Are you leveraging your business?
The theme for this blog post is Leverage. What’s leverage? It’s getting the best from your people and your systems and processes.
Let’s split leverage into 4 manageable chunks
People and Education
Are you making the most of your team? Do they receive regular training and updates so that they can progress professionally and also help your business grow? Do you delegate? If not, why not? If you do it well not only will it free up your time it will also empower your staff to take on more responsibility and increase their motivation. Having regular appraisals/reviews helps, particularly if there is the opportunity for 360 feedback. It’s also important to look at the productivity of your team – you may have found that your productivity rate has increased due to lockdown as more of your team are working from home – if this is the case then how/why? Something you need to hang on to.
Delivery and Distribution
This is all around delivery of your service/product to clients/customers. Do you consistently provide an excellent service worthy of 5 stars?
Whether you are or you are not review your systems/processes regularly, making sure they are fit for purpose, now and indeed going forward Any changes needed will work better if you include your team in them.
Anything not automated that can be will be worth the effort and cover 80% of situations, leaving only 20% needing human intervention. Then this is where your staff manual and training programme comes into play. Without one you’re going to be forever telling your team what to do. Having a company manual and regular training also ensures your standards are consistent, this means that you’ll spend less time sorting out client or customer issues and you and your team can focus on making money.
Accounting & Financial Processes
As a business owner you need to know your numbers. I can’t stress how important this is. How can you know how you’re progressing if you’ve no starting point, or current position information?! I don’t just mean £numbers, also numbers like number of products/services sold, number of leads, number of customers, number of attendees at webinars and the conversion rates, there are many. Know your sales figures, costs, profit margins and make sure you set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for all areas of your business. This will help you to visualise how successful or not each area of your business is. It will also enable you to see where celebrations or improvements are required.
Ensuring that each member of the team knows their individual KPIs means that they’re able to see the value that they bring and also helps to keep them motivated to do their best. Maybe even a little friendly competition.
Systems and Technology
Having the appropriate systems and technology in place will help to streamline your operations. A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system for example will enable you to manage your dealings with your customers, not only will this system record who your customers are, it can also track sales, profitability, feedback on what they’ve purchased and what marketing material you’ve sent them. Having this information will enable you to better target them with your products and services. Start with a flow chart for each area of your business, these will help you to spot any potential bottlenecks
Automate or outsource routine tasks as this will free up your time. This could be the payroll, admin tasks such as client billing and social media management. Used correctly accountancy software can also be a huge benefit as it can be used to create regular reports that will clearly demonstrate the profitability or otherwise of each area of your business, saving you time and effort. All of this will help you to shift from working In to working On your business.
Don’t forget those how to manuals for everyone to use – keep them up to date.