand out from your competitors?
- Why should customers choose to buy from you?
- Are start ups beginning to disrupt the market you are in?
- What makes you unique and is valued by your customers.
5. Marginal gains
Large scale change in a business can be daunting both for the leadership team and employees. But finding new ways to be efficient, reduce costs, increase value or develop team motivation does have to be dramatic. Finding marginal gains of just 1% across your operational activities will give incremental improvements in processes and services, which added together will make a significant difference to your profitability.
6. Upgrade your Marketing
Investing in Marketing activity may bring the accountants out in a cold sweat, but the risk of not doing so is greater. Does your Marketing plan focus on driving growth by creating greater awareness, invest in customer retention activity and nurturing your sales leads ?
7. Invest in your people
Change maybe a constant when running a business and as your team are one of your greatest assets, you need to invest in them. Employee engagement has a direct impact on business success, which is why on a regular basis its good practice to take a fresh look at your culture, invest in team development and celebrate successes to make them your greatest fans.
Geoff is able to present a bespoke solution that will deliver results using a combination of tools including Insights Discovery Effective Selling and specific tracking to measure performance before, during and after the programme.
8. Sales Transformation
There is nothing more frustrating as a business owner than spending money on marketing to then find the sales don’t come rolling in. Evaluating your sales approach and team capability to identify the gaps, challenges and opportunities is time well spent.
The Sussex Collaborative can support with reviewing sales plans, training to improve conversion or advice on technologies to drive improved lead management and conversions.
9. Project management
When it comes to projects don’t be busy fools ! Be clear on project requirements and what’s in scope, get the right people involved, set out responsibilities and clearly communicate the budget. Time invested early will be money saved later! For further advice and free resources on the subject check out Nicky’s blog.
10. Look after your investment
Do your leadership team all measure and report on the Return on Investment of any budgetary spend? Having a culture where everyone takes responsibility for their departments ROI as if it were their own money being spent will give clarity on the required outcomes and benefit of all spend in delivering business growth.
How can The Sussex Collaborative help?
As a group of business professionals, who over the years have worked through these 10 steps whilst developing and growing the businesses we have led, we can act as a sounding board to your plans, help reshape your processes and offer innovative and dynamic solutions to your challenges.