Are you comfortable with the level of result you have in your business today? If no, here’s an in-depth report on how you can boost your business performance using 5 unique steps that are proven to work.
Any business you care to mention, from the giants of Nike and Apple, right down to the independent little coffee shop on the corner have all experienced that lull, that seemingly endless hiatus.
The initial impetus appears to have stagnated somewhat, repeat customers aren’t coming back as much as you predicted, and the daily grind doesn’t get your business growing as quickly as you hoped. Yeah, it does occur.
But let’s not forget that if Apple’s idea of producing a home computer with just spreadsheet, word processor and database functionality hadn’t been saved by the introduction of Aldus Pagemaker software (and thus making the first Macs into desktop publishing machines), there would have been a lot less white mobile phones in the world.
None Knows Your Business Better Than You Do
It’s your business. That’s okay… You know it better than anyone, and, if there’s one single person with the insight to know exactly where improvement should be targeted, that person is you.
You may indeed know these business areas, but how exactly should you approach those all-important, possibly quite radical, changes to the way you do things?
That’s where what I have to share with you today will make so much sense.
This article will take you there.
The following 5 result-driven steps to boosting your business performance will guide you through the necessary implementation of new structures, new practices, and so forth.
It may seem scary, but what’s worse? Taking a calculated risk, or having to stand in front of your employees one early December morning to announce the company needs to “let some people go?” Yep, you got it.
So, simple first question: “What are we looking at here?” You need a comprehensive knowledge of the actual factors that are affecting your business performance.
You will need to address your current way of doing things (those vital, organic business practices/culture), the market trends that influence your customer’s purchasing motives, the performance of your employees, and, just as importantly, a broad overview of the environment that your business is operating within.
There are a number of specific business analysis tools you need to look to for the impact of those factors stated above:
- Benchmarking: In other words, comparison. Benchmarking will measure your business’s overall performance against the best in your industry, as well as against similar-sized businesses to yours.
- SWOT Analysis: SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats; it is a structured planning method, and one of those 4 core elements of your business.
- Trend Analysis: This is the long-term collection and subsequent analysis of your business data that provides essential information concerning your consistent results or trends.
- Market Research: This is the organised investigation into your business’s market and industry to identify trends and important changes to your customers’ needs and demands.
All businesses need goals; if you don’t have them, what is there to strive for? The 5 essential principles of great goal-setting are these:
- Specific: What is it you wish to achieve, clearly and concisely stated?
- Measurable: How do you evaluate your success?
- Timely: When is its completion date?
- Achievable: Do you have the necessary time and resources to attain your goal?
- Relevant: There is no point having a goal if it does not meet your core objectives in business, it doesn’t improve what drives your profit, and it doesn’t improve what you had before.
Once you have your goals, that’s your required targets firmly set, you then need to prioritize them, so you can apply your focus effectively.
Furthermore, your goals will have different time frames and lastly, those that are restrained by finances or resources can be part of a longer term strategy.
Remember that saying, “Different strokes for different folks?” The same applies to the kind of the business strategies that are required to achieve these newly-identified goals.
Let’s take the example of building brand loyalty within your customer base. (These 6 essential branding strategies simplified with an infographic will guide you). One of the most obvious ways of doing this is a reward system of some description, where you are:
● Actively targeting returning customers, and then
● Actively letting them know how much you, as a business, appreciate their custom.
Therefore, the corporate gifting marketing strategy will provide those customer rewards, or personalized corporate gifts, ensuring the continuing and stronger loyalty displayed by those elements of your customer base.
By the same token, if you are looking to increase your customer base, take a look at Lisa’s list of top online influencers for strategies you can copy and implement immediately. But don’t, different strokes for different folks.
Once you have decided what individual strategy will meet each of your designated goals, you need to plan for their implementation. It is vital you include the following specifics in that plan:
- Time Frame: Each strategy requires a start and completion date. You need to check out these 10 smart ways to boost your business productivity.
- Actions: Describe the individual actions, the steps needed, for each implementation.
- Responsibilities: List who is accountable for each of these steps.
- Resources: List the required resources, finances, and employees needed for each of these steps
- Required Outcome: State exactly how you will know the outcome you have set in your goals has been achieved.
These scheduled implementations will have a knock-on effect on your overall business plan, which you should duly update to reflect this.
Simply, the process of measuring the results. The greater the goal, the more complex the analysis. With all of your goals, however, you need to decide how often to measure, to analyse perceived increases in revenue or other considerations within the goal itself.
The Boost, Again and Again
The 5 result-driven steps to boosting business performance described above – assessment, goal-setting, strategy, implementation, and analysis is your structure to work within to increase the productivity and profitability of your business.
Without this structure, you may continue to flounder like the proverbial fish out of water. No-one wants to see that.
Even if your business is reasonably successful, assessing why you’re not hitting the next level could be the boost that turns you from a corner coffee shop to a multinational. It may even come done to simply offering personalized pens to the most loyal or most influential of your current customers.
Are there other steps, key to business performance enhancement that you think should be included here? Feel free to share with us.
Whatever your business, whatever your product, and however you finally got it to the marketplace, the key steps above will get you growing and growing again, now and in the future.
This is a guest post from Andy. Andy was born in Bogota, Colombia, but raised in Los Angeles, California United States of America. He spends his time helping others to recover and grow their business.