‘Seven Steps’ to Business Success
Our unique Seven Steps programme offers a customisable and practical approach to planning, controlling and funding change across your business. It provides a foundation on which you can build a financially robust, operationally flexible and engaged company capable of capitalising on any – and all – new business opportunities.
We have outlined what we see as priority areas, and recommended actions, under 7 separate headings. The order is not generally intended to reflect importance. Nor should you assume you can focus on a specific area, for example, Finance, and then move on to the next step.
STEP 1: FOCUS FINANCE - TODAY, TOMORROW AND IN THE FUTURE
In a volatile and uncertain world, the future of your business depends on knowing what comes in, what goes out and how much you can afford to spend on strengthening the company – profit – at the end of day, week or month. Creating a detailed financial and business model will ensure any strategies, plans and actions are based on an accurate and up-to-date understanding of your company’s financial status.
STEP 2: BECOME A BETTER BUSINESS
You have already updated processes, trained staff on new procedures, and dealt with restrictions, delays and shortages in your channel. What comes next depends on your company’s current situation, objectives and, importantly, financial status. Do the research: focus on priority areas of the business, e.g. business and operating model, workflow, job functions and workflow. And then plan – with input from staff, partners and possibly customers – how best to implement change.
STEP 3: COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE
We have learned a lot over the past few months, much of which can be factored back into your business. Take communication: if we did not already know the value of regular communication, we do now. Now, probably more than ever before, communication will be of pivotal importance in ensuring your company, partners and customers collaborate to ensure all involved get what they want from the relationship. The increased ease with which we are using technology makes it easier – and more cost-effective – to build communication into your business strategy and operations.
STEP 4: COMMUNICATE THROUGH ACTIVE MARKETING
When times are tough, marketing can be seen as a source of easy financial savings. But you cannot afford to be forgotten, nor allow customers to shift loyalties, while you wait for an uptick in demand to ‘justify’ marketing spend.
Active marketing is the key to securing essential competitive advantage. And, by combining smart and informed choices on platforms, techniques with a deep understanding of customer behaviours, with a dash of creativity, getting the results you want – that is, awareness, leads and sales – doesn’t have to be expensive.
STEP 5: BUILD A COMMUNITY – AND COMMUNICATE
Building a community starts with, you have guessed it, active and engaging two-way communication. As we are all spending more time online and increasingly comfortable using social media and digital services as our primary means of communication, it has never been easier to stay in touch. However, it pays to be savvy about the means, methods and frequency with which you communicate, and interact, with your wider community – from employees through partners to prospects and customers. Start with a plan, keep it fresh, encourage engagement and be sure to conduct regular monitoring and analysis.
STEP 6: SELL, SELL, SELL
“Carry on selling” might sound self-evident. But when everything is changing, including not only the customer’s requirements but also how much they can afford to spend, maintaining healthy sales figures may take more work, and imagination, than usual. Start by locking-in your best customers with, for example, discounts for long-term commitments. Review your pricing strategy but avoid discounting. You can also consider moving upstream, selling higher priced products and services to customers with more financial clout.
STEP 7: LEAD YOUR BUSINESS INTO THE FUTURE
While we are all still coping with the “ad-hoc response” stage of recovery, if you have not done so already, it’s time to plan for the future. There is still a lot of uncertainty, which must be factored into your planning, but your focus should be on preparing your company to compete in the toughest of markets, however long the current recession lasts. And then, when the new version of ‘normality’ returns, you need to be sure your business is in the strongest position to recover lost ground and discover new opportunities.
Change is Good, Planned Change Is Better
The time to change is now. But not before you take a step back, think, analyse and plan, not only your strategy and tactics.
That’s the reason 2020 Insights ’Seven Steps’ programme starts with a FREE 2-hour business audit conducted by our business, finance and marketing experts.
During the initial FREE session, our experts will work with you through your current situation and business challenges and address fundamental questions including:
Where does ‘change’ start?
What are your goals?
What areas or departments should be prioritised?