In order to grow your business, you need to start with a reality check. To make significant progress, you’ll need a complete and accurate understanding of the current status. With that understanding, and armed with the right strategy you can formulate an effective plan to get your business from where it’s at to where you really want it to be.
The first thing to do before setting a course for growth is to set up Key Performance Indicators for your business. “KPI’s” are basically critical statistics by which we measure how well your business is performing. Among the KPI’s to consider are money-related metrics, customer-related metrics, product/service-related metrics and operations-related metrics.
For example, a customer-related metric might be, “Conversion rate of web site visits to purchases.” Is 2% a good conversion, or do you need a higher number like 3% or 5% to generate the revenue you need to be profitable? This metric will enable you to make adjustments to your online strategy that could be very powerful to your business.
Most business owners we meet view their financials as one of the most dreaded aspects of the business. That changes quickly as we show them that there is not only sanity, but opportunity waiting to be uncovered. The sanity comes from being so in tune with the financial aspects of your business that nothing can take you by surprise. You’re able to see where you’ve been, where you are now and where you’re headed. The opportunity comes from knowing when and where it’s possible for you to spend more to make more, or to spend differently, or maybe even to spend less.
One of the best ways to use your financials is to always compare actual performance to projected performance for a given period. Having those two numbers side by side can be a sobering experience, and clearly defines areas that need your attention. This review can also be a joyous one when it confirms that the affirmative steps you’ve taken are giving you the result you desired.
You have to determine what the competition is doing and how the market landscape might be changing. Knowing this shifts power into your hands. As you gather this information, look for those businesses you believe are the smartest players in your space. Figure out what makes them outstanding. Then compare them to you – how do you stack up? Also assess what’s weak about the competition. What opportunities are they clearly leaving on the table for you to scoop up? Next, create a list of things that have to be transformed in your business in order for you to grow.
And beyond individual competition, what about the market in general? We’re always trying to stay abreast of overarching market trends. Change can be a great thing for you, but only if you know it’s coming. Be sure your business and what you offer are positioned in the path of where the whole market is moving.
Remember that business plan you created to launch your business? Well it’s time to pull that out out and review the key assumptions that drove many of the financial and strategic decisions you made early on. Update those assumptions using data and experience you’ve gathered over the course of running the business to this point. Going forward, revisit these assumptions quarterly, and if you notice that they are out-of-date or otherwise off-base, update them and see what effect that has on your current financial picture. How do those revisions affect the marketing, operational, growth and other key strategies of your business?
In our business Jump Start Plan, we address the issues you see here in conjunction with the key metrics and strategies that are required to get your business un-stuck. We’ll meet with you on a regular basis to work on the things that will get your once-growing business back on track. Decades of experience in every industry you can think of will be available to assist you. And while the consulting is comprehensive, the plan can be tailored to meet the needs of any type of business and any size budget. When the term of the Jump Start Plan consulting agreement is finished, you will be solidly back on course with the skills, tools and strategy to keep your business growing in the future.